National News

Brutal Attack On Nigerian Village Kills More Than 125

At least 125 people were killed in an attack on a market in a Nigerian village near the Cameroon border. The violence is suspected to be the work of Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, which has also claimed responsibility for abducting more than 250 girls from a school last month.

CNN says that the attack targeted "an area that troops had been using as a base in the search" for the kidnapped girls.

Pro-Russian separatists say they'll hold a referendum on seceding from Ukraine Sunday, despite comments by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Thursday, a gunman installs a banner reading "Do not forget, do not forgive!" in front of the city hall at the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in the center of Slovyansk in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine's Separatists Will Hold Vote, Despite Putin

A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin told separatists in Ukraine they should postpone a referendum on secession, leaders of the group say they'll hold the vote this Sunday, as planned.

The decision was announced by a committee heading the so-called Donetsk People's Republic in eastern Ukraine. The group held a news conference Thursday to say they would go ahead with plans to hold the vote on May 11.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., started what she calls power workshops for women in the Senate years ago.

Women On Capitol Hill Reach Across Party Lines To Get Things Done

There's a long-held assumption that women are more likely than men to collaborate. As the number of women in Congress has increased, however, so has the partisanship and gridlock. So does a woman's touch actually help on Capitol Hill?

There's a lot of academic research that supports the idea that women are better at building bipartisan coalitions. Studies have found that women in Congress not only sponsor more bills but also collect more co-sponsors for those bills.

Dr. Jay Chapman, pictured here in 2007, developed the original formula for lethal injections with the intention of making executions in the U.S. more humane.

The Executioner's Lament

In 1977, death row inmate Gary Mark Gilmore chose to be executed by a firing squad. Gilmore was strapped to a chair at the Utah State Prison and five officers shot him.

The media circus that ensued prompted a group of lawmakers in nearby Oklahoma to wonder if there might be a better way to handle executions. They approached Dr. Jay Chapman, the state medical examiner at the time, who proposed using three drugs based loosely on anesthesia procedures at the time: one drug to knock them out, one to relax or paralyze them and a final drug that would stop their hearts.

This famous 1948 photo by Cecil Beaton shows a group of young models in Charles James gowns.

The Art Of A Lost American Couturier, On Display At The Met

Thursday in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art officially reopens its fashion galleries after a $10 million, two-year renovation.

Named for Vogue magazine's editor, the Anna Wintour Costume Center features an inaugural exhibit of the work of Charles James, a flamboyant designer considered America's first couturier. This caps days of glamorous events at the Met, including the Costume Institute's benefit gala, presided over by Wintour — with Hollywood stars.

President Obama surveys tornado damage with Vilonia, Ark., resident Daniel Smith on Wednesday.

At Times All A President Can Say After Disaster Is, 'We're Here'

Daniel Smith's house is barely standing after a tornado in Arkansas late last month killed 16 people. The EF4 tornado ripped a gash through the rural communities of Mayflower and Vilonia. Homes were wiped clean to their slabs, businesses shredded beyond recognition.

Wednesday, President Obama went to see the damage for himself, and to meet with residents like Smith. It's a task that he and many presidents before him have had to do far too often.

Wheat fields like this one could yield wheat with less zinc and iron in the future if they are exposed to higher levels of CO2, according to the journal <em>Nature.</em>

Less Nutritious Grains May Be In Our Future

In the future, Earth's atmosphere is likely to include a whole lot more carbon dioxide. And many have been puzzling over what that may mean for the future of food crops. Now, scientists are reporting that some of the world's most important crops contain fewer crucial nutrients when they grow in such an environment.

Elephants gather in the Dzanga bai, a forest clearing the size of several football fields. On some days more then 100 elephants at at a time visit the clearing.

Civil War Invades An Elephant Sanctuary: One Researcher's Escape

Ivory poachers are killing some 22,000 African elephants a year. Among the recent casualties was a group of rare forest elephants in the Central African Republic.

Those elephants were featured in an NPR program, Radio Expeditions, in 2002, when former NPR host and correspondent Alex Chadwick and sound engineer Bill McQuay went to central Africa to record them.

Legendary D.C. Law Firm To Pay Chevron In Ecuador Pollution Case

A long-running legal battle between a legendary Washington law and lobbying firm and a major oil company has been settled.

D.C.-based Patton Boggs has agreed to pay Chevron $15 million to settle a case that centers on pollution from drilling activity in the rainforests of Ecuador.

The case has gone on for more than four years, and the stakes were enormous for the two powerhouses.

Colorado Approves Financial System For Marijuana Industry

Colorado lawmakers have voted to create the a financial system for the state's burgeoning legal marijuana industry.

After Colorado legalized pot in 2013, it still had no financial mechanism for legal marijuana businesses. Washington has also approved the sale of marijuana for recreational purposes.

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