Amy Held

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

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.

It's the Cubs, Bulls and Bears that usually get Chicagoans talking, but this week the animal that has residents snapping to attention is a real live alligator cruising through a lagoon in the city.

The alligator, estimated to be between 4 and 5 feet long, was spotted Tuesday in the unlikely locale of Humboldt Park on the city's West Side.

Surprised parkgoers called 911, and responding officers brought in animal control.

Tensions are once again rising in the Strait of Hormuz, after the U.K.'s Ministry of Defense said three Iranian ships tried to block the passage of a British oil tanker and a British naval vessel had to intervene.

Iranian officials, however, denied that any such incident occurred.

The U.K. ministry said in a statement that on Wednesday, "HMS Montrose was forced to position herself between the Iranian vessels and British Heritage and issue verbal warnings to the Iranian vessels, which then turned away."

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).

The Vatican department charged with overseeing Catholic education released an extensive document Monday decrying what it calls a "crisis" on whether gender can be an individual choice rather than being set by God or biology.

The document describes a culture-wide "disorientation" that serves to "cancel out" the natural difference between man and woman, as well as "destabilise the family as an institution."

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."

Facebook says it removed 3.39 billion fake accounts from October to March. That's twice the number of fraudulent accounts deleted in the previous six-month period.

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."

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