death

More than a day after a powerful earthquake struck central Italy, rescue teams are desperately searching for survivors in the rubble of once-charming mountain towns.

At least 241 people died in the disaster, according to civil protection officials, The Associated Press reports. Many of the devastated communities are difficult to reach, and the exact number of missing persons isn't known.

Travelers

Jay Fishman, the chairman and former chief executive officer of the Travelers Companies, has died.

East Lyme PD / Facebook

Connecticut State Police are investigating after a human skull was discovered by a passerby on the property of a retirement community in East Lyme. 

A New York City man was charged Monday in Saturday's shooting deaths of an imam and his associate as they left a mosque in Queens. Police say the suspect, Oscar Morel, 35, of Brooklyn, is charged with two counts of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

Police Deputy Inspector Henry Sautner describes how the crime occurred:

Rarely has an actor not seen or heard made such a big impact.

Kenny Baker, the actor who played R2-D2 in six of the Star Wars films, died Saturday, his agent confirms to NPR.

Standing at 3 feet 8 inches tall, the British actor also appeared in The Elephant Man, Time Bandits and Flash Gordon, among other films.

"He was just a lovely guy," said agent Johnny Mans, "and I shall miss him terribly."

Wokandapix / Creative Commons

A driver chased by Hartford police got into a three-car accident in Bloomfield Sunday night and later died, Bloomfield police said Monday. 

At least two people were killed and more than a dozen injured in a shooting at a nightclub in southwestern Florida, in violence that police say began around 12:30 a.m. Monday. Three people have been detained for questioning, officials say.

The shooting took place at Club Blu Bar and Grill, restaurant and bar that's located in a strip mall on Evans Avenue. Officers who were called to the bar found several victims suffering from gunshot wounds.

Paul Sableman / Creative Commons

This hour, community leaders, activists, and law enforcement officers discuss the recent string of deadly shootings in Baton Rouge, Minnesota, and Dallas. We consider what's driving these horrific acts of violence. Is it racism? Our nation's gun culture? Something else entirely? And how do you talk to your kids about all of this?

Following the death of three law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge, La., on Sunday, President Obama said that "attacks on police are an attack on all of us."

Three officers were killed and three others were wounded in an encounter that began shortly before 9 a.m. Sunday. Louisiana law enforcement said they believe the gunman who shot at officers was killed at the scene. A law enforcement source confirmed to NPR the identity of the shooter as Gavin Eugene Long.

Three law enforcement officers were killed and three others were injured in Baton Rouge, La., when a suspect fired on officers outside a convenience store.

This comes less than two weeks after a gunman opened fire on police at a protest in Dallas, killing five officers.

Updated 4:00 a.m. ET Friday:

The French interior minister says 84 people have been killed. The four new reported deaths are thought to come from the list of critically injured.

Updated 11:00 p.m. ET Thursday:

A truck drove into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France, killing dozens of people on Thursday evening. The French interior minister says 80 people have been killed and 18 are in critical condition.

When Dallas Police Chief David Brown announced that Micah Johnson was killed by a robot with a bomb, it raised a lot of questions that we've been trying to answer. 

Updated at 10:00 p.m. ET with names of the victims and gunman

Two bailiffs were killed and a deputy sheriff was wounded in a shooting Monday afternoon at a courthouse in southwestern Michigan, according to Berrien County Sheriff L. Paul Bailey.

The gunman was shot and killed. The deputy sheriff was in stable condition, as was one civilian who was also wounded.

Bailey said the shooting took place on the third floor of the courthouse in St. Joseph, about 40 miles from the border with Indiana.

The man who fatally shot five police officers in Dallas may have had plans for a wider attack, the city's police chief said Sunday. Dallas Police Chief David Brown provided new details about the tense two-hour standoff that police had with the gunman before he was killed.

"We're convinced that this suspect had other plans," Brown told CNN, adding that the shooter "thought that what he was doing was righteous and believed that he was going to target law enforcement and make us pay for what he sees as law enforcement's efforts to punish people of color."

A woman who began streaming video on Facebook immediately after her boyfriend was shot by police in suburban Minneapolis, Minn., says he had been stopped for a broken tail light — and that he was licensed to carry a gun. The killing of Philando Castile, 32, is the second fatal encounter between police and a black man to gain national attention this week.

Former University of Tennessee college basketball coach Pat Summitt has died, according to a statement from the Pat Summitt Foundation. She was 64.

Summitt died peacefully, surrounded by loved ones at a senior living facility in Knoxville, Tenn., her son, Tyler Summitt, said.

"If there was ever a moment for all of us to reflect and reaffirm our most basic beliefs that everybody counts and everybody has dignity, now's the time," President Obama said in remarks during a visit to Orlando, Fla., to express his support for the victims of Sunday's deadly attack and their families.

As NPR's Scott Horsley tells our Newscast unit, "The president hopes his presence in Orlando will provide some support to the families of the 49 people who died in Sunday's massacre, as well as the dozens of people who are still recovering from the wounds they suffered."

Jo Cox, a member of the British parliament, has died after being shot in a village near Leeds.

The 41-year-old Labour politician was attacked earlier Thursday in the village of Birstall, within the region she represents, and later died of her injuries.

The BBC reports that Cox was both stabbed and shot in the attack. The broadcaster says a man has been arrested and police are not looking for any other suspects.

A second person, a man, was also injured in the attack and is expected to survive, The Associated Press reports, citing West Yorkshire Police.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A new law aimed at combating Connecticut’s opioid and heroin epidemic will go into effect on July 1, 2016. The legislation, Public Act 16-43, has been described as one of the most comprehensive opioid laws in the country and includes several key provisions -- among them: a seven-day limit on all first-time, non-chronic pain opioid prescriptions. 

rickpilot_2000, Wikimedia Commons

Two men have died and a woman and child had to be taken to a hospital after a party of four people set off from the beach at Hammonasset State Park Sunday evening.

Jeff Kern / Creative Commons

The country grapples with the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history after a massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida early Sunday morning left 50 people dead and wounded another 53. This tragedy brings together several big issues of the last few years: guns, gay rights, and terrorism.

1. Pulse Orlando nightclub in Orlando, Fla. (June 12, 2016)

Police say 29-year-old Omar Mateen opened fire at the club that calls itself the city's hottest gay bar. He took hostages, and after a three-hour standoff, police moved in. The gunman was killed, but not before perpetrating the deadliest mass shooting in recent United States history.

At least 49 people were killed, and more than 50 were wounded and taken to area hospitals. Mateen was killed during a firefight with police.

On Sunday, we lost one of our own.

Updated 3:15 a.m. ET

David Gilkey, an NPR photojournalist who chronicled pain and beauty in war and conflict, was killed in Afghanistan on Sunday along with NPR's Afghan interpreter Zabihullah Tamanna.

Update at 3:15 p.m. ET: Ali's Funeral Set For Friday

Muhammad Ali, the man considered the greatest boxer of all time, died late Friday at a hospital in Phoenix at age 74. He was battling respiratory problems.

He died of septic shock related to natural causes, with his family at his bedside, according to family spokesman Bob Gunnell.

Ali inspired millions by standing up for his principles during the volatile 1960s and by always entertaining — in the boxing ring and in front of a microphone.

Steven Sussman

If you were selecting a patron saint of jazz for Hartford, a strong contender for canonization would most certainly be Paul Brown, a miracle worker whose countless good works for the music and local jazz musicians over many decades brought great joy, peace and comfort to the capital city.     

Heather Brandon illustration / WNPR

As heroin and opiate addictions continue to spread among middle class communities, families who never thought they’d face this problem are finding out one simple truth: treating someone for an addiction can be really, really costly. 

Heather Brandon illustration / WNPR

When it comes to understanding heroin and opioid deaths, data matters. But across the country, medical examiners and coroners vary widely in just how much information they provide on death certificates.

The musician Prince had an appointment to meet with an addiction doctor the day after he died, a lawyer for that doctor said during a news conference this afternoon.

Minnesota Public Radio reports:

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