Colin Dwyer

At first, it just sounded like fireworks.

The Sunday headliner, Jason Aldean, had taken the stage not 30 minutes before, and it seemed natural that on the final night of Las Vegas' three-day Route 91 Harvest music festival there would be some pyrotechnics. Even Aldean stayed on stage as the first loud bursts rang out above the crowd of some 22,000 people.

The rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea cooled for a day — and just a day only, it appears.

Roughly 24 hours after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters the U.S. has been engaged in diplomatic talks with Pyongyang, President Trump took to Twitter on Sunday to deride the effort — as well as Kim Jong Un.

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Nearly 11 months since the last time Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi spoke publicly, the leader of the Islamic State purportedly broke his silence Thursday. ISIS media released a 46-minute audio message that plays a speech by Baghdadi, according to the militant group.

It remains unclear when the message was recorded.

Sure, it's been known to rain cats and dogs during some heavy thunderstorms. And if we're to believe The Weather Girls — and who wouldn't? — it was even raining men that one time in 1982.

But fish? That feels like a new one.

After months of competition and preparation, contractors broke ground Tuesday on eight prototypes for President Trump's long-promised border wall. U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that the companies would have about 30 days to complete construction on their prototypes in San Diego.

"We are committed to securing our border and that includes constructing border walls," CBP's acting deputy commissioner, Ronald Vitiello, said in a statement Tuesday.

Roughly a month after the Brazilian government said it would open a wide swath of Amazon rain forest to mining interests, it has backpedaled on that controversial decision. In a statement Monday, the country's Ministry of Mines and Energy said President Michel Temer would issue a new decree restoring the original conditions of the nature reserve.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET

Equifax Chairman and CEO Richard F. Smith is retiring, the credit reporting agency announced Tuesday. The news comes just weeks after the company said a massive data breach exposed the personal information of up to 143 million people.

The massive earthquake rattled through Mexico City at about 1 p.m. local time Tuesday, razing buildings and filling the air with thick clouds of dust. As residents left their offices and homes, dozens of which sustained severe damage or collapsed entirely, the sun was glaring high in the sky.

It was midday, and the children were still in school.

Updated 6:30 a.m. ET Wednesday

The head of Mexico's civil defense agency has lowered the number of people confirmed dead in Tuesday's earthquake. Luis Felipe Puente now says 217 people were killed. Earlier he said the death toll was 248. He gave no explanation for the revised number.

Updated at 3:30 a.m. ET

The death toll continues to rise in Mexico after Tuesday's earthquake. The country's national civil defense agency confirmed the death toll stands at 248. Rescue teams are digging through the rubble to find survivors.

Authorities say three people have been arrested after an eruption of violence on Georgia Tech's campus Monday night. The clash, which broke out during a vigil for a 21-year-old student shot and killed Saturday by police, left officers with minor injuries and one police vehicle damaged by fire.

For just under half an hour Saturday night, President Trump and his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, tackled the missile threat looming from Pyongyang. The pair of leaders condemned North Korea's recent ballistic missile test — and once more vowed to strengthen their joint defenses and ratchet up economic pressure on Kim Jong Un still further.

Four days, 40 nominees — and now, a clear idea of which writers have a shot to win the 2017 National Book Awards.

The National Book Foundation unveiled its longlists of nominees in stages this week, releasing a new set of 10 nominees each day. The rollout concluded Friday with the list of fiction contenders.

Hurricane Irma arrived on the doorstep of the Virgin Islands just over a week ago. A Category 5 storm, historic in its terrible might, Irma shredded homes and hotels into the bare materials that made them, its winds scattering floorboards and roofs and light poles like so many matchsticks.

The Man Booker Prize rolled out its 2017 shortlist on Wednesday, delivering a list of six nominees showcasing a hefty dose of literary heavyweights and a pair of newcomers. Of the six novels on the list, just one will go on to win this year's prestigious literary prize at gala ceremony next month in London.

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