National News

A nurse prepares an injection of the influenza vaccine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in 2013.

Worried About The Flu Shot? Let's Separate Fact From Fiction

Every year before influenza itself arrives to circulate, misinformation and misconceptions about the flu vaccine begin circulating. Some of these contain a grain of truth but end up distorted, like a whispered secret in the Telephone game.

But if you're looking for an excuse not to get the flu vaccine, last year's numbers of its effectiveness would seem a convincing argument on their own. By all measures, last season's flu vaccine flopped, clocking in at about 23 percent effectiveness in preventing lab-confirmed influenza infections.

WATCH: Teen Solves Rubik's Cube In Record Time; Fellow 'Speed Cubers' Go Wild

Lucas Etter's fingers move so fast, it really looks like the video is in fast-forward. But when the 14-year-old from Lexington, Ky., triumphantly slams the cube on the table, the clock shows the truth: 4.904 seconds, the fastest anyone has ever solved a 3x3x3 Rubik's Cube. Guinness World Records confirmed the feat Tuesday.

A relative of a boy who tested positive for Ebola in Liberia last week gets her temperature taken as she enters the clinic where he was being treated.

15-Year-Old Boy Is Liberia's First Ebola-Related Fatality Since July

A 15-year-old boy died of Ebola in Liberia on Monday night, the first person in the country to perish from the disease since July, health officials say.

Boy sleeping in bed

Common ADHD Medications Do Indeed Disturb Children's Sleep

For a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, meeting the daily expectations of home and school life can be a struggle that extends to bedtime. The stimulant medications commonly used to treat ADHD can cause difficulty falling and staying asleep, a study finds. And that can make the next day that much harder.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is shown during a meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II in Sochi, Russia, on Tuesday. Putin said Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane was "a stab in the back."

Why Would Turkey Shoot Down A Russian Plane?

Let's start with one thing that's clear and simple in Syria's messy war: Many foreign powers are engaged in the battle, and all share the goal of beating back the Islamic State.

This very loose grouping includes Turkey and Russia, who aren't best friends, but at least have this common interest in Syria that would seem to override any inclination to confront one another.

In the Nairobi slum of Kangemi, a poster welcomes Pope Francis to Kenya.

A Pope's Visit May Bring Hope But Does It Also Bring Change?

Pope Francis is often seen as a champion of the downtrodden. He frequently speaks about poverty and the injustice of inequality.

During his upcoming visit to Africa — from November 25 to 30 — he'll be visiting three countries with high rates of poverty and rapidly growing economies: Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic.

His presence is certain to attract a lot of attention. But will his visit benefit poor people in these countries? What kind of difference, if any, can a visit from the Pope make?

A memorial to Laquan McDonald, 17, is seen in April at the Sullivan House Alternative High School in Chicago. McDonald was shot 16 times by Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke in October 2014.

First-Degree Murder Charge For Chicago Police Officer In Black Teen's Death

More than a year after prosecutors say Officer Jason Van Dyke shot and killed Laquan McDonald, 17, a first-degree murder charge has been filed against the officer.

McDonald was shot 16 times in October of 2014. Police say he had refused to follow officers' instructions as he walked down a street with a knife, and that he had punctured several cars' tires. An attorney for McDonald's family says he had his back to the officers when he was shot.

Thanksgiving maskers, circa 1910-1915.

'Masking' Memories: Thanksgiving In Disguise

These days it seems like the holidays are running together — at least commercially speaking — when Halloween masks start popping up around Labor Day and Christmas trappings are for sale in the stores before Thanksgiving.

In the stores it feels sort of like Hallothankshanachristmasgivingween.

But the jumbling of holidays is not exclusive to contemporary times. Turns out that people all across America used to wear costumes on or near Thanksgiving — which effectively created a mash-up of Halloween and Turkey Day.

French President François Hollande is accompanied by U.S. Deputy Chief of Protocol Natalie Jones, upon his arrival at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., on Tuesday.

Obama, Hollande Say They Will Expand Attacks Against ISIS In Syria, Iraq

President Obama and French President François Hollande promised to increase cooperation and expand attacks against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

During a joint press conference with Hollande at the White House, Obama said that the United States and France "owe our freedom to each other."

After the Paris attacks, Obama said, "our hearts broke too."

"In that stadium, concert hall, restaurants and cafes we see our own," Obama said. "Today we stand with you."

Minneapolis police cordoned off a section of road in north Minneapolis late Monday night after five people were shot.

5 People Shot At Site Of Black Lives Matter Protest In Minneapolis

Five people were injured last night as gunmen opened fire near the site of a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis.

According to a statement posted to the group's Facebook page, the men, whom they call "white supremacists," opened fire after they were asked to leave and were then escorted away from the encampment.

Mark Vancleave of the Minnesota Star Tribune tweeted this video of a protester recounting the event: