KASU

Camila Domonoske

A powerful winter storm in California has brought down an ancient tree, carved into a living tunnel more than a century ago.

The "Pioneer Cabin Tree," a sequoia in Calaveras Big Trees State Park, saw horses and cars pass through it over the years. More recently, only hikers were allowed to walk through the massive tree.

Over the weekend, a powerful winter storm slammed into California and Nevada, prompting flooding and mudslides in some regions. The Associated Press reports it might be the biggest storm to hit the region in more than a decade.

Tilikum, possibly the most famous orca in the world, has died, according to SeaWorld Orlando.

He was the subject of the influential documentary Blackfish, and outcry over his story prompted SeaWorld to stop breeding orcas in captivity.

The U.S. added 156,000 jobs last month and hourly wages rose by 10 cents, according to the monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate was little changed; it ticked up slightly to 4.7 percent, compared to November's 4.6 percent.

Economists had been watching closely to see if the jobs report reflected a rise in wages.

Starting next week, Norway will become the first country to switch off its nationwide FM radio network and convert completely to digital signals.

The change was announced in 2015, and will take months to be fully implemented.

The Norwegian government decided to make the transition in part because digital radio can provide many more channels for the same price — eight times as many, to be precise.

Tucker Carlson will be taking over the 9 p.m. ET time slot on the Fox News Channel, stepping in for departing host Megyn Kelly.

Kelly is leaving Fox News for NBC, where she will host a daytime show and a Sunday evening news show.

The change, as NPR's David Folkenflik notes on Twitter, would seem to make Fox News' prime-time lineup more friendly toward President-elect Donald Trump.

As President Obama's tenure in the White House draws to a close, he's looking back on eight years of work — and ahead toward what he sees as a brighter future for the U.S.

In a letter to the American public, Obama says he's proud that the country is "stronger and more prosperous" than it was eight years ago — and hopeful that the country will build on the progress he sees.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

Four people have been charged with hate crimes for allegedly carrying out an assault, live-streamed online, in which a man was tied up, hit and cut with a knife by several assailants.

Authorities say the victim, who had been reported missing before the attack, has "mental health challenges." He was encountered by police on Tuesday evening and is recovering in the hospital.

Several civil rights activists were arrested Tuesday night for staging a sit-in at Sen. Jeff Sessions' office in Mobile, Ala., to protest his nomination as U.S. attorney general.

The sit-in was staged by the NAACP and portions were broadcast live online. The NAACP has sharply criticized Sessions' record on civil rights, voting rights and criminal justice reform.

Businessman Jovenel Moise will be the next president of Haiti, the country announced. His victory ends a drawn-out and difficult election process that has stretched on for 14 months.

Moise is a wealthy businessman who made his fortune exporting fruit (he's known as the "Banana Man") and has never held office. He's from the same party as former President Michel Martelly, and won handily in a crowded field.

An Israeli military court has convicted a soldier of manslaughter for shooting and killing a Palestinian assailant who was already incapacitated.

The shooting happened in the occupied West Bank in March of 2016, and was captured on camera.

The judges found that 20-year-old Sgt. Elor Azaria acted in cold blood when he shot and killed Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, NPR's Joanna Kakissis reports from Jerusalem:

"Al-Sharif had been shot and wounded after stabbing an Israeli soldier. Eleven minutes later, Azaria shot the motionless Al-Sharif in the head.

The number of law enforcement officers shot and killed in the line of duty increased sharply in 2016 relative to 2015, according to a preliminary report from The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

The overall number of officer fatalities rose by 10 percent, remaining lower than the average for the previous ten years.

Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Russia won't be expelling U.S. diplomats in a tit-for-tat response to U.S. sanctions, as his foreign minister had suggested earlier Friday.

Instead, he says he will decide how to move forward depending on the actions of President-elect Donald Trump's administration.

Trump took to Twitter on Friday afternoon to praise Putin's decision, calling it a "great move."

Vegan schnitzel? Veggie würst? Soy-sauge and meatless meatballs?

There's no such thing, says Germany's agricultural minister. He's crying fowl over product packaging, and is calling for a ban on using meat-centric terms to describe meatless products.

Authorities in Germany have detained a man for questioning in connection to the deadly attack on a Christmas market in Berlin earlier this month.

Last week, police in Milan, Italy, shot and killed Anis Amri, the Tunisian man suspected of driving a truck into the market on Dec. 19. Twelve people died in that attack.

Now they are questioning a 40-year-old man whose phone number was found in Amri's cellphone.

"This new suspect is also from Tunisia and police say investigations indicate he may have been involved in the attack," Kerry Skyring reports for NPR.

Chinese officials have seized 3.1 tonnes (more than 3.4 tons) of illegally trafficked pangolin scales from a port in Shanghai, according to state media.

It's the largest such seizure China has ever made, Xinhua News Agency reports.

Pangolins are the world's most widely trafficked mammals — their meat is a delicacy and their scales are used in traditional Chinese medicine.

All eight species of pangolin are facing extinction.

Actress Carrie Fisher, beloved for her iconic role as Princess Leia, died on Tuesday at the age of 60.

She leaves behind her daughter, Billie Lourd, her brother, Todd Fisher, her mother, Debbie Reynolds — and her French bulldog, Gary.

Gary Fisher is a celebrity in his own right — he traveled widely with Fisher and was a star on Instagram and Twitter.

Carrie Fisher, the actress who became a pop culture icon for her performance as Princess Leia in Star Wars, has died at age 60.

Fisher had suffered a massive heart attack last week on a flight from London to Los Angeles. On Sunday, her family said she was in stable condition.

A representative of Fisher's daughter, Bille Lourd, confirmed that Fisher died on Tuesday morning.

Fisher shot to fame at the age of 19, when she took on her instantly iconic role in Star Wars.

After Rubi Ibarra's father invited "everybody" to her quinceañera, more than a million people RSVP'd to say they'd be attending the bash.

Most of those people were having a lark. But not all of them: The Monday night party in northern Mexico was, indeed, a celebration for the ages.

Early Tuesday morning, search crews located one of the flight recorders from the Russian military plane that crashed into the Black Sea on Sunday, according to Russian officials.

The flight data recorder, sometimes called a "black box," has been flown to Moscow for analysis, NPR's Lucian Kim reports. Officials do not currently consider terrorism to be a likely cause of the disaster.

Vera Rubin, the groundbreaking astrophysicist who discovered evidence of dark matter, died Sunday night at the age of 88, the Carnegie Institution confirms.

Rubin did much of her revelatory work at Carnegie. The organization's president calls her a "national treasure."

In the 1960s and 1970s, Rubin was working with astronomer Kent Ford, studying the behavior of spiral galaxies, when they discovered something entirely unexpected — the stars at the outside of the galaxy were moving as fast as the ones in the middle, which didn't fit with Newtonian gravitational theory.

Dozens of people were shot in Chicago over the holiday weekend, with at least 11 fatalities — including seven fatal shootings on Christmas Day, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Two brothers, James and Roy Gill, were killed at a Christmas party; five other people were wounded in that shooting.

It's a grim tally, coming at the end of a difficult, violent year in Chicago, as NPR's Frank Morris reports.

British pop star George Michael, who died over the weekend at the age of 53, was famous for his sex appeal, his songwriting gifts and his enduring voice — and for his personal life, which was treated as tabloid fodder.

But not everything he did made headlines.

Since Michael's death, charities and fans have revealed that the iconic singer was also a dedicated philanthropist — making large donations, and working hard to keep them out of the public eye.

Russian officials say they are no longer considering terrorism a focus in their investigations into a military plane crash on Sunday morning.

"The Russian transportation agency considers technical problems or pilot error the most likely causes for the crash," NPR's Lucian Kim reports.

Search efforts in the Black Sea have recovered fragments of the Russian military jet. Eleven bodies were also recovered as of Monday morning; all 92 people on board the plane are believed to have died.

A Florida woman who petitioned the state for permission to keep her trained gator has received official approval — just in time for Christmas.

Mary Thorn of Lakeland, Fla., has been caring for Rambo for more than a decade, The Ledger newspaper reports. Rambo wears clothes and rides motorcycles and ATVs.

The last rebels and civilians fleeing eastern Aleppo rode out of the city on Thursday night, bringing to an end a weeklong evacuation effort.

The departure of the remaining rebels amounted to a surrender. Forces supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad moved in to take control of the destroyed city sector that was rebel-held for four years.

The government's victory was secured after months of devastating airstrikes and assaults on the shrinking, besieged enclave. Negotiated cease-fires and attempts to provide humanitarian aid failed several times.

Pages