National News

National Galapagos Park communications office via AP

Tallest Galapagos volcano erupts, spewing lava and ash

QUITO, Ecuador — The tallest mountain in the Galapagos islands was erupting on Friday, spewing lava down its flanks and clouds of ash over the Pacific Ocean, according to Ecuador's Geophysical Institute.

A cloud of gas and ash from Wolf Volcano rose to 3,793 meters (12,444 feet) above sea level following the eruption that began shortly before midnight Wednesday local time, the Institute said.

Orange County Register via AP

Officer blames bad information for 2020 sinking that killed 9 Marines

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — A Marine Corps battalion commander testified Friday that in retrospect he would have halted the exercise that killed nine of his Marines whose amphibious assault vehicle sank off the Southern California coast but at the time he did not have accurate information to make such a decision.

The News Tribune via AP

Pacific Northwest storm causes flooding and landslides and shuts roads

Updated January 7, 2022 at 11:11 PM ET

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — At least one person was missing and presumed dead as snow turned to rain and deluged the Pacific Northwest on Friday, causing flooding, landslides and avalanche danger in the mountains.

A 72-year-old man never returned after leaving his residence to move his car to higher ground on Friday morning west of Olympia, Washington, in Cosmopolis, according to Grays Harbor Undersheriff Brad Johansson.

CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images

CDC is criticized for failing to communicate, promises to do better

On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held a telebriefing.

Director Rochelle Walensky presided, along with two career scientists. The substance was notable — updated COVID-19 guidance for K-12 schools.

But even more notable was the fact that the briefing was happening it all.

It was the first such briefing in months, despite the ongoing pandemic crisis.


The chair of the Jan. 6 panel says the committee will ask Mike Pence to appear

Rep. Bennie Thompson, chair of the Democratic-led House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, says members expect this month to ask former Vice President Mike Pence to voluntarily appear.


Prosecutors detail warning signs missed by parents of Mich. school shooting suspect

In the months before the Oxford High School shooting in Michigan, the 15-year-old suspect, Ethan Crumbley, texted his mother about seeing demons and ghosts in the family home, filmed himself torturing animals and obsessed over firearms and Nazi propaganda, prosecutors say.

The new details about evidence gathered by prosecutors were revealed Friday during a bond hearing for Crumbley's parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley. Both face four charges of involuntary manslaughter — one for each of the four students killed in the shooting on Nov. 30, 2021.


The key to Nelson Mandela's Robben Island prison cell is returning to South Africa

Plans to auction off the key that kept Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa and legendary anti-apartheid activist, behind bars are off.

The auction house, New York City-based Guernsey's, planned to hold an auction of items belonging to Mandela — including the key to his Robben Island prison cell — later this month. Bidding was expected to begin at $250,000.

Dola Sun for NPR

Global wishes for 2022: a gift box for everyone, greater girl power, vertical gardens

If you could wish for one thing in 2022, what would it be?

That's the question we posed to global thinkers. As the world enters year 3 of the pandemic, we were curious about what one (or two or three) things they would wish for to make earth a better place.

We heard from Nobel Peace Prize winners (Malala Yousafzai and Nadia Murad), doctors on the front line of the pandemic and advocates who devote their lives to help the most vulnerable humans.

Knoxville Fire Department

A fire that destroyed a Planned Parenthood building was intentionally set

The New Year's Eve fire that destroyed a Knoxville, Tenn., Planned Parenthood building was intentionally set, investigators and officials have ruled.

The fire was ruled an arson on Thursday after officials from the Knoxville Fire Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) investigated the scene. Officials say they don't know who set the fire.


Supreme Court's conservatives cast cloud over vaccine-or-test mandate for businesses

Updated January 7, 2022 at 7:12 PM ET

The Supreme Court's conservative supermajority on Friday seemed ready to block some or all of the Biden administration's regulations aimed at increasing vaccinations nationwide.

At issue in the nearly four-hour argument were two regulations: