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Merrit Kennedy

For the first time in birds, researchers say they have found evidence that a New Zealand parrot has the avian equivalent of an infectious laugh.

They call it "positive emotional contagion" — which they define as "outwardly emotional actions that spread from one individual to another." In humans, this is what happens when one person hears another laugh and also starts cracking up.

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.

The top U.S. Marine vowed in a Senate hearing to hold members of the Marine Corps accountable for sharing nude photos of female Marines online. But many members of the Senate Armed Services Committee responded with tough questions Tuesday, asking why more isn't being done to protect female service members.

Scientists have caught sight of a star extremely close to what they think is a black hole, whizzing around it at an extraordinary speed — at least twice an hour. As NASA put it, "This may be the tightest orbital dance ever witnessed for a likely black hole and a companion star."

The pair is in our galaxy, in an area dense with stars some 14,800 light-years from Earth.

Joni Sledge of the group Sister Sledge, best known for the iconic disco 1979 anthem We Are Family, has died at 60.

The group's publicist, Biff Warren, said Sledge was found at home in Arizona and they have yet to determine a cause of death. She had not been ill, he said.

A top U.S. military official told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that he accepts "full responsibility" for the widely criticized U.S. ground raid into Yemen in late January.

At the same time, Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of U.S. Central Command, said he was "satisfied" after a review found that the tragic outcome of the raid was not a result of "incompetence or poor decision-making or poor judgment."

The Pentagon is sending about 400 Marines to Syria to help local fighters wrest control of Raqqa, which ISIS considers its capital.

The Pentagon says the new troops will fire artillery rounds at ISIS fighters in support of the local forces, as well as provide security for the Marine artillerymen, as NPR's Phil Ewing reports.

These 400 troops will bring the number of U.S. forces on the ground in Syria to about 900, Phil says.

An iconic Maltese natural rock arch collapsed into the sea Wednesday during a powerful storm.

The "Azure Window" jutting off Malta's Gozo Island is printed on innumerable Instagram posts and travel brochures. It was also featured in movies and TV shows, including HBO's Game of Thrones.

Lynne Stewart, a leftist lawyer who defended radicals and was eventually convicted in a terrorism case herself, has died at 77.

Her son Geoffrey Stewart told NPR that Stewart died Tuesday. She was released from prison in 2014 because she suffered from terminal cancer.

Stewart, who defended Black Panthers and Weather Underground members over the course of her career and considered herself a "people's lawyer," is perhaps best known for representing Egyptian cleric Omar Abdel Rahman in his trial over plotting to attack New York City landmarks.

Brazil's recession was already of historic proportions. Today, government figures confirm that it has grown even worse.

The economy last year actually dipped more sharply than expected. The national gross domestic product contracted by 3.6 percent in 2016, statistics agency IBGE said Tuesday.

Israel has passed a new law that allows it to bar entry to foreign activists who support a boycott of the country.

The law takes aim at the BDS movement, which emerged more than a decade ago and is an acronym for "boycott, divest and sanction." The BDS movement aims to put economic pressure on Israel in support of Palestinian independence.

Would-be visitors "who support a boycott of Israel or who represent an organization that publicly calls for a boycott" may be banned, as NPR's Daniel Estrin reports from Jerusalem. Here's more from Daniel:

Poachers forced their way into a French zoo and killed a southern white rhinoceros named Vince, sawing off one of his horns before fleeing into the night.

The Thoiry Zoo said police are investigating the killing of the 4-year-old animal. The poachers remain at large.

After Germany canceled a political rally featuring a Turkish minister, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan likened the German government to the Nazis.

The comments mark a "new low in German-Turkish relations," NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Berlin. German officials condemned the inflammatory remarks but "stopped short of punitive actions against Ankara over the matter," Soraya says. "That's because Germany desperately needs Turkey's help to keep asylum seekers from flooding into Europe."

Updated 8:30 p.m. ET

Federal authorities have arrested and charged a man in St. Louis who they say is responsible for making at least eight threats against Jewish schools and organizations across the U.S.

The threats were allegedly part of the suspect's larger cyberstalking campaign against a woman with whom he once had a romantic relationship, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York said.

Nearly a week after Malaysia concluded that the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un died of poisoning from a powerful nerve agent, North Korea is claiming that he probably died of a heart attack.

Ri Tong Il, who once served as the North Korean deputy ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters Thursday that the man "probably died of a heart attack because he suffered from heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure," according to The Associated Press.

Starting today, the people of Flint, Mich., will have to bear the full cost of the water flowing through their pipes.

It's a frustrating prospect for Flint residents, who have been struggling with a crisis over lead-laced water that started nearly three years ago.

"We have seniors that are already making decisions between buying medication or paying their water bill," as one Flint resident told Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody.

Updated 5:35 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is moving to roll back an environmental rule intended to define which small bodies of water are subject to federal authority under the Clean Water Act.

The body of Kim Jong Un's slain half-brother has become the subject of a diplomatic turf war between North Korea and Malaysia, where he was poisoned earlier this month with a powerful nerve agent.

A high-level delegation of North Koreans arrived in Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur, on Tuesday to try to claim the body of Kim Jong Nam, NPR's Elise Hu reports from Seoul.

Millions of people in Chile are scrambling to find alternative sources of drinking water after authorities cut off service to the capital, Santiago, following torrential rains that contaminated the water supply.

An ISIS-claimed car bomb exploded near the Syrian town of al-Bab, killing at least 51 people in an area that Turkish-backed rebels recently seized from Islamic State militants.

At least 34 of those killed were civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitoring group. Witnesses told Reuters that the bomb went off in the village of Sousian, five miles north of al-Bab, at a rebel checkpoint crowded with people who had fled the fighting and were preparing to return to their homes.

In baseball, if a pitcher wants to intentionally walk a batter, he has to actually lob the four pitches outside the strike zone. It's a technique often used to bypass a particularly strong batter, or to set up a double play.

But that rule now appears poised to change.

The Major League Baseball commissioner's office has proposed a rule change to have the pitcher forgo actually throwing four balls — instead, the bench would simply signal to the umpire that the batter will be intentionally walked.

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