Aamaq news agency via AP
As U.S.-backed forces bear down on the de facto capital of the Islamic State group, the militants have taken their strategy of hiding behind civilians further than ever before, effectively using the entire population of Raqqa as human shields.
A belt of land mines and checkpoints has been laid on roads in and out the northern Syrian city to prevent escape. All men have been ordered to wear the jihadis' garb of baggy pants and long shirts, making it difficult to distinguish militants from civilians.
Hundreds if not thousands of Syrians who fled other parts of the country now live in tents in the streets, vulnerable to warplanes or ground fighting. Enormous tarps have been stretched for blocks in the city center to hide the militants' movements from spy planes and satellites.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Some members of Congress are convinced it's time for a full-scale, independent inquiry into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 election like the investigations into the Sept. 11 attacks and the 2008 financial downturn, NBC News reports.
Congress and the FBI are investigating whether President Donald Trump's campaign had any illegal contact with the Russians last year, but Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee are calling for an independent review.
Its chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., admitted to meeting with a secret source at the White House to look at intelligence reports without notifying fellow committee members.
Getting an independent investigation off the ground won't be easy, particularly in such a partisan political climate, observers say. It needs funding, bipartisan buy-in and more.
Get More at NBC News
The Texas Department of Public Safety says three people who died in a two-vehicle crash Tuesday in West Texas were storm chasers. The Suburban apparently ran through a stop sign, DPS investigators say. The Weather Channel released a statement Tuesday evening. "This afternoon we learned that three people died in a car accident in Texas, including two contractors for the Weather Channel."
Time to celebrate?
NFL fans could see an enhanced flow of play and fewer restrictions on how demonstrative players can be in their jubilation after big plays.
At the busy league meetings Tuesday, owners passed several rules changes, adopting resolutions they believe will speed the game and improve player safety. They also put off until their May gathering in Chicago potentially allowing a bit more creativity in player celebrations.
Commissioner Roger Goodell asked that any adjustments in the rules be tabled so he could meet with players to "bring clarity to the rules while allowing players more ability to celebrate" while avoiding over-the-top demonstrations. He can expect lots of feedback from those players.
Pediatric cancer research is one of the least funded and proposed budget cuts to NIH will deplete it even more. A family whose child died from pediatric cancer is testifying on Capitol Hill Wednesday, March 29, to save the funding. Tammi and Jason Carr in Michigan founded the ChadTough Foundation to honor their son Chad, who died at age 5 after battling a brain tumor. News4’s Shomari Stone reports.
Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images
President Donald Trump is vowing to step up efforts to combat the nation's opioid addiction crisis, and he's tapped New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to lead the fight.
Trump convened an emotional roundtable Wednesday with Christie, members of his cabinet, law enforcement chiefs, recovering addicts and advocates. It was the first public event tied to the launch of a new addiction commission that Christie, a longtime Trump friend and formal rival, will chair.
Courtesy of David Neevel
This Twitter account is the latest to burn President Donald Trump online, and it's doing it in a whole new way. On Tuesday, @burnedyourtweet joined Twitter with one purpose: sharing video of a robot printing Trump's latest tweets and burning them.
After one day of actively tweeting at Trump, the account has over 10,000 followers. In its Twitter bio, the account describes itself as "giving Trump's tweets the attention they deserve." "The goal with this robot was the same as with a lot of my robots: finding small, but not necessarily simple, ways of making life better," said its inventor, engineer David Neevel.
President Donald Trump's move to roll back Obama-era regulations aimed at curbing climate change comes as the coal industry is reeling from job losses, bankruptcies, pollution restrictions and growing competition from natural gas, wind and solar.
Trump on Tuesday ordered a review of the Clean Power Plan, which seeks to reduce emissions from coal power plants, and the lifting of a moratorium on the sale of coal mining leases on federal lands.
Lee Jin-man/AP, File
Let's say you're North Korea and you have this nuclear device you really want to test. And let's say you'd rather some of the more sensitive details remain private.
Physicists, geologists, imagery analysts, some of the best militaries in the world, monitoring posts set up by non-proliferation organizations — beating the technology arrayed against you will be no mean feat.
As soon as you detonate your device, seismographs all over the world are going to pick it up. If it has a decent yield, it will look like a moderate earthquake, but not to the experts — who will quickly identify it as a man-made explosion. Military "sniffer" spy planes — probably already in the area because your preparations have been caught by spy satellites — will soon be scouring the air for samples of elements that can be used to analyze your blast.
But, it turns out, they might not actually find very much.
Bill O'Reilly's joke about a congresswoman's wig and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's dressing down of a reporter have spurred black women to take to social media in protest.
Getty Images, File
A 25-year-old Indonesian man has been swallowed whole by a python on the island of Sulawesi, villagers and news reports said.
A six-minute video on the website of the Tribun Timur publication shows villagers slicing open the python's carcass to reveal the legs and torso of the dead victim, named Akbar.
Junaedi, the secretary of Salubiro village in West Sulawesi province, told The Associated Press that villagers began searching for Akbar on Monday night after realizing he hadn't returned from working on his palm oil crops the previous day.
Getty Images (File)
A bank in Cyprus investigated accounts associated with President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, for possible money-laundering, two banking sources with direct knowledge of his businesses here told NBC News.
Manafort, currently under scrutiny for his Russia ties, was associated with at least 15 bank accounts and 10 companies on Cyprus, the sources said. At least one of those companies was used to receive millions of dollars from a billionaire Putin ally, according to court documents.
After questions were raised, Manafort closed the accounts, the banking sources said.
A spokesman for Manafort told NBC News in a statement that all the accounts were set up at the direction of clients in Cyprus, a common banking center for Russians and Ukrainians, "for a legitimate business purpose."
Get More at NBC News
Friday is National Crayon Day and Crayola said it will mark the occasion by retiring one of its colors.
Crayola said the announcement revealing which color is being retired will be livestreamed on Facebook on Friday morning.
On Facebook, news of the impending color retirement brought suggestions as to which colors it should or shouldn't be. Others lamented that Crayola is retiring a color at all.
A family returned home from a weekend away and found their apartment ransacked, their Quran torn to pieces and the words "F--- Muslims" scrawled on a wall, they told police.
The residents of an apartment in the Huntington section of Fairfax County, Virginia, told News4 their home was burglarized and vandalized over the weekend. The apartment still was in shambles Tuesday afternoon.
Their ornate Quran was torn up, and artwork with religious calligraphy was bent and thrown to the ground.
"I was crying. It was bad. It was bad," one of the victims, Mahrukh, said. She and her husband, Shoaib, asked that News4 use only their first names, for their safety.
The family members' green cards were taken, along with more than $25,000 worth of gold they received as wedding gifts, as is common among many Muslim families.
Police are investigating the crime as a burglary and a bias incident.
A government watchdog will examine the taxpayer-funded travel costs when President Donald Trump travels to the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and the security procedures surrounding those trips, several congressional Democrats announced Tuesday.
The lawmakers requested the inquiry by the Government Accountability Office after reports that Trump, accompanied by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, openly discussed North Korea's launch of a ballistic missile while at the resort. They also raised concerns about the cost to taxpayers.
In a March 24 letter to the lawmakers, GAO said it will examine how the president's communications and classified information are secured when he's traveling, including whether a secure space exists at Mar-a-Lago.