National News

Sen. Cory Booker (left) reads a statement speaking out against Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday. Sitting with Booker is Rep. John Lewis.

In Day 2, Jeff Sessions' Attorney General Hearings Turn To Civil Rights

Where the first day of Jeff Sessions' attorney general confirmation hearing focused on what the Alabama senator's relationship would be with the president if confirmed, the second day focused on his own past.

Sessions, a former Alabama attorney general, has a reputation for being tough on crime, but civil rights advocates testified that his reputation was made on the backs of vulnerable groups. Lawmakers who have worked with him, on the other hand, said they knew a just and fair man.

"We must bend" the arc of the moral universe

Adult Female Hoolock Tianxing.

New 'Skywalker' Ape Species Will Need Jedi Powers To Survive

There's a new jungle Jedi out there.

Scientists who discovered a new primate, which lives in eastern Myanmar and southwestern China, are such big Star Wars fans, they named the ape after Luke Skywalker.

They also chose the name, skywalker hoolock gibbon, because the Chinese characters mean "Heaven's movement," according to the BBC. The new species is also known as the Gaoligong hoolock gibbon, named for Mt. Gaoligong on the border between China and Myanmar.

Organic produce for sale at a supermarket in Quincy, Mass.

Why Going Organic Just Got Easier For Farmers

Let's say you're a farmer in the Midwest, growing conventional corn and soybeans. Times are tough right now. Prices are in the toilet.

If only you were selling organic soybeans and corn. They're worth almost twice as much, per bushel, as your conventional crops.

The U.S. has designated the rusty patched bumblebee an endangered species.

U.S. Puts Bumblebee On The Endangered Species List For 1st Time

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated the rusty patched bumblebee an endangered species — the first such designation for a bumblebee and for a bee species in the continental U.S.

The protected status, which goes into effect on Feb. 10, includes requirements for federal protections and the development of a recovery plan. It also means that states with habitats for this species are eligible for federal funds.

An undated photo shows Tywanza Sanders, who was among the nine people killed by Dylann Roof.

'What Happened To You, Dylann?' Victim's Friend Asks Roof At Sentencing

A federal judge in South Carolina formally sentenced Dylann Roof to death on Wednesday, one day after a jury recommended that he be executed for murdering nine people in a Charleston church.

Under federal sentencing laws, the death penalty can be imposed only if all 12 jurors agree on it, and the judge cannot overrule the jury's decision.

A case before the Supreme Court questions what public schools' responsibilities are to students with disabilities.

Supreme Court Considers How Schools Support Students With Disabilities

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday in a dispute that advocates describe as the most important case involving public school special education in three decades.

At issue is whether federal law requires public schools to provide more than the bare minimum in special services for children with disabilities. With millions of children qualifying for these services, the court's ruling could have a profound effect.

Police investigate the scene of a quadruple homicide in Chicago on Dec. 17.

Police Say High-Profile Fatalities, Protests Have Made Their Jobs Harder

A Pew survey of police officers across the U.S. found that most officers believe their jobs have grown more difficult and more dangerous following a series of high-profile deaths of black citizens during encounters with police.

The survey also uncovered sharp disparities between the perceptions of black and white officers — and between officers and the general public — over the state of race relations in America.

A woman and a child suffering from severe malnutrition sleep on a bed at a therapeutic feeding center in northeastern Nigeria.

Why Doctors Without Borders Is Adding Food To Its Medical Bag

Medecins Sans Frontier, the medical humanitarian organization, has added a basic item to its medical bag of drugs, stethoscopes and syringes: food.

Volkswagen has agreed to plead guilty to three criminal felony counts as part of the settlement announced Wednesday by the Justice Department.

Volkswagen To Plead Guilty, Pay $4.3 Billion In Emissions Scheme Settlement

Volkswagen has agreed to pay $4.3 billion to settle civil and criminal allegations over its diesel emissions cheating scheme involving some 590,000 vehicles in the U.S.

The company has also agreed to plead guilty to three criminal felony counts.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is shown at the Kremlim in Moscow during the recording of his recent New Year's message. Putin's spokesman said Wednesday that the Russian government does not gather compromising material, or <em>kompromat,</em> on political rivals, despite a well-documented history of such behavior.

A Russian Word Americans Need To Know: 'Kompromat'

Out of nowhere, a shocking video appeared on a Russian TV news program late one evening in March 1999. A surveillance tape showed a naked, middle-aged man who resembled Russia's top prosecutor, Yuri Skuratov, cavorting with two unclothed young women. Neither was his wife.

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