Camila Domonoske

Cardinal George Pell, an advisor to Pope Francis, has returned to his home country of Australia to face allegations of sex abuse in years past.

Australia announced the charges against Pell late last month. Pell says he is innocent and promises to fight the charges. He has taken a leave of absence for the trial, but says he plans on returning to his powerful post in the Vatican.

Sheila Michaels, who played a key role in bringing the title "Ms." from obscurity into mainstream use, has died at 78, according to the New York Times.

Michaels' lasting impression on the English language was inspired by a letter to Mary Hamilton — a woman who, separately, made legal history by successfully demanding to be called "Miss."

Lawmakers in Illinois have enacted a budget for the first time in more than two years, overriding a veto by Gov. Bruce Rauner and overcoming a last-minute delay at the Capitol.

The crucial override vote was delayed after authorities received a report of possible hazardous materials, prompting an investigation, The Associated Press reports. "A woman allegedly threw a powdery substance in Rauner's office," the wire service writes, citing the Springfield fire chief.

Under pressure from the growth of online retailing, TV shopping giant QVC intends to acquire its rival HSN Inc. in a $2.1 billion deal.

The merger, announced Thursday, would create a company with $14 billion in annual sales, NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports.

Updated 4:30 p.m. ET Thursday, July 6

After two years of unpaid bills and dwindling cash reserves, lawmakers in Illinois have finally managed to break a stalemate and reach a long-overdue budget deal — which was promptly vetoed by the governor.

An appeals court in Washington, D.C., has blocked an attempt by the Environmental Protection Agency to delay Obama-era methane regulations, rejecting claims by the EPA that the oil and gas industry wasn't allowed to comment on the rules.

The agency could choose to rewrite the rules, but it overstepped in trying to delay them for years, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decided.

Independence Day is dedicated to patriotism, but celebrated with beer and explosives. So it might not be a shock that every Fourth of July, America sees a massive spike in fireworks injuries — especially among children and young men.

Updated at 1:05 p.m. ET

The judge in the sexual assault case of comedian Bill Cosby has declared a mistrial. After several days of deliberations, the jury could not come to a unanimous agreement on whether Cosby drugged and molested Andrea Constand, a former employee of Temple University, at his home near Philadelphia in 2004.

But this does not mean an end to the high-profile case: Prosecutors immediately said they will retry the case.

A former mayor in central Mexico channeled Frank Underwood to deliver a speech that echoed, nearly word for word, an ominous promotional video for Netflix's House of Cards.

"Imitation isn't always the best form of flattery," the official House of Cards Twitter account said in response.

After more than 30 hours of jury deliberations, there is still no conclusion to the sexual assault trial of comedian Bill Cosby.

The members of the jury say they are deadlocked and "cannot come to a unanimous consensus on any of these counts." The judge has ordered jurors to return to deliberations and try — again — to reach a decision.

Cosby has been charged with multiple felony counts of aggravated indecent assault, over allegations that he drugged and molested Andrea Constand, then a Temple University employee, in 2004.

Lyle Jeffs, a leader of the polygamist Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who has been accused of large-scale food stamp fraud and money laundering, was arrested by the FBI on Wednesday after nearly a year on the run.

Jeffs was indicted last February and gave the FBI the slip last June. The FBI believes he used olive oil to slide a GPS tracker off his ankle, as the Deseret News reported last year.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

The FBI says the man who opened fire on a group of Republican members of Congress on Wednesday is 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill., who was shot by police and later died at a hospital.

The alleged shooter expressed fervent opposition to the Republican Party and called for higher taxes on the rich, in statements on social media and letters to a local newspaper. He apparently volunteered for the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders, according to the Vermont senator, who condemned the attack.

Tracy K. Smith knows many readers are intimidated by line breaks. She knows people don't like identifying consonance, assonance or alliteration.

But Smith — the newly announced 22nd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry of the United States — wants to help America push past that anxiety.

"What do you hear? What do you feel? What does this remind you of?" she asks NPR. "These are all real and valid reactions to a poem."

Jury deliberations resume Tuesday in the sexual assault trial of comedian Bill Cosby, after the prosecution and defense presented their closing arguments on Monday. Jurors deliberated for four hours before stopping for the night.

A noted art collector and philanthropist has sold a major painting for an eye-popping $165 million to raise money for criminal justice reform.

Agnes Gund sold Roy Lichtenstein's 1962 work Masterpiece, reportedly to billionaire hedge fund manager and art collector Steve Cohen. The sale apparently took place months ago; an art industry newsletter reported on the transaction in January, but Gund would not confirm it.

Updated at 6:20 p.m. ET

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a preliminary injunction blocking President Trump's travel ban should remain in effect, at least for now. It's the second appeals court decision in less than a month to maintain a nationwide stay on the ban.

A low-profile confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill this week raised eyebrows when the questioning turned to theology — specifically, damnation.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont pressed Russell Vought, nominated by President Trump to be deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, about his beliefs.

A day after the twin terrorist attacks in Tehran, Iranian state media said the death toll has risen to 17 and Iran's foreign minister denounced the official White House response as "repugnant."

Iran's Intelligence Ministry also identified five extremists who attacked the Parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on Wednesday and confirmed that they had fought for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.

A diplomatic crisis continues to develop in the Persian Gulf, where four Sunni states are attempting to isolate the small, oil-rich nation of Qatar from the rest of the region. The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism, which Qatar denies.

President Trump has offered to host a conciliatory meeting in the White House, according to his administration.

Shareholders in a zoo near Shanghai, frustrated that they weren't making a profit on their investment, fed a live donkey to zoo tigers as a form of protest.

Video of the scene shows the donkey pushed down a makeshift ramp into the water surrounding the tiger habitat, where it is promptly pounced upon. Tigers bite and claw the donkey as it bleeds and struggles in the water. The footage has prompted protest and outrage in China.

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