Amy Held

Amy Held is an editor on the newscast unit. She regularly reports breaking news on air and online.

Canada's Parliament has passed legislation banning whales, dolphins and porpoises from being bred or held in captivity — a move that was hailed by animal rights activists.

Violations are punishable by fines of up to 200,000 Canadian dollars (about $150,000).

The Vatican department charged with overseeing Catholic education released an extensive document Monday decrying what it calls a "crisis" on whether gender can be an individual choice rather than being set by God or biology.

The document describes a culture-wide "disorientation" that serves to "cancel out" the natural difference between man and woman, as well as "destabilise the family as an institution."

Los Angeles County's Santa Anita Park is standing firm against calls to cancel the rest of its racing season after the deaths of two more horses over the weekend, bringing the number of horses that have died at the track since December to 29.

In a highly unusual move Saturday, the California Horse Racing Board asked the park to scuttle competition for the seven remaining race days to "provide the industry more time to fully implement announced safety initiatives and perhaps additional ones."

Decrying the sorry state of salary and support for women's hockey, around 200 female players announced Thursday they won't play the game at the professional level across North America, until they get a league with "the resources that professional hockey demands and deserves."

St. Lucia prevented passengers and crew members from getting off a cruise ship at its port this week after someone on the vessel was diagnosed with measles, according to a senior health official on the island.

"We thought it prudent that we quarantine the ship," Dr. Merlene Fredericks-James, the Caribbean nation's chief medical officer, announced this week, saying the decision was based on information from "two reputable sources that there was a confirmed case on board a cruise ship" that arrived at the island on Tuesday.

Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET

A day after flames leaped through Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris sparking fears the beloved building could be consumed, Parisians sang and prayed in processions through the streets and held vigils Tuesday evening close to the church constructed more than eight centuries ago.

The cathedral stood blackened with much of its roof gone, its spire collapsed and charred rubble inside, but it remained standing, its main structure and two towers spared.

A New Jersey woman pleaded guilty Monday to theft by deception for perpetrating what began as a story of redemption that was revealed to be a ruse.

Katelyn McClure appeared in New Jersey Superior Court, admitting to her role in duping thousands of people out of $400,000 through a fictionalized GoFundMe page purporting to benefit a homeless veteran said to have bought her gas.

Updated on Tuesday at 5:25 a.m. ET

Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the world's most famous churches, erupted in flames Monday in Paris, losing its spire but remaining otherwise largely intact after firefighters worked through the night to contain the fire.

Buoyed by Thursday's ouster of longtime President Omar al-Bashir, Sudanese protesters faced off against troops during a sit-in outside military headquarters in Khartoum on Monday as they amplify their call for civilian-led rule.

Tattooing goes back millennia and spans cultures, as evidenced by mummified remains, yet many details of the body modification's origins have been shrouded in mystery. Now an ancient bone tattoo kit from the Pacific island nation of Tonga is providing researchers with more than an inkling into the rich history of Polynesian body art, a method so indelible, little has changed in some 3,000 years.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

In his latest salvo against unfair trade practices in a major Asian market, President Trump says he plans to end preferential trade treatment for India, which sought to downplay the significance of the move.

As President Trump headed home dealless from Vietnam following his aborted summit with Kim Jong Un, North Korean officials held an impromptu middle-of-the-night news conference at a Hanoi hotel, offering an account about the failed talks that differed from Trump's.

City workers in Germany have seized a family's pedigreed pet pug and sold the animal on eBay to cover the debts of its owners, including an unpaid dog tax.

Frank Merschhaus, spokesman for the city of Ahlen, told NPR in an email that the seizure of "the valuable pet" was "legally permissible" because of open claims by the city's treasury office.

Sometimes the lowly sewer rat is the target of shrieks, kicks and extermination attempts. And sometimes yesterday's vermin becomes today's vaunted victim, inspiring a phalanx of rescuers to come to its aid.

At least that is what happened over the weekend in Germany, where a firefighter-cum-corpulent-critter rescue crew worked to free the animal in a pinch with a manhole cover.

President Trump and Kim Jong Un provided upbeat optics at the launch of their second summit in Hanoi on Wednesday. With cameras flashing, the leaders strode before the international press corps at the luxurious Metropole Hotel, grasped hands and posed with American and North Korean flags as a backdrop.

The summit continues Thursday, when the two sides are expected to get into the nitty gritty of an agreement.

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