National & World News

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

Updated March 13 at 3:29 p.m. ET

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a sweeping order on Wednesday putting an executive moratorium on California's troubled death penalty, thus ordering a reprieve for the 737 people on death row.

The action suspends any further executions in California as long as Newsom is governor. But only California voters can repeal the death penalty, something they rejected narrowly three years ago.

Updated at 9:18 p.m. ET

Australian Cardinal George Pell, 77, a former leading Vatican official who last month was convicted of sexually abusing two boys, has been sentenced to six years in prison. He will be eligible for parole after three years and eight months.

During the sentencing hearing, Victoria state County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd acknowledged the disgraced cleric may not live to serve the full sentence.

As countries worldwide continue to ground their Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, aviation officials in the U.S. have been hesitant to follow suit.

The Federal Aviation Administration says there is "no basis to order the grounding of the aircraft." That's according to a statement Tuesday evening from Daniel Elwell, the acting FAA administrator.

Updated on Wednesday at 4:12 p.m. ET

On Wednesday, the Federal Aviation Administration ordered the temporary grounding of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft operated by U.S. airlines or in the U.S. territory. This follows similar moves by airline regulators across the globe in the wake of Sunday's deadly plane crash in Ethiopia that killed all 157 people on board. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

The Trump administration is seeking to close nearly two dozen U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field offices around the world in a move it estimates would save millions per year. But critics argue the closures will further slow refugee processing, family reunification petitions and military citizenship applications.

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