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A surveillance camera is said to have recorded it all: a woman in a black t-shirt stepping out of a tan minivan; the lighting of a toilet-paper fuse, the arc of a beer bottle filled with fuel as it was thrown onto the dashboard of an empty police car. That act of vandalism, in the early hours of May 30, is why two Brooklyn lawyers are fighting federal explosives charges and could face as much as life in prison.

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COVID-19 infections are now on the rise in 40 states, and that is forcing many governors to rethink their reopening plans. In Alabama yesterday, Gov. Kay Ivey extended her state's safer-at-home orders until the end of July.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

KAY IVEY: While we are not overwhelmed yet, we should not think that because our summer feels more normal than our spring that we are back to normal. Fact is, folks, we are still in the thick of this virus disease, and it is deadly.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

COVID-19 infections are now on the rise in 40 states, and that is forcing many governors to rethink their reopening plans. In Alabama yesterday, Gov. Kay Ivey extended her state's safer-at-home orders until the end of July.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

KAY IVEY: While we are not overwhelmed yet, we should not think that because our summer feels more normal than our spring that we are back to normal. Fact is, folks, we are still in the thick of this virus disease, and it is deadly.

Updated at 4:53 p.m. ET

Virginia's capital city began taking down its statue of Stonewall Jackson after Mayor Levar Stoney ordered the immediate removal of multiple Confederate statues in Richmond.

A crane and a cherry picker swiftly arrived on the city's Monument Avenue to remove the statue of the Confederate general. Crowds gathered to watch and cheer the crew's work, reported Mallory Noe-Payne of NPR member station WVTF.

President Trump is escalating his fight with Congress over a broad bipartisan effort to rename military installations named for figures from the Confederacy, threatening to veto an annual defense bill if it includes the provision.

The Senate is debating the National Defense Authorization Act, which already includes the provision backed by most members of the Senate panel. Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers is looking to add the change as part of ongoing negotiations for its version of the defense legislation.

New York City is delaying plans to open restaurants and bars to indoor dining, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

De Blasio said at a press conference that while the city had planned to allow indoor service in the near future, the rising number of coronavirus cases throughout the United States has led it to take caution.

The United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday that demands an "immediate cessation of hostilities" in conflict zones around the world, due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic. It is the first resolution related to the coronavirus that the council has passed.

The text calls for "all parties to armed conflicts to engage immediately in a durable humanitarian pause for at least 90 consecutive days" to allow for delivery of humanitarian assistance and medical evacuations.

The New York City Council approved an $88.1 billion budget overnight that includes shifting roughly $1 billion away from the New York Police Department.

For the past week, the city has seen "defund NYPD" demonstrations, where crowds have gathered at City Hall and outside of the residences of some members of the city council.

When a young Southern Baptist pastor named Alan Cross arrived in Montgomery, Ala., in January 2000, he knew it was where the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. had his first church and where Rosa Parks helped launched the famous bus boycott, but he didn't know some other details of the city's role in civil rights history.

It's hard to know what's most notable about the Colorado Republican primary upset that ousted Rep. Scott Tipton on Tuesday night.

After longstanding criticism over its lack of diversity, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is continuing to invite more women and minorities to its membership.

Updated at 12:55 p.m. ET

Seattle police started to dismantle the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone early Wednesday morning after Mayor Jenny Durkan issued an emergency order declaring the blocks-long area an "unlawful assembly" that requires immediate action.

Updated at 5:18 p.m. ET

President Trump rebuked New York City's plan to paint "Black Lives Matter" on Fifth Avenue, calling it a "symbol of hate" in a Wednesday morning tweet.

When the Stop Hate for Profit campaign launched just two weeks ago, its organizers had not yet persuaded a single advertiser to boycott Facebook in July.

Coronavirus cases are spiking sharply in Iraq amid a shortage of supplies that has resulted in protesters storming an oxygen cylinder factory and relatives of patients seizing oxygen canisters in hospitals.

"This is a war against the coronavirus and we have lost the war," says an Iraqi official who has been briefed on the government's response to the pandemic.

Shakira Najera Chilel feels like she's faced death before.

As a transgender woman, she dealt with violence and harassment back home in Guatemala and on her journey through Mexico to seek asylum in the U.S. She arrived last year and has been detained at the Eloy Detention Center in Arizona ever since.

"Now I find myself face-to-face with death again; that's how I feel," she said in a phone interview from inside the detention center. "Because you can either be a survivor or die from COVID-19."

Updated 4:37 p.m. ET

President Trump said Wednesday that reports of Russia paying bounties to Taliban-linked fighters to kill U.S. troops and coalition forces in Afghanistan is a hoax, even as his administration continues to brief members of Congress on the matter.

As COVID-19 continues to sweep the nation, Latinx people are among those who are being hit the hardest.

"I would equate what we've seen with the Latino population as kind of the perfect storm," said Dr. Joseph Betancourt, the vice president and chief equity and inclusion officer at Massachusetts General Hospital, in an interview with NPR's Morning Edition.

A construction crew removed the massive Christopher Columbus statue from its place of honor outside Columbus, Ohio's City Hall on Wednesday morning, in one of the most dramatic cases yet of a city reshaping how its monuments reflect its sense of history and community identity.

Abbas has worked in this Kabul cemetery for more than a decade, since he moved to the Afghan capital for work. He's sometimes called to dig quickly to bury the victims of militant attacks. But the last six weeks are the busiest he's ever seen.

"People bring their dead during the day and during the night," says Abbas, who like many Afghans, has only one name. He believes the cause of death is COVID-19.

Editor's note: This story contains a graphic description of an alleged sexual assault.

It was a chilling description of torture in an infamous Syrian prison: "There were screams, they weren't normal," Syrian witness Feras Fayyad said in court. "I was very afraid."

Fayyad, 35, an Oscar-nominated filmmaker, was the first witness to testify in a trial in Germany against a Syrian intelligence officer whom he alleges nearly killed him in a Damascus detention center in 2011.

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Let's refine a big question about Russian bounties on the heads of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

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For more than two years since their wedding day, Albert Akhmetov and his wife have lived on separate continents.

Albert lives in Dallas and his wife Natalia in Kosovo. He immigrated to the United States from Russia through the diversity lottery visa program almost three years ago, and the couple married in Russia after meeting when he was visiting family there. They are waiting on her application for a green card to join him in the U.S.

Dr. Danielle Hairston grew up in a family that included many role models of what she refers to as Black excellence.

"I had the example of a Black woman pediatrician, so it never occurred to me I couldn't become a doctor," says Hairston, who is now the psychiatry residency director at Howard University, where she herself now trains and mentors young Black doctors.

President Trump's wall now stretches along 200 miles of U.S.-Mexico borderland. Progress hasn't slowed during the coronavirus pandemic; in some places it's even accelerating. But there's a tiny swath of tribal land on the Colorado River where that's not the case.

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Good morning. I'm Noel King. A teenager got clever with tech to help people follow health guidelines. Fifteen-year-old Max Melia invented a watch that warns users when they're about to touch their faces with this sound.

(SOUNDBITE OF DEVICE BEEPING)

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