Amy Held

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

The roar of the crowd, the boom of the sound system, the flash of fireworks — all part of the thrill for many fans who flock to NFL games, but for others, including those on the autism spectrum with sensory issues, the experience can be too much.

Now a growing number of teams are including "sensory inclusive spaces" within their arenas to accommodate them.

Marium, an orphaned dugong cared for by biologists in southern Thailand, had what it takes to win over the Internet. Few could resist pictures and videos of the button-eyed mammal being fed sea grass and bottled milk and even being cuddled by her caregivers, all while seeming to wear a satisfied smile.

Earlier this month, Margie Reckard, 63, was gunned down along with 21 others in the El Paso, Texas, massacre that authorities believe was driven by racial hatred. Two weeks later, strangers amassed by the hundreds to honor Reckard and surround her widower, Antonio Basco.

It's the Cubs, Bulls and Bears that usually get Chicagoans talking, but this week the animal that has residents snapping to attention is a real live alligator cruising through a lagoon in the city.

The alligator, estimated to be between 4 and 5 feet long, was spotted Tuesday in the unlikely locale of Humboldt Park on the city's West Side.

Surprised parkgoers called 911, and responding officers brought in animal control.

Tensions are once again rising in the Strait of Hormuz, after the U.K.'s Ministry of Defense said three Iranian ships tried to block the passage of a British oil tanker and a British naval vessel had to intervene.

Iranian officials, however, denied that any such incident occurred.

The U.K. ministry said in a statement that on Wednesday, "HMS Montrose was forced to position herself between the Iranian vessels and British Heritage and issue verbal warnings to the Iranian vessels, which then turned away."

Facing a backlash, Home Depot sought to distance itself from billionaire co-founder Bernie Marcus after he pledged to back President Trump's bid for re-election in 2020.

Calls to boycott the retailer took off this week on social media as news spread that Marcus told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution late last month that he plans to support Trump's bid for another term.

Updated at 10:35 a.m. ET

Kim Darroch, the British ambassador to the U.S., has announced his resignation days after leaked cables revealed his sharp criticism of the Trump administration and the U.S. president responded by saying he will "no longer deal with him."

Sudan's ruling military council and leaders of its civilian opposition movement announced a preliminary power-sharing deal Friday, marking an end to a months-long stalemate and raising hopes that deadly unrest since former President Omar al-Bashir's ouster could culminate in democratic rule.

A mix-up and a bad photo contributed to a gunman shooting retired Red Sox player David Ortiz by mistake, instead of his intended target in Santo Domingo, Dominican officials announced Wednesday.

Surveillance video from the evening of June 9 shows a man who approaches Ortiz, a legend in his native Dominican Republic, and shoots him in the back at close range as Ortiz sits at a bar's outdoor table in the country's capital.

Updated at 11:39 p.m. ET

Just before 2 a.m. on Thursday, multiple gunshots rang out as people exited the Deja Vu nightclub in Allentown, Pa.

Police say 10 people who were gathered on or near the sidewalk were shot and hospitalized.

"All victims are expected to survive," Allentown Police Capt. Bill Lake told NPR in an interview.

No one is in custody.

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).

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.

Pages