Emma Bowman | KUNR

Emma Bowman

More abortion restrictions have been enacted across the U.S. this year than in any previous year, according to an analysis by a group that supports abortion rights.

State legislatures have passed at least 90 laws restricting the procedure in 2021 so far, finds a report released this month from the Guttmacher Institute.

Updated July 9, 2021 at 9:36 AM ET

For the first time in the Scripps National Spelling Bee's 96-year history, an African American has taken home the top prize.

This July 4th, freedom rang a little louder than last Independence Day. Well, the fireworks did at least.

Blasts of flashy pyrotechnics across the country marked something of a return to normal, a year after the coronavirus pandemic dampened most Fourth festivities.

But on America's 245th birthday, there was perhaps even more reason to celebrate in the name of freedom. About half of Americans are fully vaccinated against the virus, lockdowns have been lifted and infections remain relatively low in the U.S.

Updated July 5, 2021 at 5:15 PM ET

For as long as she can remember, Danita Bilozaze knew that the name on her birth certificate, "Danita Loth," didn't reflect her Indigenous identity.

From the stories her mother recounted to her, she knew that Catholic missionaries had changed her family's name. Her great-grandfather, a man known as Lor Bilozaze, was written into priests' logs as "Loth Bilozaze." Government record books in Canada ultimately dropped the "Bilozaze," and Loth became their surname.

In the face of lawsuits alleging the condo board's negligence in the catastrophic collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Fla., the condominium association has hired a crisis communications firm.

Levick, a PR firm based in Washington, D.C., that promises to "fix the impossible," confirmed to NPR that it has been retained by the condo group. Levick's director Maxwell Marcucci told NPR that his firm is assisting the board with a deluge of media inquiries.

As Derek Chauvin's 22 1/2-year prison sentence for the murder of George Floyd was announced to a crowd gathered outside the Minneapolis courthouse, people processed the news with mixed reactions.

There was subdued debate following the proceedings that people streamed on cell phones, but those more vocal took in the news like a gut punch.

Updated June 25, 2021 at 3:46 PM ET

Derek Chauvin's mother told a Minneapolis judge that the former police officer has a big heart, and she opposed a lengthy sentence for her son, who was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of George Floyd last year.

Carolyn Pawlenty said Chauvin's selfless character has been twisted by the media into an unfair depiction.

Most of us learned about the world's oceans in elementary school. There's the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Indian and the Arctic.

Now, there's a sea change ahead.

Thanks to National Geographic, you'll soon see a fifth ocean on your maps. It's now officially recognizing the Southern Ocean, the waters swirling around Antarctica, marking the first time the organization has made such a change since it started drawing up maps over a century ago.

Two North Carolina sheriff's deputies who fired shots during the incident in which Andrew Brown Jr. was killed returned to work this week after being placed on administrative leave, Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten announced on Friday.

A third deputy who also fired his gun plans to resign from his position at the end of the month.

The National Memorial Day Concert on Sunday night was less of a concert than it was a muted, broadcast tribute to the sacrifices and heroism of American veterans, fallen service members and their families.

The PBS event wove together vignettes spotlighting veterans, musical performances from noted artists and archival footage across decades of war. Celebrated actors lent their talents to tell first-person accounts of veteran trailblazers. The pre-taped concert, usually held at the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol building, was semi-virtual this year because of COVID-19 protocols.

The first cruise set to sail from American ports in more than 15 months is headed to the Caribbean this summer.

Celebrity Cruises got approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to bring passengers aboard for the seven-night cruise on June 26, the company announced this week.

"CDC and the cruise industry agree that the industry has what it needs to move forward and no additional roadblocks exist for resuming sailing by mid-summer," CDC spokesperson Caitlin Shockey confirmed in an email.

William "Bill" Shakespeare, the first man in the United Kingdom to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, has died following a stroke.

The 81-year-old, whose famous name grabbed headlines around the world last year when he got the jab, died on Thursday, The New York Times reported, at the same hospital where he was inoculated.

Internet Explorer is nearing the end of a long and slow death, Microsoft announced this week.

At 25 years old, the much-reviled web browser that once dominated the Internet couldn't shake its reputation as the slow, buggy net-surfing option.

Microsoft has been stepping away from the product since at least 2015, when it introduced its successor, Microsoft Edge (previously known as Project Spartan). By mid-June of next year, the Internet Explorer desktop app will finally be put to rest.

After a long, dark year, social muscles have atrophied. In-person gatherings now call for weighty questions about COVID-19 safety. And many people, who during the pandemic found relief in empty calendars, don't want to go back to the world as they knew it.

Swaths of East Coasters who looked up at the night sky on Sunday were treated to a light show, courtesy of NASA's Black Brant XII rocket. And they've got the pictures to prove it.

The rocket launched at 8:44 p.m. ET from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. But it was the "vapor tracers" that it released into the atmosphere that most spectators glimpsed shooting across the sky.

Updated May 15, 2021 at 8:45 PM ET

Rombauer fended off two top contenders to win the 146th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in sunny Baltimore on Saturday.

Midnight Bourbon, who took off at 3-1 odds, and an embattled Medina Spirit, 2-1, took turns guiding the pack until Rombauer, at 11-1 odds, lurched ahead for a clear lead in the final stretch. Midnight Bourbon finished second, followed by Medina Spirit.

Updated May 10, 2021 at 8:53 PM ET

The Rev. Megan Rohrer has been elected as a bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, becoming the first openly transgender person in the U.S. to do so in a major Christian denomination.

Rohrer will serve as bishop of the Sacramento-based Sierra Pacific synod, which encompasses close to 200 congregations in Central and Northern California and northern Nevada.

Tech billionaire Elon Musk hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend, in a debut performance that drummed up a lot of reaction before his big night even began.

As the night unfolded, Musk, CEO of electric carmaker Tesla and chief engineer of SpaceX, played a range of characters, including: a doctor at a Gen Z hospital, a priest and self-confessed murderer in a Mare of Easttown parody, an anti-social party guest in a post-pandemic world — and, naturally — himself.

A California bar owner has been arrested for allegedly selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards in what's believed to be the first thwarted scheme of its kind.

Undercover agents with the state's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control bought the bogus cards for $20 each during multiple visits to the Old Corner Saloon in Clements, a small town in San Joaquin County.

Updated May 8, 2021 at 9:12 AM ET

Weeks of sporadic violence between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem intensified on Friday evening at a sacred religious site for Muslims and Jews, as the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan nears.

Israeli police in riot gear confronted crowds of Muslim worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of Islam's holiest sites. Worshippers threw rocks and chairs at police, who fired rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades.

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