WPPB

Ian Stewart

Updated at 9:50 p.m. ET

A special celestial event is on the calendar for this Sunday night and experts are already raving:

"A full 62 luxurious minutes of totality," says Sky and Telescope Magazine.

"The Only Total Lunar Eclipse of 2019," promises NASA.

"UNPRESIDENTED," reads the giant headline. "TRUMP HASTILY DEPARTS WHITE HOUSE, ENDING CRISIS."

That shocking story was delivered on crisp newsprint to commuters around Washington, D.C., on Wednesday under what appeared to be the signature banner of The Washington Post.

Online, a website bearing an eerie similarity to the Post's described a secretive resignation, global celebrations and the swearing in of Mike Pence as president.

For more than a century, a 52-foot obelisk has stood in the center of Birmingham, Ala., a monument to Confederate soldiers and sailors who fought in the Civil War.

In 2017, amid a national reckoning on racial violence and Confederate symbolism, the city's mayor decided the monument should be covered up. Tall plywood walls were installed around its base, obscuring inscriptions on the pedestal.

For the first time in U.S. history, a leading cause of deaths — vehicle crashes — has been surpassed in likelihood by opioid overdoses, according to a new report on preventable deaths from the National Safety Council.

Americans now have a 1 in 96 chance of dying from an opioid overdose, according to the council's analysis of 2017 data on accidental death. The probability of dying in a motor vehicle crash is 1 in 103.

Early Saturday morning, nearly 200 people stood in the freezing cold outside a Maryland supermarket waiting to collect a small allotment of free food.

They were federal employees, there to pick up fresh produce and canned goods from the Capital Area Food Bank, which organized five pop-up food distribution centers for government workers.

Seven decades after being accused of raping a white woman, four African-American men were posthumously pardoned on Friday by the state of Florida.

The pardons of Samuel Shepherd, Walter Irvin, Charles Greenlee and Ernest Thomas – known as the Groveland Four — follow a long, violent story that had become symbolic of racial injustice in the state, and in Jim Crow America.

"Make no mistake, these men were victims," DeSantis said last month. In a statement released Friday, he explained that the "four men have had their history wrongly written for crimes they did not commit."

Roddickton-Bide Arm, on the island of Newfoundland, calls itself the "Moose Capital of the World." But this week, that small Canadian town is on the map because of a different animal: the harp seal.

The town's roughly 900 residents have been joined by at least 40 of the spotted gray seals — and they didn't come to see the moose.

A transgender woman says she was sexually assaulted in a North Carolina bathroom last month, according to police records.

Jessica Fowler, 31, and Amber Harrell, 38, have both been charged with sexual battery and second-degree kidnapping in connection with the alleged incident on Dec. 9 at a bar in downtown Raleigh.

Drop by drop, gallon by gallon, thieves have been draining the pipelines and coffers of the Mexican government.

Last year, $3 billion worth of fuel was stolen from Pemex, Mexico's state-owned oil company, according to the country's new president. But a crackdown by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has left many ordinary Mexicans struggling to find gas.

Updated at Jan. 9 at 3:13 p.m. ET

Phoenix police are collecting DNA evidence from all male employees of Hacienda HealthCare, where a patient in a vegetative state gave birth to a child Dec. 29.

Paul Whelan, the former U.S. Marine arrested on suspicion of spying by Russia, continues to be held in a Moscow prison.

Meanwhile, Russia announced on Saturday that the U.S. is holding a Russian national, but a top Russian official quickly dismissed any talk of a detainee exchange.

Updated Saturday at 2:50 p.m. ET

Seven people — including five children from Louisiana who were headed to Disney World — were killed in a crash involving two semitrucks and a number of passenger vehicles in Northern Florida on Thursday.

A for-profit higher education company will no longer collect nearly a half-billion dollars in student debt, now that the firm has reached settlements with 48 states and the District of Columbia.

Are you a "binge gamer"?

An unfocused office prankster?

A "me me me millennial"?

If so, the British army wants to recruit you.

It's all part of a new advertising campaign unveiled by the U.K. Defense Ministry aimed at 16- to 25-year-olds "looking for a job with purpose," according to a statement.

Police and family members have asked for the public's help as a search continues for a man suspected of shooting a 7-year-old girl to death in Houston.

Jazmine Barnes was riding with her mother and three siblings early Sunday morning east of the city when they were fired upon. According to police, a bearded white man in his 40s wearing a red hoodie pulled alongside their car in a reddish pickup truck and started shooting.

Jazmine Barnes died at the scene; her mother, LaPorsha Washington was shot in the arm and Jazmine's 6-year-old sister was injured by shattered glass.

A far-right populist who has been called the Donald Trump of Brazil has been sworn in as President of Latin America's most populous country.

Jair Bolsonaro, a retired Army captain who has no executive experience, has promised to crack down on criminals, roll back environmental regulations, restrict abortions and relax gun laws in Brazil.

Under tight security and with much ceremony, Bolsonaro took office Tuesday in the country's capital city, Brasilia; in the streets, firefighters misted enthusiastic crowds with water as they cheered on their new president.

It's known as Ultima Thule — "beyond the known world" — but on Tuesday a minor planet got a little less mysterious.

NASA's New Horizons probe successfully conducted the farthest-ever fly-by of an object in space when it sped past Ultima Thule in the first minutes of 2019.

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen traveled to Texas and Arizona on Friday and Saturday, citing an "unprecedented" increase in the apprehensions of families and unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border.

"The system is clearly overwhelmed," Nielsen said in a statement. Nearly 50,000 family units were caught by the U.S. Border Patrol in October and November, according to Department of Homeland Security data, a fourfold increase over the same period last year.

Japan will withdraw from an international organization established to limit whale hunts in an apparent attempt to resume commercial whaling, according to Japanese media outlets.

Public broadcaster NHK reports that government officials informed ruling party lawmakers on Thursday. The Asahi Shimbun, citing unnamed sources, said a formal announcement was likely "within days."

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