Launch to space station all ready

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan — A NASA astronaut and two Russian colleagues received the thumbs-up Thursday for a mission that will boost the population of the International Space Station to six.

California native Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Russians Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Kornienko are to blast off at 10:04 a.m. today from the Russian-leased Baikonur space center in southern Kazakhstan and will reach the orbiting science lab on Easter Sunday.

The astronauts are due to stay on board the space station until mid-September, leaving the lab just as the Shuttle Discovery sets off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in the last-ever shuttle flight.

Israeli planes strike back after Gaza attack

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli aircraft have struck multiple targets in the Gaza Strip following a rocket attack on southern Israel.

No injuries were reported.

The Israeli military says aircraft struck four targets early today: two weapons-making factories and two weapons-storage facilities.

Hamas security officials say 10 sites were hit: a cheese factory, a movie- making complex built by the territory's Islamic militant Hamas rulers, and open areas where militants train.