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The United States has become a less safe place for journalists, and the threats they face are becoming the standard, according to a new report by an international press freedom organization.

Reporters Sans Frontières, or Reporters Without Borders, dropped the U.S. to No. 48 out of 180 on its annual World Press Freedom Index, three notches lower than its place last year. The move downgrades the country from a "satisfactory" place to work freely to a "problematic" one for journalists.

A London water provider is asking people to please, please, stop pouring concrete down their drains.

The consequences are heavy: Thames Water says a "concreteberg" the weight of a blue whale is blocking three Victorian-era sewers. "It goes without saying that pouring concrete down the drains into our sewers isn't going to do any good," said Thames Water.

The mass is longer than a football field and weighs a whopping 115 tons (or 105 metric tonnes).

India's oldest private airline, Jet Airways, was one of the first carriers to emerge as the country's economy opened up in the early 1990s. At one time, it boasted more commercial aircraft than any other airline on the subcontinent.

But earlier this week, that once-dazzling fleet of 120 planes was down to just seven. And before dawn Thursday, after months of wooing investors for cash that just didn't come, Jet Airways landed its last plane on the tarmac at its home base in Mumbai — at least for now.

A tour bus has crashed in Portugal, killing at least 29 people and injuring dozens, authorities said.

The incident occurred Wednesday evening on the island of Madeira, a vacation destination known as the pearl of the Atlantic. The bus swerved off a winding street in the coastal town of Caniço and then tumbled down a hill. Many of the victims are German citizens, whose identities have not yet been made public.

The Trump administration has announced new sanctions and penalties against Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua aimed at both ending the rule of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and weakening Cuba's communist regime.

One of the measures will allow lawsuits against foreign companies operating on property in Cuba that was seized from U.S. citizens during the Cuban revolution — a reversal of more than 20 years of U.S. policy.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This morning, the American people will see for themselves at least some of what Robert Mueller knows.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Virginia Hall is one of the most important American spies most people have never heard of.

Her story is on display at the CIA Museum inside the spy agency headquarters in Langley, Va. — but this is off-limits to the public.

"She was the most highly decorated female civilian during World War II," said Janelle Neises, the museum's deputy director, who's providing a tour.

Updated at 6:07 a.m. ET Thursday

North Korea says leader Kim Jong Un has overseen the testing of a "new-type tactical guided weapon." With nuclear negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea stalled, Kim emphasized that he is continuing to upgrade his country's military.

Hours later, North Korea also demanded that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo be removed from nuclear negotiations. Pyongyang's foreign ministry accused Pompeo of misrepresenting comments Kim made last week, according to the North's official news agency and reports.

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