Laurel Wamsley

The annual TED conference is known for featuring impressive speakers. Attendees at this year's event in Vancouver have seen Serena Williams and Jorge Ramos, futurists and artificial intelligence experts, health activists and the ACLU's executive director.

But on Tuesday evening, one unannounced speaker took the audience by surprise: Pope Francis.

The pope was on a big screen rather than onstage, and his address had been recorded and edited earlier in April, but still: even for non-Catholics, the bishop of Rome has a certain gravitas.

In November, young boxer Amaiya Zafar traveled from Minnesota to Florida to fight her first competitive bout.

But before Zafar even had her gloves on, officials called off the fight – they told the 16-year-old she had to remove the hijab she wore or forfeit the match. A devout Muslim, Zafar refused, and her 15-year-old opponent was declared the victor.

In the 1950s, television producer Albert Freedman captivated audiences with his carefully crafted game show Twenty-One, which had been foundering before he helped turn it into the most popular program in the country.

Robert M. Pirsig, who inspired generations to road trip across America with his "novelistic autobigraphy," Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, died Monday at the age of 88.

His publisher William Morrow & Company said in a statement that Pirsig died at his home in South Berwick, Maine, "after a period of failing health."

Not all of April's showers are soggy and flower-inducing. Late April is also the season of the Lyrids, the second of the year's established meteor showers. So get thee to the rooftops and wide open fields: The shower peaks tonight.

A remark U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions made earlier this week about a judge in Hawaii isn't sitting well with the Aloha State.

In an interview on the The Mark Levin Show, Sessions was asked about the status of President Trump's executive order on travel.

In case you ever find yourself hurtling into space, know this: When the little stuffed dog starts to float, that's when you've reached Earth's orbit.

With its spindly legs, distinctive patterning, and absurdly long neck, the giraffe makes a compelling figure on the savanna. But the population of the world's tallest mammal has dropped sharply in recent decades – from about 150,000 in 1985, to fewer than 100,000 today.

After three years of confusion and chaos, Flint, Mich., residents may go back to the water source they used before lead contamination showed up in their drinking water.

In a press conference today, Mayor Karen Weaver recommended the city get its water from Detroit's system long-term. Flint was using Detroit water before switching in April 2014 to water from the Flint River as a cost-saving measure.

Updated at 11:15 a.m. ET

A resupply rocket took off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Tuesday, and anyone with a computer, smartphone or virtual reality headset can experience it as if they were right on the launch pad.

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