Merrit Kennedy

Ending a Democratic filibuster lasting more than 36 hours, the Missouri Senate has given preliminary approval to a controversial bill that shields religious groups and individuals who have religious objections to same-sex weddings.

The Dutch dentist was initially welcomed to the rural French town of Chateau-Chinon, which had been without a dental care provider for two years.

Then the horror stories started.

Tennis star Maria Sharapova has lost several major sponsors after admitting that she failed a drug test at the Australian Open.

The U.S. military has hit an al-Shabab training camp in Somalia using both drones and manned aircraft, killing at least 150 of the al-Qaida fighters, the Pentagon says.

The weekend strikes hit an al-Shabab training camp about 120 miles north of the capital, Mogadishu, NPR's Tom Bowman reports. Here's more from Tom:

"A Pentagon spokesman, Capt. Jeff Davis, [who provided the casualty figure] says U.S. intelligence indicated that al-Shabab was preparing for what he called a 'large scale attack' on American and Somali troops.

...

The Marshall Islands is on an unlikely mission — trying to press India, Pakistan and the United Kingdom to curb their nuclear programs.

The Pacific archipelago, which was the site of dozens of U.S. nuclear tests in the '40s and '50s, is suing the three countries in the U.N.'s International Court of Justice. The Marshall Islands says the three countries haven't carried out in good faith their obligations to pursue negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament.

European Union leaders and Turkey's prime minister have ended talks aimed at resolving the flood of migrants into Europe, signaling their leaders are closer to an agreement.

The Associated Press reports, "Luxembourg's prime minister says that European Union and Turkish leaders have ended talks ... but that more work is needed to finalize an agreement. Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said in a tweet early Tuesday that EU Council President Donald Tusk 'will take forward the proposals and work out the details with the Turkish side' before the next EU summit on March 17."

A Turkish court has sentenced two Syrian nationals to four years in prison each in a case tied to the drowning death of Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi and four others.

Photos of 3-year-old Alan's body lying facedown on a Turkish beach in September 2015 produced a groundswell of global sympathy for people fleeing violence in the Middle East and North Africa, and laid bare the human cost of their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean.

When astronaut Scott Kelly's space capsule touched down in Kazakhstan, it was a familiar scene to Mark Kelly, who is a retired astronaut and Scott's identical twin.

NASA is conducting a "twin study" on the brothers to explore what spaceflight does to the body. Multiple universities are involved in the research.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says he will march in the city's St. Patrick's Day parade, ending his two-year boycott over a ban on LGBT groups.

NPR's Hansi Lo Wang tells our Newscast unit that the mayor's decision comes after organizers allowed a new group to march in the upcoming parade. New York's is the largest and oldest St. Patrick's Day parade in the country.

A team of refugees will compete alongside athletes representing their home countries at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the International Olympic Committee has announced.

Previously, athletes who did not represent a country were not allowed to compete.

The team will likely number between five and 10 athletes, the committee said in a statement, and "will be treated at the Olympic Games like all the other teams."

The crumpled brown paper bag looked like trash.

But luckily for baseball card enthusiasts, a family in a rural Southern town that was sifting through its great-grandparent's possessions took a closer look.

The family, who wishes to remain anonymous, found seven identical baseball cards of famed Detroit Tigers outfielder Ty Cobb dating from a printing in 1909-1911. Previously, only 15 of this particular card were known to exist.

The Department of Health and Human Services says it is expanding its Head Start program in Flint, Mich., with $3.6 million in one-time funding.

It's an effort to combat the developmental effects on kids from the city's lead-laced water.

The effects of lead exposure are lifelong and can cause "learning disabilities, behavioral problems and mental retardation," according to the World Health Organization.

Removing any doubt about whether you're allowed to puff away on an electronic cigarette while airborne, the Department of Transportation has explicitly banned vaping on commercial flights.

At first glance, the front-page headlines in China's Southern Metropolis Daily on Feb. 20 looked like normal fare: coverage of a speech by President Xi Jinping and a politician's funeral.

But read vertically, and there's a message that seems to criticize a government crackdown on the media.

NPR's Anthony Kuhn in Beijing reports that an editor at the major tabloid has been fired for allegedly sneaking in the subversive message, and walks us through what it says.

Havana will meet the Rolling Stones later this month.

The band has announced they'll play a free open-air concert in the Cuban capital on March 25.

That will make them "the most famous act to play Cuba since its 1959 revolution," the Associated Press reports.

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