Rebecca Hersher | KUOW News and Information

Rebecca Hersher

Early Wednesday morning, a space capsule carrying 5,500 pounds of cargo approached the International Space Station.

The Dakota Access Pipeline's route takes it over four states and nearly 1,200 miles, from the Bakken oil fields in northwestern North Dakota through South Dakota, Iowa and down to a terminal in Illinois.

But one Missouri River crossing just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota has become the focal point of a fight over how the pipeline's route was analyzed and approved by the federal government.

A federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked an attempt by state health officials to remove Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood, allowing the women's health provider to remain in the federal program at least until a lawsuit is settled.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he will appeal the decision, which he said "is disappointing and flies in the face of basic human decency," the Dallas Morning News reported.

Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos has resigned amid a social media backlash over comments he made that appeared to condone pedophilia.

In a news conference Tuesday, Yiannopoulos said his resignation was effective immediately and praised the website as "a significant factor in my success."

He also explained his views on sex with minors, insisting that he does not condone statutory rape.

The United Nations says people are dying of starvation in north-central South Sudan, and it has issued a formal famine declaration for part of the country.

In all, nearly 5 million South Sudanese people do not have enough food, according to the U.N.'s food security arm, and that number is expected to rise to 5.5 million by the agricultural lean times in midsummer.

Of those, at least 100,000 people are at immediate risk of starving to death.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A federal appeals court says doctors in Florida must be allowed to discuss guns with their patients, striking down portions of a Florida law that restricts what physicians can say to patients about firearm ownership.

The economy in southwestern Pennsylvania has been hit twice, once by the collapse of big mining and steel employers, and again by the environmental destruction that accompanied those industries.

It's a part of the country that voted heavily for Donald Trump.

Ashley Funk grew up an hour outside Pittsburgh. The area feels kind of left behind with buildings named after mining companies and polluted ponds turned fluorescent, alarming colors.

The highest court in Washington state says a florist violated the state's anti-discrimination law when she refused to provide floral services to a gay couple.

Yahoo is warning some of its users that their accounts might have been breached by intruders using forged cookies, allowing them to access private information without knowing users' passwords.

Cookies are pieces of code stored by browsers to, among other things, keep track of whether a user is logged into a password-protected account. They're also used for innocuous functions, such as keeping track of online shopping cart contents.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

A 23-year-old man who was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents in Seattle on Feb. 10 says his constitutional rights have been violated, and he is suing the U.S. government for his release.

Daniel Ramirez Medina, who is currently being held by immigration authorities in Tacoma, Wash., is registered with the U.S. government under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

After two days of round-the-clock work to control water flowing over the Oroville Dam in Northern California, people who live downstream of the structure are allowed to return to their homes, officials announced Tuesday.

Nearly 200,000 people were affected by evacuations after water scoured enormous holes in two of the dam's concrete spillways beginning Sunday, raising concerns that the tallest dam in the country could fail.

In California, construction crews are trying to lower the level of Lake Oroville and repair emergency spillways at the Oroville Dam, about 75 miles north of Sacramento, to prevent catastrophic flooding downstream.

A secondary spillway was opened Monday after the main spillway, which is supposed to safely release water when the lake level is too high, had developed a huge hole, as we reported.

Health insurance companies Aetna and Humana have called off their planned merger, citing a federal court ruling last month that blocked the deal.

"While we continue to believe that a combined company would create greater value for health care consumers through improved affordability and quality, the current environment makes it too challenging to continue pursuing the transaction," Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said in a statement.

One of the sons of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky faces child sexual abuse charges in Centre County, Pa.

NPR's Jeff Brady reported that the charges against 41-year-old Jeffrey Sandusky come more than four years after his father was convicted of child sexual abuse.

"Jeffrey Sandusky was charged with 14 counts that include child sexual abuse and child pornography. His adoptive father, former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, was convicted in 2012 of abusing 10 boys," Jeff reported.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl appeared before a military judge for a hearing on Monday at Fort Bragg, N.C. He is charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy for leaving his base in Afghanistan in 2009.

The defense is arguing that Bergdahl cannot get a fair trial because Donald Trump has personally commented on the case, including referring to Bergdahl as a traitor and insinuating that he should be thrown out of a plane without a parachute.

Gov. John Kasich has put Ohio executions on hold until May, citing a legal challenge to the state's three-drug lethal injection protocol.

The governor's office released a statement saying it had postponed the execution dates for the next eight prisoners on death row, including the next prisoner to die, Ronald Phillips, who had his date moved from next Wednesday to May 10.

Updated at 6:35 p.m. ET

On Thursday, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a unanimous ruling that upheld a lower federal court's decision to temporarily block a Jan. 27 executive order on immigration.

The order suspends new-refugee admissions for 120 days, bans Syrian refugees indefinitely, and blocks travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries — Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia — for 90 days.

Demonstrators have taken to the streets in and around Paris to protest the alleged beating and rape of a black man by French police.

The unrest has gone on nearly a week, and "rioters have clashed with police and have set fire to trash cans, cars and a nursery school," reported Jake Cigainero for NPR's Newscast unit.

Archaeologists from the U.S. and Israel say they have found evidence that a 12th cave was used to store Dead Sea Scrolls, the ancient manuscripts dating back to the time of Jesus.

"This exciting excavation is the closest we've come to discovering new Dead Sea scrolls in 60 years," Oren Gutfeld of The Hebrew University said in a statement about the discovery. "Until now, it was accepted that Dead Sea scrolls were found only in 11 caves at Qumran, but now there is no doubt that this is the 12th cave."

Researchers have identified the first known example of one animal, a boxer crab, stimulating another animal, a sea anemone, to reproduce asexually.

From the outside, it's a bit of an abusive situation.

The crabs and anemones have a symbiotic relationship. The anemones live on the delicate front claws of the crabs, protecting the claws and helping the crab mop up bits of food. The benefit to the anemone is less clear — the crab controls how much food its sea anemones get, maintaining them as small "bonsai" versions.

It was a familiar scene for many in New Orleans East, part of the city's Ninth Ward.

"As helicopters hovered overhead and emergency response vehicles streamed into neighborhoods, it reminded them of [Hurricane] Katrina," reported Tegan Wendland of member station WWNO in New Orleans. "The area was hit hard by that storm, and now many families will have to rebuild again."

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards was sued Monday over his state's public defender system, which plaintiffs say violates the U.S. and Louisiana Constitutions by denying effective representation to poor people accused of crimes.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has granted an easement allowing the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under the Missouri River north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, paving the way for construction of the final 1.5 miles of the nearly 1,200-mile pipeline.

In doing so, the Army cut short its environmental impact assessment and the public comment period associated with it.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

A wall of dangerous storms is moving across the South, threatening communities in their path with high winds, severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes.

A French judge has ordered former French President Nicolas Sarkozy to stand trial over allegations that he violated France's campaign finance laws during his failed 2012 bid for re-election.

Sarkozy was eliminated from this year's presidential election in November when Francois Fillon defeated him in the first round of the primary for France's conservative party, as The Guardian reported.

Track and field's world governing body decided Monday to maintain Russia's suspension from international competition.

During a meeting of the International Association of Athletics Federations, or IAAF, the governing body's president, Sebastian Coe, told the AFP that Russia "could not be reintegrated into the sport before November."

In Afghanistan, the number of civilian casualties reached an all-time high in 2016, the United Nations reported Monday.

Nearly 11,500 civilians were killed and wounded in the country last year — including more than 3,500 children. It is an overall increase of 3 percent compared with 2015, which was the previous record-high since the U.N. began systematic documentation in 2009.

Among children, the latest numbers represent a staggering 24 percent increase in injuries and deaths.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet says wildfires that killed at least 11 people and caused more than $300 million in damage are mostly under control.

"[These are] the worst wildfires that Chile has suffered in its history ... [but] are now mostly under control," Bachelet said over the weekend, according to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. "That doesn't mean, however, that we are letting down our guard."

Afghan officials say more than 100 people died in avalanches over the weekend, after nearly 10 feet of snow buried some parts of the country around Kabul and east to the Pakistan border.

Dozens of houses were destroyed and "people were reported to have frozen to death, trapped in cars," according to the BBC.

Pages