Laurel Wamsley

The assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse at his home threatens to exacerbate Haiti's already rampant problems.

"Everything that could go wrong seems to be going wrong," says Robert Fatton, an expert on Haitian politics at the University of Virginia, and a native of Haiti himself.

The Western portion of the island of Hispaniola, Haiti is perched in the Caribbean just 600 miles southeast of Florida. It threw off French rule with a successful revolt, becoming the first Black-led republic in 1804.

Updated July 6, 2021 at 11:31 AM ET

Less than a week after trustees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill belatedly voted to grant tenure to New York Times reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, Howard University announced Hannah-Jones will instead be joining its faculty.

Starting immediately, an applicant for a U.S. passport can simply check "M" or "F" as their gender – without needing to provide medical certification if that gender doesn't match their other documents. And soon applicants will have the option to select a gender marker that isn't male or female, the State Department said Wednesday.

Studies have found that Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is effective against several variants of concern, including the delta variant, the biotech company announced.

Moderna said Tuesday that recently completed studies have found the vaccine to have a neutralizing effect against all COVID-19 variants tested, including the beta, delta, eta and kappa variants.

While rescuers continue to search for survivors amid the rubble from the building collapse in Surfside, Fla., law enforcement detectives and crime scene personnel are working to identify the human remains recovered from the wreckage.

Before a large portion of Champlain Towers South came smashing down, the building's condo board sent a letter to residents noting significant deterioration and explaining the need for a $15 million special assessment to be paid by members.

The letter obtained by NPR, and first published in full by The Wall Street Journal, was sent before the condominium association's board meeting in April. It is signed by Jean Wodnicki, president of the board of directors of the condo association.

Updated June 28, 2021 at 8:18 PM ET

Researchers from a government agency that investigated the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9/11 are already on-site at Surfside, Fla.

A team from NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is in the preliminary stages of an investigation into what caused the apparent building failure early Thursday at the Champlain Towers South condo building north of Miami Beach.

Updated June 25, 2021 at 8:33 PM ET

The family of George Floyd and their attorneys said Friday that the sentencing of Derek Chauvin offers closure, accountability — and a step toward healing for both the family and the nation.

They also demanded political action for lasting change.

Updated June 25, 2021 at 4:41 PM ET

A Minnesota judge sentenced former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to 22 1/2 years in prison Friday for the murder of George Floyd.

President Biden says his "heart goes out" to the families anxiously waiting for updates as rescuers search for survivors in the rubble of the Champlain Towers South complex in Surfside, Fla.

Biden made the remarks Friday at a ceremony signing H.R. 49, designating the Pulse nightclub a national memorial in memory of the shooting where 49 people were killed in 2016.

Updated June 25, 2021 at 6:09 PM ET

Wearing a gray headband with a bow on it, George Floyd's daughter Gianna told the court that she missed her father.

In a two-minute prerecorded video, 7-year-old Gianna answered questions from a woman off camera.

"I ask about him all the time," Gianna said. She then explained what she asks about: "How did my dad get hurt?"

At about 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning, residents of the South Florida town of Surfside awoke to a terrible sound: an entire wing of a condo building — and the lives of those within in it — crashing down.

Champlain Towers South was built in 1981 on oceanfront property near Miami. It's not at all clear what caused the building to suddenly "pancake," its 12 floors collapsing onto one another.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says the state will be receiving federal assistance to help with the aftermath of the condo building collapse early Thursday morning in Surfside, Fla.

DeSantis declared a state of emergency in Miami-Dade County on Thursday, which cleared the path for President Biden to approve federal emergency aid from FEMA in the early hours of Friday.

Updated June 25, 2021 at 11:54 AM ET

There are now 159 people unaccounted for in the partial building collapse in Surfside, Fla., Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Friday — a rise from 99 people a day earlier.

Three more bodies were found in the rubble, bringing the number of fatalities so far to four. More than 100 people have already been accounted for.

Updated June 24, 2021 at 5:36 PM ET

The case of Britney Spears has turned a harsh spotlight on conservatorship, the legal arrangement under which her father controls her finances and her life.

The United States will relocate thousands of Afghan citizens who worked for the American government before U.S. troops exit the country in the next few months.

The plan is to relocate between 20,000 and 100,000 Afghan citizens, a senior White House official tells NPR. The White House is in the process of informing both the U.S. Congress and the Afghan government, the official said.

Most of the Afghan applicants for Special Immigrant Visas, or SIVs, are translators and interpreters. Their family members will also be relocated.

Updated June 23, 2021 at 5:32 PM ET

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 323 cases of heart inflammation have been verified in people who received the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

The cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have been seen mostly in teens and young adults between 12 and 39 years old — mostly after the second vaccine dose.

At the World Cup in France two years ago, the U.S. Women's national team trounced the competition and came home with the trophy – all while demanding equal pay.

The U.S. hopes to repeat that winning performance at the upcoming Olympic Games – and today, head coach Vlatko Andonovski named the 18 players who are headed to Tokyo.

The roster includes the biggest names in U.S. soccer today, including Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Rose Lavelle, and Christen Press.

New Zealand has named Laurel Hubbard to its women's weightlifting roster for the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo, making her the first openly transgender athlete to compete in the games.

Hubbard, 43, will compete in the category for women over 87 kg, about 192 pounds.

Missouri has new a law that claims to invalidate all federal gun control laws — and prohibits state and local cooperation with enforcement of those laws.

Gov. Mike Parson signed the bill, known as HB 85 or the Second Amendment Preservation Act, into law Saturday at a gun store and shooting range called Frontier Justice.

Updated June 15, 2021 at 5:01 PM ET

Saying that she's troubled by the increasing concentration of wealth, philanthropist MacKenzie Scott says she is giving away another $2.7 billion of her fortune to 286 nonprofit organizations.

It appears that the Olympics are really going to happen, starting July 23 in Tokyo. But there are big challenges to staging the Games as the pandemic continues in a host city currently under a state of emergency and a country where a recent poll found 80% of residents don't want the Olympics to happen this summer.

Jeff Bezos has already selected a hobby for his post-CEO life: space travel.

Just two weeks after he steps down as CEO of Amazon, Bezos will climb aboard a rocket made by his space exploration company Blue Origin.

"If you see the earth from space, it changes you. It changes your relationship with this planet, with humanity. It's one earth," Bezos said in a video posted to Instagram on Monday morning.

The wide lawn of the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., has taken on a riot of rainbow hues in a geometric mural designed by artist Lisa Marie Thalhammer.

The installation, titled Equilateral Network, was designed to create spaces for social distancing with its triangular grid. Unpainted sections of lawn provide walking paths, and equilateral triangles lined in pink define spaces for people to sit, separated by six feet of distance.

A heroic rat named Magawa has been working for five years in Cambodia, sniffing out dozens of land mines. He is believed to have saved lives.

Now, the animal is about to embark on a well-deserved retirement.

"Although still in good health, he has reached a retirement age and is clearly starting to slow down," the nonprofit APOPO said Thursday. "It is time."

For many Americans, Dr. Anthony Fauci quickly became the face of trust and reason against the coronavirus pandemic. He was a reliable man of science while the Trump White House often played politics in its decision-making.

Updated June 4, 2021 at 6:27 PM ET

Amazon is building a wireless network – using your internet bandwidth.

It's called Amazon Sidewalk, and the company touts it as a way to help its devices work better, by extending the range of low-bandwidth devices to help them stay online.

It does that by pooling neighbors' bandwidth to help connectivity for devices that are out of range.

A cargo ship carrying chemicals and plastic pellets has been burning off the coast of Sri Lanka for nearly two weeks. Now, efforts to tow the ship to deeper waters have failed – and the boat's sinking looks increasingly likely.

The ship, the X-Press Pearl, was carrying 1,486 containers. Eighty-one of those were dangerous goods containers, including 25 tons of nitric acid. At least one container has leaked nitric acid.

Issues of equality and acceptance of transgender and nonbinary people — along with challenges to their rights have become a major topic in the headlines. These issues can involve words and ideas and identities that are new to some.

That's why we've put together a glossary of terms relating to gender identity. Our goal is to help people communicate accurately and respectfully with one another.

Updated June 1, 2021 at 12:29 PM ET

Many of the world's top athletes have rallied around tennis star Naomi Osaka and her decision to pull out of the French Open — decrying a culture that doesn't always give athletes the support they need in times of mental distress.

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