CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.

Space cargo ship Dragon delivers goods to Earth

The commercial cargo ship Dragon returned to Earth from the International Space Station on Sunday, bringing back nearly 2 tons of science experiments and old equipment for NASA.

SpaceX’s Dragon splashed into the Pacific, just five hours after leaving the orbiting lab.

“Welcome home, Dragon!” the California-based company said via Twitter.

After a one-month visit, the SpaceX cargo ship was set loose Sunday morning. Astronaut Steven Swanson, the station commander, released it using the big robot arm as the craft zoomed more than 260 miles above the South Pacific.

“Very nice to have a vehicle that can take your science, equipment and maybe someday even humans back to Earth,” Swanson told Mission Control.

The SpaceX Dragon is the only supply ship capable of returning items to Earth. The others burn up on re-entry. This was the fourth Dragon to bring back space station goods, with 3,500 pounds aboard; it came down off Mexico’s Baja California coast.

GENEVA

Swiss voters reject world’s highest minimum wage

Worried about upsetting Switzerland’s strong economy or driving its high costs even higher, more than three-quarters of Swiss voters rejected a plan Sunday to create the world’s highest minimum wage.

A tally by Swiss TV showed that with votes counted in all 26 of the Alpine nation’s cantons (states), the Swiss trade union’s idea of making the minimum wage 22 Swiss francs ($24.70) per hour fell flat by a vote of 76.3 percent opposed and 23.7 percent in favor.

DAMASCUS

Head of Syria’s air defenses killed in clashes near capital

The head of Syria’s air defenses was killed in clashes near the capital, Damascus, a government official and activists said Sunday, one of a few high-ranking military officers to be killed in the country’s three-year-old civil war.

Lt. Gen. Hussein Ishaq’s death may boost morale for those fighting against President Bashar Assad’s government, as they’ve faced a series of setbacks and surrendered territory over the last year.

LOS ANGELES

3-D monster film ‘Godzilla’ climbs to top of box office

LOS ANGELES — “Godzilla” has smashed its way to the top of the box office. The 3-D monster movie from Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures had the second-largest debut of the year this weekend with $93.2 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

– From news service reports