5 women die in limousine fire

SAN FRANCISCO - A limousine taking nine women to a bachelorette party erupted in flames, killing five of the passengers, including the bride-to-be, authorities and the mother of one of the survivors said Sunday.

The limo caught fire at around 10 p.m. Saturday on one of the busiest bridges on San Francisco Bay, California Highway Patrol officer Art Montiel told the Associated Press.

Five of the women were trapped, but the four other women managed to get out after the vehicle came to a stop on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge, the patrol said.

Rosita Guardiano told the San Francisco Chronicle that the woman for whom the bachelorette party was being thrown was to be married next month. Guardiano said her daughter was one of the survivors.

Investigators haven't determined what sparked the fire, but the patrol said the white stretch limo became engulfed in flames after smoke started coming out of the rear of the vehicle.

- AP

Space artifacts for bid in N.H.

AMHERST, N.H. - A New Hampshire auction house will soon accept bids on space and aviation artifacts, including an electrocardiogram of Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong's heartbeat taken when he first set foot on the moon.

Amherst-based RR Auction will take bids on the EKG, which registered a normal heartbeat, and other artifacts during an online auction from May 16 through May 23.

Other artifacts include the joystick controller operated by Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins in the Apollo 11 command module.

Auction officials say more than 85 lots of Apollo 11 material will be featured in the auction.

Armstrong, an Ohio native, died in August at age 82.

- AP

Giffords gets Courage award

BOSTON - Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords received the 2013 Profile in Courage award at the John F. Kennedy Library on Sunday in recognition of the political, personal, and physical courage she has demonstrated in her fearless public advocacy for policy reforms aimed at reducing gun violence.

Giffords was seriously wounded in a 2011 shooting when a lone gunman opened fire as she met with constituents in a Tucson, Ariz., shopping mall.

Caroline Kennedy, president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, presented the award to Giffords.

Alluding to her disappointment in the failure of Congress to pass gun control legislation last week, Giffords said, "I believe we all have courage inside. I just wish there was more courage in Congress."

- AP