National & International News

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Planning For End-Of-Life Care Is More Crucial Than Ever. Here's How

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The coronavirus pandemic has been a stark reminder "that things can change in a minute — and so you've got to be prepared," says Sunita Puri, medical director for palliative care at the Keck Medical Center at USC. One of the ways to do this is to decide what sorts of treatments you would want (or not want) in the case you became critically ill — and then document those wishes and share them with loved ones.

From airlines to paper mills, the job news is grim, and there are growing signs it won't be getting better anytime soon.

United Airlines is warning that it may have to furlough as many as 36,000 employees this fall. Demand for air travel has collapsed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Two crises collided this spring in Michigan. The state was already under a coronavirus lockdown when a catastrophic storm hit and a pair of dams failed, flooding the city of Midland.

The local hospital, MidMichigan Medical Center - Midland, hired a disaster recovery company to clean up the mess, including a water-logged basement and morgue. More than 100 workers — many of them recent immigrants — were brought from as far away as Texas and Florida. Bellaliz Gonzalez was one of them.

John Farner considers himself a lifelong Republican. He worked on George W. Bush's 2000 campaign and then took a job in the administration's Commerce Department.

But Farner was skeptical when he saw Donald Trump step onto the GOP stage. And in 2016, he chose not to vote for any presidential candidate.

This November is different, Farner said. The past 3 1/2 years have made it clear that he needs to pick a side, that it's no longer sufficient to simply abstain.

Here's one way of understanding just how far off the map the U.S. economy is right now: The U.S. has now had two straight months where it has added more jobs than it did in all of 2019.

Jeanne Norris is a teacher, the wife of a teacher and the mother of an 8-year-old in St. Louis. She'd love to send her son back to school in August. But, she says, "I feel like my government and my fellow citizens have put me in a position where it's not really in the best interests of our family."

Norris has a long list of reasons why. She says she has personally taught in buildings where ventilation systems are outdated and malfunctioning, and even soap for handwashing is in short supply.

Dozens of foreign nationals working as journalists in the U.S. for Voice of America, the federal government's international broadcaster, will not have their visas extended once they expire, according to three people with knowledge of the decision.

A group representing Brazilian journalists says it will file suit against the country's president, Jair Bolsonaro, after he took off a protective mask as he spoke with reporters about his COVID-19 diagnosis.

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio said on Wednesday that the city's schools will open in the fall, but with a mix of in-person and remote learning options.

A week before the Texas Republican Party's in-person convention was set to draw thousands to Houston, city officials have hit the brakes.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner canceled the event on Wednesday, citing safety concerns as the coronavirus continues its record-breaking spread in the region.

The word "slur" has a number of meanings in English, but the one that has concerned Scrabble aficionados and Hasbro, which owns the U.S. and Canadian trademark for the popular board game, means "a derogatory or insulting term applied to particular group of people."

On Wednesday, the North American Scrabble Players Association announced that derogatory language would be removed from the game's official word list.

There will be no fall sports in the Ivy League this year, officials announced on Wednesday.

This is the latest in a series of coronavirus-related disruptions in the sports world, but the first Division I conference to cancel fall football plans.

The list of places where a masked worker from the Census Bureau may be knocking on front doors later this month is getting longer.

Transcripts of police body camera video in the minutes leading up to George Floyd's death show that he pleaded some 20 times that he couldn't breathe and that one of the officers expressed concern about Floyd's well-being, but was rebuffed by his superior.

After weeks of railing against the Black district attorney leading the prosecution of the white police officers charged in the killing of Rayshard Brooks last month in Atlanta, a member of the Georgia congressional delegation is taking his criticism a step further – officially calling on the Justice Department to open an investigation.

A joint effort by former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to unify Democrats around Biden's candidacy has produced a 110-page policy wish list to recommend to the party's presumptive presidential nominee.

A Black man's report of an assault by white men in an Indiana state park has triggered an FBI investigation. Vauhxx Booker, an activist and member of the Monroe County Human Rights Commission, says the men beat him and threatened him with a noose. The incident was partly recorded on video by witnesses – whom Booker credits with saving him.

Andres Guardado was killed on June 18 after multiple shots were fired by a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy. An independent autopsy, performed at the request of his family, has found that the 18-year-old Guardado was shot five times in the back, and died as a result of these gunshot wounds.

Andres' parents, Cristobal and Elisa Guardado, said the autopsy confirms "what we have known all along, which is that Andres was unjustifiably killed by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy."

The devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the air travel industry is becoming clearer, as United Airlines announced on Wednesday that it may need to cut its U.S.-based workforce nearly in half when federal payroll funding runs out in October.

On Wednesday, the Chicago-based airline notified 36,000 employees, about 45% of the company's domestic employees, that they may lose their jobs on or after Oct. 1, the earliest date that airlines that received government-funded payroll grants can eliminate jobs under the terms of the CARES Act.

Confederate Adm. Raphael Semmes, in green-patinaed bronze, sword at his hip, long stood sentry on Mobile's Government Street, the main corridor through Alabama's historic port city.

Now all that remains is the 120-year-old statue's massive granite pedestal and a commemorative plaque.

"Adm. Raphael Semmes, CSA, commander of the most successful sea raider in history, the CSS Alabama," reads David Toifel, a member of the Adm. Raphael Semmes Camp #11 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Mobile.

Two major international golf competitions, the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup, have announced that they are postponing their event dates by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers say they rescheduled the Ryder Cup because it was not clear fans would be able to attend safely this year.

President Trump is acknowledging that he may have to temper his expectations, adamant at times, that his acceptance speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention should be a big event in front of thousands of people.

"We're very flexible," Trump said when asked during an interview Tuesday with Gray Television whether he may not have as big a gathering next month as he's planned on to celebrate his renomination to lead the GOP presidential ticket.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

The curfew in Serbia appears to have ended before it could even begin.

Rats will enthusiastically work to free a rat caught in a trap — and it turns out that they are especially eager to be a good Samaritan when they're in the company of other willing helpers.

But that urge to come to the rescue quickly disappears if a potential hero is surrounded by indifferent rat pals that make no move to assist the unfortunate, trapped rodent.

The University of California Board of Regents has made by history naming Dr. Michael Drake as the 21st president of the UC system. He was unanimously approved by the board and will be the first person of color to hold the position in the system's 152-year history.

He recently stepped down as president of The Ohio State University, a position he's held since 2014.

"Fake." "Nonsense." "Lies."

The Kremlin reacted the same way the White House did to news reports that U.S. intelligence had allegedly found Russia offered bounties on American troops in Afghanistan.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

Facebook's decisions to put free speech ahead of other values represent "significant setbacks for civil rights," according to an independent audit of the social network's progress in curbing discrimination.

Updated 3:40 p.m. ET

In the latest move from the Trump administration to push for states to reopen schools this fall, Vice President Pence couched guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to safely reopen schools, saying it shouldn't be used as a "barrier" to students returning to classrooms.

The U.S. has reported more than 3 million coronavirus cases as of Wednesday morning, with all but a handful of states struggling to control outbreaks of COVID-19. One million of those cases have been confirmed over the past month — part of a wave of infection that began after many states started to reopen their economies in May.

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