Krishnadev Calamur

The Senate voted 99-0 to pass a measure that would increase penalties on human trafficking – a move that paves the way for a confirmation vote for attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch.

The human-trafficking measure had been stuck in the Senate because of an impasse over language on abortion funding. But as NPR's Ailsa Chang reported Tuesday, the logjam was broken after negotiations between Republicans and Democrats. Ailsa said:

Belle Gibson is an Australian blogger who said she cured her terminal brain cancer solely through diet and lifestyle, spawning a wellness empire, an award-winning app, a recipe book and a large online following. Trouble is, Gibson now says she made it all up.

A New York judge who granted two research chimps a writ of habeas corpus, effectively recognizing them as legal persons, later amended her ruling, striking out the term "writ of habeas corpus." It is now unclear whether Hercules and Leo, the chimps at Stony Brook University, can challenge their detention.

A British man who U.S. prosecutors say contributed to the 2010 flash crash on Wall Street has told a London court that he opposes extradition to the U.S.

We told you earlier this week about the anger in Poland over remarks made by the head of the FBI linking that country to the Holocaust. Hungary, which James Comey also mentioned in his speech, has now joined in the protests against the comments. The FBI chief, in an interview Tuesday, said he has no apology.

Updated at 4:53 p.m. ET

The Saudi-led military operation in Yemen is shifting gears, moving from airstrikes against Houthi rebels to a new phase that will include diplomatic and political efforts alongside military operations, Saudi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri said.

"The coalition will continue to prevent the movement of Houthi militias from moving or undertaking any operations inside Yemen," Asiri said at a news briefing in Riyadh.

He said coalition airstrikes had destroyed the ballistic missiles operated by the Shiite Houthis.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has ended a visit to Pakistan after signing $45 billion worth of investment agreements in the South Asian nation.

NPR's Philip Reeves tells our Newscast unit that Xi's visit is being seen as a "game changer." Here's more from him:

A 93-year-old former guard at Auschwitz said his work at the concentration camp made him "morally complicit" in the atrocities committed there, but he told judges at the opening of his trial they "must decide on the question of ... criminal liability."

Update at 1:21 p.m. ET, Wednesday:

The judge in the case has amended her ruling to strike out the term "writ of habeas corpus." It is now unclear whether Hercules and Leo, the chimps at Stony Brook University, can challenge their detention. You can read our post about the amended order here.

Our original post continues:

Updated at 3:21 p.m. ET

The Post and Courier of Charleston, S.C., has been awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize award for public service for Till Death Do Us Part, a series the award's panel said "probed why South Carolina is among the deadliest states in the union for women and put the issue of what to do about it on the state's agenda."

Last week, FBI Director James Comey made a speech in Washington in which he called the Holocaust "the most significant event in world history." Parts of the speech, made at the Holocaust Memorial Museum, were published in The Washington Post over the weekend.

Updated at 5:24 p.m.

The editor of BuzzFeed, the website that carries headlines ranging from "12 Reasons Rain Is Better Than Anything Else" to "EU Ministers To Hold Emergency Talks On Migrant Crisis," has acknowledged the deletion of more than 1,000 posts — three of them following complaints from advertisers — since he was hired in January 2012.

Updated at 12:29 p.m. ET

Ethiopia's Lelisa Desisa has won the elite men's Boston Marathon and Caroline Rotich of Kenya finished first in the elite women's division.

Last Sunday, runner Kendall Schler was the first to cross the finish line at the GO! St. Louis Marathon. She received a $1,500 check and a photograph with Jackie Joyner-Kersee at the finish line. Trouble is Schler of Columbia, Mo., had not run the entire 26.2-mile course.

That's not all. Schler, race organizers say, also faked her third-place finish at last year's race – with a time that allowed her to qualify for the prestigious Boston Marathon this year.

Violence against immigrants in South Africa has killed at least five people, resulted in attacks on businesses owned by foreigners and sent thousands to take refuge at temporary shelters.

A massive rally against xenophobia was held Thursday in Durban, the coastal city that has been the scene of much of the unrest. Migrants from Africa and South Asia have been the target of the violence, which was condemned by President Jacob Zuma.

The 61-year-old Florida mailman who flew a gyrocopter onto the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday has been charged with violating registration requirements involving aircraft and with violation of national defense airspace, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

The registration charge is punishable by a maximum of three years in prison; the airspace charge up to a year. Douglas Mark Hughes of Ruskin, Fla., also faces financial penalties, the statement said.

What could a robot lawn mower possibly have to do with astronomy? A lot, apparently.

iRobot, which makes Roomba, the wireless vacuum cleaner, appears to be developing a robot lawn mower – one that would work using a wireless beacon system. That's according to a waiver filing in February with the Federal Communications Commission.

Wired, where we spotted this story, has the details:

Disney has released a new teaser for its movie The Force Awakens, Episode VII of the Star Wars saga.

The movie is due for release Dec. 18 — and the teaser's release coincides with a celebration of the Star Wars universe at the Anaheim Convention Center in California.

Stephane Charbonnier, the editor of Charlie Hebdo who was killed in the Jan. 7 attack by two radical Islamists on the satirical magazine, is having the last word.

In a new book completed just two days before the attack that killed 12 people, Charbonnier, who was commonly known as "Charb," says the fight against Islamophobia protects Islam more than it does Muslims. The title of the 88-page book, published Thursday, translates to Letters to the Swindlers of Islamophobia who play into the Hands of Racists.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday defended his decision to sell a long-range air-defense missile system to Iran, criticized the West for its treatment of Moscow, called "tragic" the killing of an opposition figure and said Ukraine was not living up to commitments made in a recent peace deal.

Updated at 10:04 a.m. ET

The Vatican has announced an end to an overhaul of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious — an abrupt conclusion to a five-year doctrinal overhaul of the main umbrella group for nuns in the U.S. that began in 2012.

The Vatican said Thursday that it has accepted a report on the overhaul of the LCWR "marking the conclusion of the Doctrinal Assessment" of the umbrella group.

Updated at 8:10 p.m. EDT

The U.S. Capitol Police have confirmed that Douglas Mark Hughes of Ruskin, Fla. was the pilot who landed a gyrocopter not far from the capitol building.

Police searched the vehicle, saying "nothing hazardous" was found. The gyrocopter was relocated to a secure location, the department said in a statement.

Shortly after landing, Hughes was quickly named by friends and news outlets as the man who flew low over the reflecting pool to land near the Congressional buildings. He was met by police with their guns drawn.

The White House announced Tuesday that President Obama would remove Cuba from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. That got us thinking about which other nations are on the list, how they got there, whether any others have been removed, and what happens to countries when they're put on (or taken off) the list.

Who's On The List?

Aside from Cuba, there are three other countries currently on the list:

The Pentagon says it will exhume the remains of 388 sailors and Marines who died on Dec. 7, 1941, in the capsizing of the USS Oklahoma during the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is supporting a proposed $5.5 million reparations package for victims of police torture in the 1970s and '80s.

NPR's Cheryl Corley tells our Newscast unit that more than 100 people are eligible for reparations, including money and counseling, for their treatment at the hands of a former police commander, Jon Burge, and his officers. Burge was fired by the Chicago Police Department in 1993.

Singer Percy Sledge, perhaps best known for his hit "When A Man Loves A Woman," has died, Artists International Management Inc., his talent agency, said.

Sledge died of natural causes a little after midnight at a hospice in East Baton Rouge, La., according to a coroner. The coroner said Sledge was 74, though the Encyclopedia of Music as well as his talent agency says Sledge was 73.

Updated at 1:02 p.m. ET

The mountain lion who spent Monday night under a Los Angeles home despite authorities' best efforts to dislodge him appears to have left on his own, a wildlife official says.

Scientists have released the first of several dark matter maps of the cosmos.

Researchers from the Dark Energy Survey used data captured by the Dark Energy Camera, a 570-megapixel imaging device they say is one of the world's most powerful digital cameras, to put together the largest contiguous map of dark matter created. They presented their findings Monday at a meeting of the American Physical Society in Baltimore.

Updated at 12:25 p.m. ET

Two of the 10 former Atlanta public school employees convicted this month of conspiring to cheat on state tests to earn raises and bonuses took plea deals Tuesday while the others received jail time of between one and seven years.

Update at 7:02 p.m. ET. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Approves Compromise Iran Bill

In a 19-0 vote, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved legislation that would give Congress a formal role in negotiations over a nuclear deal with Iran. The Associated Press reports the bill "is likely to clear both houses of Congress," and is "expected to come before the full Senate as soon as next week."

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