Militants in Ukraine shot down a military helicopter near the eastern city of Slovyansk Wednesday, killing 14 soldiers that included an Army general. The incident comes days after Ukraine stepped up its operations against pro-Russian rebels this week.
From Kiev, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports for our Newscast unit:
Revising its early numbers for the first quarter of 2014, the Commerce Department says the U.S. economy shrank by 1 percent at an annualized rate. Last month, estimates of the quarter's gross domestic product had shown a small gain of 0.1 percent.
Government analysts blame the slump on "a significant decline in inventory investment," especially among car dealerships. They also say U.S. exports declined along with spending on housing and government programs.
An NPR interview in Chicago included an all-too-real example of the city's violence when a burst of gunfire erupted down the street from where NPR's David Schaper was conducting an interview Wednesday. He had been speaking to a neighborhood activist when a gunman opened fire nearby.
A federal judge has put Ohio's next two scheduled executions on hold, saying he needs more information about the state's proposed changes to its lethal injection process.
A scarcity of the drugs that were once commonly used to carry out U.S. executions has complicated the lethal injection process — and has prompted several death row inmates to challenge whether Ohio and other states are violating the Constitution's protections against cruel and unusual punishment.
From Ohio Public Radio, Karen Kasler reports for our Newscast unit:
The underwater search for black boxes from a missing Malaysian Airlines jet has ended, as the robotic sub that searched nearly 330 square miles of the ocean hasn't found anything to back the idea that "pings" detected in that area came from emergency equipment.
Search and salvage teams will now assess where they should look next for the jet's remains, after Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Center said that "no signs of aircraft debris have been found" by the American Bluefin-21 robotic sub.
China came up yesterday when we interviewed President Obama. The president recently visited neighbors of China, including U.S. allies. The Chinese have confronted several of their neighbors in disputes over territory, which raised a question for the president.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)
INSKEEP: Does the United States have an interest beyond its specific alliances in preventing China from dominating East Asia and the waters around East Asia, where China's been making some aggressive moves?