NPR News

Three of the most visible leaders of Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement have been sentenced to jail time for their roles in the series of massive pro-democracy protests in 2014. The sentences announced Thursday, which range from six months to eight months, revise previous, lighter penalties handed down last year and effectively bar the men from holding office for the next five years.

A leading Republican Senator told reporters on Thursday that President Trump "has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability, nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful."

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., was at the Rotary Club of Chattanooga and spoke to local reporters there. In video posted by Chloe Morrison of Nooga.com, Corker added, "And we need for him to be successful. Our nation needs for him to be successful."

SeaWorld and animal welfare advocates are mourning the passing of one of the park's oldest killer whales. Kasatka was euthanized at SeaWorld San Diego Tuesday evening after suffering from a respiratory infection.

Kasatka was a matriarch of the orca pod in San Diego. She had been captured in the wild off the coast of Iceland in 1978. SeaWorld says she had four calves, six grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Two psychologists who were paid more than $80 million by the CIA to develop "enhanced interrogation" techniques — which others have called torture — have settled a lawsuit brought by men who were detained.

The list of brutal methods devised by Bruce Jessen and James Mitchell for use by the U.S. included waterboarding; the tactics were meant to condition detainees into a state of helplessness. Mitchell has said he was told by U.S. officials that the idea was to "walk right up to the edge of the law."

On Aug. 21, a 70 mile-wide ribbon from Oregon to South Carolina called the "path of totality" will experience a total solar eclipse. Large swaths of farmland in the Great Plains and Midwest will be plunged into darkness for two and a half minutes and temperatures will drop about 10 degrees in the middle of the day.

But as millions of people look up at the sky, many Midwest scientists will turn their eyes and cameras toward the plants and animals on the ground. And they're not sure what will happen.

Qatar has been isolated by neighboring countries in a heated diplomatic standoff. But on Thursday, Saudi Arabia announced that it plans to open its border to allow pilgrims from the tiny Gulf country to make the annual hajj to Islam's holiest sites.

The announcement comes after a meeting between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and a member of the Qatari royal family, Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani.

Updated at 3:55 p.m. ET

A van drove into a crowd of people on a popular pedestrian street in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday, killing at least 13 people and injuring at least 50 others, Catalan Interior Minister Joaquim Forn says.

In the aftermath of the white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Va., many civil rights activists took to Twitter and shared photos of people who allegedly were at the march. The idea was to identify who they were and shame them. But identifying someone from a photo can be tricky — and the activists managed to make at least one mistake.

Sierra Leone, a country that has been battered by Ebola, civil war and massive floods, suffered yet another tragedy this week. Government and international aid workers are racing the clock to find survivors after a mudslide struck capital city Freetown early Monday morning.

Some 600 people are still missing, and there are reports that some people are still alive, trapped in their homes underneath the mud.

President Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, unloads on white nationalists, China and some of his administration colleagues in an interview with the liberal magazine The American Prospect.

Bannon — who successfully harnessed the so-called alt-right, a term used to describe white nationalists, as executive chairman of Breitbart News and later as an architect of Trump's unlikely election victory — dismissed white nationalist ideology as a "fringe element" that appeals to "losers" and a "collection of clowns."

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