Merrit Kennedy

Merrit Kennedy is a reporter for The Two-Way, NPR's breaking news blog. She covers a broad range of issues, from the latest developments out of the Middle East to science research news.

Merrit joined NPR in Washington, D.C., in December 2015, after seven years living and working in Egypt. She started her journalism career at the beginning of the Egyptian uprising in 2011 and chronicled the ouster of two presidents, eight rounds of elections and numerous major outbreaks of violence for NPR and other news outlets. She has also worked as a reporter and television producer in Cairo for The Associated Press, covering Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Sudan.

She grew up in Los Angeles, the Middle East and places in between, and holds a bachelor's degree in international relations from Stanford University and a master's degree in international human rights law from The American University in Cairo.

A major global assessment of pollinators is raising concerns about the future of the planet's food supply.

A U.N.-sponsored report drawing on about 3,000 scientific papers concludes that about 40 percent of invertebrate pollinator species (such as bees and butterflies) are facing extinction. Vertebrate pollinators (such as bats and birds) are somewhat better off by comparison — 16 percent are threatened with extinction, "with a trend towards more extinctions," the researchers say.

Texas' top appeals court has dismissed the remaining felony abuse-of-power charge against former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

The Court of Criminal Appeals also upheld a lower court's ruling dismissing the other charge against Perry.

This all started when a grand jury indicted Perry in August 2014, as Perry was ramping up his campaign for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. His bid came to an end in September 2015. Perry was the first in the crowded Republican field to suspend his campaign.

Nike co-founder and Chairman Philip Knight has pledged $400 million to Stanford University for a new scholarship program aimed at tackling major global challenges.

A western lowland gorilla at the Bristol Zoo Gardens successfully gave birth by a risky and rare emergency cesarean section.

The U.K. zoo released a video of the new baby, who is now 11 days old and weighs just over 2.2 pounds.

A warning: The beginning of the video shows a few seconds of the operation. You can skip to 0:20 for footage of the cute gorilla.

A sustained armed attack at a camp for displaced people in South Sudan killed at least 18, according to a U.N. spokesperson.

The violence at the camp in Malakal, which is managed by the U.N. Mission in South Sudan [UNMISS], erupted on Feb. 17.

The U.N. reported that soldiers in government uniforms were "entering the UNMISS camp and firing on civilians...[and] looting and burning...tents."

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