NPR News

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

The U.S. Coast Guard has shut down a section of the Mississippi River south of Paducah, Ky., after two tow boats collided, causing an oil spill of unknown size.

In a statement, the Coast Guard said that the collision occurred Wednesday at 8:22 p.m. at Mile Marker 937, just north of Columbus, Ky.

The number of confirmed cases of Legionnaires' disease at California's San Quentin prison is holding steady at six, one of three outbreaks of Legionnaires' around the country that have sickened dozens and killed 20.

Another 95 San Quentin inmates are under observation because of respiratory illness, state officials said, but they have not been diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease. The inmates are being treated at San Quentin's medical unit.

Among the kangaroos and kookaburras, another creature trundled through the Australian bush.

Hooves barely visible, eyes mostly covered, the animal was the size of a refrigerator, the color of dirty snow.

A concerned hiker spotted the furry specimen days ago and raised the alarm. It was a matter of life and death — and this sheep needed a haircut.

School is back in session for the new year but assessment of last year's grades is ongoing. The report card for statewide performance in the 2014-2015 school year is out.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET

Donald Trump is "totally pledging" his allegiance to the GOP and promising not to mount a potentially damaging third-party bid for president.

The billionaire businessman said Thursday he had signed the Republican National Committee's "Loyalty Pledge," which says he will support the eventual nominee and not run as an independent or on another party line.

"I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party and the conservative principles for which it stands," said Trump.

It was supposed to be a routine photo op.

When Adam Johnson worked in construction, he heard all sorts of stories from his co-workers, some of whom were Vietnam veterans and others who were ex-cons. Johnson’s had his share of tales too, from visiting North Korea to a dangerous swim in an Arizona sewage pipe.

George Moses Horton was born into slavery in Northampton County, N.C. in the late 18th century. He was enslaved in rural Chatham County for most of his life, yet he built a remarkable career for himself off the plantation.

Imagine a space shuttle speeding toward Earth at 17,500 miles per hour, the friction outside heating the vessel up to more than 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit as it enters the atmosphere.

Updated at 3:35 p.m. ET

Thousands of migrants flooded into a train station in the Hungarian capital Thursday after police lifted a two-day blockade, but some who boarded a train they thought was going to Germany ended up instead at a refugee camp just miles from Budapest.

Pages