Merrit Kennedy

Two law enforcement officers have been killed during a massive manhunt for a murder suspect in Orlando, Fla.

Master Sgt. Debra Clayton radioed from a Wal-Mart shortly after 7 a.m. Monday, saying she was "attempting to contact a murder suspect," according to a statement from the City of Orlando. Other officers radioed two minutes later, reporting that an officer had been shot. The 17-year veteran of the department died after she was transported to a hospital.

Beijing is launching a new police force aimed at tackling its persistent smog problem.

This comes after a month of particularly severe air quality that left the capital and dozens of other Chinese cities blanketed in thick, brown smog.

French police have reportedly arrested more than a dozen people during raids linked to the high-profile robbery of reality TV star Kim Kardashian West in Paris last October.

During the robbery, a group of thieves burst into the private residence where Kardashian West was staying, held her at gunpoint, then escaped on bicycles with jewelry worth about $10 million.

Updated 5:30 p.m. ET

The intelligence report on Russia's interference in the U.S. elections concludes that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered an "influence campaign" that aimed to help President-elect Donald Trump.

A golden statue commemorating the plight of "comfort women" — a euphemism for the Korean women and girls forced by the Japanese to work as sex slaves in front-line brothels during World War II — has caused a diplomatic row between Japan and South Korea.

At the end of December, activists placed the golden statue of a young woman sitting in a chair in front of the Japanese Consulate in the southern city of Busan, South Korea.

Russia says it is beginning to draw down its forces fighting in Syria's war. It decisively entered the war in September 2015, and has been a major factor keeping Syrian President Bashar Assad in power.

This isn't the first time Russia has made this kind of announcement. "Last March, Putin also announced a withdrawal from Syria," NPR's Lucian Kim reports from Moscow. "Instead, Russia ended up intensifying its war effort."

Unexplained, short radio bursts from outer space have puzzled scientists since they were first detected nearly a decade ago.

The elusive flashes — known as fast radio bursts, or FRBs — are extremely powerful and last only a few milliseconds. The way their frequencies are dispersed suggests they traveled from far outside our galaxy. About 18 have been detected to date. They've been called the "most perplexing mystery in astronomy."

Hurricane Matthew. The earthquake in Japan. Flooding in the Deep South, China and Europe. Wildfires in Canada.

Last year sometimes felt like one natural catastrophe after another. Now, new figures from reinsurer Munich Re suggest that it was indeed a particularly bad year.

A crowded commuter train crashed into a bumper block and partially derailed as it pulled into Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal on Wednesday morning, according to N.Y. officials. The FDNY says at least 103 people sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

"It appears that the train was heading into the station, at 10 or 15 miles per hour, and did not stop," WNYC's Stephen Nessen tells our Newscast unit. "It hit a bumper block; the front two cars were lifted off the tracks. One of the rails actually pierced the bottom of the front car."

Beijing's sky appears blue at the beginning of the 13-second video. Then it completely disappears from view, blotted out by a cloud of brown smog.

The time-lapse video shot Sunday by Chas Pope, a British citizen, dramatically illustrates the extent of China's pollution problem. Pope says the thick haze moved into Beijing over the course of 20 minutes.

Dozens of Chinese cities have suffered heavy smog for nearly a month.

Syrian rebel factions say they are freezing their participation in peace negotiations, citing breaches of the cease-fire agreement brokered by Russia and Turkey.

This casts doubt on rebel participation in planned talks in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana, later this month.

"A cease-fire has technically been in place across Syria since Friday, and violence is lower than usual," NPR's Alice Fordham reports from Beirut. "But the opposition says the regime has pressed offensives in the suburbs of Damascus and a river valley northwest of the capital in violation of the agreement."

Gambia's president is defiantly refusing to cede power despite his loss at the polls earlier this month, as regional and international leaders are ratcheting up the pressure on him to step down.

"This country has been independent since 1965. And they want me to leave my country? Who are they to tell me to leave my country?" Yahya Jammeh said in a speech at the African Bar Associated on Tuesday night. "I will not be intimidated by any power in this world."

Tensions are rising in the Democratic Republic of Congo as the government cracks down on demonstrations against President Joseph Kabila extending his term past his constitutional two-term limit.

Human Rights Watch says it documented at least 26 deaths during protests Tuesday in multiple cities and called the country a "powder keg." It said it is still verifying the number of dead.

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