Amy Held | KALW

Amy Held

Amy Held is an editor on the newscast unit. She regularly reports breaking news on air and online.

The roar of the crowd, the boom of the sound system, the flash of fireworks — all part of the thrill for many fans who flock to NFL games, but for others, including those on the autism spectrum with sensory issues, the experience can be too much.

Now a growing number of teams are including "sensory inclusive spaces" within their arenas to accommodate them.

Marium, an orphaned dugong cared for by biologists in southern Thailand, had what it takes to win over the Internet. Few could resist pictures and videos of the button-eyed mammal being fed sea grass and bottled milk and even being cuddled by her caregivers, all while seeming to wear a satisfied smile.

Earlier this month, Margie Reckard, 63, was gunned down along with 21 others in the El Paso, Texas, massacre that authorities believe was driven by racial hatred. Two weeks later, strangers amassed by the hundreds to honor Reckard and surround her widower, Antonio Basco.

Facing a backlash, Home Depot sought to distance itself from billionaire co-founder Bernie Marcus after he pledged to back President Trump's bid for re-election in 2020.

Calls to boycott the retailer took off this week on social media as news spread that Marcus told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution late last month that he plans to support Trump's bid for another term.

Updated at 10:35 a.m. ET

Kim Darroch, the British ambassador to the U.S., has announced his resignation days after leaked cables revealed his sharp criticism of the Trump administration and the U.S. president responded by saying he will "no longer deal with him."

Sudan's ruling military council and leaders of its civilian opposition movement announced a preliminary power-sharing deal Friday, marking an end to a months-long stalemate and raising hopes that deadly unrest since former President Omar al-Bashir's ouster could culminate in democratic rule.

A mix-up and a bad photo contributed to a gunman shooting retired Red Sox player David Ortiz by mistake, instead of his intended target in Santo Domingo, Dominican officials announced Wednesday.

Surveillance video from the evening of June 9 shows a man who approaches Ortiz, a legend in his native Dominican Republic, and shoots him in the back at close range as Ortiz sits at a bar's outdoor table in the country's capital.

Updated at 11:39 p.m. ET

Just before 2 a.m. on Thursday, multiple gunshots rang out as people exited the Deja Vu nightclub in Allentown, Pa.

Police say 10 people who were gathered on or near the sidewalk were shot and hospitalized.

"All victims are expected to survive," Allentown Police Capt. Bill Lake told NPR in an interview.

No one is in custody.

Canada's Parliament has passed legislation banning whales, dolphins and porpoises from being bred or held in captivity — a move that was hailed by animal rights activists.

Violations are punishable by fines of up to 200,000 Canadian dollars (about $150,000).

Los Angeles County's Santa Anita Park is standing firm against calls to cancel the rest of its racing season after the deaths of two more horses over the weekend, bringing the number of horses that have died at the track since December to 29.

In a highly unusual move Saturday, the California Horse Racing Board asked the park to scuttle competition for the seven remaining race days to "provide the industry more time to fully implement announced safety initiatives and perhaps additional ones."

Decrying the sorry state of salary and support for women's hockey, around 200 female players announced Thursday they won't play the game at the professional level across North America, until they get a league with "the resources that professional hockey demands and deserves."

St. Lucia prevented passengers and crew members from getting off a cruise ship at its port this week after someone on the vessel was diagnosed with measles, according to a senior health official on the island.

"We thought it prudent that we quarantine the ship," Dr. Merlene Fredericks-James, the Caribbean nation's chief medical officer, announced this week, saying the decision was based on information from "two reputable sources that there was a confirmed case on board a cruise ship" that arrived at the island on Tuesday.

Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET

A day after flames leaped through Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris sparking fears the beloved building could be consumed, Parisians sang and prayed in processions through the streets and held vigils Tuesday evening close to the church constructed more than eight centuries ago.

The cathedral stood blackened with much of its roof gone, its spire collapsed and charred rubble inside, but it remained standing, its main structure and two towers spared.

A New Jersey woman pleaded guilty Monday to theft by deception for perpetrating what began as a story of redemption that was revealed to be a ruse.

Katelyn McClure appeared in New Jersey Superior Court, admitting to her role in duping thousands of people out of $400,000 through a fictionalized GoFundMe page purporting to benefit a homeless veteran said to have bought her gas.

Updated on Tuesday at 5:25 a.m. ET

Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the world's most famous churches, erupted in flames Monday in Paris, losing its spire but remaining otherwise largely intact after firefighters worked through the night to contain the fire.

Buoyed by Thursday's ouster of longtime President Omar al-Bashir, Sudanese protesters faced off against troops during a sit-in outside military headquarters in Khartoum on Monday as they amplify their call for civilian-led rule.

Tattooing goes back millennia and spans cultures, as evidenced by mummified remains, yet many details of the body modification's origins have been shrouded in mystery. Now an ancient bone tattoo kit from the Pacific island nation of Tonga is providing researchers with more than an inkling into the rich history of Polynesian body art, a method so indelible, little has changed in some 3,000 years.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

In his latest salvo against unfair trade practices in a major Asian market, President Trump says he plans to end preferential trade treatment for India, which sought to downplay the significance of the move.

City workers in Germany have seized a family's pedigreed pet pug and sold the animal on eBay to cover the debts of its owners, including an unpaid dog tax.

Frank Merschhaus, spokesman for the city of Ahlen, told NPR in an email that the seizure of "the valuable pet" was "legally permissible" because of open claims by the city's treasury office.

Sometimes the lowly sewer rat is the target of shrieks, kicks and extermination attempts. And sometimes yesterday's vermin becomes today's vaunted victim, inspiring a phalanx of rescuers to come to its aid.

At least that is what happened over the weekend in Germany, where a firefighter-cum-corpulent-critter rescue crew worked to free the animal in a pinch with a manhole cover.

President Trump and Kim Jong Un provided upbeat optics at the launch of their second summit in Hanoi on Wednesday. With cameras flashing, the leaders strode before the international press corps at the luxurious Metropole Hotel, grasped hands and posed with American and North Korean flags as a backdrop.

The summit continues Thursday, when the two sides are expected to get into the nitty gritty of an agreement.

Updated at 7:52 p.m. Eastern

After 36 hours languishing aboard a stalled train that hit a tree in a rural snow-covered area outside Eugene, Ore., ecstatic passengers pulled into the city before noon on Tuesday met by food stations and a throng of media attention.

After stepping off at the station in Eugene, passenger Emilie Wyrick told NPR she was thrilled to be "just moving" her legs.

Carly Bigby got a croissant provided by the American Red Cross. "I am anxious to get a solid meal and a shower and maybe some coffee," she told NPR.

A woman who had returned to Scotland after vacationing in Australia didn't know she had hauled home a serpentine stowaway, until she reached into her suitcase to unpack and encountered a snake coiled within a shoe, according to her family.

The Scottish SPCA, an animal welfare charity, confirmed to NPR in an email that one of its rescue officers recovered the snake at a property in Bridge of Allan, a town located about 30 miles northeast of Glasgow.

Nearly six months after a cartoon mocking Serena Williams unleashed immediate international rebuke, with critics calling it a racist Jim-Crow-era-like rendering of the sports star, the Australian Press Council weighed in on Monday, defending the image.

Seated in a Riverside County, Calif., courtroom on Friday, David Turpin, 57, and Louise Turpin, 50, pleaded guilty to 14 counts related to crimes against 12 of their children, in a case that captured worldwide attention for its levels of depravity.

Each parent pleaded guilty to one count of torture, four counts of false imprisonment, six counts of cruelty to an adult dependent and three counts of willful child cruelty, according to Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin.

Botswana, home to the world's largest elephant population, is moving toward culling the numbers of the giant mammals by lifting a wildlife hunting ban, after a group of Cabinet ministers endorsed the move.

Thursday at the Vatican, Pope Francis stood before some 200 participants in an unprecedented summit on preventing clergy sex abuse and said Catholics are seeking not simply "condemnations" but "concrete, effective measures."

But a crisis that has crossed borders and generations, lacerating the church and shaking the pope's credibility, is standing in the way as he seeks to forge a path ahead.

Human rights violations and abuses that have grown routine against civilians and children in the world's youngest country, may constitute war crimes, according to a new report by the U.N.'s Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan outlining acts of brutality committed in 2018.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

Beleaguered USA Gymnastics has named a new president and CEO — its fourth in two years — as the sport's governing body battles criticism that it ignored and even enabled widespread sex abuse by former team doctor Larry Nassar.

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