Rachel Treisman

Jessica Gerson-Neeves and her wife, Nikii, are really looking forward to using their new Vitamix blender to whip up smoothies and soups. In fact, the highly anticipated Black Friday purchase has recently become the focal point of their kitchen at home in British Columbia, Canada.

There's just one problem: They can't actually unpack it.

"It arrived in the mail on Dec. 16, and I brought it inside and set the box down on the kitchen floor for just a quick second," Gerson-Neeves says. "And that was a month ago."

Last year was the deadliest for active-duty law enforcement in nearly a century, with COVID-19 identified as the leading cause of death for the second year in a row.

Some 458 local, state, tribal and federal officers died in the line of duty in 2021, according to a preliminary report from the National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum (NLEOMF). That makes an increase of 55% from the previous year's tally of 295 and the highest total number since 1930.

The American Red Cross says the nation is facing its worst blood shortage in more than a decade, citing a drop in blood drives due to the pandemic.

The organization said on Tuesday that the "national blood crisis" is threatening patient care and forcing doctors to make tough choices about who is able to receive blood transfusions, and it's urging people to donate.

An appeals court in California has upheld the firing of two former Los Angeles Police Department officers for playing Pokémon Go rather than responding to a nearby robbery.

Picture this: A goldfish swimming in a square tank on wheels as it rolls deliberately from one side of a room to the other.

It's not a scene from a children's book or a futuristic movie. It's an animal behavior experiment at Israel's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, where researchers have successfully trained several goldfish to operate a robotic vehicle in an effort to explore whether their species is capable of navigating on land.

Actors and comedians are remembering one of their own on Monday: Bob Saget, whose death at age 65 was announced on Sunday.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office in Florida said deputies were called to the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando, Fla., after an unresponsive man was found in a hotel room. They identified the man as Saget and said he was pronounced dead on the scene, with no signs of foul play or drug use.

The Golden Globes were handed out in a private ceremony this year, after a series of scandals rocked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and tarnished the award show's reputation.

Updated January 5, 2022 at 6:18 PM ET

A one year old Shiloh Shepherd named Tinsley is getting praise — and extra treats — after she saved her owner's life by leading New Hampshire police to the site of his vehicle rollover.

Meet Corinne Tan.

The Aspen, Colo., native loves skiing and training her rescue puppy. She's adjusting to life with her new blended family. She has dark hair with turquoise highlights. And she's an 18-inch tall doll.

Corinne is American Girl's latest "Girl of the Year," and the first ever of Chinese descent.

Preet Chandi has made a habit of pushing herself, tackling increasingly challenging endurance events over the years, from ultramarathons to mountaineering.

And fresh off a grueling ski expedition in Antarctica, the 32-year-old has now made history. "Polar Preet" is believed to be the first woman of color to complete an unsupported expedition to the South Pole.

The U.S. reported a record 1,082,549 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. It's the latest in a series of staggering milestones brought on by the highly transmissible omicron variant, which is sweeping across the U.S. and around the world.

An NHL staffer had a cancerous mole removed after a fan of the opposing team spotted it from the stands and urged him to get it checked out. He now credits her with saving his life, and the teams are awarding her a scholarship for medical school this fall.

Check your fridge: Fresh Express and Dole Fresh Vegetables are recalling hundreds of varieties of packaged salad products over possible listeria contamination and are asking customers to throw them away immediately.

The two recalls appear to be unrelated, but together they affect more than 400 products across dozens of states and two Canadian provinces.

Updated December 23, 2021 at 3:52 PM ET

In a rare and wide-ranging interview, James Franco acknowledged he slept with students of the acting school he co-owned, saying he believed their encounters to be consensual despite the striking imbalance of power.

Fox News host Jesse Watters is facing blowback for recent remarks he made at a conservative political conference, where he used violent rhetoric to explain how citizen journalists should confront Dr. Anthony Fauci with questions in the hopes of going viral.

There's a new top dog at the White House.

The latest addition to the Biden family is a purebred German shepherd puppy named Commander. President Biden shared the news — along with some adorable photo and video footage — on social media Monday.

Michael LaRosa, press secretary for first lady Jill Biden, told NPR over email that Commander, who is just shy of 4 months old, was a birthday gift from the president's brother and sister-in-law, James and Sara Biden. The president turned 79 on Nov. 20.

Updated December 22, 2021 at 2:50 PM ET

Prosecutors have asked a judge to reconsider the 110-year sentence he delivered last week to Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, the semitruck driver who was behind the wheel during a deadly 28-vehicle pileup in Colorado in 2019.

Supply chain problems are the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season. And the latest unlucky recipient appears to be none other than everyone's favorite bagel topping.

Updated December 19, 2021 at 11:56 AM ET

Six children were killed and several others injured at a school celebration in the Australian state of Tasmania when a strong gust of wind lifted a bouncy castle more than 30 feet into the air.

Updated December 16, 2021 at 2:16 PM ET

All of the 17 members of a missionary group who had been held hostage in Haiti are free, exactly two months after they were kidnapped by a Haitian gang.

Last week NPR reported that Hawaii had ordered the U.S. Navy to halt operations at the World War II-era Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility after a petroleum leak was found to have contaminated Honolulu's drinking water supply.

A South Dakota hockey team and mortgage lender are apologizing for a widely panned event in which schoolteachers scrambled to grab dollar bills off the ice during a game's intermission.

The Sioux Falls Stampede, a junior league team, had billed Saturday's event as its inaugural "Dash for Cash." It involved dumping $5,000 in $1 bills on a carpet at center ice, then inviting 10 teachers from local schools to scoop up the bills as fans cheered.

A father and son have been arrested on suspicion of starting the Caldor Fire, which burned hundreds of thousands of acres in California over the course of more than two months this fall.

Updated December 9, 2021 at 5:33 PM ET

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is suing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House panel probing the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The 43-page complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington on Wednesday, asks a judge to block enforcement of the two subpoenas the committee had issued for himself and his telecom provider Verizon, calling them "overly broad and unduly burdensome" and saying the panel "lacks lawful authority" to obtain such information.

One of Texas' largest school districts is reviewing more than 400 of its library books following a Republican lawmaker's statewide inquiry into school library titles dealing with topics like race, gender and sexuality.

The North East Independent School District in San Antonio says it was already in the process of reviewing its library books when state Rep. Matt Krause, who chairs the Texas House's General Investigating Committee, announced his inquiry in late October.

The United Arab Emirates just announced some big changes to its work schedule.

The Gulf nation is transitioning to a 4.5-day workweek, with weekends to consist of Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday.

That's significant for two reasons: It likely makes the UAE the first nation to formalize a workweek shorter than five days, and it also brings the country more in line with Western schedules. Up until now, the UAE has had a Friday-Saturday weekend, which is the standard in many predominantly Muslim countries.

Community members and national onlookers are still reeling from last week's deadly shooting at a high school in Oxford, Mich., for which one student and his parents are facing charges.

The tragedy is highlighting an ongoing debate about school shooter drills and the best way to prepare students for the worst, while considering their mental well-being.

At least 17 people have tested positive for COVID-19 — including one probable case of the omicron variant — on a cruise ship that disembarked in New Orleans over the weekend.

A subsidiary of Perdue Premium Meat Company is asking customers to avoid eating certain batches of its fully cooked pork products because of possible listeria contamination.

Michigan-based Alexander & Hornung is recalling 234,391 pounds of fully cooked ham and pepperoni products, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced on Sunday.