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"Endeavour' launch? So far, so good

With Congress scheduled to begin wrangling over space station funding this week, NASA doesn't need any problems with today's planned launch of the space shuttle Endeavour. So far, so good. Late Saturday, Endeavour, its six-member crew, and even the weather appeared ready for a 9:38 a.m. liftoff. "Smooth .


. no problems," NASA spokeswoman Lisa Malone said. The Endeavour crew's primary mission this week will be to retrieve an experiment-laden orbiting platform called Eureca _ short for European Retrievable Carrier. The shuttle's robot arm is to snatch the platform on the fourth day of the eight-day mission and bring it into the payload bay.

Schwarzkopf offers

opinion on general

PHILADELPHIA _ Retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf was mildly critical of the Air Force general disciplined for making disparaging remarks about President Clinton. Schwarzkopf, who lives in Tampa, was in Philadelphia to accept an award from the educational Freedoms Foundation. "It's one thing to discuss (one's opinions) among friends and contemporaries, but another to make them public," Schwarzkopf said of Air Force Maj. Gen. Harold Campbell. Schwarzkopf was irate, however, about the reports of an Iraqi assassination plot against former President Bush.

Vermont court says

lesbian can adopt

MONTPELIER, Vt. _ A lesbian may adopt the children of her partner without either woman losing her parental rights, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled Friday. The decision overturns a probate court ruling that prohibited Deborah Lashman of Burlington from adopting the sons of her partner, Jane VanBuren. The ruling effectively establishes that lesbians can be "legally recognized parents," said Julie Frame, who represented the women. Lashman and Van Buren have lived together since 1986.