Nation/World

This week on the Code Switch podcast, we tried to settle a months-long debate we've been having on the team: Which kind of books are best to read during the pandemic? Ones that help you escape our current reality? Or ones that connect you to it on a deeper level? In doing so, we got a chance to catch up with the authors of some of our favorite pandemic reads. We'll be sharing interviews with those authors throughout the week.

One day after President Trump told reporters that he might not accept the results of the presidential election, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said that Americans of all political stripes must be prepared to defend democracy and the rule of law.

Amy Coney Barrett is viewed as the leading candidate to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 48-year-old judge on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago is a favorite among social conservatives. They, and others on the right, view her record as anti-abortion rights and hostile to the Affordable Care Act. If nominated and confirmed, Barrett would be the youngest justice on the Supreme Court and could help reshape the law and society for generations to come.

As of this week, more than 200,000 people in the U.S. have died of COVID-19.

Richard Proia, an accountant from Rochester, New York, is one of those hundreds of thousands who lost their lives to the coronavirus. The 66-year-old, who died in April, left behind a grieving family who are still finding their footing after losing their beloved dad, daughter Angelina Proia says.

Delays In Contract Tracing

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Contact tracing is vital in helping to stop the spread of the coronavirus. But officials at health departments nationwide say the process is being delayed by poor communication between labs and testing sites, and by people not wanting to share information about who they have been around.

Anna Huntsman from NPR member station WCPN in Cleveland has the story.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday the state will end sales of new gasoline-powered cars and trucks by 2035.

Here & Now‘s Tonya Mosley speaks with Mike Regan, senior editor at Bloomberg News, about what this means for the automobile industry.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

For nearly a century, spy stories were a male preserve, one dominated by the likes of James Bond, or — at the classier end — John le Carré. That has finally begun to change, especially on television.

Two police officers who were shot Wednesday night as protesters marched in Louisville, Ky., to demand justice for Breonna Taylor are expected to recover from their wounds, Mayor Greg Fischer says. A man has been arrested and faces multiple charges in connection with the shooting.

Tensions are running very high in Louisville, after a grand jury delivered a limited indictment against one officer who was present when police shot Taylor to death in her apartment.

The NFL Players Association is investigating after a Los Angeles Chargers team doctor reportedly punctured quarterback Tyrod Taylor's lung by mistake on Sunday.

Head coach Anthony Lynn said the incident happened while the unnamed doctor was administering a painkiller for cracked ribs, according to ESPN.

Updated at 1:10 p.m. ET

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is seeking information to identify those responsible for an incident of racist vandalism at a park entrance in Tennessee over the weekend.

A black bear skin — including the head — was left draped over the entrance sign, next to a cardboard sign that said "Here To The Lake Black Lives Don't Matter."

Several Dutch celebrities are being heavily criticized after announcing they would no longer take part in public efforts to combat COVID-19 and for their apparent support of a conspiracy theory suggesting that the government is using fear of the virus to control the population.

With the hashtag #ikdoenietmeermee ("I no longer participate"), the musicians and influencers, led by 21-year-old rapper and model Famke Louise, posted videos to social media saying they were opting out of campaigns to promote social distancing and the use of face masks.

To an uninformed viewer, it might seem silly. They're playing the game all wrong! Why is his character glitching out like that? Is she just smashing Mario into a wall? How did he just fly through the ceiling? Wait! She just skipped a crucial part of the game! But it's not silly — it's speedrunning.

Speedrunning is a popular form of entertainment in the gaming community: Instead of puttering around, exploring game worlds, players try to break records by finishing games in as little time as possible, often using glitches in a game's code and advanced techniques to skip ahead.

Kentucky attorney general, Daniel Cameron, announced on Wednesday that none of the three police officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor would be charged directly over her death. One of the men was indicted for shooting into neighboring homes.

In response, protests emerged nationwide, demanding charges against the officers. Here's a selection of pictures from around the country, as demonstrators called for justice for Taylor and respect for Black life.

Updated at 2:13 p.m. ET

President Trump was met by shouts of "vote him out" and "honor her wish" as he paid his respects on Thursday to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her body is lying in repose for a second day at the Supreme Court.

Trump, wearing a black mask, was silent as he stood next to the flag-draped coffin at the top of the Supreme Court's steps.

Demonstrators took to the streets in downtown Atlanta on Wednesday night to voice anger over a Kentucky grand jury's decision not to charge three Louisville police officers directly in the killing of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor in March.

Police said they arrested 11 people while dispersing crowds, according to NPR member station WABE in Atlanta.

Denver police detained a man after a vehicle plowed through a crowd of people demonstrating for justice in the Breonna Taylor case. The protesters were gathered near the Colorado state Capitol. Some of them had blocked the vehicle, which then sped away.

Updated at 9:23 p.m. ET

President Trump resumed questioning the integrity of this year's election on Thursday after the White House sought to walk back his earlier comments suggesting he might not accept the results if he were to lose.

The back-and-forth started on Wednesday evening at a press conference.

In the wake of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, one of the most popular stories NPR produced was a 9-minute essay by Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg on her 48-year friendship with the legendary judge.

YouTube

There are certain things children shouldn't have to worry about.

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

NOEL KING, HOST:

Like the man at its center, We're Better Than This: My Fight for the Future of Our Democracy is impressive on multiple levels.

It is a compelling memoir, highlighting some of the formative experiences that shaped Elijah Cummings, a son of sharecroppers who would go on to become one of the most influential members of Congress. It is an urgent call to action, imploring us to defend our democracy as it is assailed by threats internal and external. And, perhaps above all, it is a poignant reminder of just how much the nation lost with his death.

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Rene Chavez is one of the 200,000 Americans who have died of COVID-19. He taught high school English in El Paso, Texas, for 16 years. His wife, Annette Chavez, says his students loved him.

Democratic Kentucky State Representative Charles Booker says "justice failed us" when only one of the three officers who were involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor in Louisville was charged.

Copyright 2020 Louisville Public Media. To see more, visit Louisville Public Media.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Updated at 8:45 a.m. ET

Seoul has condemned its northern neighbor for what it calls the brutal killing of a South Korean fisheries official, who went missing earlier this week near the maritime border between the rival states.

The move is likely to aggravate inter-Korean tensions, which have flared again, after a brief interlude of summit diplomacy in 2018 and 2019.

Traditional door-to-door trick or treating should be avoided this Halloween, under new national guidelines. But even with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest advice, Americans are still rallying to safely bring the spooky season to life. People are discovering new, creative ways to celebrate the occasion during the pandemic.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

Author Barbara Kingsolver knew when she started her writing career nearly three decades ago that it's tough to make a living as a poet.

"Writing novels has always been my day job, but poetry is the thing that I always did just because I loved it. So it feels more personal to me when I write a poem," she says. "I'm really not thinking about anyone reading it. I just kind of put it in a drawer."

But the author of The Poisonwood Bible and The Bean Trees published a book of poetry this week titled How to Fly (In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons).

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