RALEIGH, N.C.

Judge blocks bathroom rule

A judge ruled Friday that two students and an employee must be allowed to use restrooms matching their gender identity at University of North Carolina campuses, and he said they have a strong chance of proving the state’s bathroom-access measure violates federal law. U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder temporarily blocked the University of North Carolina from making the three plaintiffs follow the restroom provision of the so-called HB2 law as the larger case makes its way to trial in November. His final decision on the law won’t come until after that trial.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.

Capsule returns from space

A SpaceX Dragon capsule returned to Earth on Friday with scientific gifts from the International Space Station. NASA astronaut Kate Rubins waved goodbye as the Dragon slowly flew away Friday morning. Six hours later, the spacecraft parachuted into the Pacific, just off Mexico’s Baja California coast. It’s loaded with 3,000 pounds of research and equipment, including 12 mice that flew up on the Dragon as part of a genetic study. “Good splashdown of Dragon confirmed,” SpaceX reported via Twitter.

PORTLAND, Maine

Governor’s tirade in spotlight

Maine’s Republican governor has built a reputation on his unfiltered comments, but his obscene tirade unleashed on a liberal lawmaker prompted Democratic lawmakers Friday to warn that the governor was coming unhinged and to call for a political intervention. Gov. Paul LePage apologized to “the people of Maine” — but not to the legislator — after he left a voicemail message for Democratic Rep. Drew Gattine that said “I am after you” and then told reporters he wished he could challenge Gattine to a duel and point a gun “right between his eyes.” LePage said the angry outburst was justified because Gattine had called him racist — something Gattine denied.

SALEM, Ore.

State fair displays marijuana

Living pot plants are on display at the Oregon State Fair and organizers said it marks a first for any state fair in the nation. The exhibit of nine marijuana plants is sponsored by the Oregon Cannabis Business Council and will run through Sept. 5 in Salem. Oregon voters legalized recreational marijuana in late 2014. The plants are in a tent that no one under 21 can enter.

Compiled from wire reports