Right whales are in serious trouble. Over the past year, there have been a record 18 deaths and zero births, and the population of North Atlantic right whales has dwindled. Now there are only 430 left in the world.

“The story is just a simple one of arithmetic,” says Dr. Charles “Stormy” Mayo, director of the Right Whale Ecology program at the Center for Coastal Studies.   

“Most of the bodies were floating face down. Some wore life jackets. But there were a lot of life jackets without any bodies inside. At first I saw just one body, then another and another and another. It was terrible. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.”

In the latest chapter of a closely watched immigration case, the Supreme Court this week shot down a lower court’s ruling that some detained immigrants have a right to bond hearings.

The case centers on the Jennings v. Rodriguez class-action lawsuit. Its lead plaintiff, Alejandro Rodriguez, a legal permanent resident, was convicted as a teenager of joyriding and minor drug possession. He was detained for three years with no bond hearing. Eventually, he won his release.

As US ends immigration programs, a mother and son wonder if they'll ever be together again

14 hours ago

View the interactive here.

From PRI's The World ©2017 PRI

In May 2017, Julia called her mom in Florida. She told her she and a cousin had been mugged while walking home from work in their hometown in Honduras.

“I knew it wasn’t going to resolve anything, but she is the one I call when I want to talk,” Julia says.

Julia confessed to her mom that a few weeks earlier her younger brother was also robbed and beaten at 6 a.m. on his way to work.

Why the US military is building a drone base in Niger

Feb 28, 2018

On Oct. 4, 2017, nine soldiers were killed in a convoy leaving the village of Tongo Tongo in Niger.

Four of those soldiers were American.

The tragedy shocked Americans and Nigeriens alike — most people weren’t even aware that there were US soldiers on the ground.

There’s this old home movie you can find online. Shot on grainy film in the 1970s, it shows a group of young men and women working with cameras and miniature space ships while doing a lot of goofing around in front of the camera.

They’re working on the special effects for a film the world doesn’t know a thing about yet — a film called “Star Wars.”

Many on the visual effects crew thought it was going to be a box-office dud.

A suburb of Damascus, Syria, is going through some of the worst fighting since the war began some seven years ago.

Eastern Ghouta is one of the last strongholds of Syria's anti-government rebels, and right now it's being described as "hell on earth." Syrian and Russian warplanes — targeting rebels and extremists — have been dropping bombs relentlessly on Eastern Ghouta.

Related: Syria's war enters a dangerous new phase

The story behind the skull found in a London pub

Feb 27, 2018

It’s not every day somebody brings you a skull. But for historian Kim Wagner this is exactly what happened one day in 2014.

“I received an email from a family who had a skull,” he says, “and didn’t know really what to do with it.”

The family had inherited the skull from parents who found it when they took over a the London pub, the Lord Clyde. That was back in 1963 and it made a local news story largely because of the note that was found with it.

In France, most people retire at around 62 years old. But it wasn’t until he turned 100 that Robert Marchand set his first world record in competitive cycling.

In 2012, Marchand became the fastest long-distance cyclist over the age of 100 after he pedaled 15 miles in an hour.

Then in 2017, he set a world record in the 105-and-up category — a category created just for him — by riding 14 miles in the same amount of time. He says it was one of the happiest days of his life.

Putin's Cold War mentality explains a lot

Feb 26, 2018

When demonstrators poured into the streets of Moscow to protest parliamentary election results in late 2011, the Kremlin had a quick explanation of what was really going on. 

"The answer, of course, was Hillary Clinton, then secretary of state, must be fomenting disarray and confusion," says author Michael Idov, who covered the protests. "The problem with that is, of course, that the United States, the State Department and the CIA have in fact over the course of history been instrumental in regime change."

In the summer of 2008, nearly 10 years ago, a certain junior senator from Illinois arrived in Berlin to a rock star reception. Barack Obama — still early in his bid for the White House — was seemingly as surprised as anyone by the crowd of nearly a quarter million that turned out to hear him speak.

Somewhere among the throngs that day was Vitali Shkliarov, a native of Belarus who had moved to Germany to study.

When Manny and Roz de Lizarriturri retired from their advertising jobs near Philadelphia, they wanted to explore the United States in their RV. So the married couple of 33 years got out a map.  

“We wanted a more central location. We were looking for a more affordable place to live, and we looked at all these AARP ‘Best 10' lists, and Pueblo [Colorado] figured in a lot of them,” says Manny de Lizarriturri.

In 2008, Harley-Davidson started selling the Screamin' Eagle line of motorcycle tuners. The small, neon-orange box, when put on a regular motorcycle, allowed owners to “tune” the efficiency of their bikes, making them louder, faster and more powerful.

A Ugandan in Canada learns to skate

Feb 23, 2018

To be honest, I don’t remember learning how to skate.

I was probably around 4 or 5 years old. The blast of cold air that hits you when you walk into the rink, the tinny-sounding music being piped in — it’s all so familiar to me.

But my friend Keko is new to Canada.

She’s from Uganda. We met last year when I interviewed her. She’s a well-known rapper in East Africa.