Colin Dwyer | WYPR

Colin Dwyer

As evening settled over eastern Ghouta on Tuesday, the suburb just outside Damascus lay battered by 48 hours of sustained airstrikes. And the approaching night promised still more horror for one hospital.

By 5 p.m. local time, the Syrian American Medical Society says, barrel bombs had begun to fall in a downpour about the medical facility.

The NCAA has confirmed the University of Louisville must give up its 2013 national championship in men's basketball, denying the school's appeal of a decision last year that penalized the Cardinals' program for "arranging striptease dances and sex acts for prospects, student-athletes and others."

Updated at 8:58 a.m. ET

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has offered an overture to his U.S. counterpart on Twitter, using President Trump's preferred medium Monday to ask for talks between the two countries.

Trump "campaigned promoting non-interference in other countries' domestic affairs," Maduro tweeted, tagging the U.S. president's account. "The time has come to fulfill it and change your agenda of aggression for one of dialogue.

Jeffrey Tambor, Emmy-winning star of Transparent, will not be returning to the cast for the show's upcoming fifth season. Amazon Studios confirmed his firing to NPR on Thursday.

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

Court documents say the suspect in the shootings at a South Florida high school has confessed to investigators. Nikolas Cruz, 19, has been booked on 17 charges of premeditated murder at Broward County's Main Jail in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

When the Brombergs fled Germany in 1938, they had no choice but to travel light. A Jewish family, fearing for their lives as the shadow of the coming Holocaust crept closer, they didn't have the luxury of taking their fine art with them — or of worrying whether they were getting a fair price when they sold it. They needed to get to safety. And over the next year — as they dashed to France, Switzerland and ultimately the U.S. — they used those sales to help them get there.

Editor's note: This post refers frequently to the use of a racial slur.

Professor Emeritus Lawrence Rosen opened his course last week with a question. The anthropologist, who has spent four decades teaching at Princeton University, was introducing a class called Cultural Freedoms: Hate Speech, Blasphemy, and Pornography — and his question was meant to shock.

Ukrainian authorities have deported Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian president who has emerged as a vocal antagonist of the government in Kiev. Ukraine's border agency confirmed his deportation to Poland on Monday, while videos on social media purported to show Saakashvili getting seized by masked men.

Dozens of writers and illustrators earned some of the highest honors in children's literature at a joyous gathering hosted by the American Library Association in Denver on Monday. But just two managed to snag the best-known, most prestigious annual prizes for books aimed at young readers.

Erin Entrada Kelly's Hello, Universe won the Newbery Medal for outstanding contribution to children's literature, and Matthew Cordell's Wolf in the Snow won the Caldecott Medal for most distinguished American picture book for children.

Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood megaproducer accused of sexual harassment and assault dating back decades, has been slapped with a civil rights lawsuit by New York's attorney general. Eric Schneiderman announced the suit Sunday, saying his office has sued not only Weinstein, but also his brother, Robert, and The Weinstein Company.

At first glance the images are unremarkable. They're grainy, ill-defined, seemingly more akin to television static or an 8-bit video game than they are to the high-resolution masterworks sent back by the Hubble Space Telescope.

But take another look.

Chris Mazdzer has used his runners to etch himself a place in history.

The 29-year-old won silver in singles luge on Sunday, becoming the first American man ever to medal in the event. His podium finish ends a drought that extends to the sport's Olympic debut back in 1964.

Also on that podium were Austria's David Gleirscher, who won gold in a shocker of his own, and bronze medalist Johannes Ludwig of Germany.

Updated 1:10 a.m. ET Thursday

It had been just about 24 hours since a magnitude 6.4 earthquake rattled Taiwan's east coast, crumbling walls and knocking tall buildings askew, when rescue workers felt another big rumble late Wednesday. A quake — this time magnitude 5.7 — had just struck again near the city of Hualien.

It won't be long before South Korea kicks off its grand turn on the world stage, but the specter of illness is already haunting the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Organizers have removed some 1,200 security personnel from their posts and quarantined them in their rooms after several dozen tested positive for norovirus.


You'd be forgiven if you went to bed early having chalked up another win for New England.

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

Two students were hospitalized with gunshot wounds in Los Angeles after what police describe as an accidental shooting Thursday morning at Salvador Castro Middle School. A 12-year-old girl has been arrested.

Late Thursday, The Associated Press reported:

Is it an attempt to preserve the Polish name from wanton historical slander, or a reckless attempt to erase an uncomfortable part of Poland's past?

A bill passed by the country's Senate Thursday, less than a week after the lower chamber did the same, has been described in vastly varying terms — though the terms the bill itself bans are quite clear: It would be illegal — and punishable by up to three years in prison — to claim Poland was complicit in the Nazi atrocities committed on Polish soil during World War II.

For the first time in more than two decades, the National Book Foundation is adding a new category to its annual slate of literary prizes: the National Book Award for Translated Literature. The new prize announced Wednesday will recognize a work of either fiction or nonfiction translated into English and published in the U.S.

Executive Director Lisa Lucas described the move, which was approved unanimously by the foundation's board of directors, as a bid to transcend traditional boundaries and broaden the awards' scope for the sake of American readers.

Federal prosecutors won't retry Sen. Robert Menendez and co-defendant Salomon Melgen, in a surprise decision Wednesday that brings an end to the long-running case against the New Jersey Democrat.

The South Yemen flag, for years a relic of the country's fragmented past, billowed brightly once more above pickup trucks and tanks patrolling the key southern city of Aden on Tuesday. Black clouds of smoke billowed across the city's skyline, too.

Clashes erupted over the weekend between the internationally recognized government of Yemen and separatists in the country's south, threatening to complicate an already-complex skein of alliances — and exacerbate the bloody conflict that has raged for years between them.

This weekend's bloodshed broke out Sunday in the southern port city of Aden, where forces loyal to the separatist Southern Transitional Council traded gunfire with loyalists of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. The scattered fighting has claimed at least 12 lives and injured scores more.

Panera Bread has announced it is preemptively recalling all of the 2 ounce and 8 ounce cream cheese products sold at its 2,000 U.S. locations. The fast-casual chain said it had made its decision "out of an abundance of caution" after samples of one of its cream cheese varieties tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

The company notes that "no illnesses have been reported."

Here it is, everyone — the thing you didn't know you were waiting for all day: a snowy owl, calmly riding a chunk of ice.

Gary Cranfield recorded the video last weekend while he was out on a walk with his girlfriend, Betsy Waterman, along Lake Ontario near Oswego, N.Y.

For more than four decades, she didn't have a name. Since 1975, when her mummified body was unearthed in a church in the Swiss city of Basel, she had been a scientific mystery — a well-preserved corpse buried with proofs of her wealth, who for lack of identification took on a distinguished title: the Lady from Barfüsser church.

Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET

A three-judge panel in Porto Alegre, Brazil, has unanimously upheld the corruption conviction of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a decision that promises a vast impact on ballot boxes across Brazil later this year.

The three judges in the southeastern coastal city voted Wednesday to uphold the conviction and increase Lula's prison sentence — from the original ruling of nine and a half years to just over 12.

It was 8:07 a.m. when the alert hit phones across Hawaii.

"BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII," it declared in no uncertain terms. "SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL."

Just two minutes later Gov. David Ige learned the alert was a mistake.

Then, an additional 15 minutes passed.

Updated at 7:25 p.m. ET

Ursula K. Le Guin, a prolific novelist best known for the Earthsea series and The Left Hand of Darkness, died Monday at the age of 88. Across more than 20 novels and scores of short stories, Le Guin crafted fantastic worlds to grapple with profoundly difficult questions here on Earth, from class divisions to feminist theory.

Updated at 7:50 p.m. ET

A 15-year-old high school student will be charged with two counts of murder and several counts of attempted murder after a mass shooting at Marshall County High School in Benton, Ky., according to police.

Kentucky State Police identified the students who were killed as a girl, Bailey Nicole Holt, who died at the scene, and a boy, Preston Ryan Cope, who died at the hospital. Both were 15 years old.

Pages