National & World News

Coverage of national and world news from New England Public Radio, NPR, and other NPR stations.

The biggest wildfire in 20 years in Spain's Catalonia region began on June 26, when a pile of chicken manure, baking in record high temperatures, burst into flame.

Fed by strong winds, the flames spread quickly, igniting dry brush and pine forest. In three days, the fire burned more than 16,000 acres and it took over 500 firefighters to put it out.

Nobody knows exactly how many fighting roosters there are in Puerto Rico. The breeders who raise them for cockfights say at least half a million. Two hundred and fifty of those live in neatly lined cages in José Torres' backyard in the mountain town of Utuado, and should the police show up to take them when cockfighting is banned at the end of this year, he has no plans to give them up.

It all started at the mall when a friend offered her a puff from a JUUL e-cigarette.

"It was kind of peer pressure," says Beth, a Denver-area 15-year-old who started vaping in middle school. "Then I started inhaling it," she says. "I suddenly was, like, wow, I really think that I need this — even though I don't."

There is a swath of the Gulf of Mexico that's virtually devoid of life, because algae blooms have choked out marine plants and animals; scientists say it is growing and getting worse.

One of the culprits lies to the north, in the massive amounts of fertilizers used on corn and soy farms throughout the Midwest.

Updated at 9 a.m. ET

British police say 39 bodies were discovered early Wednesday morning in a truck container in southeastern England. The driver, a 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

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