Vanessa Romo

A Thai court on Tuesday granted sole custody of 13 children to a reclusive Japanese businessman who fathered the babies through surrogates, putting an end to a bizarre and controversial legal battle involving the man police called a "baby-factory."

For a company that's all about the future of communication, Facebook is looking to the past to solve at least some of its problems.

After months of intense scrutiny over the role the company played in the 2016 presidential election, the social network giant announced it wants to use postcards to verify the identity of advertising buyers to prevent future foreign meddling.

A group of teenagers who say they are desperate for some action on gun control staged a silent "lie-in" outside the White House Monday, in the wake of the deadly Florida school shooting last week.

The story of the Jamaican women's Olympic bobsled team was already rife with cinematic drama and imbued with a fairy tale-like quality.

Just like their male counterparts of 30 years ago — who first made it to the Calgary Olympics in 1988 and on whom the movie Cool Runnings is based — Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian and Carrie Russell are hoping to become the first Jamaican women competitors in their winter games debut.

Penguins can't swipe right, but they can grab a big red heart in their beak and waddle it over to deliver at their beloved's feet.

Isreali police are urging the attorney general to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in two corruption cases involving bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

The recommendation is the result of more than a year of investigations into allegations that Netanyahu improperly accepted expensive gifts including pink champagne and cigars from Israeli Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer in exchange for favors.

California has a giant rodent problem.

To clarify, it's not that California has a huge problem with run-of-the-mill rats, it's that the state has an emerging problem with jumbo-sized critters.

Nutria, otherwise called Myocastor coypus, were thought to have been eradicated from the state's wetlands and rivers as far back as 1965, but they have mysteriously reappeared in three counties over the past year, California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Peter Tira told NPR.

Just days after a monthlong hiatus from making megabucks-generating videos, YouTube vlogger Logan Paul is in trouble again for creating more questionable content.

Seattle's mayor and city attorney announced plans to ask the courts to vacate all misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions that were prosecuted before it was legalized in Washington state in 2012 — a move that could affect the records of hundreds of people.

For years, pot convictions have had painful implications on the everyday lives of Washington's most vulnerable populations, Mayor Jenny Durkan said in a press conference Thursday.

"It could be a barrier to housing, to getting credit, to getting good jobs and an education," she said.

A federal judge concerned over the safety of jurors has ordered special protections for the panel of people who will eventually determine the fate of the notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, according to court documents obtained by NPR.

Updated at 2:45 a.m. ET Wednesday

A series of earthquakes is rocking Taiwan, leaving at least four people dead and more than 100 injured, according to The Associated Press, which cites Taiwan's premier, William Lai.

The shaking started late Tuesday night local time, toppling buildings, destroying one bridge and buckling paved streets along the island's eastern coast. The quakes continue to jolt the area near Hualien County through early Wednesday morning.

The latest AP tally reports 225 people injured and more than 140 unaccounted for.

Actor John Mahoney, best-known for his portrayal of the grouchy and sharp-witted father of the title character in the TV show Frasier, died Sunday. He was 77.

The Steppenwolf Theatre Company confirmed his death, saying in a statement, "John Mahoney passed away due to complications from cancer while in hospice care on Sunday."

For 11 years, from 1993 to 2004, Mahoney played the blue-collar, retired-cop foil to Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce, his dandy and effete sons on the NBC hit show.

Federal prosecutors have charged Douglas Haig, a man identified earlier this week as "a person of interest" in the Las Vegas mass shooting, with selling bullets he had modified to make them more potent — referred to as armor-piercing.

The 55-year-old aerospace engineer did not have a license to manufacture and sell the armor-piercing bullets he sold to Stephen Paddock in the weeks before the massacre that left 58 people dead. Paddock died at the scene from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Here's a reminder that while you are out in the world buying groceries, picking up dry cleaning or catching up on The Crown, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is on the red planet doing work.

Updated 6:45 p.m. ET

Actor Mark Salling died Tuesday in what was reported to the coroner's office as a suicide by hanging. No official determination on whether it was suicide has been annouced. The 35-year-old former Glee star was weeks away from sentencing after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor.

Attorney Michael Proctor confirmed Salling's death.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos suspended ongoing peace talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN) on Monday, after the leftist rebel group killed several police officers in a series of bomb attacks over the weekend. It is the second time this month, negotiations between the government and the last remaining rebel group have been put on hold.

German carmakers Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler are already facing an onslaught of outrage by animal rights activists and environmentalists for emissions research they conducted on monkeys, but new reports from two German news outlets say the companies also financed human testing.

Venezuela's pro-government Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the main opposition coalition won't be allowed to register for the presidential election, a decision that is fueling accusations of election rigging even before people head to the polls.

The ruling follows the government's decision, under President Nicolás Maduro and the United Socialist Party, to hold early elections, before April 30.

Casey Affleck will not be presenting the trophy for best actress at the upcoming Academy Awards, his publicist confirmed to the Associated Press Thursday.

It is customary for the previous year's best actor to return to present the best-actress award. Affleck won the award for his performance in Manchester By the Sea.

A panel of scientists and policy experts moved their Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to midnight on Thursday, citing President Trump's rhetoric on nuclear weapons, environmental deterioration due to climate change and a lack of trust in political institutions.

"We are very concerned with the unpredictability of the United States and how it's thinking of its nuclear weapons," Rachel Bronson, the president and CEO of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which created the clock, told NPR.

Because there are no second takes, re-shoots or do-overs at the Oscars, PwC, the accounting firm that tabulates votes for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has devised new rules for how winners are announced at this year's awards.

A German nurse serving a life sentence for murdering two patients is suspected of killing another 97 people by lethal injection.

If convicted, Niels Högel would become Germany's most deadly serial killer ever.

Högel, now 41, was charged with 97 further counts of murder on Monday. His third trial in the northern city of Oldenburg, Germany, is expected to start later this year, according to Reuters.

Caught in a renewed firestorm of controversy, Pope Francis apologized for remarks he made last week defending a Chilean bishop accused of covering up decades of sexual abuse. But the pontiff held fast in his support of the bishop, maintaining his innocence.

The Department of Justice intends to retry Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Salomon Melgen, after a federal judge declared a mistrial in the bribery and fraud case.

The notice, filed Friday, was brief and requested a retrial "at the earliest possible date."

"The decision to retry this case was made based on the facts and the law, following a careful review," the department explained in a statement. "The conduct alleged in the indictment is serious and warrants retrial before a jury of citizens in the District of New Jersey."

Put away the soy sauce and wasabi and get ready to be grossed out.

A Fresno man and avid lover of sushi — more specifically, salmon sashimi — pulled a 5 1/2 foot-long tapeworm out his own body. It had been growing inside of him for some time.

Dr. Kenny Banh recounted the gruesome story as a guest on a recent episode of "This Won't Hurt A Bit," a medical podcast that dissects odd or unusual health cases with experts.

Two teenage boys, struggling to make their way back to shore, were saved by a drone in Australia on Wednesday, in what officials say is a first-of-its-kind rescue mission by an unmanned aircraft — one captured by the drone's camera and later broadcast by Arab News and other outlets.

Walmart is the latest national company joining in the fight to try to help curb America's harrowing opioid epidemic, which now kills more people than breast cancer.

As the prospect of a long-term immigration deal for young people who were brought to the country illegally as children dwindles, the Justice Department is appealing a court ruling that blocked the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The department says it will take "the rare step" later this week of filing a petition asking the Supreme Court to intervene.

Nearly 90 women who allege they were sexually assaulted by a former USA Gymnastics doctor plan to speak about the abuse during a four-day sentencing hearing that started Tuesday.

Larry Nassar is accused of sexually abusing more than 140 women and girls as the doctor for Team USA and Michigan State University.

He has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Mich., to seven first-degree sexual assault charges. Before ordering a sentence, the judge in the case is allowing all of his accusers to speak if they want to.

Pages