World

Updated at 12:15 a.m. ET Thursday:

A day after reports surfaced from Mount Everest that four climbers had been found dead, Nepalese officials are casting doubt on the grim news.

Officials with the country's Tourism Department and the Nepal Mountaineering Association say other climbers would have seen the bodies and that no group of four has been reported missing.

Nepalese Sherpas reportedly discovered the bodies in tents at Camp IV, the camp closest to the summit of the world's tallest mountain.

Last year's Zika outbreak in Miami likely started in the spring of 2016, with the virus introduced multiple times before it was detected, researchers say. And most of those cases originated in the Caribbean.

Early Tuesday morning I awoke to the horrific news of the Manchester terror attack. A suspected suicide bomber killed at least 22 people and injured dozens more at an Ariana Grande concert.

I must admit that I don't know Ariana Grande or her music, but since then I have learned that she has a large fan base of female teens and tweens. So I now wonder: Was this attack a deliberate attempt to silence those young women and girls enjoying themselves at a concert?

Taiwanese laws that prohibit same-sex couples from marrying violate their personal freedom and equal protection, the island's Constitutional Court ruled Wednesday. The justices called sexual orientation an "immutable characteristic that is resistant to change."

"The judges have today said yes to marriage equality," said Amnesty International's Lisa Tassi, who directs campaigns in East Asia. "This is a huge step forward for LGBTI rights in Taiwan and will resonate across Asia."

During papal audiences with heads of state, the exchange of gifts comes after the private encounter and at the end of the event. It offers the press a chance to witness the body language of the two leaders and listen in as they explain their gifts.

It also offers a glimpse of what the two leaders think of each other.

For example, Pope Francis gave President Trump a large medallion depicting an olive branch as a symbol of peace.

The pope said, "I give this to you so that you can be an instrument of peace."

The president replied, "We can use peace."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's a simple, frequently recurring phrase: "The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack." But it raises some questions: Is the claim credible or just an empty assertion, and if it's true, what does "responsibility" actually entail?

Experts who closely follow the Islamic State say that in general when it comes to attacks in the West, an ISIS claim of responsibility usually means there was some sort of connection. But the attack might have been planned, funded and directed by ISIS — or it could just have been inspired by the group's propaganda.

Updated at 11:40 p.m. ET

The father and younger brother of suspected Manchester Arena suicide bomber Salman Abedi have been arrested in Libya.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Pages