Vanessa Romo

Mexico's homicide rate continued to skyrocket last year, making 2018 the deadliest on record for the country with an average of 91 deaths a day.

Divers off the coast of Oahu's North Shore had the rare treat last week of swimming and frolicking with a great white shark, widely believed to be one of the largest in the world, and the thrilling, interspecies encounter was captured on video.

Ocean Ramsey, who independently studies sharks and leads cage-free shark diving tours off the Hawaiian island, was in the water with her team, monitoring a group of tiger sharks feeding on a decomposing sperm whale on Tuesday, when she suddenly spotted Deep Blue, as the 20-foot-long female shark is called.

Microsoft is investing $500 million to help develop affordable housing and address homelessness in the Seattle area as the growth of tech companies in the region continues to flood the real estate market with high-salaried workers, leaving many other people behind.

While Shakespeare's Romeo spent only about two days banished in Mantua, away from his beloved Juliet, Romeo the frog has remained in complete isolation — sans love interest, cousins, friars or friends — living in a laboratory for the last 10 years. But that's all about to change.

The man who fatally shot Hadiya Pendleton, 15-year-old girl whose death became a symbol of the rampant gun violence plaguing Chicago, was sentenced Monday to 84 years in prison.

The convicted gunman, Micheail Ward, did not receive a life sentence as Hadiya's mother, Cleopatra Cowley had asked the court, but he will likely spend the rest of his life in prison for killing the girl and injuring two other people.

Ward is 24 years old.

The owner of a long-term care facility in Arizona where a patient in a vegetative state was impregnated and gave birth last month has hired a former Maricopa County Attorney to lead an internal investigation into the "facts and circumstances" leading up to the sexual assault.

On Sunday, Phoenix-based Hacienda Healthcare confirmed in a statement that it had recruited Rick Romley "to ensure a comprehensive, objective and transparent review of the facts of this deeply disturbing matter."

After nearly a year of scrutiny, the embattled Florida sheriff whose deputies were the first to respond to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland was suspended on Friday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Broward Sheriff Scott Israel has been replaced by former Coral Springs Police Sgt. Gregory Tony, who has an extensive background in active shooter training.

Underpaid au pairs who have worked in homes across America, taking care of children, often cooking, cleaning, playing chauffeur and providing a range of other duties, will finally receive back pay they say they are owed.

On Wednesday, 15 of the companies authorized by the State Department to recruit young foreigners to provide low-cost child care in U.S. households reached a $65.5 million settlement in a class-action law suit filed by nearly a dozen au pairs in a Denver federal court.

The last few weeks have been a roller coaster ride of emotions for a California lottery player who, on Dec. 20, believed himself to be the winner of a $10,000 prize.

In the days leading up to Christmas, the man, who has not been publicly identified by authorities, bought a $30 Scratcher ticket at a local grocery store in his hometown of Vacaville, Calif.

Best case scenario, Vacaville Police Department spokesman, Lt. Chris Polen told NPR, the part-time restaurant worker figured any winnings above the cost would put a little extra cash in his pockets over the holidays.

A second suspect has been charged in the shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office announced on Tuesday that homicide investigators had filed a capital murder charge against Larry Woodruffe, who has been in custody for several days.

A Nevada death-row inmate who repeatedly called for his own execution was found dead in his cell in an apparent suicide, according to the state's Department of Corrections.

Scott Dozier twice evaded death by lethal injection against his own wishes. On Saturday afternoon, he was found hanged with a bedsheet from an air vent in his cell at Ely State Prison, Brooke Santina, a spokeswoman for the department, told NPR.

"He had not given any indications of being suicidal leading up to his death," Santina said, adding that Dozier was housed alone at the time.

A former Uber driver charged with killing six people during an hours-long shooting rampage in Michigan nearly three years ago, pleaded guilty to all charges on Monday, defying his attorney.

Burke Ramsey, the brother of child beauty-pageant queen JonBenét Ramsey, who was killed more than 22 years ago, settled a defamation lawsuit against CBS Corp. and several others on Friday, his lawyer told NPR.

Ramsey, who was 9 years old at the time of the grisly killing, sued CBS in 2016 after the network aired a two-day documentary series that included the theory that the boy had slain his 6-year-old sister.

Burke's attorney, Lin Wood, told NPR in an email that the lawsuit has "been amicably settled to the satisfaction of all parties."

A blistering report released on Wednesday by an investigative panel looking into the Valentine's Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last year, exposes a litany of school security breaches and chaotic protocol leading to the deaths of 17 students and faculty, and it recommends arming teachers to prevent or slow future on-campus attacks.

As hope for a last-minute resolution to the political standoff that has triggered the government shutdown all but evaporates, Smithsonian officials announced Thursday that all of its museums, as well as the National Zoo, will be shuttered on Jan. 2 unless a deal is reached.

"There's no getting around it," Linda St. Thomas, chief spokeswoman for the Smithsonian, told NPR.

In the wake of the death of a second migrant child in U.S. custody within the past two weeks, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced on Wednesday the government is calling on several federal agencies to help U.S. Customs and Border Protection implement a host of new directives intended to improve how it cares for children and adults held in federal facilities.

"In response to the unprecedented surge of children into our custody, I have directed a series of extraordinary protective measures," Nielsen said in a statement.

For the third day in a row, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials released hundreds of migrant asylum-seekers at a park near a bus station in downtown El Paso. The comparisons to Mary and Joseph wandering the roads of Bethlehem seeking shelter are unavoidable for dozens of volunteers who have stepped in to help. Especially on Christmas Day.

"I kept having the phrase go through my head last night, 'There's no room at the inn, we've got to make some,'" Kathryn Schmidt, a social worker who co-founded the Borderland Rainbow Center, an LGBTQ community center, told NPR.

Updated at 1 a.m. Dec. 26

The setting was perfect. The fire was beautifully ablaze, the trees enormously enormous, as the first couple sat beside dainty telephone tables ready to delight young callers in search of Santa.

But what happened next could be considered less than perfect — especially for a young girl named Collman or her family, who might have had some explaining to do after the brief phone call.

More than a dozen members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus called for an independent investigation into the death last week of a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl in U.S. custody, saying the absence of medically trained agents and a series of "disturbing systematic failures" prevented government officials from providing adequate care for the child.

Actress Eliza Dushku reached a confidential $9.5 million settlement with CBS last year after claiming she was written off one of the network's most successful shows following her complaints of sexual harassment by the program's leading man.

Editor's note: This story contains graphic descriptions of sexual assault.

A Detroit-area man who sexually assaulted a sleeping passenger on a Spirit Airlines flight was sentenced to nine years in prison on Thursday.

No one can say with certainty why the 29-year-old decided to climb onto the roof of the Chinese restaurant, strip off his bulky jacket and slide down the greasy vent wearing only a thin T-shirt.

Sgt. Ray Kelly, a public information officer for the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, told NPR the man has been "less than truthful about his true intentions."

Here's a new twist on the meet-cute story.

It's not so much a boy-meets-girl situation that ends in happiness as it is a cops-meet-fugitive sort of tale that ends in jail.

Updated at 7:07 p.m. ET

James Alex Fields Jr., who rammed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., last year was found guilty on Friday of killing Heather Heyer and injuring dozens of others.

A for-profit college chain mired in financial troubles announced on Wednesday it is shutting down dozens of campuses across the country by the end of the month. The abrupt decision comes a day after the company lost its accreditation and funding, leaving frantic students scrambling in the final days of the year to enroll in new schools.

A federal grand jury in Atlanta on Wednesday became the latest to indict two Iranian nationals on charges of creating and deploying the "SamSam" ransomware that attacked vital city computer systems earlier this year in an attempt to extort tens of thousands of dollars from the local government.

Jeffrey Epstein, a multimillionaire hedge fund manager accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls, reached a last-minute settlement on Tuesday in a case that had been expected to allow a handful of his alleged victims to tell their stories in court for the first time.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

Nearly two months after a rocket malfunction forced NASA and the Russian space agency Roscosmos to abort the launch of a Soyuz mission, a new crew blasted off on Monday for the International Space Station and arrived safe and sound.

Updated at 7 a.m. ET

Spain's right-wing anti-Muslim party claimed a dozen seats in one of the country's regional parliaments in elections Sunday — outpacing expectations in what is being described as a major blow to the new socialist prime minister.

The surprising gains for the Vox Party mark the latest in a wave of right-wing sentiment that has swept across Europe in recent months.

Paul Sherwen, one of the best-known pro-cycling commentators who is widely credited with introducing the English-speaking world to the sport, died on Sunday at his home in Uganda. He was 62.

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