Colin Dwyer

Updated at 2:31 p.m.

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been convicted of corruption and money laundering charges and sentenced to nine and a half years in prison.

Still, Lula — as he's commonly known — has long denied the charges and plans to appeal the conviction. He will remain free as long as that appeals process unfolds.

Federal Judge Sergio Moro found the popular politician guilty of illegally taking more than $1 million in kickbacks from an engineering company, using the money to refurbish a beachfront apartment.

China dispatched troops to set up its first military base overseas on Tuesday. After a ceremony in the southern port city of Zhanjiang, military personnel embarked on a voyage to the East African country of Djibouti to establish an outpost "conducive to China's performance of international obligations," state-run media report.

The base is generally intended to "assist China's contribution to peace and stability both in Africa and worldwide," according to the Xinhua News Agency.

The European Court of Human Rights announced Tuesday that it has upheld a Belgian ban on wearing the full-face veil in public. The law, passed nationwide in June 2011, had come under fire for allegedly violating a series of protections set out by the European Convention on Human Rights.

The unanimous decision held that the ban — which, in the court's words, specifically barred "the wearing in public of clothing that partly or totally covers the face" — aimed to "guarantee the conditions of 'living together' and the 'protection of the rights and freedoms of others.' "

Television's most famous amphibian is set to get a new voice.

Steve Whitmire, the puppeteer who for 27 years has performed as Kermit the Frog, is no longer voicing the green lead of the various Muppets TV programs and films, a spokesperson for The Muppets Studio confirmed to NPR. He will be replaced by longtime show veteran Matt Vogel.

The spokesperson did not immediately comment on the reason for the switch.

As evening fell on southern Kashmir on Monday, a tour bus packed with Hindu pilgrims came under a hail of heavy gunfire. In the course of the violence, seven of those pilgrims were killed and at least 19 more were injured.

The victims had been on a pilgrimage through the Himalayan valley, a long-disputed region on the border between India and Pakistan, returning after paying their respects at a Hindu shrine in Amarnath cave.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson touched down in Kuwait City on Monday, opening a series of talks aimed at ending a diplomatic impasse between Qatar and four of its Arab neighbors.

The cholera outbreak in Yemen marked a grim milestone Monday, as the International Committee of the Red Cross announced there are now more than 300,000 suspected cases of the disease in the country.

The epidemic has claimed more than 1,600 lives in roughly 10 weeks and "continues to spiral out of control," according to the agency.

Nearly three years to the day after the leader of ISIS declared the "caliphate" of Iraq and Syria from the pulpit of Mosul's Great Mosque of al-Nuri, the historic structure is back in Iraqi hands.

A military spokesman announced Thursday that Iraqi troops successfully stormed the centuries-old religious landmark, reclaiming the ruins of a building destroyed by ISIS militants last week.

Boaty McBoatface is back.

And according to the British Antarctic Survey, the world's most famous unmanned submersible returned from its inaugural voyage last week with a trove of "unprecedented data about some of the coldest abyssal ocean waters on earth."

It all began rather simply.

"Mr. and Mrs. Brown first met Paddington on a railway platform," goes the opening line in the opening book of Michael Bond's Paddington Bear series. Readers, for their part, first met the orphan bear from Peru in 1958, in the pages of A Bear Named Paddington.

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