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Mourners gathered Saturday to pay their respects to deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at a funeral mass in Washington D.C.

The towering conservative jurist will be buried in a private ceremony following the service at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, NPR's Nina Totenberg reports to our Newscast unit.

"The shrine, a colorful and large church, is not far from where the justice served for some 30 years," Nina says.

Harper Lee, the author of the classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird, has died in her hometown of Monroeville, Ala. The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer was 89.

Monroeville city officials confirmed reports of Lee's death to Alabama Public Radio. Her publisher, HarperCollins, also confirmed the news to NPR.

Her famous novel about a young girl's experience of racial tensions in a small Southern town has sold tens of millions of copies and been translated into dozens of languages.

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will pay their respects to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who will lie in repose at the Supreme Court on Friday.

The first family will not attend a brief private ceremony at the court in the morning. According to the White House schedule released Thursday evening, the Obamas will arrive in the afternoon, after general visiting has begun.

Despite gains in car safety, 2015 saw the largest percentage rise in motor vehicle deaths in the past 50 years, according to the National Safety Council. Cheaper gas and a stronger economy were likely key factors in the rise, the nonprofit group says.

His career ranged from teaching law in Egypt to attending the historic Camp David summit of 1978 and then to leading the world's pre-eminent international organization. Former U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali has died at age 93.

The diplomat's death comes days after news emerged that he had been admitted to a hospital in Cairo — an event that prompted Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to call Boutros-Ghali to check on his health.

The late Justice Antonin Scalia will lie in repose at the Supreme Court on Friday. The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., according to sources close to the Scalia family.

In a tradition that dates back to 1873, Scalia's Supreme Court chair and bench were draped with black wool crepe today. The court has also placed a black drapery over the courtroom doors.

The last high court justice to lie in repose at the Supreme Court was Chief Justice William Rehnquist in 2005.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, perhaps the leading voice of uncompromising conservatism on the nation's highest court, was found dead Saturday, Chief Justice John Roberts has confirmed. Scalia, who had been staying at a luxury ranch in West Texas, was 79 years old.

Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Ficre Ghebreyesus and Elizabeth Alexander were born two months apart in 1962, he in Eritrea, she in Harlem. They didn’t meet until 1996. He was an artist and a chef at a New Haven Eritrean restaurant he owned with his brothers. She was a poet and professor. She had been teaching at the University of Chicago, where she had also met a senior lecturer named Barack Obama. She married Ghebreyesus. She delivered Obama’s 2009 inaugural poem. In 2012, a few days after her husband’s 50th birthday, he died abruptly. Her new book, “The Light of The World,” tells that story.

BMX rider Dave Mirra, who for years dominated his sport even as he helped others embrace it, has died at age 41. Police in Greenville, N.C., say they found Mirra "sitting in a truck with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound."

Police found Mirra in a parked vehicle shortly after he had visited friends in Greenville, where he had lived for years as an active member of the community. Mirra is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Rhode Island’s legendary rascal king, Buddy Cianci, died Thursday morning.

Cianci was hospitalized with stomach pain while taping ABC6 On the Record, a TV show, Wednesday night.

He died at age 74 at about 8:30 Thursday morning, according to a former aide, Artin Coloian.


Osseous / Creative Commons

Dr. Bill Petit spent Sunday, July 23, 2007 playing golf with his father. The day was sunny and hot and a great day to be outside. His wife and two daughters spent the day at the beach. Life was good - until it wasn't.

Within 24 hours, his wife and daughters would be murdered, his home burned, his belongings gone. The trauma would render him unable to return to his medical practice. 

Security forces are now in control of a university in Pakistan, hours after militants stormed the campus firing on students and teachers. Officials are still tallying the casualties; so far, at least 20 people are reported dead.

The four attackers died in the gun battle that followed the attack, according to local reports. No clear claim of responsibility has been made; an initial claim that attributed the violence to Pakistan's Taliban has been cast into doubt.

NPR's Philip Reeves reports:

Glenn Frey, 67, a founding member and guitarist of The Eagles, died on Monday in New York City of complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia, according to a statement on the band's official website:

"The Frey family would like to thank everyone who joined Glenn to fight this fight and hoped and prayed for his recovery. Words can neither describe our sorrow, nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community & millions of fans worldwide."

Piano Piano! on Flickr.com / Creative Commons

I was literally jotting down a few thoughts about Pierre Boulez – the modernist French composer/conductor/musical tastemaker, who died last week at 90 – when the news arrived about David Bowie.

British actor Alan Rickman, a veteran of dozens of films, has died at age 69. Recently, Rickman was most well-known for portraying the complicated villain Severus Snape in the films based on J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books.

"Rickman had been suffering from cancer," The Guardian reports.

Morrow Long / Creative Commons

One person has died and three others were injured when their car fell through the ice on a pond at a Connecticut state park.

A Veteran's Son / Creative Commons

The remains of a Vietnam-era Army veteran are being removed from the Connecticut state veterans' cemetery because he was convicted of killing three people.

Legendary rock musician David Bowie, who influenced generations of musicians and fans, died on Sunday, two days after his 69th birthday.

A statement posted on his Facebook page and confirmed by his publicist, Steve Martin, said Bowie died peacefully, "surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer."

Rock Icon David Bowie Dies At 69

Jan 11, 2016

Iconic rock musician David Bowie has died of cancer at age 69. The news was announced in a statement on Bowie's social media sites:

"David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer," it read.

Bowie's death was confirmed by his son, Duncan Jones, who tweeted, "Very sorry and sad to say it's true. I'll be offline for a while. Love to all."

Connecticut VA Healthcare System

The federal Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is investigating the death of a patient who was found in a public bathroom at the West Haven VA hospital last month. 

Pierre Boulez, the French composer and conductor whose career spanned from the avant-garde post-World War II era to the computer age, has died, according to the French culture ministry. He was 90. Boulez famously challenged his peers and his audience to rethink their ideas of sound and harmony.

This essay first appeared in the 2010 book This Is NPR: The First Forty Years, a collection of writing by NPR staff and contributors.


I should have cared more, but I didn't. I should have cried, but I didn't.

He meant so much to me.

But the day John Lennon died, my life and his music were never more distant.

The shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., was the 355th mass shooting in the U.S. so far this year — or more than one per day on average so far in 2015 — according to groups monitoring such attacks in recent years.

Amtrak Police are investigating a train accident that left one man dead and another injured. Both were hit by an Amtrack train just before noon, police said. No passengers on the train were injured.

Protesters in Minneapolis clashed with police Wednesday night, as demonstrations over the police shooting of a black man intensified.

Minnesota Public Radio reports:

"A gathering of hundreds of protesters at a north Minneapolis precinct grew tense Wednesday night, after police cleared the entrance of the station where some had camped since Sunday after Jamar Clark was shot by police.

China's President Xi Jinping has condemned the Islamic State for killing a Chinese man held hostage by the extremist group. But in keeping with China's long-standing policy of not intervening in distant conflicts, he did not specify what action, if any, China might take.

Christiaan Triebert / Creative Commons

The Paris bombings and shootings are the latest in a string of attacks by the Islamic State. Mourners around the world have gathered to show support for the victims and world leaders are responding politically and militarily. This hour, national security expert and Connecticut native Scott Bates discusses what the appropriate response should be.

We also hear from a University of Connecticut student responding to racist graffiti on his friend Mahmoud's door.

Paris Attacks: What We Know On Saturday

Nov 14, 2015

Updated at 9:30 p.m. ET

As Paris assesses the full toll of Friday night's terrorist attacks that hit six locations in and around the city, here's what we know so far:

The Victims

The attacks that began around 9:20 p.m. local time killed 129 people, French officials say, and left at least 352 more wounded — with 99 of them in critical condition. The victims were attacked at several sites across the French capital:

Updated at 1:22 a.m. ET

In the wake of controversy of any kind, even terrorist attacks, U.S. politics is never far behind. The American political response — from President Obama to the candidates vying to replace him — in the hours following the Paris attacks has been unsurprisingly split along party lines.

What is interesting, however, is that Democrats, who are set to debate Saturday night, have kept their responses generally to thoughts and prayers — with little in the way of policy prescriptions.

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