The nation in brief: Replacements arrive at space station

Astronauts gather during the welcoming ceremony Friday on the International Space Station. (AP/NASA TV)

Replacements arrive at space station

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- A new crew arrived at the International Space Station on Friday for a six-month mission after overcoming trouble with one of the capsule's docking hooks.

The SpaceX capsule and its four astronauts had to wait 65 feet away from the orbiting lab as flight controllers in California scrambled to devise a software fix.

It's the same problem that cropped up shortly after Thursday's liftoff. Although all 12 hooks on the capsule appeared fine, the switch for one of them malfunctioned. SpaceX Mission Control urged patience, telling the U.S., Russian and Emerati astronauts they could stay in the holding pattern for up to two hours.

Once new software commands were relayed, the astronauts got the go-ahead, with the linkup occurring an hour late as the capsule and space station soared 260 miles above Somalia.

"After a brief scenic detour, welcome to the International Space Station," SpaceX Mission Control radioed.

The new arrivals include the United Arab Emirates' Sultan al-Neyadi, the first astronaut from the Arab world to spend an extended time in space. He is the second person from the UAE to rocket into orbit.

"I can't be happier than this, seeing old friends in space, gathering as a big family. This is the essence of space exploration," al-Neyadi said upon entering the station. "The UAE is taking a great step toward pushing the boundaries of exploration."

Also flying up were NASA's Stephen Bowen, a retired Navy submariner who made three space shuttle flights; Warren "Woody" Hoburg, a space newcomer and former research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Andrei Fedyaev, a space rookie who's retired from the Russian Air Force.

The space station will be home to 11 people for the next week. The newcomers will replace two NASA astronauts, a Japanese astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut who have been on the station since October and will return in their own SpaceX capsule next week.

Biden fine after removal of skin lesion

WASHINGTON -- A skin lesion removed from President Joe Biden's chest last month was a basal cell carcinoma -- a common form of skin cancer -- his doctor said Friday, adding that no further treatment was required.

Dr. Kevin O'Connor, the White House doctor who has long served as Biden's physician, said "all cancerous tissue was successfully removed" during the president's routine physical Feb. 16.

O'Connor said the site of the removal on Biden's chest has "healed nicely" and the president will continue regular skin screenings as part of his routine health plan.

Basal cells are among the most common and easily treated forms of cancer -- especially when caught early. O'Connor said they don't tend to spread like other cancers, but could grow in size, which is why they are removed.

Michigan businessman running in '24

OXON HILL, Md. -- Republican businessman Perry Johnson has announced a long-shot bid for president.

Johnson, who tried to run for Michigan governor last year but was deemed to have filed thousands of fraudulent nominating signatures, announced his White House candidacy to a group of supporters Thursday night, his campaign said. Hours earlier, he had spoken at the opening day of the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, D.C.

Johnson did not directly mention his presidential campaign when he spoke at the CPAC gathering.

Johnson ran an ad during February's Super Bowl targeting voters in Iowa, the first state to vote on the GOP presidential field, touting his plan to cut federal spending by 2% each year.

The businessman earned a fortune starting Michigan-based Perry Johnson Registrars Inc., which certifies that businesses meet industrial standards. He was considered a top 2022 GOP candidate for Michigan governor before he and four other Republican hopefuls were disqualified.

Staffers at the state elections bureau said Johnson turned in 13,800 valid signatures but that they tossed 9,393, including 6,983 they said were fraudulent. Johnson, who had said he was willing to spend millions of dollars on his campaign for governor, said his rights were violated in the process.

Shingles puts Feinstein, 89, in hospital

LOS ANGELES -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. -- the oldest member of Congress -- disclosed that she has been hospitalized in San Francisco with a case of shingles.

The six-term senator, who turns 90 in June, said in a brief statement Thursday that she was diagnosed last month and expects to make a full recovery.

"I hope to return to the Senate later this month," she said.

Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash that can occur anywhere on the body. It isn't life-threatening.

Feinstein, who took office in 1992, recently announced that she would not seek reelection in 2024. She has faced questions in recent years about her cognitive health and memory, but she has defended her effectiveness.