Noel King | WAMC

Noel King

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Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

The murder conviction of Derek Chauvin could represent "a huge paradigm shift," if three other Minneapolis officers charged in George Floyd's death are also convicted, says Nekima Levy Armstrong, a civil rights attorney and activist in Minneapolis.

Thousands of people marched on Sunday in Chicago's Little Village. That's the neighborhood where 13-year-old Adam Toledo was shot and killed three weeks ago.

Police body camera footage released last week shows police chasing Adam down an alley. An officer orders him to show his hands, but less than a second later, after Adam has stopped running, his hands are up and the officer shoots him.

The shooting has led to demonstrations and demands that the Chicago Police Department make major changes.

A law professor and former federal prosecutor argues that police in Brooklyn Center, Minn., didn't need to pursue Daunte Wright, who was killed by an officer who said she mistakenly shot him instead of using her Taser.

"They have his license plate. They know where he lives," says Georgetown law professor Paul Butler, author of the book Chokehold: Policing Black Men.

As hopes increase that life will soon get back to normal, there's one pandemic ritual that a lot of kids and parents are going to miss.

A year ago, as the coronavirus began to rage, fitness instructor Joe Wicks, known as The Body Coach, started a daily exercise class for kids on YouTube called "PE With Joe." The idea was to help children stay active during the lockdown.

As President Biden pushes to get U.S. schools fully open soon, an art exhibit aims to help people visualize what it means that they're closed.

The reason it's so hard to kill a mosquito is that they move really well.

Scientists are trying to build a robot with that kind of agility. And these tiny but mighty flying robots could be used in life-and-death situations, such as finding people in a collapsed building.

Kevin Chen says he spends "a lot of time looking at the flapping-wing physics, that is understanding how an insect can flap their wings and generate lift and drag forces."

West Virginia isn't known for its good health outcomes. It leads the nation in deaths from diabetes, accidents and drug overdoses. But when it comes to distributing the COVID-19 vaccine, the state has been a shining star.

Texas is slowly coming out of a historic deep freeze that left millions of residents without power and water for several days.

Why has it been so hard to get a COVID-19 vaccination? One reason may be the software that almost all medical records in the U.S. are built on.

It makes up the systems nurses and doctors type patients' vital signs and prescriptions into — whether they're getting a routine physical or going to the emergency room with a broken arm.

Updated at 5:33 p.m. ET

Like residents around the country, millions of Floridians are anxious to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but the process of signing up for the shots has been confusing. Until recently, the process was different in each of the state's 67 counties.

Most of us don't have to think too often about the logistics of dying and about what closure, like wakes, funerals, memorials, actually requires.

But Todd Beckley has to. The Los Angeles County-area funeral director says he's never experienced anything like the coronavirus pandemic. He says that Inglewood Cemetery Mortuary where he works is so overwhelmed, they're using "every embalming table, every gurney, every table."

And there is a waiting list 23 families long.

Thirty-two years after the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, new charges have been brought against the man suspected of making the bomb that took down the plane over Lockerbie, Scotland.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced Monday that the department was charging former Libyan intelligence officer Abu Agela Mas'ud Kheir Al-Marimi. He is accused of providing a Samsonite suitcase with a Toshiba cassette player that was armed with an explosive.

The Food and Drug Administration's authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine could come within a day or two, a member of an FDA panel of experts that recommended an OK for the vaccine said Friday. But Dr. Paul Offit, a member of that panel, cautioned it could be next fall before life gets back to normal after the pandemic.

That fall prediction would depend on two-thirds of the American population getting the vaccine, he told NPR's Morning Edition.

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, says millions of people in high-risk groups will likely "start rolling up their sleeves" to get a COVID-19 vaccine soon.

Indian Americans — a small but possibly pivotal voting bloc — are overwhelmingly voting for Joe Biden this election, according to a new survey.

Both Joe Biden and President Trump's campaigns have been courting Indian American voters this year. Indian Americans are about 1% of the U.S. population and make up .82% of all eligible voters in the U.S. — but are large enough in numbers to make a decisive difference in certain swing states.

At only 25, trap star Lil Baby is one of the most popular musicians alive. His most recent album, My Turn, spent weeks at No. 1, and over the past few years he's had four dozen songs chart on the Billboard Hot 100, putting him in a dead heat with Paul McCartney and Prince.

Back in early April as the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged New York, John J. Lennon was sure he would contract the coronavirus.

As a prisoner at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, N.Y., social distancing was impossible, he says. Making calls on prison phones, Lennon says, meant being "chest to shoulders" with nearly two dozen inmates. "It was a death-trap situation to use the phone," he says.

Millions of Americans are facing the threat of eviction as a federal moratorium that has protected renters during the pandemic is set to expire Friday.

That eviction moratorium, coupled with unemployment assistance established in the CARES Act, has helped some renters stay in their homes.

When slavery ended, the disenfranchisement of African Americans did not. Discrimination continued in jobs, housing, education — barriers that have contributed to the staggering economic inequality that persists in the country today.

In a new book, economist William Darity Jr. makes the case for reparations as an answer to closing the racial wealth gap.

From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the 21st Century, written by Darity and his wife, A. Kirsten Mullen, offers a roadmap on how to implement reparations for descendants of enslaved people.

There's something about the video of the George Floyd killing that makes it very specific to the Twin Cities.

The video shows a white police officer and a black male victim — a familiar dynamic in similar videos and killings seen nationwide — but there's a third identifiable person: an Asian American officer seen running interference with the crowd and standing watch. He's now-former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao, a Hmong American — which is how you know this isn't "any" city. It's Minneapolis.

The best thing about being 17, according to Shawn Richardson, is freedom.

"I'm able to go out more with my friends," he says. "I can do things solo."

Shawn is a rising high school senior in Minneapolis. School is fine, but what he really loves is track. His friend timed him running the 100-meter dash in 10.71 seconds.

The track season was canceled because of COVID-19. But if he can run that time officially, he will have the school record. Distance running isn't his thing. Shawn is a sprinter.

"It's like gathering energy and then just letting it go," he says.

Ray Dalio is known for making lucrative predictions. His hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, is the largest in the world. But Dalio, a billionaire himself and one of the world's most successful investors, says capitalism is broken.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic hit, Dalio had warned that the wealth gap represented a "national emergency." The outbreak, he says, is only exacerbating the disparities between the rich and the poor.

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NOEL KING, HOST:

The U.S. government has charged Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro with drug trafficking. Attorney General Bill Barr announced the charges earlier this morning. Here he is.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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

NOEL KING, HOST:

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

NOEL KING, HOST:

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

NOEL KING, HOST:

When NPR host Scott Simon was in his late teens, he took a job in an assisted living facility in Chicago, working with people who had developmental disabilities.

"It was more formative in my life, I think, than most any war I've covered, any political campaign I've covered, any reportorial experience I've had," Simon says. "It really opened my eyes into seeing the world differently."

Simon has wanted to tell this story for years, and so he drew on the experiences he had back then to write a new mystery for young readers called Sunnyside Plaza.

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