Morning Edition

Every weekday for over three decades, Morning Edition has taken listeners around the country and the world with multi-faceted stories and commentaries that inform, challenge and occasionally amuse. Morning Edition is the most listened-to news radio program in the country.

Morning Edition draws on reporting from correspondents based around the world, NPR Illinois journalists, and producers and reporters in locations in the United States. This reporting is supplemented by other NPR Member Station reporters across the country as well as independent producers and reporters throughout the public radio system.

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When Carol Casey moved from Ohio to South Carolina 27 years ago, she picked Hilton Head Plantation — a vast, 4,200-home development built on several former cotton plantations on Hilton Head Island. She says the word "plantation" made the property sound attractive and Southern.

In the late 1950s, Kenneth Felts met a young man who became the love of his life.

Felts, now 90 years old, had not revealed that relationship to his family until a few months ago, when he finally told his daughter, Rebecca Mayes, that he is gay — a secret he'd been keeping for more than 60 years. It happened in mid-March, when Felts was quarantining because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The two spoke about Felts' first love, Phillip, during a remote StoryCorps conversation from Arvada, Colo., this month.

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The U.S. is leading the world in COVID-19 cases - more than 3 1/2 million. Other countries are seeing surges, too. India, for example, just hit a new record - a million cases. Here's virologist Shahid Jameel talking to India Today.

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Americans are buying more guns than ever before. People worried about the pandemic sometimes buy guns. People worried about protests in this country sometimes buy guns. And by one estimate, people have bought 3 million more guns than normal since March. Almost half of all those sales are to first-time gun owners. NPR's Chris Arnold reports.

CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: Mandy Collins is 38. She lives in Little Mountain, S.C., with her husband and three kids. And she just spent $450 on a powerful handgun.

As COVID-19 cases approach 3.5 million infections and exceed 137,000 deaths in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University, hospitals in Arizona, currently a hotspot, are filling up.

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The coronavirus pandemic has reigned on next year's Rose Parade. It normally marks the start of the new year. Here's NPR's Mandalit del Barco with some more.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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For 18 years on PBS, the kids on "The Magic School Bus" went under the ocean, into space and inside the human body with their teacher, Ms. Frizzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RIDE ON THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS")

LILY TOMLIN: (As Ms. Frizzle) Seatbelts, everyone.

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In the Philippines, the government of President Rodrigo Duterte says a new law is needed to fight terrorists. His opponents say that law could be used to suppress activists and ordinary citizens. Here's NPR's Julie McCarthy.

A 19-foot-tall statue of Thomas Jefferson stands beneath a dome in Washington, D.C., with his words carved on the walls around him. But the man known for writing much of the Declaration of Independence also infamously kept some-600 people enslaved in his mansion, Monticello. One of his many descendants has a few ideas for how his memorial might be altered to reflect his complex history.

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(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "(I'VE HAD) THE TIME OF MY LIFE")

BILL MEDLEY: (Singing) Now I've had the time of my life.

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Updated at 12:45 p.m. ET

The dramatic collapse of the U.S. economy from the coronavirus is pummeling America's largest banks, raising new concerns about how much growth is slowing.

Updated at 11:36 a.m. ET

The Justice Department has put to death Daniel Lee, 47, marking the first federal execution since 2003, after a chaotic overnight series of court rulings.

Lee had been convicted of killing three people, including a child, as part of a broader racketeering scheme to fund a white supremacist cause. He had waited more than 20 years on federal death row in Terre Haute, Ind.

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A New Orleans institution is closing. K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen was a temple of Cajun cooking, but after COVID closures and restrictions, it won't reopen. Ian McNulty is on the line with me. He covers New Orleans dining and food culture. Good morning.

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As school districts consider how to approach learning this fall with no sign of the coronavirus slowing, the virus has already had devastating consequences in one rural Arizona school district.

Jena Martinez-Inzunza was one of three elementary school teachers at the Hayden Winkelman Unified School District who all tested positive for COVID-19 after teaching virtual summer school lessons together from the same classroom.

Martinez's colleague and friend, Kimberley Chavez Lopez Byrd, who taught in the district for nearly four decades, died.

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