Colin Dwyer

As evening settled over eastern Ghouta on Tuesday, the suburb just outside Damascus lay battered by 48 hours of sustained airstrikes. And the approaching night promised still more horror for one hospital.

By 5 p.m. local time, the Syrian American Medical Society says, barrel bombs had begun to fall in a downpour about the medical facility.

The NCAA has confirmed the University of Louisville must give up its 2013 national championship in men's basketball, denying the school's appeal of a decision last year that penalized the Cardinals' program for "arranging striptease dances and sex acts for prospects, student-athletes and others."

Updated at 8:58 a.m. ET

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has offered an overture to his U.S. counterpart on Twitter, using President Trump's preferred medium Monday to ask for talks between the two countries.

Trump "campaigned promoting non-interference in other countries' domestic affairs," Maduro tweeted, tagging the U.S. president's account. "The time has come to fulfill it and change your agenda of aggression for one of dialogue.

Jeffrey Tambor, Emmy-winning star of Transparent, will not be returning to the cast for the show's upcoming fifth season. Amazon Studios confirmed his firing to NPR on Thursday.

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

Court documents say the suspect in the shootings at a South Florida high school has confessed to investigators. Nikolas Cruz, 19, has been booked on 17 charges of premeditated murder at Broward County's Main Jail in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

When the Brombergs fled Germany in 1938, they had no choice but to travel light. A Jewish family, fearing for their lives as the shadow of the coming Holocaust crept closer, they didn't have the luxury of taking their fine art with them — or of worrying whether they were getting a fair price when they sold it. They needed to get to safety. And over the next year — as they dashed to France, Switzerland and ultimately the U.S. — they used those sales to help them get there.

Editor's note: This post refers frequently to the use of a racial slur.

Professor Emeritus Lawrence Rosen opened his course last week with a question. The anthropologist, who has spent four decades teaching at Princeton University, was introducing a class called Cultural Freedoms: Hate Speech, Blasphemy, and Pornography — and his question was meant to shock.

Ukrainian authorities have deported Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian president who has emerged as a vocal antagonist of the government in Kiev. Ukraine's border agency confirmed his deportation to Poland on Monday, while videos on social media purported to show Saakashvili getting seized by masked men.

Dozens of writers and illustrators earned some of the highest honors in children's literature at a joyous gathering hosted by the American Library Association in Denver on Monday. But just two managed to snag the best-known, most prestigious annual prizes for books aimed at young readers.

Erin Entrada Kelly's Hello, Universe won the Newbery Medal for outstanding contribution to children's literature, and Matthew Cordell's Wolf in the Snow won the Caldecott Medal for most distinguished American picture book for children.

At first glance the images are unremarkable. They're grainy, ill-defined, seemingly more akin to television static or an 8-bit video game than they are to the high-resolution masterworks sent back by the Hubble Space Telescope.

But take another look.

Chris Mazdzer has used his runners to etch himself a place in history.

The 29-year-old won silver in singles luge on Sunday, becoming the first American man ever to medal in the event. His podium finish ends a drought that extends to the sport's Olympic debut back in 1964.

Also on that podium were Austria's David Gleirscher, who won gold in a shocker of his own, and bronze medalist Johannes Ludwig of Germany.

Updated 1:10 a.m. ET Thursday

It had been just about 24 hours since a magnitude 6.4 earthquake rattled Taiwan's east coast, crumbling walls and knocking tall buildings askew, when rescue workers felt another big rumble late Wednesday. A quake — this time magnitude 5.7 — had just struck again near the city of Hualien.

It won't be long before South Korea kicks off its grand turn on the world stage, but the specter of illness is already haunting the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Organizers have removed some 1,200 security personnel from their posts and quarantined them in their rooms after several dozen tested positive for norovirus.

You'd be forgiven if you went to bed early having chalked up another win for New England.

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

Two students were hospitalized with gunshot wounds in Los Angeles after what police describe as an accidental shooting Thursday morning at Salvador Castro Middle School. A 12-year-old girl has been arrested.

Late Thursday, The Associated Press reported:

Is it an attempt to preserve the Polish name from wanton historical slander, or a reckless attempt to erase an uncomfortable part of Poland's past?

A bill passed by the country's Senate Thursday, less than a week after the lower chamber did the same, has been described in vastly varying terms — though the terms the bill itself bans are quite clear: It would be illegal — and punishable by up to three years in prison — to claim Poland was complicit in the Nazi atrocities committed on Polish soil during World War II.

For the first time in more than two decades, the National Book Foundation is adding a new category to its annual slate of literary prizes: the National Book Award for Translated Literature. The new prize announced Wednesday will recognize a work of either fiction or nonfiction translated into English and published in the U.S.

Executive Director Lisa Lucas described the move, which was approved unanimously by the foundation's board of directors, as a bid to transcend traditional boundaries and broaden the awards' scope for the sake of American readers.

Federal prosecutors won't retry Sen. Robert Menendez and co-defendant Salomon Melgen, in a surprise decision Wednesday that brings an end to the long-running case against the New Jersey Democrat.