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Spacecraft now hurtling toward sun

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.—Embarking on a mission that scientists have been dreaming of since the Sputnik era, a NASA spacecraft yesterday hurtled toward the sun on a quest to unlock some of its mysteries by getting closer than any object sent before.

If all goes well, the Parker Solar Probe will fly straight through the wispy edges of the sun's corona, or outer atmosphere, in November.

Donkeys helping people to de-stress

ULSTER PARK, N.Y.—In most of the world, donkeys are beasts of burden. But the only job of the long-eared denizens of Donkey Park is to nuzzle, bray, and beguile the diverse group of people who find comfort in their company.

Donkey Park is the creation of Steve Stiert, who sought a new direction after his job as a software engineer for IBM was eliminated six years ago.

Pope changes death penalty teaching

VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis has changed church teaching about the death penalty, saying in a new policy published today that it is always “inadmissible" because it "attacks” the inherent dignity of all humans.

The Vatican said Francis had approved a change to the Catechism of the Catholic Church—the compilation of official Catholic Church teaching.