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2 Tailhook officers face assault charges

Two naval officers have become the first to face assault or indecent assault charges from the 1991 Tailhook Association convention, where dozens of women were molested or attacked. A naval investigator, Cmdr. Larry McCullough, was appointed Tuesday to conduct an investigation of charges against Cmdr. Gregory Tritt and Lt. Cole Cowden. Tritt is accused of assault, conduct unbecoming an officer, providing a false official statement and making a false official statement under oath, said Cmdr. John Tull, a Navy spokesman. Cowden is charged with conduct unbecoming an officer and indecent assault, Tull said. He said indecent assault and assault are different crimes but couldn't immediately explain the difference. None of the other 34 Navy officers disciplined in the case were charged with assault.

Shuttle to chase

satellite in space

CAPE CANAVERAL _ The shuttle Endeavour leaves Sunday on a mission that includes a four-day chase through space to retrieve a science satellite. Endeavour, carrying six astronauts, is set to lift off from Cape Canaveral at 9:37 a.m. Sunday on a seven-day mission that may be extended for an extra day. One of the main goals will be to bring the European Retrievable Carrier back to laboratories on the ground. The mission also will mark the debut of Spacehab, a commercially developed science research module similar to the European-built Spacelab, which has been used in past missions.

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