Camila Domonoske

Early Tuesday morning, search crews located one of the flight recorders from the Russian military plane that crashed into the Black Sea on Sunday, according to Russian officials.

The flight data recorder, sometimes called a "black box," has been flown to Moscow for analysis, NPR's Lucian Kim reports. Officials do not currently consider terrorism to be a likely cause of the disaster.

Vera Rubin, the groundbreaking astrophysicist who discovered evidence of dark matter, died Sunday night at the age of 88, the Carnegie Institution confirms.

Rubin did much of her revelatory work at Carnegie. The organization's president calls her a "national treasure."

In the 1960s and 1970s, Rubin was working with astronomer Kent Ford, studying the behavior of spiral galaxies, when they discovered something entirely unexpected — the stars at the outside of the galaxy were moving as fast as the ones in the middle, which didn't fit with Newtonian gravitational theory.

Dozens of people were shot in Chicago over the holiday weekend, with at least 11 fatalities — including seven fatal shootings on Christmas Day, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Two brothers, James and Roy Gill, were killed at a Christmas party; five other people were wounded in that shooting.

It's a grim tally, coming at the end of a difficult, violent year in Chicago, as NPR's Frank Morris reports.

British pop star George Michael, who died over the weekend at the age of 53, was famous for his sex appeal, his songwriting gifts and his enduring voice — and for his personal life, which was treated as tabloid fodder.

But not everything he did made headlines.

Since Michael's death, charities and fans have revealed that the iconic singer was also a dedicated philanthropist — making large donations, and working hard to keep them out of the public eye.

Russian officials say they are no longer considering terrorism a focus in their investigations into a military plane crash on Sunday morning.

"The Russian transportation agency considers technical problems or pilot error the most likely causes for the crash," NPR's Lucian Kim reports.

Search efforts in the Black Sea have recovered fragments of the Russian military jet. Eleven bodies were also recovered as of Monday morning; all 92 people on board the plane are believed to have died.

Modern correspondence is heavy on pixels, light on paper. It's fast and convenient — but doesn't it lack a little something?

Take a moment to consider the love letter.

And better yet, pull one out of storage — or print a sweet email, in the case of younger romances.

In 1972, one NPR listener made this pitch for publicizing those romantic souvenirs:

"Somewhere in a dusty box, do you have bundles of passionate love letters once sent to you by your spouse? Or favorite mementos of your courtship?

A Florida woman who petitioned the state for permission to keep her trained gator has received official approval — just in time for Christmas.

Mary Thorn of Lakeland, Fla., has been caring for Rambo for more than a decade, The Ledger newspaper reports. Rambo wears clothes and rides motorcycles and ATVs.

The last rebels and civilians fleeing eastern Aleppo rode out of the city on Thursday night, bringing to an end a weeklong evacuation effort.

The departure of the remaining rebels amounted to a surrender. Forces supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad moved in to take control of the destroyed city sector that was rebel-held for four years.

The government's victory was secured after months of devastating airstrikes and assaults on the shrinking, besieged enclave. Negotiated cease-fires and attempts to provide humanitarian aid failed several times.

Updated at 11:05 a.m. ET

A flight within Libya was hijacked and diverted to Malta on Friday morning, where it landed with 118 people on board. After several hours, the passengers and crew were all evacuated and the two male hijackers surrendered, the Maltese prime minister says.

The hijackers were armed with a hand grenade and at least two pistols, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said at a press conference.

The passengers were released in waves, without any apparent violence.

Evacuations continue from east Aleppo, as remaining rebels and civilians wait in freezing weather for transportation out of the city.

The end of the evacuations may be coming soon: NPR's Alice Fordham reports that regime forces might be entering the tiny enclave that has been held by rebels as early as Thursday evening.

The fall of eastern Aleppo to the forces aligned with Syrian President Bashar Assad has been a foregone conclusion for weeks now. The question was whether civilians and fighters would be allowed to leave.

Ikea has reached a $50 million settlement with the families of three toddlers who died after unsecured Ikea dressers tipped over, according to lawyers for the families. The furniture giant confirms a settlement has been reached but describes it as "tentative."

Nearly two months after a black church in Greenville, Miss., was torched and painted with pro-Trump graffiti, a member of the church has been arrested and charged with the crime.

"The Mississippi Department of Public Safety says 45-year-old Andrew McClinton is charged with arson of a place of worship in connection to the fire at the Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville on Nov. 1," Mark Rigsby of Mississippi Public Broadcasting reports.

Updated at 8:00 p.m. ET

The North Carolina Legislature began a special session on Wednesday morning to vote on the repeal of a controversial state law that limits civil rights protections for LGBT people, but the effort failed by day's end as the Legislature adjourned without passing any bill.

Updated at 1:50 a.m. ET Thursday

Police are searching for a new suspect in Monday's attack on a Berlin Christmas market, when a truck barreled into the crowded market and killed 12 people.

One man has already been detained and released. Police are now looking for a Tunisian asylum seeker with several aliases, North Rhine Westphalia Interior Minister Ralf Jaeger says.

China Machado, a model, muse and editor who was one of the first women to break high fashion's color barrier, has died at 86.

A Facebook page associated with Machado's fashion line announced on Sunday that she had died. The New York Times, citing Machado's family, says she died over the weekend of a heart attack.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

A day after a truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin killed 12 people and wounded 48 more, the only identified suspect has been released from custody due to a lack of evidence, according to German officials.

No other arrests have been made in connection with the attack. ISIS' semi-official Amaq news agency claimed that the driver was "a soldier of the Islamic State" who was responding to the group's calls to carry out attacks, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant websites.

North Carolina's Legislature is poised to repeal the controversial "bathroom bill," after the Charlotte City Council unanimously voted to repeal its local anti-discrimination measure.

The state law, called House Bill 2 or HB2, was passed in March as a direct response to that Charlotte measure — over the course of 12 hours, in the state's first special legislative session in 35 years.

Now the law might be rolled back in another special session, again following a decision by the Charlotte City Council.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET

Evacuations of east Aleppo have resumed, after a series of false starts and broken cease-fires.

And United Nations officials said more than 100 U.N. humanitarian staffers are in place and could begin monitoring the evacuation under terms of a U.N. resolution approved unanimously Monday.

China has seized an unmanned underwater vehicle deployed by a U.S. Navy ship in international waters, according to Pentagon officials.

The seizure of the underwater vehicle took place Thursday, about 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay in the Philippines, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement Friday.

The situation is unusual: U.S. Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told journalists there was no precedent for it in recent memory, NPR's Tom Bowman reports.

Update at 10:55 a.m. ET: As this post was publishing, the auction for coffee with Ivanka Trump was pulled from the Charitybuzz website. The link now redirects to its home page, with no explanation.

Our previous post continues:

On the auction site Charitybuzz, you could bid $3,500 to have tea with Sarah Ferguson, the duchess of York.

Corpus Christi, Texas, has lifted a water ban for some parts of the city, while continuing to warn residents in the middle of the city not to use their tap water for any reason.

Officials warned residents on Wednesday night of possible contamination by an industrial chemical, and emphasized that boiling or otherwise treating water did not make it safe to use for drinking or washing.

The chemical in question has been identified, Sara Flores of member station KEDT in Corpus Christi reports.

Evacuations of embattled eastern Aleppo, which began Thursday after days of efforts to negotiate a cease-fire, have come to a halt.

Thousands of civilians and fighters have already been evacuated from the rebel-held enclave: Some 3,000 civilians were evacuated in the first few convoys, along with more than 40 wounded people, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Thursday.

The aid group anticipated it would take days to fully evacuate east Aleppo.

In 1972, NPR asked its audience to take a moment to think of something that makes life brighterlike hearing a kid singing, or baking fresh pies, or riding your bike on a nice day.

Then, we said, sell it to us. You like going on walks? Write a jingle — and we just might persuade Linda Wertheimer to sing it ...

The "Commercials For Nicer Living" were written by listeners and produced by NPR into little audio nuggets of pure joy.

Uber has started offering rides in self-driving cars in San Francisco without a permit for autonomous vehicles — defying state regulators, who say the permit is mandatory.

Uber's self-driving Volvos, which are operated with a "safety driver" behind the wheel, have already been deployed in Pittsburgh. They hit the roads in San Francisco on Wednesday.

Every year, the Library of Congress picks 25 "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" American movies for preservation in the National Film Registry. They can be any length, any genre, any style — the only requirement is that they be at least 10 years old.

Updated at 8:00 p.m. ET

A cease-fire in besieged eastern Aleppo appears to be going forward, paving the way for people trapped there to evacuate.

It's difficult to confirm exactly how many civilians remain in the small slice of Aleppo still controlled by rebel groups, but estimates put the number in the tens of thousands.

NPR's Alison Meuse reports an opposition activist in the city says the bombing has stopped.

As the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad advanced on the last rebel-held section of Aleppo, aid groups and activists described horrific scenes of death and bloodshed.

Now rebel groups say a truce has been reached with Russia, and there's hope that civilian evacuations will be possible on Tuesday night.

On Sunday, President-elect Donald Trump told Fox News that he wouldn't feel "bound by a 'One China' policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade."

The One China policy has guided U.S.-China discourse since 1979, when Washington established diplomatic relations with Beijing and downgraded its embassy in Taiwan.

It's a simple sign. One message — "No matter where you are from, we're glad you're our neighbor." Three languages: Spanish, English and Arabic.

They've popped up in Pennsylvania, Detroit, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Canada – thanks to local printers, and without any national campaign.

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