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On its final voyage after nearly three decades, Discovery, the most traveled rocket ship ever, will be retired after this week’s return to Earth.

The hatches between Discovery and the International Space Station were sealed Sunday afternoon, setting the stage for the shuttle’s departure first thing Monday.

“We’re going to miss you,” the space station’s commander, Scott Kelly, told the six shuttle astronauts. “But most of all we’re going to miss Discovery.”

Shuttle skipper Steven Lindsey nodded in agreement, then shook hands with Mr. Kelly. Mr. Lindsey noted that all the mission objectives had been accomplished: The new storage unit carried up by Discovery was installed and unloaded, leaving behind an empty, pristine compartment ready to serve its purpose.


ROTC, Harvard sign return deal

BOSTON | Harvard University officially welcomed the ROTC back to the nation’s oldest college Friday as other elite campuses considered whether to lift their decades-old bans now that Congress has voted to allow gays to serve openly in the military.

Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus signed an agreement that establishes the Naval ROTC’s formal presence on campus for the first time since the Vietnam War era. Other schools, including Columbia, Yale and Brown, are discussing whether to follow suit.

“Both the American military and higher education have been engines of inclusion and wellsprings of service,” Mrs. Faust said during the ceremony. “The relationship we renew today marks progress in that common pursuit.”


Fugitive-surrender program dropped

CLEVELAND | A nationwide program that allows fugitives accused of nonviolent crimes to surrender safely at churches has been eliminated by the U.S. Marshals Service because it didn’t fit the service’s mission of catching violent fugitives, a spokesman said.

More than 34,000 people in 20 cities have turned themselves in through Fugitive Safe Surrender, which got its start in Cleveland in 2005 in response to the killing of a police officer by a fugitive during a traffic stop.

Spokesman Jeff Carter told the Cleveland Plain Dealer for Sunday’s editions that the program cost $250,000 annually. Funding was dropped this year after a review of programs aimed at reducing violent crime.

The program paired the marshals with other law enforcement agents and churches. It set a record in Cleveland in September when more than 7,400 fugitives surrendered in a four-day event. Safe Surrender events have been held in Maryland, 13 other states and Washington, D.C.

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