Merrit Kennedy

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.

Conservationists are sounding the alarm over a South African proposal that would legalize and regulate the domestic trade of rhinoceros horn, as well as allow some limited exports.

A public comment period ended last week on the draft regulations from the Department of Environmental Affairs, published on Feb. 8 in the official government gazette.

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:

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