Vanessa Romo

On Nov. 8, 2016, Crystal Mason got out of work and drove through the rain to her home in Dallas. She walked through the door and tried to settle in for the evening. But her mother delivered something akin to a scolding.

"You have to go vote!" Mason's mother said, according to her attorney, J. Warren St. John, who spoke to NPR.

Things got a little heated at the Vatican this week when an Italian journalist reported that Pope Francis denied the existence of hell.

Apparently, the fiery 93-year-old avowed atheist reporter, Eugenio Scalfari of La Repubblica, set the social media world aflame after writing in Italian that when asked about the fate of "bad souls," the pontiff responded, "Hell does not exist."

The pope continued, according to Scalfari, saying (emphasis ours), "The disappearance of sinful souls exists."

Atlanta city officials are not saying whether they were strong-armed into paying the $51,000 ransom to hackers holding many of the municipality's online services hostage, but they did announce progress in restoring networks on Thursday.

Police officers are once again able to file reports electronically and some investigative databases thought to have been corrupted by the ransomware attack have turned out to be unscathed, the city says. The city's 311 system — which deals with things such as trash pickup and reporting of potholes — is also back in operation.

Evidence collected by London's Metropolitan Police indicates that the former Russian spy and his daughter who were poisoned by a rare nerve agent were first exposed to the deadly chemical at their home in Salisbury, authorities revealed Wednesday.

Time is running out for the city of Atlanta, which was given until Wednesday to pay off the cyberattackers who laid siege to city government data and are threatening to wipe the computers clean.

The California Department of Justice will join the investigation of the fatal shooting of Stephon Clark who was gunned down by two police officers after a chase that ended with the unarmed man dead in his grandparents' backyard earlier this month.

There is no greater burn than pretending you've never heard of something when that thing has 2.2 billion monthly active users. And Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, lobbed a fiery zinger at the world's leading social-media behemoth Friday when he asked on Twitter: "What's Facebook?"

He added fuel to the flame when he later deleted both company pages, becoming another tech billionaire jumping on the #DeleteFacebook movement.

The former Playboy model who is suing for the right to talk about her alleged affair with Donald Trump, before he was president, is not waiting for a court or judge to free her from a contract she says was contrived for the sole purpose of killing the story of the 10-month relationship.

In an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper on Thursday evening, Karen McDougal said Trump tried to pay her after the first time they had sexual relations.

Les Payne, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who spent his career at Newsday expanding coverage beyond local issues to include international stories first as a reporter, then as a columnist and editor — all while vehemently crusading for racial equality — has died at his home in Harlem, N.Y. He was 76.

Payne's son Jamal told Newsday that the retired journalist was working on a book about Malcom X when he had a heart attack in his home office Monday evening.

For years Harjit Masih has been talking about what happened outside of the Iraqi city of Mosul, the Associated Press reported. He and 39 other Indian men — all construction workers working on the Mosul University campus — had been kidnapped by members of ISIS as the extremist group waged its assault on the city.

A nun involved in a years-long legal dispute with pop star Katy Perry over a sprawling 8-acre former convent died in court Friday, according to The Associated Press.

Sister Catherine Rose Holzman, who had battled Perry and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, was in court for a post-judgment hearing related to the case when she collapsed. She was 89.

The Justice Department has taken the first step in banning the sale, manufacture or possession of bump stocks through new regulation, as Congress stalls in drafting a legislative prohibition.

Syrian government forces delivered another serious blow to eastern Ghouta Saturday after forces seized more ground, further isolating the Damascus suburb that has been controlled by rebel forces and under siege for five years.

Writer Sherman Alexie has decided not to accept a prestigious literary prize he was awarded in February, as he faces multiple allegations of sexual harassment.

Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical executive who has been publicly excoriated for sharply increasing the price of a lifesaving HIV drug and derisively referred to as the "Pharma Bro," was sentenced on Friday to seven years in prison for defrauding investors in two failed hedge funds and a drug company he once

On Wednesday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was fielding questions on steel and aluminium tariffs and on an abnormal exodus of White House staffers.

In each instance, she praised the achievements of the White House and President Trump. And then she let slip something that had, until then, been unknown to the public: Trump had scored a legal victory over a former adult film actress who allegedly had an extramarital affair with the president a decade before he ran for office, according to Sanders.

As Florida lawmakers draw closer to a vote Wednesday on a gun-safety package aimed at reducing school shootings, families of the 17 victims killed in the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are urging legislators to approve it.

The Senate passed a version of the bill on Monday and now the House is taking it up for what could be the final vote.

If passed, the bill would raise the legal age for buying rifles from 18 to 21, impose a three-day waiting period on all firearms sales and allow qualified school personnel to be armed on campus.

President Trump's proclivity for putting his name on buildings, steaks, ties and certificates is well-known. But former adult film actress Stormy Daniels says he failed to put his name on their contract.

Daniels, whose given name is Stephanie Clifford, filed a civil suit against President Trump on Tuesday alleging the nondisclosure agreement she signed just days before the 2016 election is invalid because it's missing Trump's signature.

In the seven days that have followed the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people, students from the Florida campus have moved from terror to grief to activism, inspiring a national youth-led protest against political inaction on gun reform.

On Wednesday, the Parkland students — still mourning and fueled by anger — made their way to the state capitol in Tallahassee to confront lawmakers to demand a ban on assault weapons.

A Thai court on Tuesday granted sole custody of 13 children to a reclusive Japanese businessman who fathered the babies through surrogates, putting an end to a bizarre and controversial legal battle involving the man police called a "baby-factory."

For a company that's all about the future of communication, Facebook is looking to the past to solve at least some of its problems.

After months of intense scrutiny over the role the company played in the 2016 presidential election, the social network giant announced it wants to use postcards to verify the identity of advertising buyers to prevent future foreign meddling.

A group of teenagers who say they are desperate for some action on gun control staged a silent "lie-in" outside the White House Monday, in the wake of the deadly Florida school shooting last week.

Just days after a monthlong hiatus from making megabucks-generating videos, YouTube vlogger Logan Paul is in trouble again for creating more questionable content.

Updated at 2:45 a.m. ET Wednesday

A series of earthquakes is rocking Taiwan, leaving at least four people dead and more than 100 injured, according to The Associated Press, which cites Taiwan's premier, William Lai.

The shaking started late Tuesday night local time, toppling buildings, destroying one bridge and buckling paved streets along the island's eastern coast. The quakes continue to jolt the area near Hualien County through early Wednesday morning.

The latest AP tally reports 225 people injured and more than 140 unaccounted for.

Here's a reminder that while you are out in the world buying groceries, picking up dry cleaning or catching up on The Crown, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is on the red planet doing work.

Updated 6:45 p.m. ET

Actor Mark Salling died Tuesday in what was reported to the coroner's office as a suicide by hanging. No official determination on whether it was suicide has been annouced. The 35-year-old former Glee star was weeks away from sentencing after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor.

Attorney Michael Proctor confirmed Salling's death.

German carmakers Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler are already facing an onslaught of outrage by animal rights activists and environmentalists for emissions research they conducted on monkeys, but new reports from two German news outlets say the companies also financed human testing.

Venezuela's pro-government Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the main opposition coalition won't be allowed to register for the presidential election, a decision that is fueling accusations of election rigging even before people head to the polls.

The ruling follows the government's decision, under President Nicolás Maduro and the United Socialist Party, to hold early elections, before April 30.

Casey Affleck will not be presenting the trophy for best actress at the upcoming Academy Awards, his publicist confirmed to the Associated Press Thursday.

It is customary for the previous year's best actor to return to present the best-actress award. Affleck won the award for his performance in Manchester By the Sea.

A panel of scientists and policy experts moved their Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to midnight on Thursday, citing President Trump's rhetoric on nuclear weapons, environmental deterioration due to climate change and a lack of trust in political institutions.

"We are very concerned with the unpredictability of the United States and how it's thinking of its nuclear weapons," Rachel Bronson, the president and CEO of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which created the clock, told NPR.

Pages