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Forecasters put the odds of good weather at 70 percent for the 3:52 p.m. liftoff.

Discovery is making its last mission trip to the International Space Station. Only one other shuttle launch remains on NASA’s official schedule, in late February, which would end 30 years of shuttle flight.


2 Conrad Black convictions tossed

CHICAGO | An appeals court in Chicago has reversed two fraud convictions for former media mogul Conrad Black but upheld one fraud and one obstruction of justice conviction.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling curtailing so-called “honest services” laws means the two fraud convictions had to be tossed. The government had conceded the two convictions rested partly on the idea that Black deprived his former company of his faithful services as a corporate officer.

Black once controlled a media empire that included the Chicago Sun-Times, the Daily Telegraph of London and community papers in the U.S. and Canada. After serving two years of a 6½-year sentence, he was recently freed from a Florida federal prison pending the appeal.


Boardwalk bustling as gambling slips

ATLANTIC CITY | Finally, there’s some good news for Atlantic City after four years of slumping revenue: Even though fewer people are coming to the nation’s second-largest gambling resort, they’re spending more cash on things that don’t involve gambling.

Spending is up for hotel rooms, meals, concerts and nightclubs even as the gambling take has dropped for the New Jersey resort’s 11 casinos. Last year, at least 30,300,000 visitors were counted in the resort city, down about 4,000,000 from 2006.

A study by the Spectrum Gaming Group, a casino consulting firm, says money lost at slot machines and card and roulette tables is down 23 percent since 2007. But gamblers’ spending on hotel rooms is up 21 percent and food and drink is up 6 percent.

From wire dispatches and staff reports