NPR News

Thousands of churches are planning to hold services this Pentecost Sunday, an important Christian holy day held 50 days after Easter.

Religious services are no longer restricted in more than half of states, but some churches that reopened have been forced to shut their doors, again, because of new outbreaks. Among those is First Baptist Church in the town of North in South Carolina, about 30 miles outside Columbia.

Here & Now’s Tonya Mosley speaks with Pastor Sean McElrath.

The back-to-back deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have spurred protests across the country.

Planned Parenthood scored a victory in Missouri on Friday in a ruling that allowed the state's only abortion provider to keep its doors open.

In a 97-page decision, a state administrative commission said the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services wrongfully denied the reproductive health organization a license renewal for a St. Louis clinic in 2019.

On the banks of the Jordan River where the Bible says Jesus was baptized, 15-foot-high reeds rustle in the wind. The site on the Jordanian side of the river looks much like the New Testament describes it when John the Baptist came to live in the wilderness, surviving on locusts and wild honey.

George Floyd and Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death, worked together at a Minneapolis club as recently as last year, according to a report from local television station KSTP.

Over her decades-long career, Tracee Ellis Ross has starred in beloved shows such as Black-ish and Girlfriends. But as she sees it, her latest role is her most daunting one yet. In The High Note, available to stream on Apple TV on May 29, she plays a superstar singer named Grace Jones, who's facing career stagnancy. Meanwhile, Jones' personal assistant Maggie (played by Dakota Johnson) has musical ambitions of her own as an aspiring producer.

"Immunity passports" have been proposed as one way to reboot economies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The theory is this: The approval of the so-called passports would rely on the positive results from an antibody test of your collected blood sample. If you have antibodies to the coronavirus after recovering from an infection, you might be immune from future infection and therefore could be authorized to work and circulate in society without posing a risk to yourself or others.

At least, that's the idea.

Teddy Nelson from Logan, W.Va., died from COVID-19 at the age of 25. His friends and a former coach remember him in this obituary.

The French are heading into a long holiday weekend with sunny, blue skies and the promise of some newfound freedoms. Starting June 2, for the first time since the country was put under lockdown in mid-March, people will be able to travel more than 60 miles from their homes, parks will open and restaurants, cafes and bars will be allowed to serve food and drinks again to customers onsite.

In a wing for suspected coronavirus patients in a southern California hospital, 81-year-old Judy Putnam was alone and disoriented.

She went into the hospital for a routine kidney stent replacement. Two caregivers in her nursing home already tested positive for the coronavirus, but no one suspected Putnam was sick, perhaps because she already had chronic lung disease and advanced dementia.

The head of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that a new analysis shows the agency's delayed rollout of coronavirus testing did not hinder the nation's response to the pandemic.

The coronavirus didn't start spreading in the U.S. until late January or early February, the CDC analysis found, and it circulated at low levels for quite some time.

As a result, the availability of earlier widespread testing for the virus would not have been able to spot it, according to CDC Director Robert Redfield.

The city of Moscow has suddenly doubled its coronavirus death toll from last month.

Media reports and analysts have questioned the accuracy of Russia's mortality figures for the virus.

Under its initial methodology, Moscow's Health Department had attributed 636 deaths to COVID-19. But on Thursday, the department announced that 1,561 deaths in April could be linked to COVID-19.

It attributed the revision to an alternative counting method that takes into account "debatable cases."

A federal judge this month gave the go-ahead to a salvage company hoping to retrieve a telegraph machine from the wreck of the Titanic despite pleas from some that doing so would amount to grave robbery.

The company, RMS Titanic, wants to recover the sunken ship’s wireless Marconi telegraph, which was used to call for help after the ship struck an iceberg on April 14, 1912. Only about 700 of the 2,208 passengers and crew on-board survived the wreck.

Most believe that the colonial era– the time from the 1400s to the late-1900s when rich countries took over poor countries, stripping their people of independence and taking advantage of their natural resources — is over.

But the coronavirus pandemic makes it very clear that the legacy of colonialism is alive. Scholars have recognized that the modern-day control of social, economic, political and cultural aspects of former colonies by modern powers is still happening. They call it "neocolonialism."

Updated at 3:43 p.m. ET

The United States is rescinding a number of special considerations for Hong Kong in retaliation for what Washington calls a naked power grab by China's central government.

President Trump announced a suite of changes Friday in what had been billed as a press conference but which turned out to be an on-camera statement, after which he took no questions.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he expects Senate Republicans will begin considering proposals for a "fourth and final" coronavirus response bill to address the needs of the country "in about a month."

McConnell said the bill will be narrowly crafted and will focus in particular on jobs and schools. He said there could be funding for small businesses and health care, but he will not support extending the additional $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits that run out at the end of July.

Updated at 6 p.m. ET

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has removed guidance on its website that houses of worship should limit choir activities — advice that was based on evidence that group singing can spread the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The warning was part of new guidance for leaders of faith-based organizations that the CDC had posted last Friday. It stated that they should:

An emergency medicine physician from Washington state has filed a lawsuit to get his job back at a hospital. He was fired in late March after criticizing his hospital's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

"This is about people on the front line being given the opportunity to speak out without being terminated and being reprimanded," says Dr. Ming Lin.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, described the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died after police pinned his neck to the ground for several minutes, as an "act of brutality."

"Once again — the words 'I can't breathe.' An act of brutality so elemental, it did more than deny one more black man in America his civil rights and his human rights. It denied his very humanity. It denied him of his life," Biden said Friday.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Former President Barack Obama says he shares the "anguish" that many feel about George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minnesota.

Floyd's death has sparked days of protests in Minneapolis. President Trump blamed the unrest on "thugs" in a tweet that was later hidden by Twitter for "glorifying violence."

Even under a mask, Yesenia Ortiz likes to wear her lipstick every day.

"You know Latina girls," she says, laughing.

She keeps a folded-up paper towel under the mask she wears all day, "because I don't want to ruin my mask."

Ortiz works at a grocery store called Compare Foods in Greensboro, N.C., unloading trucks and restocking shelves.

Customers have been "asking me every day for alcohol, Windex, Clorox for wiping," Ortiz told NPR in late April. "Every day! 'Oh, we don't got none. We ran out. I'm so sorry.' They get so frustrated."

Ramy Youssef

7 hours ago

Actor and comedian Ramy Youssef started his career in New York City's comedy scene. He frequented stand-up showcases, performed sketch comedy and took acting classes before landing his first major role in the Nick At Nite sitcom See Dad Run. He later had a recurring role in the USA Network drama Mr. Robot. In 2019, his hour long stand-up special titled Feelings premiered on HBO.

To Thinkpiece Or Not To Thinkpiece

7 hours ago

Maria Bamford (Lady Dynamite) and Jackie Kashian (The Jackie and Laurie Show) update the titles of Shakespeare plays as search engine-friendly, clickbait-y headlines.

Heard on QuaranTV: Ramy, Space Force And Lady Dynamite.

Plus Ones

7 hours ago

Comedians Maria Bamford and Jackie Kashian join musician Jonathan Coulton for a game that ruins bands by adding an extra letter to form a new name. Coulton discovers the game's concept is a little hard to explain.

Heard on QuaranTV: Ramy, Space Force And Lady Dynamite.

Updated at 4:27 p.m. ET

Seven people were shot in downtown Louisville, Ky., at a protest Thursday evening calling for justice for a 26-year-old black woman who was shot and killed in her apartment by police in March.

The protests started peacefully. But shortly after 11:30 p.m., gunfire erupted.

It's not yet clear who did the shooting, though Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said during a Friday morning press conference that the shots did not come from police.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Brazil reported a record spike of daily coronavirus infections Thursday, as widespread criticism continues to dog President Jair Bolsonaro for playing down the outbreak. The country has confirmed more than 438,000 cases, the world's second-highest number after the United States.

The rise in cases comes as São Paulo, the state with the highest number of registered deaths, prepares to ease restrictions in some areas.

Pages