WCBE

Merrit Kennedy

Wondering how many kinds of trees there are? There's now a database that can answer that.

Scientists from the U.K.-based Botanic Gardens Conservation International say they have compiled the first-ever comprehensive list of all known tree species, totaling 60,065 different kinds.

Updated at 6:00 p.m. ET

Three explosions went off near the bus of Germany's Borussia Dortmund soccer team on Tuesday evening in the city of Dortmund, local police say.

The team said on Twitter that one of its players, defender Marc Bartra, suffered a broken wrist and is being treated in a hospital. The injury required surgery.

Amnesty International says there were fewer executions worldwide last year than the year before — but the number of death sentences handed down is the highest it has ever recorded.

In its annual report, Amnesty estimates that China carried out more executions than all the other countries put together. The human rights group says China put thousands of people to death. The exact figure is classified as a state secret and is not included in Amnesty's worldwide total.

North Korea is threatening "tough counteraction" after a U.S. Navy strike group was routed toward the Korean Peninsula following the rogue nation's continued ballistic missile and nuclear testing.

"We never beg for peace but we will take the toughest counteraction against the provocateurs in order to defend ourselves by powerful force of arms and keep to the road chosen by ourselves," the official Korean Central News Agency reported in English, quoting a Foreign Ministry official.

Dylann Roof, who gunned down nine people in the basement of a historically black church in Charleston in 2015, pleaded guilty to murder charges at a South Carolina state court.

In exchange, a circuit judge is expected to hand down a life sentence Monday afternoon, as The Post and Courier reported.

For the second consecutive year, aerial surveys show severe coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia.

While severe bleaching events have occurred three other times in the past 20 years — in 1998, 2002 and 2016 — this year marks the first time it's known to have happened two years in a row. Scientists say the damage is caused by higher water temperatures due to global warming.

In an elaborate ceremony, Thailand's king has signed the country's military-backed constitution. The document paves the way for Thailand to hold elections in the coming months, but critics say it only solidifies the power of the military.

Updated at 12:18 p.m. ET

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes says he is temporarily stepping aside from the committee's probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, as the House Ethics Committee opens an inquiry into whether he improperly disclosed classified information.

Nunes will continue to serve as the committee's chairman and remain involved in other matters before the panel. Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, will take the lead on the Russia investigation.

A dog is being credited with saving lives by intervening to stop a suicide bomber who was attempted to enter a wedding party near Maiduguri, Nigeria.

Army radio says that the dog grappled with the teen girl bomber until the explosives went off, killing them both, as NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports.

"Most Belbelo villagers were reportedly at the wedding when the dog pounced on the would-be suicide bomber, who was reportedly hovering on the outskirts of the ceremony on Sunday morning," Ofeibea adds.

A huge, internally flawless, 59.60-carat diamond called the "Pink Star" went for a whopping $71.2 million at auction in Hong Kong — the highest price ever for a jewel.

The oval gem was purchased at Sotheby's by Hong Kong-based jewelry company Chow Tai Fook in a bid placed over the phone by the chairman, who renamed the jewel "CTF PINK STAR" in honor of his late father.

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio routinely pointed to the notorious, outdoor Tent City Jail he opened in the 1990s as a symbol of his "tough on crime" stance. Inmates live in tents through the sweltering Arizona summer heat and are issued old-fashioned striped prison jumpsuits and pink underwear.

Now, it's shutting down.

This story starts with the mystery of a missing cow.

University of Utah researchers placed seven cow carcasses in Utah's Great Basin Desert, and set up cameras to learn about the behavior patterns of local scavengers.

But a week later, researcher Evan Buechley returned to one of the sites and found no sign of the cow.

A powerful South African union federation that had been a key ally of President Jacob Zuma has become the latest group to join the rising calls for him to resign.

"There has never been so much pressure on him to go, from allies and opponents," NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports, adding that Zuma's problems began with the widespread perception that he was mired in corruption scandals.

Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET

Russian investigators say an "explosive device" ignited and ripped through a train car as it was traveling in between metro stations in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Monday afternoon. A second, unexploded device was found at a different metro stop.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided that despite the historic flub at this year's Oscars, PricewaterhouseCoopers will continue to be involved in the balloting and ceremony — with a few new safeguards.

In case you've somehow forgotten, the accounting firm handed presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the wrong envelope for Best Picture winner.

Since the murder of North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un's half-brother in Malaysia last month, the two countries have been embroiled in a diplomatic spat over his body.

Malaysia's prime minister says his country is prepared to release the body of Kim Jong Nam and allow an unspecified number of North Koreans to depart, in exchange for the return of nine Malaysians who had been blocked from leaving North Korea. He said a plane carrying the Malaysians had already taken off from Pyongyang.

For years, a State Department employee allegedly received tens of thousands of dollars in gifts from Chinese intelligence agents and failed to report the repeated contacts to U.S. officials.

Candace Claiborne pleaded not guilty at a federal court appearance Wednesday to charges of obstructing an official proceeding and making false statements to the FBI, over her relationship with the Chinese agents.

As China prepares to impose a domestic ban on the ivory trade, a new report has found that the price of raw ivory there is plummeting.

It's good news for Africa's elephants, which have been poached by the thousands for their tusks. Many of those tusks are then smuggled to China, which has been one of the world's largest markets for the banned material.

Updated 6:45 p.m. ET

In Washington, D.C., U.S. Capitol Police have identified a suspect in Wednesday's incident in which a driver "nearly struck" police officers and shots were fired.

Capitol Police communications director Eva Malecki identifies the suspect as Taleah Everett, 20, who appears to have no fixed address.

Malecki says the officers observed an "erratic and aggressive" driver near the Capitol on Independence Avenue at 9:22 a.m. ET and tried to carry out a traffic stop.

In a victory for Flint residents, the state of Michigan has agreed to spend up to $97 million for new water lines in the city of Flint, which has been struggling with a crisis over lead in its water for the past three years.

A federal judge at the U.S. District Court for Michigan's eastern district approved the agreement Tuesday. Within three years, authorities must examine water service lines for at least 18,000 households and replace those made of lead and galvanized steel.

Updated at 4:30 a.m. ET Thursday

British authorities have made eight arrests in their investigation into Wednesday's attack in London, police said Thursday morning.

Mark Rowley, the national lead for counterterrorism policing, told reporters that there were four dead, including the attacker, and 29 people have been treated in hospitals. Seven people are in critical condition, he said.

Police had earlier said there were five dead including the attacker.

Before Dyann Roof shot dead nine parishioners at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C., in 2015, he told his friend Joey Meek about his murderous plans during an alcohol and cocaine-fueled night.

Meek, 22, was sentenced Tuesday to 27 months in federal prison for concealing knowledge of a felony and then making false statements to the FBI.

A green sea turtle in Thailand that drew international sympathy when it emerged that she had consumed nearly 1,000 coins thrown into her pool has died.

The turtle nicknamed Omsin, the Thai word for "piggy bank," had an hours-long emergency surgery to remove the coins earlier this month. But she never woke up from a second emergency surgery.

A tree crashed onto a group of people enjoying a swim at the base of a large waterfall in Ghana, and local authorities tell wire services that at least 17 people were killed in the freak accident.

The revelers got caught in a rainstorm on Sunday, according to a statement from the Minister of Tourism. She added that "many" were killed and injured, and that they were mostly student groups visiting the area.

Quarterback Tom Brady led the New England Patriots to one of the greatest comebacks in football history at the Super Bowl this year. Immediately afterward, his game-winning jersey was stolen from the Patriots' locker room in Houston.

Now, police say it has been recovered in Mexico. The NFL stated that it was found "in the possession of a credentialed member of the international media."

A man entered the National Gallery in London on Saturday afternoon, approached a painting by British master Thomas Gainsborough, and proceeded to attack it with a "sharp object."

A Metropolitan Police Service spokesman tells NPR that a 63-year-old man named Keith Gregory, "of no fixed abode," was charged with causing criminal damage to a National Gallery painting.

The head of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said that there is still no evidence that the Obama administration wiretapped Trump Tower, as President Trump has claimed, even after the Department of Justice provided to the committee documents related to the allegation on Friday.

In 2016, a mass bleaching event caused unprecedented destruction to the Great Barrier Reef and other coral reefs around the world.

Now, a new study in Nature has concluded that securing a future for coral reefs "ultimately requires urgent and rapid action to reduce global warming."

It finds that local measures, such as protecting reefs and water quality, ultimately yield little protection against bleaching caused by higher water temperatures.

This frog really lights up a room.

The South American polka dot tree frog initially appears unremarkable. But researchers in Argentina recently got a huge surprise when they shone an ultraviolet light on it, revealing that the creature is actually fluorescent and glows bright blue-green.

Updated at 2:40 p.m. ET

The Justice Department has announced charges against four people, including two Russian security officials, over cybercrimes linked to a massive hack of millions of Yahoo user accounts.

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