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'M*A*S*H' Actor William Christopher Dies At 84

2 hours ago

William Christopher, an actor best known for his role as Father Mulcahy on the sitcom M*A*S*H, has died at the age of 84. Christopher's agent, Robert Malcolm, told The Associated Press he died early Saturday morning at home in Pasadena, Calif., after a battle with lung cancer.

In an effort to take advantage of the intimate relationships between stylists and their clients, a new law in Illinois will require salon professionals to receive training in domestic abuse-prevention as part of their licensing process.

The law, which goes into effect Sunday, aims to educate beauty professionals to recognize signs of abuse. But stylists won't be required to report violence, and are protected from any liability.

It's the most aspirational time of year, as people cast about for their resolutions — often resorting to the same old standbys they've tried, and abandoned, before.

This year, why not try something new? We happen to have a few suggestions on hand ...

For the Ads for Nicer Living project, NPR listeners are writing short ads pitching life's little joys, five of which will be produced by NPR.

Most of the submissions so far are about appreciationfor children's laughter, dogs, sunsets, warm socks, balmy breezes.

Updated Jan. 1 at 9:56 a.m. ET

At least 39 people were killed and 69 others wounded during New Year's celebrations Saturday after a gunman opened fire at an Istanbul nightclub. At least 16 of those killed were foreign nationals.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told reporters that the attacker entered the Reina nightclub and began shooting at random, NPR's Peter Kenyon tells our newscast. The killer then changed clothes and left, says the minister.

A Remembrance: The Great Animals That Died In 2016

22 hours ago

In a year that has become widely known as being the worst, a number of beloved artists and musicians have passed away. From Prince, to George Michael, to Carrie Fisher, to David Bowie, to Debbie Reynolds, the Internet has mourned and remembered some of the greats. But 2016 was also a big year for a different sort of celebrity deaths: the animal variety.

If you've been glued to your smart phone checking work email throughout the holiday season, you might want to consider relocating. French workers will have the "right to disconnect" outside of work hours, thanks to a new law going into effect Jan. 1.

Companies with more than 50 employees will be obligated to set up hours — normally during the evening and weekend — when staff are not to send or respond to emails.

The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution Saturday in support of the efforts by Russia and Turkey to end the violence in Syria and "jump-start" a political process.

Updated Jan. 1 at 10:25 a.m.

The final days of 2016 made for a dramatic time in diplomacy.

Updated at 6:25 p.m. ET Saturday

A pair of bombings hit a crowded market in Baghdad on Saturday morning. Security officials say the first blast went off at around 8 a.m. local time; as people gathered to help the wounded, a man detonated a suicide vest.

At least 28 people were killed and more than 50 others were wounded in the Iraqi capital. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.

NPR's Alice Fordham reports:

A Vermont utility company says it found Russian malware on one of it's computers. The discovery came after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security alerted utilities to the code associated with Grizzly Steppe, the name for what the Obama administration has called a Russian hacking operation.

The AP reported Friday that Simon & Schuster planned to move forward with publication of a book by Milo Yiannopoulos, in spite of harsh criticism. The forthcoming book, called Dangerous, is said to be about free speech.

Russia was ordered to vacate two compounds it owns in Maryland and New York, as part of the sanctions imposed Thursday by the White House to punish Russia for its meddling in last month's U.S. presidential election.

A North Carolina judge is temporarily blocking a law that would have limited the power of the state's incoming governor. Democratic Gov.-elect Roy Cooper defeated incumbent Republican Pat McCrory in November in a tight race.

British media reports citing an anonymous spokesperson say that Prime Minister Theresa May is harshly criticizing outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry for his speech condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

In November, the typically straitlaced Office of Government Ethics surprised observers with a series of tweets mimicking Donald Trump's bombastic style, exclamation points and all: "Brilliant! Divestiture is good for you, good for America!"

'Panda Grandpa' Pan Pan Dies In China

Dec 30, 2016

In the final days of a year that has become known for a number of celebrity deaths, 2016 struck again. The Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported this week that what is thought to be the world's oldest male panda has died in China at the age of 31 — around 100 in human years.

The number of law enforcement officers shot and killed in the line of duty increased sharply in 2016 relative to 2015, according to a preliminary report from The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

The overall number of officer fatalities rose by 10 percent, remaining lower than the average for the previous ten years.

You might not know Robert Hulseman by name but there is a good chance you've held his invention. The red Solo Cup is the go-to drinking vessel for picnics, parties and keggers.

Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Russia won't be expelling U.S. diplomats in a tit-for-tat response to U.S. sanctions, as his foreign minister had suggested earlier Friday.

Instead, he says he will decide how to move forward depending on the actions of President-elect Donald Trump's administration.

Trump took to Twitter on Friday afternoon to praise Putin's decision, calling it a "great move."

Is It Possible To Die Of Grief?

Dec 29, 2016

The actress Debbie Reynolds' death just one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, died has led some to speculate that grief from the loss might have been a contributing factor. There was similar speculation when actress Brittany Murphy's husband, Simon Monjack, was found dead at just 39, several months after the sudden death of his wife.

A circuit court judge in Baltimore has denied bail to Adnan Syed, the man whose conviction for a 1999 murder was the subject of the podcast Serial. Syed will remain in jail while he awaits a new trial. Syed was convicted in 2000 in the killing of his high school girlfriend Hae Min Lee, and sentenced to life in prison. A judge vacated that conviction last June.

Here's a timely reminder for all you would-be revelers out there: Be careful with your countdowns this New Year's Eve. There will be a little extra time to bask in the glow of a retreating 2016 — or curse its name, as the case may be.

Whatever your inclination may be, one thing is certain: Before the year is out, the world's foremost authority on time will be adding one more second to the clock.

Rashaan Salaam, the former college football standout whose body was found in a Boulder, Colo., park earlier this month, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to the Boulder County Coroner's office.

Updated at 6:15 p.m.

The White House has announced new actions targeting Russia in response to what U.S. officials say were cyberattacks intended to interfere with the U.S. election.

Russian authorities say that there was no explosion onboard the plane that crashed earlier this week, killing 92, though some prominent officials have yet to rule out terrorism.

In a press conference Thursday, members of a Russian government commission investigating the crash told reporters it could have been one of several factors, but that data from the crash ruled out an explosion.

"After deciphering the first flight recorder we have made a conclusion that there was no explosion onboard," said Lt. Gen. Sergei Bainetov, head of the air force's flight safety division.

On the top of Hawaii's Mauna Kea mountain Thursday, astronomers will point the large Subaru Telescope toward a patch of sky near the constellation of Orion, looking for an extremely faint object moving slowly through space.

If they find what they're looking for, it will be one of the most important astronomical discoveries in more than a century: a new planet in our solar system.

Agreement Reached On Syria Cease-Fire

Dec 29, 2016

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in Moscow that the Syrian government and Syrian opposition forces have agreed to a nationwide cease-fire to begin at midnight local time.

The Syrian army said the agreement excludes the Islamic State as well as Jabhat Fateh al Sham — the group formerly known as the Nusra Front — and all groups linked to them. Turkey's foreign ministry said the agreement excludes groups the U.N. deems terrorist organizations.

Though many of us lamented the never-ending saga of this year's U.S. presidential election, the news was too momentous to tune out. Indeed, many of the year's biggest stories on NPR.org were all about politics.

The top 20 most popular stories from the past year ranged from fact checks to mosquito bites, from Aleppo to taxes, and how to raise kids who will thrive, whatever the future brings.

Here they are: the most-read stories from a year we won't soon forget.

President Obama has designated two areas in the deserts of southern Nevada and Utah as national monuments, after years of fighting and debate over the management of both areas.

Updated at 1:39 p.m. Thursday

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