AUSTIN, TEXAS

Court upholds abortion limitations

A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld Texas’ tough abortion restrictions that have forced the closure of about 20 clinics around the state, saying the new rules don’t jeopardize women’s health. A panel of judges at the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court judge who said the rules violate the U.S. Constitution and serve no medical purpose. After the lower court’s ruling, the appeals court allowed the restrictions to go into effect while it considered the case, which ultimately could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

LOS ANGELES

Baggage handlers arrested in thefts

Police said a $15,000 camera, Gucci bags, and name-brand clothing and jewelry were among the thousands of dollars in valuables stolen by baggage handlers at Los Angeles International Airport. Los Angeles police Capt. Raymond Maltez said Thursday that the joint operation with airport police started after police noticed theft reports occurring at the airport more frequently when certain crews handled luggage. Six people have been arrested so far.

Three finally arrive at space station

A Russian spacecraft carrying three astronauts docked with the International Space Station Thursday evening 250 miles over Brazil, controllers in Los Angeles said. The crew aboard the orbiting outpost congratulated the latest members — Russians Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev and NASA’s Steve Swanson. The trio blasted off from Kazakhstan on Wednesday local time aboard a Soyuz rocket for what was supposed to be a six-hour straight shot to the space station. But an engine burn designed to fine-tune the craft’s path did not occur as planned, delaying the docking.

WASHINGTON

Air Force fires nine commanders

The Air Force took the extraordinary step Thursday of firing nine midlevel nuclear commanders and announcing it will discipline dozens of junior officers at a nuclear missile base, responding firmly to an exam-cheating scandal that spanned a far longer period than originally reported. A 10th commander, the senior officer at the base, resigned and will retire from the Air Force.

DENVER

Bodies of crash victims recovered

The bodies of five people from Alabama were pulled from a southwestern Colorado reservoir on Thursday, five days after a single-engine plane crashed into the cold, murky water. Ouray County officials identified the dead as Jimmy Hill, 48; Katrina Barksdale, 40; Barksdale’s sons, 11-year-old Kobe and 8-year-old Xander; and Barksdale’s 14-year-old nephew, Seth McDuffie. All were from Gadsden, Ala., where the flight originated.

Compiled from wire reports.