OXON HILL, Md. — The Scripps National Spelling Bee weeded out the field to the truly elite spellers during Wednesday’s grueling preliminary rounds. Each of the 291 spellers got the opportunity to spell two words on stage. Those who didn’t misspell a word were then at the mercy of their score on a written spelling and vocabulary test that they took on Tuesday.
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DINOKENG GAME RESERVE, South Africa — The male lion brushes through the tall grass and strides into a clearing in a South African wildlife sanctuary. A man beckons the big cat with purring sounds. The lion, Bayetsi, responds with a gentle growl and caresses Kevin Richardson, popularly known as the “lion whisperer,” with its mane.
TAORMINA, Italy — Melania Trump’s first outing in the Sicilian sunshine was in a colorful floral applique jacket by Dolce & Gabbana that sells for $51,000, or several thousand dollars below the median U.S. income in 2015.
She also carried a matching clutch to lunch with spouses of the G-7 leaders, held at the historic Elephants Palace and hosted by Catania’s mayor.
STOCKHOLM — Sweden’s top prosecutor said Friday she is dropping an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after almost seven years.
The announcement means the outspoken WikiLeaks leader no longer faces sex crime allegations in Sweden, although British police say he is still wanted in Britain for jumping bail in 2012.
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Mel Brooks made it clear that he was not paid to appear at the premiere of the new HBO documentary “If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast.”
“They never pay, they never pay,” he joked. “How funny I was tonight and I don’t get a penny.”
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning, spared by presidential clemency from the rest of a 35-year prison term for giving classified materials to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, stepped out of a military lockup Wednesday and into a future she said she was eager to define.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis embraced weeping mothers, fathers and children with Huntington’s Disease on Thursday as he sought to remove the stigma of an incurable genetic disorder that causes such devastating physical and psychiatric effects that its sufferers are often shunned and abandoned.
BOSTON — A diary kept by a young John F. Kennedy during his brief stint as a journalist after World War II in which he reflected on Hitler and the weakness of the United Nations sold for more than $700,000 on Wednesday.
NEW YORK — Though perhaps best known as Facebook’s No. 2 executive, Sheryl Sandberg is also a mentor, a mother, a billionaire and an author. When her husband Dave Goldberg died suddenly in 2015 while they were vacationing in Mexico, she added “widow” to the list.
NEW YORK — Karen Oliveto clutched a friend’s hand, closed her eyes and wept when she learned last year she had been elected a bishop of the United Methodist Church. Oliveto, who is married to another woman, had become the denomination’s first openly gay bishop.