National & International News

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For centrist Democrats the most important theme to emerge from the New Hampshire primary was "don't count us out."

For weeks they have been grappling with the reality that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, is shaping up to be their party's front-runner for president. Moderates say surging support for two more moderate Democrats is a signal that their wing of the party has a chance to take the nomination. But there is growing pressure on centrists to unite around a single candidate before Sanders becomes unbeatable.

China's Hubei province expanded its criteria for identifying new coronavirus infections on Thursday, causing a dramatic spike in reported cases at the epicenter of the disease, as Beijing moved to purge provincial party officials amid criticism of their handling of the epidemic.

Updated at 9:10 p.m. ET

Jared Kushner has been quietly trying to resurrect discussions to overhaul the U.S. immigration system, multiple people familiar with the conversations have told NPR.

President Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law has been meeting with business leaders, immigration hard-liners and other interest groups important to Republicans with the goal of rolling out a new immigration plan once Trump's impeachment trial ended.

The head of the Iowa Democratic Party filed his resignation Wednesday, as the organization is still picking up the pieces from last week's caucus debacle.

Troy Price had been head of the state party since 2017, but after his role in overseeing a process widely panned as disorganized and opaque, it became an open question whether he would stay on in his job.

A Utah bill that would reduce polygamy among consenting adults from a felony to an infraction — on par with a traffic ticket — was unanimously endorsed by a state Senate committee earlier this week, despite opposition from critics who argue the law could potentially protect abusers.

The move advances Senate Bill 102 to the full chamber for a vote.

"Vigorous enforcement of the law during the mid-twentieth century did not deter the practice of plural marriage," Sen. Deidre Henderson told NPR.

One of the world's biggest trade shows has been cancelled as mounting concerns over the coronavirus outbreak ripple across the business world.

Organizers called off the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, after big-name participants pulled out.

With just weeks before the 2020 census is set to roll out nationwide, the Census Bureau is lagging behind on recruiting temporary workers and addressing IT and cybersecurity risks tied to the first primarily online U.S. count, a new report by the Government Accountability Office warns.

Updated at 6:03 p.m. ET

Editor's note: This report includes descriptions of alleged sexual assault.

Two Ohio State University football players were arrested on rape and kidnapping charges Wednesday after what local police describe as a violent sexual encounter with a woman last week. The men are scheduled to be arraigned on first-degree felony charges Thursday.

Police charged 21-year-olds Amir Riep and Jahsen Wint, both of whom played on the Buckeyes' Big Ten Championship team this past season.

There's a seasonality to many viruses. Flu and cold viruses tend to peak in winter months, then die down with warmer weather.

Will the newly identified coronavirus and the disease it causes — COVID-19 — follow a similar pattern?

Before that question can be answer, let's consider how seasons and temperature influence the spread of viruses.

The remains of 2,411 fetuses found in Illinois last year after the death of a former abortion provider have been buried, but authorities say they're no closer to knowing why the doctor had been keeping them.

Updated at 10:49 p.m. ET

The quarantine of the Diamond Princess cruise ship has spawned several online communities, with passengers forming groups on WhatsApp and Facebook to break through the isolation and share information. While they exchange information, they also focus on keeping each other's spirits up.

"We check on each other to see how we are each doing daily," passenger Aun Na Tan of Australia said in a message to NPR.

About 50,000 years ago, ancient humans in what is now West Africa apparently procreated with another group of ancient humans that scientists didn't know existed.

There aren't any bones or ancient DNA to prove it, but researchers say the evidence is in the genes of modern West Africans. They analyzed genetic material from hundreds of people from Nigeria and Sierra Leone and found signals of what they call "ghost" DNA from an unknown ancestor.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has suffered back-to-back poor showings in the first two states to vote in the Democratic primary, and there are now serious questions about whether his "electability" argument is still plausible.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

A judge has overturned a contentious settlement that the University of North Carolina system reached with the Sons of Confederate Veterans over the Confederate monument known as Silent Sam.

The November 2019 agreement required the UNC system to give Silent Sam to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, along with $2.5 million for its preservation and display. It was announced within minutes of a lawsuit filed by the group.

Deval Patrick, a former Massachusetts governor who jumped into the Democratic presidential primary months after most of his competitors did, has now ended that bid.

Patrick announced his decision on Wednesday, a day after the New Hampshire primary.

Updated at 3:22 p.m. ET

After a fifth-place finish in Iowa, Amy Klobuchar's head-turning performance in New Hampshire on Tuesday night has some calling the Minnesota senator "the comeback kid."

Democrats could avoid another tech meltdown like the one that afflicted the Iowa caucuses with a better strategy for building the tools they need, progressive technology specialists say.

The origins of the Iowa debacle are in a boom-and-bust cycle that places technology in competition with other priorities as time-crunched campaigns grapple with how best to spend as they hurtle toward an election.

Right now scientists are trying to accomplish something that was inconceivable a decade ago: create a vaccine against a previously unknown virus rapidly enough to help end an outbreak of that virus. In this case, they're trying to stop the spread of the new coronavirus that has already infected tens of thousands of people, mainly in China, and given rise to a respiratory condition now known as COVID-19.

Pope Francis has sidestepped a request for married men to be ordained as priests and women to be ordained as deacons, saying the Roman Catholic Church should find other ways to address a dire shortage of clergy in South America's Amazon region. Bishops in that part of the world had asked for fundamental shifts in Roman Catholic policy last autumn.

Updated at 3:55 p.m. ET

Attorney General William Barr is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee after the Justice Department took the unusual step of intervening in Roger Stone's sentencing recommendation.

President Trump hailed Barr on Wednesday for making the recommendation.

It's a few minutes before services on a Sunday morning at Bethany United Methodist Church in West Jefferson, N.C. The handbell choir warms up and an acolyte lights candles.

Church member Peggy Lynn Gibson walks in with her dog, a stout, cream-colored golden retriever named Rocky. The congregants greet Rocky like an old friend.

"How are you? You're a sweetheart," one man says to the dog. "And so are you," the man tells Gibson.

Pastor Dan Money welcomes the congregation as Rocky, an honorary church member, settles in at Gibson's feet in a pew near the back.

Updated at 9:51 a.m. ET

The Diamond Princess cruise ship has become a symbol of a global health nightmare. To date, 175 cases of the coronavirus — the infectious disease the World Health Organization is now calling COVID-19 — have been confirmed aboard the ship.

As America's craft beer industry continues to boom, the waste it generates can pose challenges for sewer systems. But if it's used in the right spot, in the right amount, it's potentially beneficial and can actually save wastewater treatment plants money.

In Bozeman, Mont., the Water Reclamation Facility treats more than 6 million gallons of water every day from sinks, showers, toilets — really anything that goes down a drain. That includes liquid waste from more than 10 breweries in this city of nearly 50,000.

When Carol Pak-Teng, an emergency room doctor in New Jersey, hosted a fundraiser in December for Democratic freshman Rep. Tom Malinowski, her guests, mostly doctors, were pleased when she steered the conversation to surprise medical bills.

This was a chance to send a message to Washington that any surprise billing legislation should protect doctors' incomes in their battle over payments with insurers. Lawmakers are grappling over several approaches to curtail the practice that can leave patients on the hook for huge medical bills, even if they have insurance.

February 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues, which once provided African-Americans the chance to play professional baseball before the game was integrated.

Now, a century later, African-American participation in baseball is lagging. The number of black Major Leaguers is only 8.4%, according to The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports.

Updated at 10:20 a.m. ET

The finish at the top in New Hampshire looked a lot like the finish last week in Iowa, this time with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leading the way and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg finishing a close second.

But from the No. 3 spot on down there were some pretty big surprises, including the rise of Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and disappointing finishes for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Here are six takeaways from what happened last night:

Updated at 10:44 a.m. ET

For the first time in nearly three decades, a standard poodle has earned the right to adorn her leash with Westminster laurels. Siba, with her elegant sable locks, walked away with Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Tuesday night.

To manage the feat, Siba, owned and bred by Connie S. Unger, had to outlast some 2,500 competitors representing 204 breeds across three days.

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet has ended his bid for the White House after failing to catch fire in a crowded Democratic field.

Bennet got a late start in the race, not joining the already-ballooning field until May 2019. His plans to seek the Democratic nomination were delayed after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April. However, following a successful surgery he was declared cancer-free and he continued with his plans to join the presidential fray.

Updated at 8:26 p.m. ET

Andrew Yang, a tech entrepreneur who built his campaign around a signature policy proposal — universal basic income — has ended his bid for the presidency.

"We have touched and improved millions of lives and moved this country we love so much in the right direction. And while there is great work left to be done, you know, I am the math guy, and it is clear tonight from the numbers that we are not going to win this race," he told supporters on Tuesday night.

Localities in Virginia are closer to having the power to remove some 220 Confederate statues and monuments in public spaces.

Democrats, who took control of the House and Senate in November, passed two similar bills on near party-line votes on Tuesday. The bills generally allow cities to "remove, relocate, contextualize, cover or alter" monuments in public spaces.

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