"We just heard the news."
Translation:Nous venons d'apprendre la nouvelle.
Why « la nouvelle » not « les nouvelles »?
Also why « apprendre » not « entendre »
idioms, aka "that's just the way it is"
For news, it's rather English that favors the plural. In French "les nouvelles" is pretty much "current events", so "news" as a whole. One single piece of information that's part of that would be "une nouvelle", while in English it's still "news", somehow.
"entendre la nouvelle" would be said as well, but bears a (relatively subtle) stigma: it implies rumor, word of mouth, rather than objective information. It doesn't mean the news in question is false, just that its veracity could be called into question.