Vanessa Romo

German carmakers Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler are already facing an onslaught of outrage by animal rights activists and environmentalists for emissions research they conducted on monkeys, but new reports from two German news outlets say the companies also financed human testing.

Venezuela's pro-government Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the main opposition coalition won't be allowed to register for the presidential election, a decision that is fueling accusations of election rigging even before people head to the polls.

The ruling follows the government's decision, under President Nicolás Maduro and the United Socialist Party, to hold early elections, before April 30.

Casey Affleck will not be presenting the trophy for best actress at the upcoming Academy Awards, his publicist confirmed to the Associated Press Thursday.

It is customary for the previous year's best actor to return to present the best-actress award. Affleck won the award for his performance in Manchester By the Sea.

A panel of scientists and policy experts moved their Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to midnight on Thursday, citing President Trump's rhetoric on nuclear weapons, environmental deterioration due to climate change and a lack of trust in political institutions.

"We are very concerned with the unpredictability of the United States and how it's thinking of its nuclear weapons," Rachel Bronson, the president and CEO of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which created the clock, told NPR.

Because there are no second takes, re-shoots or do-overs at the Oscars, PwC, the accounting firm that tabulates votes for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has devised new rules for how winners are announced at this year's awards.

A German nurse serving a life sentence for murdering two patients is suspected of killing another 97 people by lethal injection.

If convicted, Niels Högel would become Germany's most deadly serial killer ever.

Högel, now 41, was charged with 97 further counts of murder on Monday. His third trial in the northern city of Oldenburg, Germany, is expected to start later this year, according to Reuters.

Caught in a renewed firestorm of controversy, Pope Francis apologized for remarks he made last week defending a Chilean bishop accused of covering up decades of sexual abuse. But the pontiff held fast in his support of the bishop, maintaining his innocence.

The Department of Justice intends to retry Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Salomon Melgen, after a federal judge declared a mistrial in the bribery and fraud case.

The notice, filed Friday, was brief and requested a retrial "at the earliest possible date."

"The decision to retry this case was made based on the facts and the law, following a careful review," the department explained in a statement. "The conduct alleged in the indictment is serious and warrants retrial before a jury of citizens in the District of New Jersey."

Editor's note: This report includes disturbing descriptions of abuse.

Two teenage boys, struggling to make their way back to shore, were saved by a drone in Australia on Wednesday, in what officials say is a first-of-its-kind rescue mission by an unmanned aircraft — one captured by the drone's camera and later broadcast by Arab News and other outlets.

Former NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. found out even the best drivers may have to stay off the roads in a snowstorm.

Wednesday morning after he helped pull another car out of a ditch, his pickup skidded off the road and rammed into a tree.

On Twitter Earnhardt said he lost control of his truck on a snow-covered road and warned other North Carolina drivers to avoid his fate. "[North Carolina] stay off the roads today/tonight. 5 minutes after helping these folks I center punched a pine tree," he wrote.

Walmart is the latest national company joining in the fight to try to help curb America's harrowing opioid epidemic, which now kills more people than breast cancer.

As the prospect of a long-term immigration deal for young people who were brought to the country illegally as children dwindles, the Justice Department is appealing a court ruling that blocked the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The department says it will take "the rare step" later this week of filing a petition asking the Supreme Court to intervene.

Nearly 90 women who allege they were sexually assaulted by a former USA Gymnastics doctor plan to speak about the abuse during a four-day sentencing hearing that started Tuesday.

Larry Nassar is accused of sexually abusing more than 140 women and girls as the doctor for Team USA and Michigan State University.

He has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Mich., to seven first-degree sexual assault charges. Before ordering a sentence, the judge in the case is allowing all of his accusers to speak if they want to.

Updated at 1:40 a.m. ET Tuesday

Some members of the Trump administration started off the holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr. at a wreath-laying ceremony at the civil rights leader's memorial in Washington Monday. But the president's first stop was his own golf club.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has postponed a planned Tuesday session on nuclear attack preparedness, deciding instead to focus the workshop on influenza.

The agency announced the switch in topics late Friday, citing the spike in flu cases as the reason for the pivot.

Newly released court documents show the Las Vegas shooter's girlfriend deleted her Facebook account before police announced the identity of the gunman behind the deadliest mass shooting in modern history.

Chaos and panic broke out aboard a Turkish plane that skidded off the runway, slid down the edge of a cliff and stopped just short of plunging into the Black Sea.

The U.S. State Department is warning Americans not to travel to five Mexican states, issuing a "do not travel" advisory.

"Violent crime, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, is widespread," the State Department said in the notice Thursday.

Updated at 8:11 p.m. ET

Officials have released the identities of 17 people killed in Tuesday's Santa Barbara, Calif., mudslides, as workers continue search and rescue efforts for victims caught in the deluge that swamped houses, crumpled cars and sent boulders careening through streets.

It's summer in Australia and extreme heat is causing bats' brains to fry.

Hundreds of fur-covered flying fox bats, which lack sufficient canopy cover and shade in Australia's suburbs, died outside Sydney over the weekend as temperatures soared to 117 degrees F, the hottest it's been since 1939.

The New Jersey Department of Corrections has lifted a ban on a book that links racial discrimination and mass incarceration after the ACLU called the prohibition unconstitutional and demanded the department reverse its position.

Inmates at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton and Southern State Correctional Facility in Delmont were barred from reading Michelle Alexander's 2010 book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. The ACLU New Jersey chapter made the discovery as a result of a public records request.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents need to have "reasonable suspicion" to carry out "advanced" searches on electronic devices, including smartphones and tablets, that belong to individuals entering or exiting the country, the agency announced Friday.

The updated rules allow agents to continue to inspect information that's stored on a device, not in the cloud. But from now on, they can't copy that information or connect to an external device to analyze the contents, unless they have reasonable suspicion of criminal behavior.

Last year was one of the worst for the retail industry, with record setting bankruptcies and store closings — 8,000 across multiple national chains. And so far, things are not looking up in 2018.

On Thursday, Sears Holdings Corp., the parent company of Sears and Kmart, announced it is closing 64 Kmart stores and 39 Sears locations, as it grapples with weaker in-store sales.

Planning a wedding in fairy tales is bibbidi-bobbidi-boo easy but in today's England, where Prince Harry plans to marry American former-actress-because-she's soon-to-become-a-duchess, Meghan Markle, the to-do list is a lot more complicated. And for some officials, it should include moving the homeless out of sight and getting rid of street beggars.

Updated at 2:50 a.m. ET Wednesday

A tour bus destined for Mayan ruins in eastern Mexico flipped over on a two-lane highway early Tuesday, leaving a dozen people dead and many more injured.

Among those hurt were seven Americans and two Swedish tourists, according to a spokesman for the Quintana Roo state Civil Defense agency, which also said it was looking into the cause of the crash.

Protesters were removed from the gallery of the House chamber today as Republicans prepared to vote on their $1.5 trillion tax cut package. The disruption was the latest in a series of demonstrations and attempts to get lawmakers' attention and prevent the passage of the bill.

Minutes later, House Republicans voted to pass the bill 227-203, leaving the next step to the Senate before sending the bill to the president.

Alfred Thomas, the Charlottesville, Va., police chief who faced an onslaught of national criticism over his department's handling of deadly violence at a white nationalist rally in August, announced his retirement Monday.

In a statement, Thomas wrote, "I will be forever grateful for having had the opportunity to protect and serve a community I love so dearly."

Alex Kozinski, a distinguished federal appeals court judge, announced his retirement Monday, effective immediately, after sexual misconduct allegations continued to dog the once-respected justice.

In a statement released by his attorney, the 67-year-old Kozinski partially apologized for his behavior but also tried to frame parts of it as a misunderstanding.

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