Rachel Treisman - NPR

a Chinese surveillance balloon

Chinese surveillance balloon passes over Alaska, Montana

U.S. officials said the balloon flew over the Aleutian Islands and through Canada before it was spotted over Billings, Montana.
shopper walk around outside, a few in face masks

A new dominant omicron strain in the U.S. is driving up cases — and reinfections

BA.5 is now the dominant omicron strain in the U.S. It's good at evading the immune system, though doesn't appear to cause more serious illness.
the capitol building with a blue sky

The Senate gun bill would close the ‘boyfriend loophole.’ Here’s what that means.

Federal law prevents some convicted domestic abusers from owning a gun, depending on their relationship to the victim. The new gun safety bill would expand that definition to include dating partners.
A very large moon seen over Washington, D.C.

A strawberry supermoon will rise on Tuesday. Here’s how to watch

June's full moon gets its nickname from the strawberry harvesting season in the Northeastern U.S. It also happens to be at its closest distance to Earth in its orbit, which makes it a supermoon.
a memorial around a school sign

The Uvalde school massacre lasted at least 40 minutes

Local and state officials in Texas release more information, while Americans across the nation continue to express shock and grief at the massacre.
A woman in front of a flag and library of books

What to know about Judge Kathryn Mizelle, who struck down the travel mask mandate

Mizelle was nominated by former President Donald Trump in 2020 at age 33. The American Bar Association said at the time she wasn't qualified because she hadn't been practicing law for long enough.
Biden speaks at a podium

The U.S. keeps turning to sanctions despite their mixed record

President Biden announced more sanctions on Russia's military and economy over its invasion of Ukraine. Sanctions have become a favored tool in presidents' arsenals, but they don't always work.
Crumpled cars, metal beams and other signs of destruction.

The exact link between tornadoes and climate change is hard to draw. Here’s why.

The link between tornadoes, like the deadly ones that hit the Midwest over the weekend, and climate change isn't as clear as it is for other extreme weather events, though scientists say the clues are there.
Travelers wear masks and wheel suitcases at an airport.

A 3rd U.S. case of the omicron variant is reported in Colorado

Colorado health officials say the case was identified in a resident who tested positive after traveling to southern Africa. Another case of the variant was reported in Minnesota earlier Thursday.