National News

An attorney for Carver County, Minn., announced today that no charges will be brought in connection with Prince's death and that the musician likely had no idea the vicodin pills he overdosed on were laced with the powerful opioid fentanyl.

"There is no evidence that any person associated with Prince knew that Prince possessed counterfeit pills that contained fentanyl," attorney Mark Metz said during a news conference. "Prince likely had no idea he was taking fentanyl pills that could kill him.

President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, has dropped a pair of defamation lawsuits he filed after BuzzFeed News published the infamous Russia dossier last year.

The embattled lawyer isn't conceding anything about the substance of what was detailed in the dossier, which is unverified, but says he has too much else on his plate to proceed now that he is dealing with a federal court case in New York.

"The decision to voluntarily discontinue these cases was a difficult one," said a lawyer for Cohen, David Schwartz.

Southwest Florida musicians and visual artists converge in Sarasota this Saturday for the latest episode of the Art, Rhymes and Beer music and art show series at the Sarasota Event Center.

Updated at 1:08 p.m. ET

Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez has been elected president of Cuba, officially ending the Castro family's decades of domination of the country's highest office. The Communist Party formally announced the presidency's transition from Raúl Castro on Thursday, in what might better be described as a coronation than an election.

Cuba's new President Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel grew up in the Cuban revolution and it's clear his mission is to make sure it survives.

Updated at 10:05 p.m. ET

Alabama has executed 83-year-old serial bomber Walter Leroy Moody by lethal injection.

Moody is the oldest inmate executed in the U.S. since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

It's getting easier to find top-notch, handcrafted whiskey, bourbon, vodka, and other spirits made in the U.S. With more than 1,500 craft distillers across the country, the American spirits movement is on the rise, and in Vermont, the industry is booming.

Over the past 15 years, the number of licensed distilleries in the Green Mountain State has increased nearly tenfold: from just three to more than 24, according to Vermont's Distilled Spirits Council.

Incomplete questionnaires for the 2020 census, including those that leave the controversial citizenship question unanswered, will still be included in the upcoming U.S. headcount, the Census Bureau's top official confirmed Wednesday to lawmakers.

Updated at 5:40 p.m. ET

The felony invasion-of-privacy case against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens can continue, Circuit Judge Rex Burlison ruled in St. Louis on Thursday. Many of Greitens' fellow Republicans have urged him to resign; he has refused.

Burlison announced he would not dismiss the case in response to a motion from Greitens' defense team, reports St. Louis Public Radio's Jason Rosenbaum.

Room 615 in Vladivostok's Hotel Gavan is a cramped, two-room "business suite" with green wallpaper and carpeting. Yet when former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il traveled to Russia's Pacific coast in 2002, the modest digs served as his presidential suite.

Basketball, Marijuana And Poetry: These Police Tweet More Than Crime Alerts

11 hours ago

Friday is April 20, a day that some people celebrate by smoking marijuana. The Police Department in Lawrence, Kan., is preparing for this week's pot holiday by sending safety tips via their official Twitter account, run by officer Drew Fennelly.

Those tweets have gotten thousands of likes, and they aren't the only ones. Fennelly says that using humor serves a purpose: The funnier the tweet, the more likely the department's updates reach a wider audience.

A Conversation with NPR's Carl Kasell

12 hours ago

Longtime NPR newscaster and radio personality Carl Kasell died Tuesday at age 84. He spent 30 years delivering the news during Morning Edition, and was official scorekeeper for the weekly news quiz show Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! WGCU's Mike Kiniry sat down with Kasell a week before he delivered his final newscast at the end of 2009.

An island-wide blackout hit Puerto Rico on Wednesday after an excavator accidentally downed a transmission line, officials said, as the U.S. territory struggles to repair an increasingly unstable power grid nearly seven months after Hurricane Maria.

Scott, Tribe Reach Deal On Gambling Money

13 hours ago

As legislative leaders hold behind-the-scenes talks about revamping the gambling industry, Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday announced a deal that will lead to the Seminole Tribe continuing to pay more than $300 million a year in casino money to the state.

Pages