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Laurel Wamsley

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A rat named Magawa, who has died during retirement at the age of eight, sniffed out dozens of land mines over the course of his career in Cambodia. He is believed to have saved lives and has been widely lauded as a hero.

"His contribution allows communities in Cambodia to live, work, and play; without fear of losing life or limb," the nonprofit APOPO said Tuesday.

To Fred Brown, the sale of his grandmother's house was a big mistake.

That's the home where he grew up with his grandmother, parents and four siblings in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C. His grandmother bought the house in 1960 for under $7,000.

After she died, Brown says his father wanted his aunts to help pay the taxes on the house. "I guess they didn't want to pay it, so they had a big dispute. And you know, they just wind up selling it," he says.

Forty-eight passengers and crew members tested positive for COVID-19 on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship that docked on Saturday in Miami.

The outbreak occurred on the company's Symphony of the Seas ship, part of its line of Oasis vessels that are the world's largest cruise ships. There were 6,091 guests and crew members on board at the time.

While health experts promise that we're not living in March 2020 all over again — we have vaccines and other tools now — abrupt new restrictions in some countries are reminiscent of that era.

Updated December 20, 2021 at 2:28 PM ET

The manslaughter trial of former police officer Kim Potter is now in the hands of the jury after attorneys finished their closing arguments. Potter fatally shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center last April.

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All 17 of the missionaries kidnapped in Haiti two months ago have now been freed and should be heading back to the U.S. Violence remains an ongoing problem in Haiti, as does political instability. NPR's Laurel Wamsley reports.

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Inflation is rising. It does not affect everyone the same way. And economists say rising costs can have an outsize impact on low-income people.

But as NPR's Laurel Wamsley reports, wages at the low end of the scale are going up, too.

Updated November 23, 2021 at 6:49 PM ET

Jurors have wrapped up the first day of deliberations without reaching a verdict in the case of the three men accused of murder and other charges over the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Glynn County, Ga., in February 2020.

The nearly all-white jury entered deliberations Tuesday and after five hours and 15 minutes, said they were finished for the evening. They will resume debating the charges tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. CT.

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Voters in St. Paul, Minn., passed one of the most restrictive rent control ordinances in the country. It's one of several cities reviving interest in an old but controversial way to limit housing costs. NPR's Laurel Wamsley reports.

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Jonathan Eta had managed to keep his head above water after he lost his job as an auto detailer in Southern California at the start of the pandemic. But last month, the emergency unemployment benefits he relied on expired.

"Basically, now we're just out on our own, you know?" he says.

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Seventeen people from a Christian aid mission who were abducted in Haiti over the weekend are still missing. They were with an organization called Christian Aid Ministries, based in Ohio. NPR's Laurel Wamsley is following the situation.

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The pandemic is taking an uneven economic toll on Americans. Black and Latino families have taken the biggest hits. As NPR's Laurel Wamsley reports, many have seen their hard-won financial progress swept away.

The seventeen people from an Christian aid mission abducted in Haiti while returning from an orphanage remain missing, four days later.

Their kidnapping – brazen even in a country where abductions have increased exponentially recently – have cast a spotlight on the work that religious relief organizations undertake in sometimes dangerous conditions.

Indeed, such aid groups are often found in the parts of the world where conditions are most dire.

A small plane crashed into a residential neighborhood in southern California, killing at least two people. Footage from the scene showed burned homes and a charred delivery truck in the city of Santee, a suburb northeast of San Diego.

A UPS delivery driver was among those killed in the crash, the company confirmed to NPR.

The plane, a twin-engine Cessna C340, crashed into the neighborhood at about 12:14 p.m. local time on Monday.

Updated October 4, 2021 at 12:51 PM ET

Brittany Watson worked as a nurse at the hospital in Winchester, Va. — until her employer, Valley Health, announced that all staff must get vaccinated.

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Updated September 14, 2021 at 5:19 PM ET

Poverty in the United States fell last year, even amid the impact of the pandemic, due to government aid, including relief payments and unemployment insurance. That's according to new data just released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Supplemental Poverty Measure rate in 2020 was 9.1%, 2.6 percentage points lower than that rate in 2019.

In a courthouse in Memphis, Tenn., a full docket of cases means tenants are packed into eviction court – as much as social distancing will allow, and then a little more. When each tenant is called up for their case, Judge Phyllis Gardner asks this question: "Are you interested in the rental assistance program?"

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For many Americans, COVID-19 has upended their lives. They've lost their jobs, and with them, the ability to pay their rent.

While getting evicted is traumatic generally, eviction during a pandemic adds new layers of peril: Evicted families may double up with other households or move into crowded shelters. That can lead to the coronavirus spreading quickly, especially within vulnerable communities.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.


TOKYO — We're in the home stretch of the most dramatic Olympics in recent memory, held against great odds amid a global pandemic in a country where many Japanese residents didn't want it to happen at all.

An ocean expedition exploring more than a mile under the surface of the Atlantic captured a startlingly silly sight this week: a sponge that looked very much like SpongeBob SquarePants.

And right next to it, a pink sea star — a doppelganger for Patrick, SpongeBob's dim-witted best friend.