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In a last-minute push, the Trump administration announced Thursday that it will auction off drilling rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in just over a month, setting up a final showdown with opponents before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

Becoming Isis Tha Saviour

1 hour ago

Chiquita Paschal is an editor for Louder Than A Riot, a new podcast from NPR Music that investigates the interconnected rise of hip-hop and mass incarceration in America.

Michael Eric Dyson's Long Time Coming is a timely, heartfelt book that uses history to slice our nation open and show how racism is a sickness that has shaped our culture and society in a variety of insidious ways.

Copyright 2020 KJZZ. To see more, visit KJZZ.

As hospitals across the country weather a surge of COVID-19 patients, nurses, respiratory therapists and physicians in Seattle — an early epicenter of the outbreak — are staring down a startling resurgence of the virus that's expected to test even one of the most well-prepared hospitals on the pandemic's frontlines.

After nine months, the staff at Harborview Medical Center, the large public hospital run by the University of Washington, have the benefit of experience.

Abu Alaa leaves his home in Damascus at dawn to buy bread from his local bakery. There he stands in line for up to six hours to get the two packets of the round flat pita bread that government rations allow for a three-child family like his.

After this he goes to the gas station, where he usually waits a further six hours to buy the fuel he needs for his work as a minivan driver.

"Half of my day is spent waiting for bread — God, it's laughable," he says. "And the other half is spent waiting in line for diesel!"

Welcome to a whopper of a mixtape. If you've been living under the rock 2020 dropped on all of us back in March and spent the last nine months finding comfort in the sounds of your childhood (hell, even 2019), we have some good news for you: As crappy as this year has been for anyone with a shred of empathy, the jams were ample. When the news cycle had us at a loss for words, we found quiet songs to speak for us. When we wanted to smile without looking at our phones, buoyant distractions abounded.

Among the promises that President elect-Biden is expected to fulfill immediately upon taking office: lifting a ban that President Trump imposed on U.S. foreign aid dollars related to abortion.

The 100 Best Songs Of 2020

3 hours ago

Welcome to a whopper of a mixtape. If you've been living under the rock 2020 dropped on all of us back in March and spent the last nine months finding comfort in the sounds of your childhood (hell, even 2019), we have some good news for you: As crappy as this year has been for anyone with a shred of empathy, the jams were ample. When the news cycle had us at a loss for words, we found quiet songs to speak for us. When we wanted to smile without looking at our phones, buoyant distractions abounded.

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

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

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

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

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

We've reached the time of year where the days are getting shorter and colder, but that's no reason to retreat from the world. The English writer Katherine May actually sees this as a transformative time. She has visited Stonehenge during the winter solstice. She's traveled to the Arctic to see the northern lights, and she has soaked in the Blue Lagoon. She writes about all this in her latest book, Wintering.

Spoilers ahead for Season 1 of Industry.

An exceptionally bleak finance drama is not necessarily what many of us, myself included, may be itching to consume in 2020, the Year of Bleak. HBO's Industry follows a group of young grads competing to prove they are the "right fit" for permanent positions at the fictional London bank Pierpoint & Co., and in the premiere episode one of those grads literally works himself to death, succumbing in an office bathroom stall after staying up for days and taking a lot of drugs to complete a project.

Google illegally fired two employees involved in labor organizing last year, the National Labor Relations Board alleged in a complaint on Wednesday.

The tech giant also violated federal labor law, the agency said, by surveilling employees who viewed a union organizing presentation, interrogating others, unfairly enforcing some rules and maintaining policies that "discourage" workers from protected organizing activities.

Updated at 5:50 a.m. ET on Thursday

More than 100,000 Americans are in the hospital with COVID-19, at the same time the nation recorded its worst daily death toll since the start of the pandemic.

Documents obtained by the House Oversight and Reform Committee confirm the Census Bureau may not be able to release a key set of numbers from this year's national head count until after the end of President Trump's term.

James Ramos, the first member of a California Native American tribe to serve in the state legislature, authored a trio of new laws bolstering the rights of Native Americans in the state.

The measures, signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in September, will go into effect on Jan. 1. One such law will make it easier for tribes in the state to reclaim sacred artifacts and the remains of their ancestors that have been held by museums and other institutions for decades.

Even though it's been a difficult year with the coronavirus pandemic, a politically-divided country and social unrest, there is a bright spot in one Kentucky town.

Two young girls are encouraging people to come together — using two words "Be kind."

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel, a federal watchdog, disclosed Wednesday that it had found "a substantial likelihood of wrongdoing" at the parent agency of the Voice of America under the leadership of the CEO appointed by President Trump.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers, including key Republican leaders, are balking at President Trump's latest threat to veto the annual defense bill, barreling ahead with plans to finalize their plan.

On Tuesday, Trump threatened to veto the critical policy bill if it doesn't include a move to repeal a legal protection for social media companies.

Even as President Trump fluctuates between false claims he really won the 2020 election and that it was stolen from him, he is also seriously considering launching a bid for 2024, two campaign sources and a third source with close ties to Trump's circle tell NPR.

Climate change is making people sick and leading to premature death, according to a pair of influential reports on the connections between global warming and health.

Scientists from the World Meteorological Organization released a preliminary report on the global climate which shows that the last decade was the warmest on record and that millions of people were affected by wildfires, floods and extreme heat this year on top of the global pandemic.

Georgia allies of President Trump continue to push baseless accusations of voter fraud in an attempt to have the election results overturned, following weeks of news networks, legal bodies and state certification boards affirming the election win for President-elect Joe Biden. At a rally Wednesday, they went even further, discouraging Georgia residents from voting in the Jan. 5 Senate runoff election.

The Department of Transportation said Wednesday it will no longer require airlines to make the same accommodations for emotional support animals as they do for trained service dogs. No more guaranteed free flights for comfort cats and dogs, therapy monkeys or miniature horse companions.

A service dog is trained to do work or perform a task to benefit an individual with a disability. Emotional support and psychiatric service animals function therapeutically. And starting in 2021, it will be up to individual airlines to decide whether or not treat the two the same.

Updated at 8:15 p.m. ET

Former French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, who was instrumental to the country's expansion of nuclear energy and high-speed rail but lost his bid for reelection during economic recession, died Wednesday, according to French media reports quoting the Elysée Palace.

On Monday, armed and masked gangsters attacked the Southern Brazilian city of Criciúma, in Santa Catarina state, just before midnight.

As a tech journalist for the website The Verge, Casey Newton established himself as something of a Silicon Valley institution. Known for a mix of original reporting and gimlet-eyed analysis, his writing has become essential reading for those who want to better understand the industry.

This fall, he quit his steady job at The Verge to start an email newsletter with Substack, a San Francisco-based startup.

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