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Mamma Loves / Creative Commons

Pregnancy and childbirth bring on a range of emotions -- from excitement, to exhaustion, to the stress of physical pain.

Few, however, expect these experiences to result in human tragedy -- especially not in the death of a new or soon-to-be mother

This hour: the realities of maternal health and mortality. We check in with a team of doctors and reporters, and we also hear from you.

Billy Rose Theatre Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations

Barbara Cook died this week at the age of 89. An award-winning actress and singer, she was a much-loved performer in top American musicals, and later launched a legendary career as a concert and cabaret singer.

Academy Award-winning actor Martin Landau, known for his leading roles in North By Northwest and the 1960s Mission: Impossible TV series, has died. He was 89.

He died on Saturday of "unexpected complications" at the UCLA Medical Center, his publicist confirmed.

In his seven-decade acting career, Landau worked with a cast of Hollywood director greats, including Alfred Hitchcock, Francis Ford Coppola, Woody Allen and Tim Burton.

Taser International

The Office of the State's Attorney said it won't bring charges after the death of a Manchester man who was Tased and punched while in police custody. 

It all began rather simply.

"Mr. and Mrs. Brown first met Paddington on a railway platform," goes the opening line in the opening book of Michael Bond's Paddington Bear series. Readers, for their part, first met the orphan bear from Peru in 1958, in the pages of A Bear Named Paddington.

U.S. Embassy Guatemala / Creative Commons

Tony DiCicco died Monday at the age of 68. The Wethersfield native coached the United States Women’s Soccer Team in the 1999 World Cup.

Otto Warmbier, a U.S. citizen who was freed last week after more than a year in North Korean detention, has died. Doctors who examined him after his return to said he had "extensive loss of tissue" in all parts of his brain.

Warmbier, 22, had been in a coma since coming home to the United States last week.

The headline shocked the close-knit world of the surface Navy: Seven sailors aboard the destroyer USS Fitzgerald were killed, and other crew members injured, when the warship collided with a cargo vessel off Japan.

As the Navy family grieves, both it and the wider world are asking the same question: How did this happen?

Military commander, drug trafficker, CIA informant, dictator, convicted murderer: The strongman Gen. Manuel Noriega wore many labels during his tortuous path to — and fall from — the heights of power in Panama. Announcing Noriega's death at age 83 Tuesday, Panama's president said it "closes a chapter in our history."

Panama's President Juan Carlos Varela announced Noriega's death via Twitter. And while the cause of death wasn't immediately reported, Noriega had recently been dealing with complications from brain surgery; in March, it was reported that he was in a coma.

The actor Sir Roger Moore has died at 89 after "a short but brave battle with cancer," according to his family and his agent.

Moore played the role of James Bond from 1973 to 1985 and was knighted in his home country of England in 2003.

He was the third of six actors who have played James Bond in the official silver screen franchise, beginning with 1973's Live and Let Die. He starred in a total of seven Bond films over 12 years, ending with A View to a Kill in 1985.

Updated at 4:30 a.m. ET

Police in Manchester, England, confirm 22 people dead at Manchester Arena following an explosion after a concert by Ariana Grande. Nearly 60 people have been injured.

Authorities say they believe one man detonated an improvised explosive device, and was killed in the explosion. Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of the Greater Manchester Police said in a news conference,

Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET

Chris Cornell, the unmistakable voice and frontman of the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, died overnight in Detroit at the age of 52. He was discovered just past midnight at the MGM Grand Detroit, according to police.

The office of the Wayne County Medical Examiner on Thursday determined the cause of his death to be suicide by hanging, noting that a full autopsy has yet to be completed.

As a neonatal intensive care nurse, Lauren Bloomstein had been taking care of other people's babies for years. Finally, at 33, she was expecting one of her own. The prospect of becoming a mother made her giddy, her husband, Larry, recalled recently— "the happiest and most alive I'd ever seen her."

Jonathan Grado / flickr

Life after death, in one form or another,  has been examined by multiple disciplines for centuries: From theology, to physics, to philosophy, to medicine and more. But while the topic is taken seriously by some, it remains a focus of ridicule and skepticism by others.

Family and friends of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez gathered for a private funeral in his hometown of Bristol, Connecticut, on Monday.

The cars were piled on top of each other and bleeding onto the curb of the highway as they inched west and north towards the Lake Ann Park parking lot, each blasting their favorite from the windows; families walked down the trail and under the tunnel beneath the highway they'd just come from, holding the strings of the purple balloons floating just behind them; families walking back to their cars had no balloons and little expression. Altars of brown paper lanterns, unlit during the overcast day, peppered the path towards the off-white, square-paneled compound.

The school board in Newtown, Connecticut, wants Donald Trump to acknowledge the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Trump has praised a radio host who claims the shooting was a hoax. The board sent Trump an open letter in February asking him to repudiate that claim.

The letter says the town has been hurt by the viciousness of people who deny the shooting took place. At least three people have been arrested for harassing parents who lost children in the shooting.

Former Irish Republican Army commander Martin McGuinness, who left violence behind to choose peace — and who eventually met Queen Elizabeth II — has died at age 66. For nearly a decade, McGuinness served as Northern Ireland's deputy first minister.

From London, NPR's Frank Langfitt reports:

"McGuinness retired from politics in January, suffering from a rare genetic disease. Today, he was lauded for his crucial role in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement which brought peace to Northern Ireland.

Risk Of Death In Connecticut Linked To Where You Live

Mar 14, 2017

Connecticut has seen significant reductions in deaths from breast and colon cancer in the last three decades, but the state exceeds the national mortality rate for uterine cancer and three other cancers, as well as for mental health and substance use disorders.

Updated at 12:38 p.m. ET

Bill Paxton, prolific actor and big-screen fixture for decades, has died at the age of 61. In a statement released to media outlets Sunday, a family representative says Paxton died of complications from surgery.

"A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and filmmaker," the statement reads.

It's the stuff of spy novels.

Mary Tyler Moore, who died Wednesday, wasn't just beloved. She was the kind of beloved where they build you a statue. Moore's statue is in Minneapolis, where her best-known character, Mary Richards of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, worked for the fictional television station WJM. She'd already won two Emmys playing Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show, but Moore cemented her icon status when Mary Richards walked into that job interview. Even if she got off to a rough start with Lou Grant, her soon-to-be boss, who kept a bottle of whiskey in his desk.

The last person to leave footprints on the moon has died. NASA reported that Gene Cernan died Monday at the age of 82, surrounded by his family.

Gene Cernan flew in space three times, including twice to the moon. Cernan was big, brash and gregarious. And if he hadn't been lucky, he could have missed his chance to walk on the moon.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The number of deaths from heroin and synthetic opioids continues to rise in New England, according to data just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There aren't many Shakers left.

Sister Frances Carr, one of three remaining members of the religious group commonly known as the Shakers, died Monday at the age of 89.

According to the group's website, Carr died due to cancer at the Shaker community at Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester, Maine, "surrounded by the community and her nieces."

Updated at 1:39 p.m. Thursday

Debbie Reynolds, an iconic actress whose career spanned the big screen, the TV screen and the Broadway stage, has died at the age of 84. She died Wednesday, NPR has confirmed — just one day after the death of her daughter, actress Carrie Fisher.

Carrie Fisher, the actress who became a pop culture icon for her performance as Princess Leia in Star Wars, has died at age 60.

Fisher had suffered a massive heart attack last week on a flight from London to Los Angeles. On Sunday, her family said she was in stable condition.

A representative of Fisher's daughter, Bille Lourd, confirmed that Fisher died on Tuesday morning.

Fisher shot to fame at the age of 19, when she took on her instantly iconic role in Star Wars.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

A man who used his recovery from opioid addiction to inspire others has been shot dead in a confrontation outside a bar in Groton. Joey Gingerella, who was 24, was apparently intervening after he saw a man assaulting a woman in the parking lot of Ryan’s Pub. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Nancy Butler was first touched by God while listening to bible stories at the Methodist bible camp she attended when she was nine-years-old. By the end of the week, she was ready to give her life to God, first through through daily prayer and bible readings, later by founding one of the first inclusive evangelical churches that welcomed everyone regardless of sexual orientation.  God became the center of her life - but she kept it private from others. 

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