Two-Way

Gambians have cast ballots for a new president, in what marks the most serious risk yet to the decades-long rule of President Yahya Jammeh.

The voting happened amid a blackout on Internet and international phone calls, as NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton tells our Newscast unit. She reports the current president of the small West African country "is warning his rivals not to challenge the outcome of the vote." Here's more from Ofeibea:

A single tornado can cause a lot of damage. But even worse are tornado outbreaks. Just this week, a cluster of at least 18 tornadoes struck the Southeast over two days.

Scientists are seeing bigger clusters in recent years, and they're struggling to figure out what's happening.

France's embattled president, Francois Hollande, has announced that he will not seek a second term.

The surprise announcement from the socialist leader marks the "first time in 60 years that a sitting French president has not run for re-election," as NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports from Paris. "Terrorist attacks and a sagging economy beset Hollande and made him one of the most unpopular presidents ever."

Hollande made the announcement in a televised address, where he spoke for about 10 minutes and defended his record since taking office in 2012, Eleanor adds.

An unmanned cargo rocket bound for the International Space Station was destroyed after takeoff on Thursday.

The Russian rocket took off as planned from Baikonur, Kazahkstan, on Thursday morning but stopped transmitting data about six minutes into its flight, as NPR's Rae Ellen Bichell reported:

Granting the request of relatives of victims of the Newtown school shootings, Connecticut's Supreme Court has accepted their lawsuit against Remington Arms, maker of the rifle that killed 20 students and six teachers in 2012.

The Obama administration is challenging a federal judge's decision last month to block the implementation of a new rule that would have made 4 million more Americans eligible for overtime pay.

The Department of Labor and its co-defendants filed a notice of appeal at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on Thursday, the same day that the rule was set to take effect before the temporary injunction was issued.

The northernmost community in the United States has officially restored its original name.

In October, the people of the Alaskan town formerly known as Barrow, on the edge of the Arctic Ocean, voted to restore its indigenous name, Utqiagvik. Zachariah Hughes of Alaska Public Media reported that the traditional Inupiaq name Utqiagvik refers to a place to gather wild roots.

Princess Cruise Lines will pay a $40 million fine for "deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up," according to the Department of Justice, which calls it "the largest-ever criminal penalty involving deliberate vessel pollution."

The California-based cruise operator also agreed to plead guilty to seven felony charges over illegal practices on five ships dating back, in at least one case, to 2005.

Citing Belgian beer's integral role in social and culinary life, UNESCO is putting the country's rich brewing scene (with nearly 1,500 styles) on its list representing the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Belgium's beer culture is one of 16 new additions that were announced Thursday.

Other honorees include the making of flatbread in Iran, Turkey, and elsewhere; Cuba's Rumba music, Egypt's Tahteeb stick game, and long-observed festivals in Japan, France, Spain and Greece.

Shortly before a charter jet carrying a Brazilian soccer team crashed in the mountains of Colombia, the pilot told air traffic control he was "out of fuel" and experiencing "total electrical failure," according to leaked audio and accounts from a survivor and another pilot.

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