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After more than three months without any known community spread of the coronavirus in New Zealand, a new outbreak in Auckland has upset the fragile normalcy that had returned in the nation.

It was just Tuesday that the government said it had its first cases from an unknown source in 102 days, all within one family. By Friday, the outbreak had grown to 30 cases, including in other cities where members of the household had traveled.

As terrible as last week's explosion at Beirut's port was, killing 172 people and injuring some 6,000 others, it has prompted new hopes for political change in Lebanon.

On Monday, Prime Minister Hassan Diab and his cabinet resigned, as it emerged that the blast was likely the result of government negligence. Now Lebanese are calling for major reforms.

In a blow to gun control activists, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday that California's ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines is unconstitutional, violating the Second Amendment.

In a 2 to 1 decision, the panel of judges found that such firearm magazines are protected arms under the Second Amendment and are not "unusual arms" that would fall outside its scope.

Belarus' scattered and improvised opposition is regaining its footing after five-term President Alexander Lukashenko unleashed his security forces on protesters during four nights of unprecedented violence.

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the main opposition candidate in Sunday's election, resurfaced on social media Friday after the authorities pressured her to leave for neighboring Lithuania earlier this week. Tikhanovskaya, a political novice, ran against Lukashenko after her husband was denied registration as a candidate and jailed.

Millions of Americans are refinancing their mortgages to save money as superlow interest rates create a rare financial bright spot amid the pandemic.

But homeowners are about to get hit with a big new fee. Starting next month, all home mortgages that are refinanced will have to pay half of 1% of the loan. In other words, $1,500 for a $300,000 mortgage.

The eagle has landed, but EGLE — Michigan's Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy — was not so lucky.

Last month, Hunter King, one of the department's drone pilots, was using a quadcopter to photograph the Lake Michigan coast to track shore erosion.

Suddenly, he started getting warnings on his screen — lots of them — including one indicating that a propeller had come off the drone.

"I was looking through the camera on the drone with my iPad, and it just went into a spiral," King tells NPR.

The Indianapolis 500 usually draws up to 300,000 spectators, making it one of the largest single-day sporting events. But this year the race will happen without screaming fans in the stands.

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NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with cultural critic Taylor Crumpton about Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's new song, "WAP," which celebrates women's sexual pleasure.

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The government agency responsible for policing Wall Street brought the fewest number of insider trading cases in decades, according to the most recent available data.

That decline came just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The Securities and Exchange Commission now warns that the pandemic has created wild swings in the market and more opportunities for insider trading.

NPR reviewed data from the 1980s through last year and found that under the Trump administration, the SEC brought just 32 insider trading enforcement actions in 2019, the lowest number since 1996.

Newly released officer-worn body camera video is giving a fuller view of the tense scene in which George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis on Memorial Day. In it, bystanders clamor for officers to check Floyd's vital signs as Officer Derek Chauvin holds his knee on the man's neck.

The video, from former Officer Tou Thao, shows another vantage of Floyd's arrest as well as Thao's interactions with a crowd of bystanders. The recording was released by a judge's order in Hennepin County, Minn.

Each week, we answer "frequently asked questions" about life during the coronavirus crisis. If you have a question you'd like us to consider, email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions."

Between face shields, neck gaiters and goggles, the options for protection are getting more complex. What face covering setup offers the best safeguard from the virus?

Amboseli National Park in Kenya is experiencing something of an elephant baby boom.

Two back-to-back blazes broke out around Los Angeles this week, marking a dramatic start to the wildfire season.

A wildfire that started Thursday continues to burn near the San Gabriel Canyon east of Los Angeles. Activity at what's called the Ranch2 Fire is expected to increase today due to extreme heat — with highs near 108.

Spanish authorities — facing a new wave of COVID-19 after tamping down the disease months ago — have ordered the closing of nightclubs, banned the consumption of alcohol and even prohibited smoking outdoors in cases where social distancing cannot be guaranteed.

Health Minister Salvador Illa announced the new measures, which also include the closing of bars and restaurants by 1 a.m. He advised against gatherings of more than 10 people and singled out for concern a popular pastime known as "botellones," in which young people gather outside to drink alcohol.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

The Catholic nun became an opponent of the death penalty following the events in her book Dead Man Walking. She details her spiritual journey in River of Fire. Originally broadcast Aug. 12, 2019.

Updated at 4:47 p.m. ET

The Government Accountability Office says that the acting leaders of the Department of Homeland Security, who have been serving in their roles without Senate confirmation, were not appointed through a valid process.

Since November, Chad Wolf has been acting secretary of DHS and Ken Cuccinelli the senior official performing the duties of deputy secretary.

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

The U.S. has seized Iranian petroleum bound for Venezuela aboard four tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, enforcing a forfeiture order aimed at both Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Caracas government, the Justice Department announced Friday.

Roughly 1.116 million barrels of fuel was confiscated from the foreign-flagged vessels M/T Bella, M/T Bering, M/T Pandi and M/T Luna, a Justice Department statement said, adding that the seizure took place "with the assistance of foreign partners."

Election officials are seeking clarification from the Postal Service about how recent cutbacks will affect what's expected to be an avalanche of mail-in voting in the upcoming election. Changes in postal operations have already led to mail delays across the country, raising alarms about what will happen in November.

Dolly Parton expressed her support for Black Lives Matter in an interview with Billboard, saying that while she hasn't attended any marches this summer, she supports the protest movement and its push for racial justice.

"I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen," she told the magazine. "And of course Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!"

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Retailers had placed much hope on a big midsummer shopping spurt, but July proved to be somewhat lackluster, amid renewed lockdowns and new waves of coronavirus cases. Retail sales grew only 1.2% last month compared to June.

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Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with news of Dennis Quaid, not the actor but a cat at a shelter in Lynchburg, Va. Local10 News featured Dennis Quaid the cat hoping to find him a home. And Dennis Quaid, the actor, adopted him.

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One of the most senior intelligence officials to serve under the Trump administration is telling her story to NPR. Sue Gordon was principal deputy director of national intelligence. She was in line for an even higher post when she was forced out in 2019, ending a career that had lasted nearly four decades. Gordon has made some public comments. But this is by far her fullest account since leaving government. Her story illustrates the pressures that intelligence agencies face in 2020.

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Democrat Joe Biden's lead has expanded to double-digits against President Trump in the presidential election, an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds. Biden now leads Trump 53% to 42%, up from an 8-point advantage at the end of June.

The change comes as 71% of Americans now see the coronavirus as a real threat, up significantly over the last several months, as more than 167,000 Americans have died and more than 5 million have become infected with the virus, as of Friday.

Updated 3:40 p.m. ET

Note: This story was updated to include Massachusetts, which began to share contact tracing data on its website on Wednesday.

When everyone who tests positive for coronavirus in your community gets a call from a public health worker asking them about their contacts and those contacts are then asked to quarantine, the process creates a powerful way to keep the virus from spreading.

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