KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Colin Dwyer

In a series of memorandums sent to U.S. embassies, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has offered a glimpse of what President Trump's promised "extreme vetting" will mean for visa applicants when put into practice.

About this time last year, roughly two dozen daring young strangers bid farewell to the modern world as we know it, bearing their hunting equipment and their wiles into the remote Scottish highlands with the aims of creating a new community from scratch — cameras rolling for a reality show all the while, naturally.

There's no denying it: Los Angeles isn't exactly gentle on the ears.

That's one lesson, at least, from a comprehensive noise map created by the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. On the interactive U.S. map the agency released this week, which depicts data on noise produced primarily by airports and interstate highways, few spots glare with such deep and angry color as the City of Angels.

An airstrike by U.S.-led coalition forces leveled a school west of Raqqa and killed at least 33 people, according to two activist groups monitoring Syria. The groups allege the attack, which they say occurred overnight on Monday and Tuesday, hit a building that had been housing families fleeing violence in war-torn areas nearby.

By a largely party-line vote Tuesday, the Senate approved a bill that repeals Obama-era hunting restrictions on national wildlife refuges in Alaska. The House already voted last month to abolish those restrictions — which were instituted by the Fish and Wildlife Service in 2016 to protect predator species from hunters — and so the bill now heads to the desk of President Trump, who is widely expected to sign it.

North Korea fired a missile from its east coast Wednesday, in a test that appears to have failed in an explosion within seconds of launch, according to the South Korean Defense Ministry and U.S. Pacific Command. Both groups confirm the launch occurred at North Korea's air base in Wonsan.

The ill-fated missile, which marks the country's third test of the year and second so far this month, is seen as a response to annual joint military drills by the U.S. and South Korea.

Updated at 10 a.m. ET Thursday

Nevada has ratified the Equal Rights Amendment — roughly 35 years after a deadline imposed by Congress.

On Wednesday, the state Senate approved the long-dormant ERA, which among other things guarantees that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." The senators passed a measure sent to them by the state Assembly, which had already approved it earlier this week.

Updated at 10:15 a.m. ET Thursday

Students throughout Boston are getting a radically different view of the world, one laminated 24-by-36-inch sheet of paper at a time.

Beginning last Thursday, Boston Public Schools administrators have been sending social studies teachers in the second, seventh and 11th grades new maps for their classrooms — depictions that more accurately portray the sizes of Earth's continents.

David Rockefeller, who died Monday morning at the age of 101, leaves a legacy that eludes a simple description. At once the grandchild and heir of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller and a globe-trotting billionaire banker in his own right, Rockefeller also earned a reputation as a prodigious patron of the arts.

Rockefeller died of congestive heart failure at his home in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., family spokesman Fraser P. Seitel confirmed to NPR.

Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET Tuesday

With the stroke of a pen on Tuesday, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson separated a holiday that has for decades celebrated both Martin Luther King Jr. and Gen. Robert E. Lee in the state.

Under the bill that Hutchinson signed into law, King now has the third Monday of January entirely to himself, as dictated by federal law; Lee will now be commemorated in a state holiday on the second Saturday of October.

At a ceremony in New York on Thursday, one of America's most celebrated writers had a new reason to celebrate. Louise Erdrich won the 2017 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction for her novel LaRose, the story of an accidental shooting — and the fraught tale of family and reparation that follows.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

At a wide-ranging and occasionally tense news conference after their first in-person meeting Friday, President Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed trade and border policy — and had one notable exchange when Trump was asked about his unproven claims that former President Obama tapped the phones at Trump Tower last year.

For the first time in New Zealand's history, the country's lawmakers have granted a river the legal rights of a human. The parliamentary vote Wednesday, which caps more than 140 years of legal struggles, ensures the roughly 90-mile Whanganui River will be represented by two guardians in legal matters that concern the waterway.

Surely, Oakhurst Dairy would have done well to heed the immortal words of the '80s hair band Cinderella: "Don't know what you got (till it's gone)."

The milk and cream company based in Portland, Maine, likely never appreciated the serial comma — also known as an Oxford comma — so much as it did Monday, when the lack of that little curved stroke cost the company an appeals court ruling that centered on overtime rules for drivers.

Once the front-runner in France's presidential election, mainstream conservative candidate Francois Fillon is now confronting serious doubts he will even make it to the final round of voting. That uncertainty only deepened for the scandal-plagued politician Tuesday, as French authorities officially announced they are investigating Fillon on allegations he illegally diverted public money.

An oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan crew members aboard appears to have been hijacked off the coast of Somalia, which would be the first time a large commercial ship has been taken by Somali pirates since 2012.

Two former high-level Penn State administrators pleaded guilty Monday to misdemeanor charges of child endangerment, for their roles in covering up child sex abuse by disgraced assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Former Vice President Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Tim Curley each took a plea bargain that — if accepted by the judge — will carry a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. As part of the plea bargain, the felony charges they originally faced were reduced to misdemeanors.

Olly the Jack Russell terrier forgot the first rule of skills competitions: It's generally best to avoid falling flat on your face.

In a bombshell announcement Monday, Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon told reporters in Edinburgh that she will seek the authority to hold a second independence referendum for Scotland.

Citing a "brick wall of intransigence" from British Prime Minister Theresa May, Sturgeon asserted that the only way to preserve Scottish interests in the midst of the U.K. exit from the European Union is to put matters directly in the hands of Scottish voters.

The maximum workday for first-year medical residents just got substantially longer. The group that sets rules for training doctors announced Friday it will be scrapping the 16-hour cap on shifts worked by doctors who have just graduated from medical school.

As of July 1, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education will allow these first-year residents, also known as interns, to work 24 hours without a break — and sometimes as long as 28, if a particular transition between doctors demands it.

Oh sure, the Cassini spacecraft has been orbiting Saturn since 2004, capturing breathtaking images of the beringed gas giant and illuminating a once-obscure pocket of our solar system for the sake of scientific inquiry.

But — you're surely asking — what good is all that if the craft hasn't taken any quality photographs of space ravioli?

The U.S. added 235,000 jobs in February, while the unemployment rate nudged down a tenth of a percentage point to 4.7 percent. The monthly report released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics fell roughly in line with economists' expectations: Healthy economic growth continuing January's strong showing.

Updated at 4:06 p.m. ET

Washington state is asking a federal judge to apply the restraining order that temporarily halted President Trump's initial travel ban to the revised ban he signed Monday.

In the span of 93 days, Chris Bertish crossed more than 4,050 nautical miles of Atlantic Ocean — and he conquered this lonely crossing standing up. When the South African surfer entered English Harbour on the island of Antigua on Thursday, he was riding the same massive stand-up paddleboard that bore him from Morocco's Agadir Marina roughly three months ago.

Gunmen dressed as medical staff stormed a military hospital in Kabul on Wednesday morning, killing at least 30 people and injuring dozens more in a raid that lasted hours. In a statement published on the Islamic State-affiliated Aamaq news agency, the militant group claimed responsibility for the assault in the Afghan capital.

The attack on Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan hospital ended midafternoon local time, after several hours of floor-by-floor clashes with Afghan security forces left all four attackers dead, according to Gen. Dawlat Waziri, an Afghan defense ministry spokesman.

For the first time in two decades, South Korea is increasing the reward money it's offering North Korean defectors for classified information. And the hike in the cash reward is no pittance: The South Korean government is quadrupling the amount, from roughly $217,000 up to $860,000.

That sum would be paid to "people who provide intelligence and knowledge that can enhance South Korea's security," the Yonhap news agency reports.

Thomas Starzl, the doctor who pioneered liver transplant surgery, has died at the age of 90. In an announcement on its website, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center said Starzl died peacefully at his home on Saturday.

For the second time in less than two weeks, an Indian-born man in the U.S. has been shot by an attacker who, before firing, allegedly shouted, "Go back to your own country." Deep Rai, a Sikh man, was wounded in his Seattle area driveway on Friday night.

Authorities have not yet found the unknown assailant, who has been identified by Rai as a stocky white man about 6 feet tall.

At least 6.2 million people in Somalia — or just about half the country — are grappling with the prospect of an acute food shortage due to deepening drought. And on Saturday, Somalia's prime minister made it clear that the conditions are exacting a stark human cost.

Over a two-day span, at least 110 people died of hunger in just a single region, Hassan Ali Khaire said Saturday during a meeting with the Somali National Drought Committee.

Supporters of President Trump are gathering at locations across the U.S. on Saturday, in a bid to challenge what rally organizers call the country's "seditious fringe." In a series of demonstrations dubbed the "March 4 Trump" — or the Spirit of America Rallies — organizers have pledged to provide "forgotten voices a mechanism so they can be heard."

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