Amy Held

Amy Held is an editor on the newscast unit. She regularly reports breaking news on air and online.

A 45-year-old Iraqi national who was granted refugee status in the U.S. is accused of having fought for ISIS and al-Qaida and is now facing extradition to Iraq on a murder charge.

The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Omar Ameen at his home in Sacramento on Wednesday. Ameen is charged in the 2014 death of an Iraqi police officer in his hometown, Rawah, just after it fell to the Islamic State.

Cramped cabins, knocked knees, aggrieved elbows: all real problems for today's flyers. But the Federal Aviation Administration has said they aren't its problems — announcing Tuesday that it will not regulate airline seat size and legroom.

The decision came in the form of a letter responding to a lawsuit brought by the group Flyers Rights.

Pope Francis has added his voice to the growing chorus of those decrying the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy on illegal border crossings that has resulted in the separation of parents and children traveling together.

Disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein appeared in a New York City courtroom Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape and one count of a criminal sex act, less than a week after a grand jury indicted him.

Weinstein, 66, had been expected to plead not guilty and remains free on bail.

Dozens of women have come forward to accuse Weinstein of persistent sexual misconduct.

Updated at 3:27 p.m. ET

Kate Spade, the designer who built a billion-dollar brand of luxury handbags and accessories, was found dead in her Park Avenue apartment in Manhattan on Tuesday. She was 55.

New York Police Department officials said that police received a call around 10:30 a.m. and that officers found Spade unconscious and unresponsive in the bedroom of her Park Avenue apartment. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

"It was a suicide," NYPD spokeswoman Arlene Muniz told NPR, without providing further details.

An overcrowded fishing boat, crammed with around 180 people, sank off the coast of Tunisia over the weekend, according to United Nations agencies. More than a hundred people, including children, are feared dead.

If confirmed, it would be the single deadliest capsizing in the Mediterranean so far this year, according to The Associated Press.

An Australian woman was sentenced to die by a Malaysian appeals court on Thursday after being convicted of drug trafficking in the country.

Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto's lawyer says the ruling will be appealed.

"An appeal will be filed in the Federal Court — the final appeal," lawyer Muhamed Shafee told CNN.

Exposto, 54, was arrested in December 2014 in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur on her way home to Sydney from Shanghai.

It's not your imagination. A recent spike in home runs has hit professional baseball.

In 2015, Major League Baseball's home run rate averaged 1.01 per game (it had been 0.86 the year before). In 2016, it grew to 1.16. Last year it was 1.26.

Theories have abounded as to why, many centering on the balls having been altered, or "juiced."

Ballistic blocks, earthquakes and ocean plumes: In the three weeks since Hawaii's Kilauea began erupting, it has produced some awe-inspiring — and dangerous — phenomena.

A judge in the U.K. on Wednesday sentenced a woman to life in prison, requiring her to serve at least 12 years before she is eligible for parole, after she was convicted of hurling sulfuric acid into the face of a man who had been her romantic partner.

Last week, a jury found Berlinah Wallace guilty of throwing the corrosive substance at Mark van Dongen, 28, with the intent to do grievous harm, as he slept in her Bristol apartment.

He survived the 2015 attack but suffered excruciating injuries.

Tourism helps keep the wheel of Las Vegas' economy spinning, but a hitch could slow the spokes as tens of thousands of hospitality workers are preparing to strike as early as next month.

The former school resource officer who remained outside during the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. — and resigned earlier this year amid intense public scorn — is receiving a monthly pension of $8,702.35.

The Florida Department of Management Services says Scot Peterson began receiving the payments last month, which do not include health insurance benefits.

A new case of Ebola has emerged in an urban area of Democratic Republic of the Congo, a troubling development in the country's new outbreak of the contagious and often fatal virus. Until now, the outbreak had affected a rural area.

Dr. Oly Ilunga, Congo's minister of health, announced Wednesday that a suspected case was confirmed in Mbandaka, a city of about 1.2 million people, and the capital of the Équateur Province.

"We are moving to a new phase of the epidemic," Ilunga says.

Michigan State University has agreed in principle to pay $500 million to settle claims by hundreds of women and girls who say disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar abused them.

Under the terms of the agreement, the school will pay $425 million to those 332 current claimants, with $75 million set aside in a trust fund for any future claimants who allege sexual abuse by Nassar.

Several people died as powerful spring thunderstorms raked a broad swath of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard on Tuesday, shutting roadways and train lines from southern New England through the Mid-Atlantic.

National Weather Service meteorologist Steven Weiss tells NPR the long squall line was primarily a wind event, with "lots of trees [and] power lines down," he says. "Common gusts of 40 to 50 mph, and some gusts were stronger than that."

The children of the White House press corps added a little levity to what has been a notoriously fraught relationship, standing in for their parents at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. on Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day.

President Trump, who has practically made a mantra of the term "fake news," greeted reporters' kids in the Rose Garden Thursday, signing Make America Great Again hats and press cards while expressing a preference for their company.

As it reopened its doors for business Wednesday, four wooden crosses painted white and decorated with hearts and balloons stood in front of a Nashville-area Waffle House, a stark reminder that just three days earlier it was the scene of seemingly random and lethal bloodshed.

Each victim killed in Sunday's shooting rampage had their photographs and names on one of the crosses: Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29; Joe R. Perez, 20; DeEbony Groves, 21; and Akilah DaSilva, 23.

A nameless faceless serial murderer, often known as the Golden State Killer, who terrorized several California counties from 1976 until 1986, now has a face and a name, officials say.

Authorities identified Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, of Citrus Heights, Calif., as the suspect Wednesday, more than four decades after the start of a crime spree consisting of about four dozen rapes and a dozen murders.

At a Sacramento press conference, officials said DeAngelo was arrested late Tuesday at his home outside the city, thanks to DNA analysis.

"I will never be fired," professor Randa Jarrar taunted critics after she blasted Barbara Bush as a racist not an hour after the former first lady's death was announced last week.

And the president of California State University, Fresno, has confirmed that she will keep her job.

Sir Alan Parker announced Thursday he was stepping down as chair of Save the Children International and resigning from the board. The move follows accusations of inappropriate behavior leveled against former leadership at the charity that bills itself as helping 50 million of the world's most vulnerable children each year.

"Given the complex mix of challenges the organisation and the sector is facing, it is my view that a change is needed," Parker said in a letter to his colleagues.

What began as an opportunity to talk real estate at a Philadelphia coffee shop and ended in the arrest of two black men has launched a week of outraged protest, accusations of racial discrimination and vows from Starbucks to do better.

Three Kansas men were convicted Wednesday of plotting to bomb an apartment complex where Somali immigrants lived and worshiped in Garden City, following a four-week trial in Wichita.

A strong breeze can toss around all sorts of detritus, but for residents of one California community on the edge of the Mojave Desert, where area gusts topped 50 mph Monday, it was tumbleweeds at the whims of the wind.

Lots of tumbleweeds.

"It looked like a war of tumbleweeds, like we were being invaded," Victorville resident Bryan Bagwell, 42, tells NPR. He says cleanup in Victorville, about an 85-mile drive from Los Angeles, was continuing Wednesday.

Updated at 9:25 a.m. ET, Friday

Timothy Cunningham, a 35-year-old epidemiologist at the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, vanished after leaving work Feb. 12, complaining he felt unwell; some seven weeks later, his decomposed body was spotted by fishermen in a rugged area along the banks of the Atlanta area's Chattahoochee River, according to officials.

Student protesters in Washington, D.C., entered their eighth day of occupying Howard University's administration building on Thursday, and while school officials have shown signs of bending to their demands, the students say it is not enough.

Seven weeks after a gunman opened fire on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., wounding 17 people and killing 17 others, the last survivor has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.

Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET

Personal information of up to 87 million people — mostly in the United States — may have been "improperly shared" with Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm used by the Trump campaign that has recently come under fire.

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty has been outspoken about ending sexual harassment, especially within the confines of Congress, and yet she conceded on Thursday that she failed to protect her own staff and provide a "safe and respectful work environment."

A fire broke out early Friday morning at a Michigan kennel, and is believed to have killed all 30 dogs inside, many of which were placed at the facility while their families went away on spring vacation.

Janet Rehfus, of Storm's Ahead Kennels in Nunica, tells NPR that the 30 dogs inside were boarder dogs alongside her own personal dogs, and she is devastated by the loss.

"The heartbreak we feel for the families is immeasurable," she wrote in an email. "We treasure each dog that stays with us."

Rehfus said she has spent the day contacting families individually.

They say love is eternal, but visitors to the Taj Mahal who want to soak in the architectural splendor built for an emperor's beloved late wife will have to keep their eye on the clock.

Visits will be limited to three hours beginning Sunday, according to the Archaeological Survey of India, which oversees the site.

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