Vanessa Romo

Bill Wehrum is stepping down as the Environmental Protection Agency's chief air quality official at the end of the month, amid mounting scrutiny over possible ethics violations.

EPA Administrator Andrew Andrew Wheeler said Wednesday that Wehrum's departure as the head of the agency's Office of Air and Radiation is both voluntary and expected.

Updated at 5:07 p.m. ET

The acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection plans to step down in the coming weeks, according to two agency officials, amid a public furor over the treatment of migrant children in U.S. facilities.

John Sanders is expected to make his resignation effective July 5, according to the officials, who spoke to NPR on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made to agency employees.

The popular knitting and crochet website Ravelry says its 8 million members are welcome to garter, seed or purl stitch their way through thousands of online patterns — but if they want to cast on with any pro-Trump views, they need to do it somewhere else.

The website's administrators announced Sunday that Ravelry is "banning support of Donald Trump and his administration" in any form, including "forum posts, projects, patterns, profiles" and anything else.

Spain's Supreme Court sentenced five men to 15 years in prison Friday for raping an 18-year-old woman — a unanimous decision that overturns an earlier ruling of a lesser charge and shorter prison term.

Fearing the men might attempt to flee the country, Spanish authorities rushed to arrest four of them following the ruling. The fifth turned himself in.

The war crimes trial of Navy SEAL Chief Edward Gallagher took a dramatic turn Thursday when a lead prosecution witness — another SEAL who has been granted immunity to testify — confessed that he was the actual killer of a 17-year-old ISIS prisoner.

Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Corey Scott stunned prosecutors as he described a previously unheard version of events, saying he asphyxiated the teenage Islamic fighter as an act of mercy.

Among other charges related to his 2017 military service in Iraq, Gallagher is accused of killing the insurgent.

Former Interpol President Meng Hongwei has pleaded guilty to accepting more than $2 million in bribes and expressed regret for his crime, China's state-run newspaper People's Daily reported Thursday.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of China's Communist Party charged Hongwei with abusing his posts within the Communist Party between 2005 and 2017 to garner special benefits, promotions for his wife, and to collect bribes totaling more than 14 million yuan.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

The leader of NXIVM, a group that espoused a philosophy of self-improvement but was accused of recruiting, grooming and even branding an inner circle of female sex slaves, was found guilty Wednesday by a federal jury in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Keith Raniere, who was known as "Vanguard," was convicted on all charges, including sex trafficking, forced labor conspiracy, human trafficking and multiple counts of racketeering — including sexual exploitation of a child.

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NOEL KING, HOST:

All right. You know that mushy feeling you get when a dog looks at you with a sad or confused face? Why does that happen? Why do they do that? NPR's Vanessa Romo reports a group of scientists say they have figured it out.

On Tuesday, Spain's premier soccer league, La Liga, was hit with a 250,000-euro fine — about $280,000 — for using its mobile phone app to spy on millions of fans as part of a ploy to catch venues showing unlicensed broadcasts of professional matches.

A former dean at Michigan State University who oversaw Larry Nassar was found guilty of multiple criminal charges on Wednesday, including over his handling of sexual abuse allegations against the convicted sports doctor.

A jury convicted William Strampel, who was head of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, on two counts of willful neglect of duty and one count of felony misconduct in office over sexual comments he made to female students when they came to him for help with their careers. But the 71-year-old was cleared of felony second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

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