James Doubek

Updated January 12, 2022 at 9:04 AM ET

A simple word game is the newest social media and pop culture phenomenon: Wordle.

The task is to guess a five-letter word. You have six tries. After each guess, the tiles change colors to show which letters are not in the word (gray), which letters are in the word but in the wrong position (yellow) and which ones are correctly in the word and in the right position (green).

Updated January 9, 2022 at 10:06 PM ET

Actor, comedian and director Bob Saget has died at age 65.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office in Florida said deputies were called to the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando on Sunday after an unresponsive man was found in a hotel room.

Historic conservation experts in Virginia have pulled numerous pamphlets, newspapers, coins, bullets and other memorabilia from a copper box found at the site where a Robert E. Lee statue stood in Richmond.

A monitor group said 3,746 people were killed in the Syrian civil war in 2021, the 11th year of the conflict in the country.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said this week that the number includes 1,505 civilians, and among them were 360 children. About 600 Islamic State, or ISIS, members were killed and 158 from the Syrian Democratic Forces, which is an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias.

The Observatory is based in the U.K. but has a network of contacts in Syria.

The family of Daunte Wright says the conviction of former Minnesota police officer Kim Potter in Wright's death is a "bittersweet" moment ahead of the Christmas holiday, when "what we'll be able to look at is his urn on top of the fireplace."

Potter, who served as a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minn., for 26 years, mistook her handgun for a Taser and fatally shot 20-year-old Wright during a traffic stop in April.

Eighty years ago this week, a small group of American aviators fought in their first battle in World War II.

Their mission was unusual: They were mercenaries hired by China to fight against Japan.

They were called the American Volunteer Group and later became known as the Flying Tigers. Though only in combat for less than seven months, the group became famous at the time for its ability to inflict outsize damage on Japan's better-equipped and larger aircraft fleet.

Updated December 14, 2021 at 8:04 PM ET

Teams in western Kentucky are digging through mountains of debris and searching for survivors and bodies after tornadoes ripped through 200 miles of the state Friday night into Saturday.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said on Tuesday that 74 people were confirmed killed, while more than 100 remain unaccounted for.

Updated November 23, 2021 at 4:49 PM ET

A jury in Virginia has found a group of white nationalists who organized the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., liable of engaging in a conspiracy ahead of the violent demonstration, awarding the plaintiffs who brought the case more than $25 million in damages on Tuesday.

A new book about former President Donald Trump's final months in office reveals more details about his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, culminating in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

As ABC News chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl describes in Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show, Trump loyalists led a purge inside the administration.

"No disloyalty of the president would be tolerated. No dissent would be tolerated," Karl tells NPR's Steve Inskeep on Morning Edition.

President Biden welcomed the reigning NBA champions, the Milwaukee Bucks, to the White House on Monday, making them the first NBA champions to visit since 2016.

"In sport and in a democracy, unity perhaps is the most elusive thing and the most necessary thing," Biden said. "But that's who this team is, they're unified. That's who we are as a nation."

Biden praised the "power of a team's example in not just winning the title," adding that players "took a stand for justice and peace in the wake of Jacob Blake's shooting in Kenosha, Wis."

James Michael Tyler, the actor best known for playing the recurring character Gunther on Friends, has died at age 59 of prostate cancer.

He died at his home in Los Angeles on Sunday morning, his manager Toni Benson confirmed to NPR.

It has been 30 years since Dan Savage started his column "Savage Love" to answer questions about sex, love and relationships.

He's celebrating the anniversary with a new book, Savage Love from A to Z, an illustrated collection of essays with one for each letter of the alphabet.

Things have changed a lot from when he started writing about sex in The Stranger, Seattle's alternative weekly newspaper, in 1991.

A 3,500-year-old clay tablet that was looted from an Iraqi museum 30 years ago is headed back to Iraq.

Known as the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet, it was acquired by the company Hobby Lobby in 2014 for display in the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. U.S. authorities seized it in 2019, saying it was stolen and needed to be returned.

That return is happening Thursday at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. It is part of a group of about 17,000 looted antiquities that the U.S. agreed to return to Iraq. Some of them went back in July.

In the latest example of a wicked hot housing market, a 10-foot wide house in Boston has sold for $1.25 million.

Located in the city's historic North End neighborhood, the 2-bedroom 1-bath home was built in 1890, according to city tax records, though some accounts say 1862.

Students are destroying or stealing items at their schools, often in the school bathrooms, for what school administrators and police are blaming on a TikTok trend.

Updated September 1, 2021 at 11:58 AM ET

When a suicide bomber attacked the Kabul airport last week, the lives the 170 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members were cut short.

One of them was Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz of Wentzville, Mo. He was just 20 years old. Schmitz was only 6 months old when 9/11 happened and the U.S. went to war in Afghanistan.

NASA won't be ready to send astronauts to the moon by 2024 as planned because, among other reasons, their spacesuits won't be ready, the agency's internal watchdog found.

Arkansas, among the states hardest-hit by a new wave of coronavirus cases linked to the highly contagious delta variant, says it is down to eight unoccupied ICU beds statewide with which to care for COVID-19 patients.

Gov. Asa Hutchison, in a tweet on Monday, said the latest report highlighted "startling numbers."

The U.S. government announced new sanctions Monday on Belarusian government officials and wealthy allies of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, calling the measures a response to the regime's ongoing political repression and corruption.

Updated August 9, 2021 at 4:39 PM ET

The Department of Defense is moving to make COVID-19 vaccinations required for all department employees.

Slovenian powerhouse Tadej Pogačar officially claimed his second Tour de France victory on Sunday after dominating the field for most of the race's three weeks.

Pogačar, 22, pulled ahead in the general classification standings on a rainy stage eight and never gave up the leading rider's yellow jersey, winning three of the race's 21 stages.

Last year, Pogačar came to an unexpected victory after his rival Primož Roglič faltered in the penultimate stage time trial. At the time he was the youngest winner of the Tour in 116 years.

Pro cyclist Lachlan Morton wasn't officially in this year's Tour de France, but he rode the route anyway, by himself — and beat everyone to the finish in Paris by five days.

After starting shortly behind the official group on June 26, he crossed the unofficial finish line at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday: 3,424 miles in 18 days, including ascents up some of France's famously brutal mountains.

Morton rode around 200 miles each day, usually spending about 12 hours in the saddle before finding a place to camp for the night (or simply riding through the night).

There was one spot of good news amid the search for the dead in Surfside, Fla. A cat named Binx, who had lived on the ninth floor of the collapsed building, was found alive and reunited with his family.

"I'm glad that this small miracle could bring some light into the lives of a hurting family today and provide a bright spot for our whole community in the midst of this terrible tragedy," Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told reporters at a press conference on Friday.

The largest organization of insect experts in the world is dropping its common names for two insects — the gypsy moth and gypsy ant — because it says the names are inappropriate and offensive.

The Entomological Society of America said it would take input on new names for the moth Lymantria dispar and the ant Aphaenogaster araneoides.

Many scientific groups follow its lead in referring to insect species.

Updated July 3, 2021 at 11:37 PM ET

Officials paused search and rescue operations at the site of the partially collapsed condo building in Surfside, Fla., on Saturday, as crews prepare to demolish the portion that still stands.

Twenty-four people been confirmed killed; 121 remain unaccounted for.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in a press conference that search efforts were paused at 4 p.m., and that the unstable building poses a threat to the people involved in ongoing search operations.

Updated June 27, 2021 at 10:37 PM ET

As rescuers continue to comb through the wreckage in Surfside, Fla., Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Sunday evening that rescuers had identified another four victims in the partial collapse of the Chaplain Towers South building.

Updated June 26, 2021 at 10:51 PM ET

Rescue workers in Surfside, Fla., recovered a body amongst the rubble of the partially collapsed Champlain Towers South on Saturday, bringing the death toll to five.

Authorities also notified the families of three previously unidentified victims, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Saturday evening, changing the total to 156 missing and 130 accounted for.

Johnson County, Iowa, has a new name.

It will still be Johnson County. But henceforth, the county is taking its name from a different Johnson: Lulu Merle Johnson, a professor and historian who was the first Black woman to earn a Ph.D. in Iowa.

It was originally named for Richard Mentor Johnson, who served as vice president under President Martin Van Buren.

Two brothers living in San Francisco led a group that set a record this month for the longest highline walked in California.

The nylon line — about an inch or 2 wide and a few millimeters thick stretched across 2,800 feet in Yosemite National Park, from Taft Point across gullies to an old tree on another outcropping nicknamed "Your Mom."

Stepping out onto the line presented stunning views — and a drop of some 1,600 feet.

Researchers in Australia have confirmed the discovery of Australia's largest dinosaur species ever found.

Australotitan cooperensis was about 80 to 100 feet long and 16 to 21 feet tall at its hip. It weighed somewhere between 25 and 81 tons. For comparison, the Tyrannosaurus rex was about 40 feet long and 12 feet tall.

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