KASU

Merrit Kennedy

Nearly a week after Malaysia concluded that the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un died of poisoning from a powerful nerve agent, North Korea is claiming that he probably died of a heart attack.

Ri Tong Il, who once served as the North Korean deputy ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters Thursday that the man "probably died of a heart attack because he suffered from heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure," according to The Associated Press.

Starting today, the people of Flint, Mich., will have to bear the full cost of the water flowing through their pipes.

It's a frustrating prospect for Flint residents, who have been struggling with a crisis over lead-laced water that started nearly three years ago.

"We have seniors that are already making decisions between buying medication or paying their water bill," as one Flint resident told Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody.

President Trump signed a measure into law Tuesday that rescinds an Obama-era rule aimed at blocking gun sales to certain mentally ill people.

The GOP-majority Senate passed the bill by a 57-43 margin earlier this month, following a House vote to overturn the rule.

Updated 5:35 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is moving to roll back an environmental rule intended to define which small bodies of water are subject to federal authority under the Clean Water Act.

The body of Kim Jong Un's slain half-brother has become the subject of a diplomatic turf war between North Korea and Malaysia, where he was poisoned earlier this month with a powerful nerve agent.

A high-level delegation of North Koreans arrived in Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur, on Tuesday to try to claim the body of Kim Jong Nam, NPR's Elise Hu reports from Seoul.

The private company SpaceX has announced that it plans to send two passengers on a mission beyond the moon in late 2018.

If the mission goes forward, it would be the "first time humans have traveled beyond low Earth orbit since the days of Apollo," as NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce told our Newscast unit.

The two private citizens approached the company about the idea and have already paid a sizable deposit, CEO Elon Musk told reporters in a conference call. These private individuals will also bear the cost of the mission.

Millions of people in Chile are scrambling to find alternative sources of drinking water after authorities cut off service to the capital, Santiago, following torrential rains that contaminated the water supply.

An ISIS-claimed car bomb exploded near the Syrian town of al-Bab, killing at least 51 people in an area that Turkish-backed rebels recently seized from Islamic State militants.

At least 34 of those killed were civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitoring group. Witnesses told Reuters that the bomb went off in the village of Sousian, five miles north of al-Bab, at a rebel checkpoint crowded with people who had fled the fighting and were preparing to return to their homes.

In baseball, if a pitcher wants to intentionally walk a batter, he has to actually lob the four pitches outside the strike zone. It's a technique often used to bypass a particularly strong batter, or to set up a double play.

But that rule now appears poised to change.

The Major League Baseball commissioner's office has proposed a rule change to have the pitcher forgo actually throwing four balls — instead, the bench would simply signal to the umpire that the batter will be intentionally walked.

Four newly discovered frog species are so tiny that they can sit comfortably on a fingernail, making them some of the smallest-known frogs in the world.

Scientists said in a video that they were "surprised to find that the miniature forms are in fact locally abundant and fairly common." The frogs likely escaped notice until now because of their tiny size and secretive habitats, hidden under damp soil or dense vegetation.

A South African court has ruled that the country's bid to withdraw from the International Criminal Court is "unconstitutional and invalid," in a stark rebuke to the government of President Jacob Zuma.

The so-called Islamic State's financial fortunes are bound to the amount of territory it controls.

And the group's dramatic loss of ground in its strongholds in Syria and Iraq is putting pressure on its finances, according to a new report from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation.

She's done it again.

Wisdom, a Laysan albatross thought to be at least 66 years old, has hatched yet another chick at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial in Hawaii.

Five people were killed, including four U.S. citizens, when a plane crashed into a shopping complex in suburban Melbourne, Australia, on Tuesday morning, according to police.

The Direct Factory Outlets mall was closed when it was hit by the twin-engine Beechcraft Super King Air, according to media reports. Police say nobody inside the mall at the time was injured.

The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un died under suspicious circumstances on Monday in Kuala Lumpur — and every day since then, the story of Kim Jong Nam's death has gotten stranger and more mysterious.

The body remains in Malaysia, despite demands by North Korea to release it. Malaysian authorities have performed an autopsy on the body but have not made the results public.

Updated 5:15 p.m. ET

In the dead of night last weekend in North Carolina's Alexander County, a massive concrete statue of a rooster disappeared from its perch in front of a poultry farm.

The white rooster stands about 4 feet tall and has a bright red wattle, Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman tells The Two-Way. It is valued at more than $1,000. But perhaps the most impressive aspect of the lawn ornament is its considerable weight — approximately 3,000 pounds, according to Bowman.

A bomb exploded in Iraq's capital city on Thursday, killing at least 45 people.

It happened on a street filled with car dealerships and garages in southern Baghdad, according to Reuters. Islamic State militants claimed responsibility in a statement released on social media that said the group was targeting Shiites Muslims.

Investigators are beginning to shed light on the mysterious, sudden death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's estranged half-brother in Malaysia on Monday.

Kim Jong Nam died en route to the hospital, after reportedly telling medical workers that he had been attacked at the Kuala Lumpur airport in broad daylight.

Now, Malaysian officials have taken three people into custody, as NPR's Elise Hu reports from Seoul. Here's more from Elise:

As Gambia's new president Adama Barrow settles into his new role, he is also taking steps to resuscitate international ties cut off by his predecessor Yahya Jammeh, including membership to the International Criminal Court and the Commonwealth of Nations.

The tiny West African nation has now formally informed the United Nations that it is reversing its request to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, made by Jammeh last October.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reportedly died in Malaysia under suspicious circumstances, according to multiple media outlets. Kim Jong Nam is also the eldest son of former leader Kim Jong Il.

Neither the Malaysian nor the North Korean governments have officially confirmed the death of the man who was once thought to be Kim Jong Il's successor. NPR has not independently confirmed the reports.

Authorities are closing live poultry markets in multiple Chinese cities and provinces, in an effort to stop the spread of the deadly H7N9 strain of the avian flu virus.

"Officials in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou – population 17 million – found more than 30 percent of the city's poultry markets are contaminated with the H7N9 strain of bird flu," as NPR's Rob Schmitz reports from Shanghai.

A bus packed with elderly tourists flipped onto its side on a highway exit ramp Monday evening in Taiwan near the capital, Taipei, killing at least 32 people, according to multiple news reports.

"The passengers, most of whom were senior citizens, were returning home from a tour of cherry blossoms at Wuling Farm in Taichung," according to Taiwan's Central News Agency. A total of 44 people reportedly were on board the bus, and all are believed to be Taiwanese.

The image that won the 2017 World Press Photo of the Year award was described by one jury member as the "face of hatred."

It shows a shouting, suit-clad gunman standing in an art gallery in Turkey's capital, one hand holding a weapon, the other pointing to the sky. On the ground next to him is the crumpled body of his victim, Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov.

The sudden deportation Thursday of an Arizona woman who had regularly checked in with U.S. immigration authorities for years has prompted a stark warning from Mexico's government.

Mexican nationals in the U.S. now face a "new reality," authorities warned in a statement.

This is day six without police patrolling the streets in Espirito Santo, a state in southern Brazil. And hundreds of army troops have not been able to quell a spasm of deadly violence there that has reportedly killed more than 100 people.

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