Colin Dwyer

Racked by food shortages and political unrest, Venezuela swelled with what organizers are calling the "mother of all protests" on Wednesday. Demonstrators have taken to the streets in the capital, Caracas, and other major cities across the country to rally against the government of President Nicolas Maduro, who assumed office precisely five years ago.

Throughout the day, those rallies often devolved into clashes between demonstrators and security forces — chaotic, violent scenes rent by tear gas, tossed rocks and even two reported deaths.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

Fox News is parting ways with Bill O'Reilly, who for years stood as one of cable news' most popular hosts. The network's parent company, 21st Century Fox, announced the move in a statement Wednesday.

"After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O'Reilly have agreed that Bill O'Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel," the statement read.

When Javier Duarte stepped down from office last October, the former governor of Mexico's Veracruz state vowed to fight the mounting corruption allegations that unraveled his tenure.

"The circumstances created by false accusations ... force me to dedicate myself full-time to clear my name and that of my family," Duarte said on Oct. 13, according to The Yucatan Times, just one day after he ended his term six weeks early.

South Korea's ousted President Park Geun-hye has been formally indicted on corruption charges. Impeached by lawmakers late last year and officially removed from office by the country's high court last month, the former leader now faces the prospect of life in prison.

Aaron Hernandez was acquitted Friday on charges that he murdered two men in a drive-by shooting outside a Boston nightclub in 2012. The jury found the former New England Patriots tight end not guilty on most of the eight counts he faced, including murder and armed assault.

The jury did find him guilty of illegal possession of a firearm, for which he was sentenced to serve four to five years in prison.

Protests are mounting against embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, and the death toll is mounting too. As demonstrators braved a tropical storm on the streets of Caracas on Thursday, a 36-year-old died elsewhere of wounds he had sustained in other protests days earlier.

Dan Rooney, who steered the Pittsburgh Steelers for decades and helped spearhead the NFL's efforts at diverse hiring, has died at the age of 84. The team announced his death Thursday.

President Trump quietly signed legislation Thursday that rolls back an Obama-era rule protecting certain federal funds for Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide legal abortions.

Gustavo Falcon's arrest Wednesday was more than a quarter-century in coming.

He was indicted on drug-smuggling charges nearly 26 years ago to the day — along with his brother Augusto "Willie" Falcon, their partner Salvador "Sal" Magluta and several other accomplices. Authorities say that between the late 1970s and early '90s, their drug ring conspired to import and distribute about 75 tons of cocaine.

Though Willie and Sal were eventually caught and convicted, Gustavo Falcon appeared to disappear entirely from South Florida.

Real quick, here's a list of ingredients you're unlikely to find in your next Burger King Whopper:

  • Chocolate candy
  • Toenail clippings
  • Cyanide
  • Rat
  • Medium-sized child

So far in her young life, New York City's Fearless Girl has drawn countless tourists, a metric ton of media coverage and its fair share of praise as a symbol of the fight for gender equity — so much, in fact, that the statue staring down the financial district's famous Charging Bull recently got a new lease on life, at least through 2018.

For at least one person, though, the Girl has offered less than welcome company.

Bill O'Reilly is taking a vacation. The popular Fox News pundit announced his break from broadcasting at the end of The O'Reilly Factor on Tuesday night, pointedly noting that the family trip has long been in the works.

"Often around this time of year, I grab some vacation because it's spring and Easter time," O'Reilly told his audience. "Last fall, I booked a trip that should be terrific."

The state attorney for Orange and Osceola counties has sued Gov. Rick Scott, alleging that he acted unconstitutionally when he removed her from 23 homicide cases. Scott had reassigned Aramis Ayala's cases to another state attorney by executive order because Ayala had declared her refusal to pursue the death penalty.

About a month after an anti-predator device spit sodium cyanide in the face of an unsuspecting boy and killed his dog, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced it is ending its use of the M-44 mechanisms in Idaho indefinitely.

Rex Tillerson has touched down in Moscow. But well before his plane landed on the runway, heated words were already flying between the U.S. secretary of state and Russian officials over the situation in Syria.

"I hope that what the Russian government concludes is that they have aligned themselves with an unreliable partner in Bashar al-Assad," Tillerson said Tuesday at a meeting of G-7 foreign ministers in Lucca, Italy, shortly before he left for Russia.

Prompted by a chemical weapons attack, the U.S. loosed dozens of Tomahawk missiles last week on an air base operated by Syrian President Bashar Assad, the embattled ally of Russia.

For a centenarian, the Pulitzer Prize appears to be as spry as ever.

Now in its 101st year, the prestigious prize recognized writers, artists and musicians of nearly every bent — from breaking news and cartooning, to fiction and drama. At a New York City ceremony Monday, Pulitzer Prize Administrator Mike Pride announced the 21 winners of the 2017 award.

It has been quite a while since Californians have seen such green. Riding the coattails of an unseasonably wet season, some valleys have become riots of color, deserts have been blanketed with blooms so suffusive they earn the word "super" — and the state's officials have taken notice.

Hours after President Trump ordered a missile strike on a Syrian air base, responses from the rest of the world are beginning to stack up.

The U.S. military operation, which fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at the Shayrat air base, was conducted in retaliation for an apparent chemical attack by Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces.

It's safe to say that few people expected the first face-to-face meeting between President Trump and Xi Jinping to unfold this way.

The U.S. women's national soccer team has agreed to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement with U.S. Soccer, concluding a protracted dispute over their union contract.

By the time bidding closed Tuesday, there was no lack of companies competing to build the wall President Trump has proposed for the border between the U.S. and Mexico. In fact, by The Associated Press' count, upwards of 200 organizations had expressed interest in designing and building it for Customs and Border Protection.

Updated at 1:35 p.m. ET

In some respects, the current competition between Ford and the electric-vehicle company Tesla is no competition at all.

Bloomberg lays out some of the stark facts:

  • In the past five years, Ford has reported net income of about $26 billion. Tesla lost $2.3 billion.
  • The same period saw Ford generate $151.8 billion in revenue, compared with Tesla's $7 billion.

Let's get something straight up front: Spain and the U.K. are not going to war over Gibraltar.

That, at least, is what politicians from both countries have been carefully asserting since Michael Howard, a former British Conservative party leader, made a not-so-subtle suggestion Sunday that force would be on the table in some recent unpleasantness over the long-disputed peninsula.

The campaign began under cover of darkness.

It opened with a skirmish or two in Bristol more than a decade ago — a superfluous apostrophe scratched off a street sign here, a possessive rendered plural with the stroke of some tape there.

But now, the battle between one mysterious man and the grammatical mistakes besieging the British city has spilled into the harsh light of international media.

Miroslava Breach was sitting in the car with one of her three children outside her home in Mexico when gunmen approached and shot her eight times. Her child was unharmed; the 54-year-old journalist was killed.

A note left beside her body explained the crime for which she'd been murdered: "For being a loud-mouth."

Breach died in the city of Chihuahua on March 23, the third journalist slain in Mexico last month alone. Her murder was also the last straw for the regional newspaper Norte, a publication covering the Mexican border city Juarez.

Sure, the news from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service arrived just a little late for Manatee Appreciation Day — but it's unlikely the gentle finned blimp will be too upset about the belated gift: The announcement that the agency is removing the West Indian manatee from the list of endangered species is welcome, no matter when it arrives.

Now that the trees are easing into their green, many people in China have the past on their minds. The millennia-old spring holiday known as Qingming — or Tomb-Sweeping Festival — is at hand.

Every year around this time, typically on April 4 or April 5 on the Gregorian calendar, China honors the dead by taking a few days off and returning to ancestors' grave sites. There, as the holiday's name suggests, they break out their cleaning tools and get to work ensuring everything is in fine order.

For the second consecutive year, Japanese whalers have returned to port after an Antarctic expedition with the carcasses of 333 whales. The five-ship fleet, put forth by the country's Fisheries Agency, killed the minke whales during a months-long voyage to southern waters for what it calls ecological research.

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