Colin Dwyer

North Korea fired a missile from its east coast Wednesday, in a test that appears to have failed in an explosion within seconds of launch, according to the South Korean Defense Ministry and U.S. Pacific Command. Both groups confirm the launch occurred at North Korea's air base in Wonsan.

The ill-fated missile, which marks the country's third test of the year and second so far this month, is seen as a response to annual joint military drills by the U.S. and South Korea.

Updated at 10 a.m. ET Thursday

Nevada has ratified the Equal Rights Amendment — roughly 35 years after a deadline imposed by Congress.

On Wednesday, the state Senate approved the long-dormant ERA, which among other things guarantees that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." The senators passed a measure sent to them by the state Assembly, which had already approved it earlier this week.

Updated at 10:15 a.m. ET Thursday

Students throughout Boston are getting a radically different view of the world, one laminated 24-by-36-inch sheet of paper at a time.

Beginning last Thursday, Boston Public Schools administrators have been sending social studies teachers in the second, seventh and 11th grades new maps for their classrooms — depictions that more accurately portray the sizes of Earth's continents.

David Rockefeller, who died Monday morning at the age of 101, leaves a legacy that eludes a simple description. At once the grandchild and heir of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller and a globe-trotting billionaire banker in his own right, Rockefeller also earned a reputation as a prodigious patron of the arts.

Rockefeller died of congestive heart failure at his home in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., family spokesman Fraser P. Seitel confirmed to NPR.

Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET Tuesday

With the stroke of a pen on Tuesday, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson separated a holiday that has for decades celebrated both Martin Luther King Jr. and Gen. Robert E. Lee in the state.

Under the bill that Hutchinson signed into law, King now has the third Monday of January entirely to himself, as dictated by federal law; Lee will now be commemorated in a state holiday on the second Saturday of October.

At a ceremony in New York on Thursday, one of America's most celebrated writers had a new reason to celebrate. Louise Erdrich won the 2017 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction for her novel LaRose, the story of an accidental shooting — and the fraught tale of family and reparation that follows.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

At a wide-ranging and occasionally tense news conference after their first in-person meeting Friday, President Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed trade and border policy — and had one notable exchange when Trump was asked about his unproven claims that former President Obama tapped the phones at Trump Tower last year.

For the first time in New Zealand's history, the country's lawmakers have granted a river the legal rights of a human. The parliamentary vote Wednesday, which caps more than 140 years of legal struggles, ensures the roughly 90-mile Whanganui River will be represented by two guardians in legal matters that concern the waterway.

Surely, Oakhurst Dairy would have done well to heed the immortal words of the '80s hair band Cinderella: "Don't know what you got (till it's gone)."

The milk and cream company based in Portland, Maine, likely never appreciated the serial comma — also known as an Oxford comma — so much as it did Monday, when the lack of that little curved stroke cost the company an appeals court ruling that centered on overtime rules for drivers.

Once the front-runner in France's presidential election, mainstream conservative candidate Francois Fillon is now confronting serious doubts he will even make it to the final round of voting. That uncertainty only deepened for the scandal-plagued politician Tuesday, as French authorities officially announced they are investigating Fillon on allegations he illegally diverted public money.

An oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan crew members aboard appears to have been hijacked off the coast of Somalia, which would be the first time a large commercial ship has been taken by Somali pirates since 2012.

Updated at 4:06 p.m. ET

Washington state is asking a federal judge to apply the restraining order that temporarily halted President Trump's initial travel ban to the revised ban he signed Monday.

In the span of 93 days, Chris Bertish crossed more than 4,050 nautical miles of Atlantic Ocean — and he conquered this lonely crossing standing up. When the South African surfer entered English Harbour on the island of Antigua on Thursday, he was riding the same massive stand-up paddleboard that bore him from Morocco's Agadir Marina roughly three months ago.

Gunmen dressed as medical staff stormed a military hospital in Kabul on Wednesday morning, killing at least 30 people and injuring dozens more in a raid that lasted hours. In a statement published on the Islamic State-affiliated Aamaq news agency, the militant group claimed responsibility for the assault in the Afghan capital.

The attack on Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan hospital ended midafternoon local time, after several hours of floor-by-floor clashes with Afghan security forces left all four attackers dead, according to Gen. Dawlat Waziri, an Afghan defense ministry spokesman.

For the first time in two decades, South Korea is increasing the reward money it's offering North Korean defectors for classified information. And the hike in the cash reward is no pittance: The South Korean government is quadrupling the amount, from roughly $217,000 up to $860,000.

That sum would be paid to "people who provide intelligence and knowledge that can enhance South Korea's security," the Yonhap news agency reports.

Pages