Vanessa Romo

Venezuela's pro-government Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the main opposition coalition won't be allowed to register for the presidential election, a decision that is fueling accusations of election rigging even before people head to the polls.

The ruling follows the government's decision, under President Nicolás Maduro and the United Socialist Party, to hold early elections, before April 30.

Casey Affleck will not be presenting the trophy for best actress at the upcoming Academy Awards, his publicist confirmed to the Associated Press Thursday.

It is customary for the previous year's best actor to return to present the best-actress award. Affleck won the award for his performance in Manchester By the Sea.

A panel of scientists and policy experts moved their Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to midnight on Thursday, citing President Trump's rhetoric on nuclear weapons, environmental deterioration due to climate change and a lack of trust in political institutions.

"We are very concerned with the unpredictability of the United States and how it's thinking of its nuclear weapons," Rachel Bronson, the president and CEO of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which created the clock, told NPR.

Because there are no second takes, re-shoots or do-overs at the Oscars, PwC, the accounting firm that tabulates votes for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has devised new rules for how winners are announced at this year's awards.

Caught in a renewed firestorm of controversy, Pope Francis apologized for remarks he made last week defending a Chilean bishop accused of covering up decades of sexual abuse. But the pontiff held fast in his support of the bishop, maintaining his innocence.

As the prospect of a long-term immigration deal for young people who were brought to the country illegally as children dwindles, the Justice Department is appealing a court ruling that blocked the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The department says it will take "the rare step" later this week of filing a petition asking the Supreme Court to intervene.

Nearly 90 women who allege they were sexually assaulted by a former USA Gymnastics doctor plan to speak about the abuse during a four-day sentencing hearing that started Tuesday.

Larry Nassar is accused of sexually abusing more than 140 women and girls as the doctor for Team USA and Michigan State University.

He has pleaded guilty in Ingham County, Mich., to seven first-degree sexual assault charges. Before ordering a sentence, the judge in the case is allowing all of his accusers to speak if they want to.

Updated at 1:40 a.m. ET Tuesday

Some members of the Trump administration started off the holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr. at a wreath-laying ceremony at the civil rights leader's memorial in Washington Monday. But the president's first stop was his own golf club.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has postponed a planned Tuesday session on nuclear attack preparedness, deciding instead to focus the workshop on influenza.

The agency announced the switch in topics late Friday, citing the spike in flu cases as the reason for the pivot.

Chaos and panic broke out aboard a Turkish plane that skidded off the runway, slid down the edge of a cliff and stopped just short of plunging into the Black Sea.

The U.S. State Department is warning Americans not to travel to five Mexican states, issuing a "do not travel" advisory.

"Violent crime, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, is widespread," the State Department said in the notice Thursday.

Updated at 8:11 p.m. ET

Officials have released the identities of 17 people killed in Tuesday's Santa Barbara, Calif., mudslides, as workers continue search and rescue efforts for victims caught in the deluge that swamped houses, crumpled cars and sent boulders careening through streets.

Last year was one of the worst for the retail industry, with record setting bankruptcies and store closings — 8,000 across multiple national chains. And so far, things are not looking up in 2018.

On Thursday, Sears Holdings Corp., the parent company of Sears and Kmart, announced it is closing 64 Kmart stores and 39 Sears locations, as it grapples with weaker in-store sales.

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

Trying to change Obama-era rules, the Trump administration is one step closer to making it more difficult for students to have loan debt wiped clean in cases involving fraud by universities.

Alex Kozinski, a distinguished federal appeals court judge, announced his retirement Monday, effective immediately, after sexual misconduct allegations continued to dog the once-respected justice.

In a statement released by his attorney, the 67-year-old Kozinski partially apologized for his behavior but also tried to frame parts of it as a misunderstanding.

It was a north versus south battle of the vice presidents.

Vice President Mike Pence and former Vice President Joe Biden hit the campaign trail Saturday on behalf of their respective party's candidates in the heated gubernatorial contest in Virginia.

Updated 6:20 a.m. ET Monday

In the Somali capital of Mogadishu, funerals have begun for those killed in Saturday's truck bombing. Officials have cautioned that the death would continue to rise from the nation's worst-ever attack.

The government's latest figures show more than 300 people were killed and another 300 others wounded in the explosion. The Associated Press reports that overwhelmed hospitals in Mogadishu are struggling to assist other badly wounded victims, many burned beyond recognition.

Updated Monday 8:20 a.m. ET

President Trump on Monday defended Vice President Mike Pence's decision to walk out of Sunday's NFL game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers in Indianapolis.

Another Sunday, another Trump Twitter war.

This time, President Trump, who is spending the day at his golf course in Virginia, took aim at retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee.

And Corker fired back.

"It's a shame the White House has become an adult day care center," Corker wrote. "Someone obviously missed their shift this morning."

High-profile lawyer Lisa Bloom has resigned from advising Hollywood studio head Harvey Weinstein, who was recently accused of sexually harassing female employees for decades.

Bloom announced her departure over Twitter on Saturday afternoon, writing, "I have resigned as an advisor to Harvey Weinstein. My understanding is that Mr. Weinstein and his board are moving toward an agreement."

Monopoly Man became the Internet crush of the day on Wednesday, after upstaging former Equifax CEO Richard Smith at a Senate hearing on the company's massive data breach.

The board game character, whose name is Rich Uncle Pennybags, was brought to life by Amanda Werner, an arbitration campaign manager for Public Citizen and Americans for Financial Reform, groups that advocate for consumer rights and protections.

Almost immediately, the monocle, mustache, top hat, pillowcase-sized bag of (#fake) Benjamins became a social media sensation.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Updated at 5 p.m. ET Sunday

Editor's note: This story contains language that some might find offensive.

Dozens of activists have been on the move through rain and sunshine, taking part in a 10-day protest called The March to Confront White Supremacy. The roughly 118-mile walk began in Charlottesville, Va., and culminates in a rally in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

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