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Conservationists have developed a new high-tech strategy to trace the cartels that smuggle much of the illegal ivory around the world — by using DNA to track ivory back to specific ports.

Biologist Samuel Wasser from the University of Washington is behind the effort. He notes that while poaching in Africa has dipped recently, too many elephants are still dying.

"Right now we're estimating that there are about 40,000 elephants being killed every year," he says, "and there are only 400,000 left in Africa. So that's a tenth of the population a year."

Updated September 19, 6:02 p.m.

The results of a seven-month-long investigation into sexual harassment and workplace misconduct within the Dallas Mavericks organization over a period spanning more than 20 years were released Wednesday.

Investigators gathered information from 215 interviews with current and former employees who worked for the team during the past two decades and evaluated more than 1.6 million documents for the more than 40-page report.

India's government decreed punishments of arrest and jail time on Wednesday for Muslim men who terminate their marriages by simply uttering three words.

The practice of instant divorce, called "triple talaq," happens in person, over the phone, by text and in email. Men can end their marriages by repeating the word "talaq," Arabic for "divorce," three times – and his wife has no say in the matter.

North Korea announced today that it will permanently close a major missile test site. Kim Jong Un, the North's leader, said the site would be dismantled in the presence of international inspectors.

A California doctor and his girlfriend have been charged with drugging and then sexually assaulting two women – and video evidence suggests there could be hundreds of other women who may not realize they were victims.

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Have you heard the theory that low air pressure during a hurricane can cause a surge in births?

Supposedly a steep drop in barometric pressure makes it easier for a baby to pop out.

As Hurricane Florence ripped through the Carolinas, we wondered if that was really true.

"It's one of those old wives' tales," said Dr. Hal Lawrence, executive vice president and CEO of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

When patients come to Dr. Molly Quinn for infertility treatments, they usually aren't too interested in hearing about the possible downsides, she says. They just want to get pregnant.

Updated at 6:08 p.m. ET

President Trump says he hopes the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her will appear at a hearing next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Speaking to reporters as he left the White House for a trip to visit flood damage in North Carolina, Trump said he "really wants to see" Christine Blasey Ford testify on Monday. "If she shows up and makes a credible showing," Trump said, referring to Ford, "that'll be very interesting, and we'll have to make a decision."

Nawaz Sharif, the former prime minister of Pakistan, has been released from prison on bail as he challenges his conviction and 10-year prison sentence.

Sharif, who served three nonconsecutive terms as prime minister, was in London during his trial earlier this year. He was found guilty of corruption in absentia and returned to Pakistan to appeal his conviction two months ago — and was promptly arrested and imprisoned.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions' future was cast further into doubt on Wednesday after President Trump made clear how broad his displeasure is with the man he tapped to lead the Department of Justice.

"I don't have an attorney general," Trump told Hill.TV in an interview on Tuesday.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

President Trump is in the flood-soaked Carolinas Wednesday where, under sunny skies, he is getting a firsthand look at the devastation that has killed dozens of people and displaced many thousands from their homes across the Southeast.

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The trade war between the U.S. and China has been tough on soybean farmers here in the U.S. For many of them, China is their biggest market. NPR's Jim Zarroli has been visiting with a farm family in North Dakota.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says he will visit Seoul "in the near future," amid an ongoing summit with South Korea's Moon Jae-in in which he also renewed pledges to shut down a primary missile launch site and a key nuclear weapons complex if the U.S. takes "corresponding" measures.

Kim's remarks about traveling to Seoul were made during a news conference in Pyongyang with the South Korean president. It would be the first-ever visit to the South Korean capital by a North Korean head of state.

Josh Gordon Joins New England Patriots

Sep 19, 2018

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Spock's Fictional Home Planet Discovered

Sep 19, 2018

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Bicyclist Breaks Speed Record

Sep 19, 2018

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After a high-profile campaign to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016, a number of states moved to make it harder to protest oil and gas projects. Now in Louisiana, the first felony arrests of protesters could be a test case of these tougher laws as opponents vow a legal challenge.

Fires, like all natural disasters, disproportionately affect those who are low income. They often lack insurance and resources to rebuild or move elsewhere. The effects on families and communities can be long-lasting.

Maria Butina, the Russian woman accused of working as an unregistered foreign agent, encouraged pro-gun demonstrations in the U.S. as early as 2014, according to messages provided to NPR.

Butina's work has been linked to Russia's attack on the 2016 election, but people who know her say she began trying to make her mark inside America years before.

NPR examined thousands of people who make up Butina's Facebook network, and reached out to a sample of more than two hundred individuals.

In 2016, photographer Joy Sharon Yi began taking the Metro to Barry Farm, a large public housing complex in Southeast Washington, D.C., built in 1943 on the first city settlement where African-Americans could buy property and build homes after the Civil War.

DeVonte Jones began to show signs of schizophrenia as a teenager. His first public episode was nine years ago at a ballgame at Wavering Park, in Quincy, Ill.

"He snapped out and just went around and started kicking people," says Jones' mother, Linda Colon, who now lives in a Chicago suburb.

The police were called. Jones was arrested, charged with aggravated battery and placed in Adams County Jail. Colon says Jones had no recollection of what happened.

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