National News

Pope Francis on Wednesday in St. Peter's Square, Vatican City.

Pope Francis Asks Abuse Victims' Forgiveness

Pope Francis asked Friday for forgiveness from the victims of pedophile priests in some of his strongest words to date about the Catholic Church's sex abuse crisis.

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports from Rome that:

"The pope has come under fire from advocacy groups for a perceived lack of attention to the issue.

Sgt. Trent Wyatt looks out an observation window on Friday from aboard a Royal New Zealand air force P-3 Orion maritime search aircraft as it flies over the southern Indian Ocean. So far there's been no sign of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. But officials are hoping that sounds detected below the surface are coming from one or both of the plane's black boxes.

Optimism, But No Breakthrough In Search For Malaysian Jet

Hopes were both raised and lowered Friday by officials involved in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The jet and the 239 people on board have now been missing for five weeks.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ducks after a woman threw a shoe at her while she was delivering remarks at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries conference on Thursday in Las Vegas.

VIDEO: Woman Throws Shoe At Hillary Clinton, No Harm Done

Hillary Clinton was not struck Thursday when a woman threw a shoe at the former secretary of state while she was on stage in Las Vegas giving the keynote speech at conference hosted by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries.

"What was that, a bat? Was that a bat?" Clinton said moments after the footwear flew by.

Pro-Russian protesters surround a barricade made by used tires and barbed wire Friday in Donetsk, Ukraine. Pro-Russian protesters took control of the government building and have held it since Sunday.

Molotov Cocktails And Razor Wire: Inside An Occupied Building In Ukraine

In Ukraine's eastern city of Donetsk, activists who want to align the country more with Russia seized a regional administration building in the center of town last weekend. NPR correspondent Ari Shapiro went inside the building Friday and reports on what it was like:

Flames devoured both vehicles just after a FedEx truck hit a charter bus Thursday in Northern California. At least 10 people were killed. The bus was carrying high school students who were going to visit a college.

Tragedy In California: Truck Hits Bus Full Of Students

A highway in Northern California was turned into an inferno Thursday when a FedEx truck slammed into a charter bus full of high school students.

The California Highway Patrol says at least 10 people, including both drivers and five of the teenagers, were killed. An additional 30 or so people were injured. Those who survived escaped through smashed windows.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power addresses top officials from the African peacekeeping mission in Bangui, Central African Republic on Wednesday.

African Responses Night And Day From Rwanda, U.N. Envoy Says

This week marks the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide: three months of slaughter in which nearly a million people were killed.

As a scholar, Samantha Power wrote extensively about the U.S. failure to intervene in Rwanda and bring the genocide to an end. Now, as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Power led the American delegation to memorial services in Rwanda this past Monday.

Ernest Greene (left) accompanied Collin Smith to college. When Collin graduated, the school awarded Ernest an honorary degree.

One Man Becomes Another's Hands, Feet And Family

When he was a high school sophomore, Collin Smith was in a car accident that left him a quadriplegic.

Ernest Greene, 50 years Collin's senior, had never met Collin, but he attended the same church. And when he heard about Collin's accident, he decided he wanted to help. He offered to do whatever Collin needed, from taking him to school to helping him shave. And when Collin began college, Ernest went too.

"What made you want to go to college with me?" Collin, now 23, asked Ernest in a visit to StoryCorps in Asheboro, N.C.

Student loan debt forces many young adults to make hard choices about how they spend their money — and can prevent them from making investments that will pay off down the road.

Paying Off Student Loans Puts A Dent In Wallets, And The Economy

Weighing in at more than $1 trillion, student loan debt is now larger than total credit card debt. Morning Edition recently asked young adults about their biggest concerns, and more than two-thirds of respondents mentioned college debt. Many say they have put off marriage or buying a home because of the financial burden they took on as students.

As the U.S. winds down the Afghan war, the government is eyeing a much reduced military force — to its lowest level since World War II. Here, soldiers from the U.S. Army's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, salute during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner during a homecoming ceremony Feb. 27 in Fort Knox, Ky.

What's The Right Size For The U.S. Army?

With the U.S. military out of Iraq and winding down in Afghanistan, the U.S. Army, which peaked with a force of around 570,000 a few years ago, was supposed to drop to around 490,000 troops.

But U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that's still too big.

"An Army of this size is larger than required to meet the demands of our defense strategy," Hagel told a news conference in February.

Rose Komano, 18 and the mother of three, was the first Ebola patient to overcome the virus in southeastern Guinea, the epicenter of the outbreak. On April 3, she posed at a health clinic in the Gueckedou region.

The Ebola Survivors: Reborn But Not Always Embraced

They call them the "Lazarus" cases, after the Biblical character who died but was revived by Jesus. They are survivors of the latest outbreak of Ebola.

Ebola often grabs global headlines as the killer virus that can result in a death rate of up to 90 percent. But in Guinea, the death rate in the current outbreak has been about 60 percent. So there are survivors — to the delight of the overworked doctors, health workers and, of course, the patients who have recovered.

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