Amy Held

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

It's summertime in the Northern Hemisphere, and a couple of constants remain: Just as surely as it's going to be hot, people are going to want to talk about exactly how hot it is.

But the heat has been so notable in the past week or so that records are being stretched and scorched from Canada to Armenia, with roofs and roads going runny.

Two men each charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter, representing the three dozen people who perished in the 2016 Oakland, Calif. warehouse fire, pleaded no contest on Tuesday, in a deal letting them avoid trial and possibly lengthy prison terms.

Cody Iorns was not one to lie down in defeat.

The Army medic veteran lost his arms following a motorcycle accident in 2015, but fitted with prosthetic limbs, he turned to the water, specifically standup paddleboarding.

The dogged athlete was featured in several news reports, showcasing his rise from adversity, and he became well known in the local water sports community.

Iorns died Wednesday evening after venturing out into the Chesapeake Bay from Annapolis, MD, according to Maryland Natural Resources Police Public Information Officer Candy Thomson.

"This is tough," Attorney General of Alabama Steve Marshall said through tears on Wednesday as he stood at the lectern of his hometown Baptist church in rural Alabama, facing news cameras and dozens of people, three days after the sudden death of his wife, Bridgette Marshall, 45.

The cause, Marshall said, was suicide. But that was not his focus.

"What we want to be able to focus on is the story of her life," he said flanked by family members, who sometimes stood with their heads bowed, quietly crying.

A 21-year-old Ohio man accused of killing a woman last summer by deliberately ramming his car into people protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., now faces federal hate crime charges.

The Justice Department announced Wednesday that a federal grand jury in Charlottesville charged James Alex Fields Jr. with one count of a hate crime act resulting in the death of Heather Heyer.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

An East Pittsburgh, Pa., police officer has been charged with one count of criminal homicide in last week's shooting death of a 17-year-old fleeing a traffic stop that prompted days of angry protests.

Opportunity, phone home!

NASA scientists are still holding out hope they will hear from the surprisingly long-lived Mars rover. It went into snooze mode earlier this month, thanks to a gargantuan dust storm on the Red Planet that's blocking beams from reaching the solar panels that recharge the rover's batteries.

The shooting death of a black teenager by police in the Pittsburgh area on Tuesday night has sparked protests from angry residents demanding to know why Antwon Rose Jr. was killed.

Rose, 17, was riding in a vehicle that had been pulled over because officers suspected it had been used in a shooting that happened minutes earlier Tuesday.

Video taken by a nearby witness shows two people running from the car; the sounds of three shots ring out right as another police car arrives.

Pope Francis has added his voice to the growing chorus of those decrying the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy on illegal border crossings that has resulted in the separation of parents and children traveling together.

The latest step in a circuitous legal journey allows same-sex couples in Bermuda to once again legally wed.

On Wednesday, Bermuda's Supreme Court struck down part of The Domestic Partnership Act — a law that had barred same-sex couples from marrying — saying it was unconstitutional.

This is the second time the Supreme Court has voted to legalize same-sex marriage; In May 2017 it ruled in favor of a Bermudian man and his Canadian partner who had challenged the rejection of their marriage application.

Updated at 3:27 p.m. ET

Kate Spade, the designer who built a billion-dollar brand of luxury handbags and accessories, was found dead in her Park Avenue apartment in Manhattan on Tuesday. She was 55.

New York Police Department officials said that police received a call around 10:30 a.m. and that officers found Spade unconscious and unresponsive in the bedroom of her Park Avenue apartment. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

"It was a suicide," NYPD spokeswoman Arlene Muniz told NPR, without providing further details.

Disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein appeared in a New York City courtroom Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape and one count of a criminal sex act, less than a week after a grand jury indicted him.

Weinstein, 66, had been expected to plead not guilty and remains free on bail.

Dozens of women have come forward to accuse Weinstein of persistent sexual misconduct.

An overcrowded fishing boat, crammed with around 180 people, sank off the coast of Tunisia over the weekend, according to United Nations agencies. More than a hundred people, including children, are feared dead.

If confirmed, it would be the single deadliest capsizing in the Mediterranean so far this year, according to The Associated Press.

It's not your imagination. A recent spike in home runs has hit professional baseball.

In 2015, Major League Baseball's home run rate averaged 1.01 per game (it had been 0.86 the year before). In 2016, it grew to 1.16. Last year it was 1.26.

Theories have abounded as to why, many centering on the balls having been altered, or "juiced."

Ballistic blocks, earthquakes and ocean plumes: In the three weeks since Hawaii's Kilauea began erupting, it has produced some awe-inspiring — and dangerous — phenomena.

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