National News

The Karma sedan, a premium electric plug-in hybrid by Fisker Automotive, is seen at the New York International Auto Show on April 5, 2012.

Chinese Firm Gets Approval To Buy Electric Carmaker Fisker

This post was updated at 11:45 a.m.

A bankruptcy judge in Delaware has approved the sale of bankrupt electric carmaker Fisker to China's largest auto parts company.

NPR's Frank Langfitt reported on the story for our Newscast Unit.

"Wanxiang Group — China's largest auto parts company — won a bankruptcy auction last week for Fisker, which made plug-in, hybrid sports cars. Wanxiang's bid is valued at about $150 million. Fisker, which is based in California, filed for bankruptcy protection late last year.

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's "Colored Vases" is shown on display in December at the Perez Art Museum Miami. One of the vases in the exhibit was smashed Sunday.

In Act Of Protest, Ai Weiwei Vase Is Destroyed At Miami Museum

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery — except perhaps when imitation takes the form of smashing a vase by Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei valued at $1 million.

Miami artist Maximo Caminero claims he did it "for all the local artists in Miami that have never been shown in museums here," according to the Miami New Times.

Despite Law, Health Plans Refuse Medical Claims Related To Suicide

Dealing with the aftermath of a suicide or attempted suicide is stressful enough. But some health plans make a harrowing experience worse by refusing to cover medical costs for injuries that are related to suicide, even though the federal health law doesn't allow such exclusions, legal and government analysts say.

Yet patients or their loved ones often don't realize that.

There's A Clown Shortage: Who Will Fill Those Big Shoes?

This may be welcome news for those who suffer from coulrophobia, but it's no joke to those who agree with Cole Porter that "all the world loves a clown":

Elana Meyers, during a training session in Sochi last week, is a driver on the U.S. team. She started out as a brakeman.

In Bobsled, 'You Learn As You Go'

If there's one sport in the Winter Olympics you can do with your eyes closed, it's bobsled.

The bobsled brakeman does about five seconds of hard work, jumps in the sled and can then relax a bit. During the women's bobsled competition tonight in Sochi, we should keep our eyes open, because it's fun to watch.

The women call themselves brakemen — not brake women or brake person — in a nod to the fact that bobsled was an all-male sport until 2002.

Even now, the women only race two-man — not four-man — bobsled.

It will melt eventually: People walk past a pile of dirty snow in New York City's Times Square.

Before Northeast Thaws, Thundersnow Will Roll Through

Hang on, you winter-weary folks.

"Temperatures are expected to warm to above average levels for late February from the Central Plains to the East Coast," the National Weather Service says.

But first, "we have to get through one more winter storm," The Weather Channel writes.

Jimmy Fallon during his debut Monday as host of NBC's <em>The Tonight Show.</em>

Jimmy Fallon, 'Your Host ... For Now,' Takes Over 'Tonight'

The new guy's getting pretty good reviews.

Jimmy Fallon took over NBC's The Tonight Show on Monday night, saying he just wants "to do the best I can ... make you laugh and put a smile on your face."

Maria Alyokhina (left) and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot on stage at Amnesty International's "Bringing Human Rights Home" concert earlier this month in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Pussy Riot's Nadya And Masha Detained In Sochi, Then Released

The two most prominent members of the Russian punk protest band Pussy Riot say they were taken into custody Tuesday by police in Sochi, site of the Winter Olympics. Later in the day, there were reports that the women and other activists who were with them had been released.

According to The Wall Street Journal:

A map of Detroit is spread on a table; on laptops, workers see the same map, overlaid with a grid of the city and blue dots representing surveyors in the field.

Battling Blight: Detroit Maps Entire City To Find Bad Buildings

Inside one in a series of abandoned homes along a blighted block of Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood, filmmaker Tom McPhee walks through the remnants of a life — broken furniture, scattered knickknacks, and a flooded basement.

"This is fresh water that's coming into the basement here," McPhee points out. "All of that plumbing has been ripped away 'cause someone found a value in it, so they don't care that it's running. This is all over the city."

Stephen Malone, spokesman for the Horse and Carriage Association, gets his rig ready in New York City. Some say horse-drawn carriages are inhumane; if the mayor has his way, the practice will end.

Mayor Wants To Drive Horse-Drawn Carriages Out Of NYC

During New York City's mayoral race last year, then-candidate Bill de Blasio promised to fix big-picture problems, like income inequality and universal Pre-K.

So he raised some collective eyebrows when he announced what one of his first initiatives as mayor would be:

"We are going to quickly and aggressively move to make horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape in New York City," he said. "They're not humane; they're not appropriate to the year 2014; it's over."

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