Delaware Public Media

Amy Held

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

It turned out to be the little sprout that couldn't.

The vaunted cotton seeds that on Tuesday China said had defied the odds to sprout on the moon — albeit inside a controlled environment — have died.

China's state-run Xinhua News Agency announced the news, simply stating: "The experiment has ended."

Eight people were arrested in Melbourne, Australia, accused in the trafficking of millions of dollars worth of illegal drugs into the country over a period of months, two of them airline cabin crew members accused of smuggling the drugs via "body packing," officials announced Wednesday.

There is more than just January's cold currently gripping the city of Westbrook, Maine. An immense, icy disk doing a solitary pirouette on the Presumpscot River is dazzling observers, local and distant alike.

Scientists say the disk is naturally occurring and has been seen before. Most of us have spotted eddies in flowing water, that is when a cross current creates a small whirlpool. But winter's cold adds a whiff of mystery to this phenomenon.

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport temporarily shut down water fountains in its Concourse A and is sanitizing them after several passengers became ill aboard a Tampa-bound Frontier Airlines flight on Tuesday.

At least six passengers were stricken and "the primary symptom was vomiting," Janet Scherberger, spokeswoman for Tampa International Airport, told NPR in an email. "It appears the six individuals did not have any connection to each other."

A federal judge in San Francisco has dismissed a lawsuit filed by family members and victims of the 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., that accused Facebook, Google and Twitter of knowingly supporting ISIS and helping the group spread its radical beliefs.

Fourteen people died and 22 were injured when Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik opened fire at a holiday office party on Dec. 2, 2015.

A dozen people have been injured in two separate car attacks, after authorities say motorists deliberately plowed through New Year's crowds celebrating in Germany and Japan just after the clock struck midnight.

In Western Germany, Münster Police say a 50-year-old man apparently set out on a rampage to kill foreigners in the first hour of 2019 in the city of Bottrop.

A man who says he is the brother of U.S. citizen Paul Whelan — who was arrested in Moscow last week on suspicion of spying — is proclaiming his brother's innocence and providing more detail to an opaque case.

On Tuesday, David Whelan tweeted a family statement, saying Paul Whelan was in Moscow to attend a wedding and that the family grew concerned after not hearing from the retired U.S. Marine on Friday, "which was very much out of character for him even when he was traveling."

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

The U.S. Strategic Command is charged with controlling the nation's nuclear operations, but conceded it missed the mark with a New Year's Eve tweet comparing the famed ball drop to a B-2 bomber dropping weapons.

"TimesSquare tradition rings in the #NewYear by dropping the big ball...if ever needed, we are #ready to drop something much, much bigger," read the now-deleted tweet from Stratcom's official account.

This week, 1-month-old Joy was vaccinated against hepatitis and tuberculosis. Those are standard childhood vaccinations, but there was something definitely non-standard about the way they reached Joy. They arrived by drone.

Joy and her mom, Julie Nowai, live on Erromango, part of Vanuatu, an island nation made up of some 80 Pacific islands, lying west of Fiji. With very few airfields, paved roads or available refrigeration in Vanuatu, around one in five children do not receive vaccines, according to the government.

A quick glance at the place where West Alexis and Secor roads meet in Toledo, Ohio, reveals just another intersection of concrete and capitalism: A Western Union, a gym and a chicken joint frame the flow of traffic. But out of a crack in the curb, a scrawny weed pushes forth that has come to embody a city's holiday cheer.

University of Toledo student Alyssa Emrick, 20, tells NPR that she and her family had often driven past the weed recently on their way to and from church. Then on Dec. 9, a light went off for her father, Troy.

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