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Hollywood's had a complicated year, and that has made looking ahead complicated, too. NPR's Bob Mondello usually does a year-end movie preview for Thanksgiving weekend. This year, he's expanding his focus a bit.

Play It Forward: Thanksgiving Edition, Pt.1

Nov 26, 2020

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Every musician hopes their art touches someone else. Maybe it'll inspire someone, console them, make them feel less alone. Well, every Thanksgiving Day on this show for six years running, we've turned that idea into a musical chain of gratitude.

The actual number of coronavirus infections in the U.S. reached nearly 53 million at the end of September and could be approaching 100 million now, according to a model developed by government researchers.

The model, created by scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, calculated that the true number of infections is about eight times the reported number, which includes only the cases confirmed by a laboratory test.

Earlier this week, President-elect Joe Biden said “America is back, read to lead the world” as he introduced his national security team.

That will certainly represent a change from the approach President Trump has taken. The Trump administration has been about “America first” and downplaying alliances with organizations such as the World Health Organization.

We assess the impact that has had and the challenges the president-elect will face with our security analyst, Jim Walsh.

For the full story, click here.

Osvaldo Golijov’s “Falling Out of Time” song cycle — a musical tour de force focussing and grief and renewal — has been released by Circle Records. The Grammy-winning Silkroad Ensemble first performed the original work a year ago and since then has been getting rave reviews.

For centuries, composers have drawn inspiration from the oldest melody-makers in the world: birds.

Take, for instance, the piece “Summer Has Arrived” from the mid-1200s. The song features musical references to the cuckoo bird, a species that would continue to inspire Handel, Beethoven and Mahler hundreds of years later.

Nashville Public Radio’s Kara McLeland has more on the history.

Earlier this week, AstraZeneca and Oxford University announced their coronavirus vaccine worked in the majority of people who received it in trials. But now the company has admitted an error that is raising questions about the accuracy of the data.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Ali Velshi, MSNBC anchor and economics correspondent, about what this means for the vaccine.

Thanksgiving is all about tradition and part of that tradition is of course a feast. But the table won’t as crowded as it might be this year because of the pandemic.

Another Thanksgiving day tradition is football — and that’s different this year too. Some games that are normally played on this holiday are canceled altogether. Others will be played with no fans or just a limited number of spectators.

In recent years, up to 1.2 million Americans took part in Thanksgiving Day charity runs.

This year, the start of the giving season looks different across the country: Turkey trots in Midland, Michigan, and Granville and Chillicothe, Ohio — all to raise money for important causes — were called off.

For many Native Americans, Thanksgiving is a day of mourning to grieve over ancestors lost to massacres, land grabs and European-borne illness.

Today, Native Americans are among the hardest hit by COVID-19. The Indian Health Service federal agency reported a 25% positivity rate among Native Americans in the Great Plains, which includes North and South Dakota.

With tears, songs and prayers, a multitude of Argentines flooded into the heart of Buenos Aires to pay their final respects to Diego Maradona, one of the world's greatest soccer players.

Thousands of fans lined up from the early hours on Thursday to file past Maradona's wooden casket as he lay in the Casa Rosada, the presidential palace, beneath his nation's sky-blue-and-white flag and his signature No. 10 shirt.

Jane Arraf has covered Egypt, Iraq, and other parts of the Middle East for NPR News for the past four years. But soon she’ll move to another news outlet, the New York Times, as the Baghdad bureau chief for the paper.

Before she leaves NPR, she joins us to talk about this region she knows so well and the stories she’s done for public radio.

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We talk to Julia Jacobs of the New York Times about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year, which was reduced in size and closed to spectators out of coronavirus concerns.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. I hope you're enjoying your Thanksgiving. We're going to spend our FRESH AIR Thanksgiving in the very good company of Conan O'Brien. Last week, he announced he'll be ending his late-night show in June after 28 years of hosting daily late-night shows. The last 10 years, his show was on TBS.

This month's elections, especially in the aftermath of this summer's protests against racial injustice, were seen as a test for criminal justice reforms. This was especially true for so-called progressive district attorneys.

Many policies in the higher-profile cities of Philadelphia, San Francisco and Chicago already had drawn the ire of some in law enforcement, including choosing not to prosecute certain low-level crimes, among other changes.

Those policies appear to be just fine with voters in cities with prosecutors who vowed to continue shaking things up.

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Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit


I didn't have an interest in playing Genshin Impact at first. I kept hearing it described as a clone of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and I didn't really feel like playing a crummier version of a game I've already played.

Updated at 3:27 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily barred New York from enforcing strict attendance limits on places of worship in areas designated coronavirus hot spots, in a decision released just before midnight on Wednesday.

Far more people in the U.S. are hospitalized for COVID-19 now than at any other moment of the coronavirus pandemic — more than twice as many as just a month ago.

Hospitals in some of the hardest-hit states are exhausting every health care worker, hospital room and piece of equipment to evade the worst-case scenario, when crisis plans have to be set in motion and care may have to be rationed.

Updated at 5:49 p.m. ET

President Trump has pardoned his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who spent years enmeshed in an often bizarre legal war with the government that sprang from the Russia investigation.

Trump announced the news Wednesday on Twitter as Americans prepared to observe the Thanksgiving holiday this week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged people to stay home for Thanksgiving this year, which millions of travelers have ignored.

Many members of the U.S. armed forces didn't have a choice.

Restrictions and regulations implemented by the Defense Dept. to prevent the spread of the coronavirus have put a stop to holiday travel in many military installations.

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President Trump has issued a pardon to his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Flynn had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and then recanted. This ends a years-long saga, which NPR's Ryan Lucas has been long following. And he joins us now.

When she moved to the U.S. from Argentina in 1967, Elsa Calandrelli gave herself a stage name in Quechua, the indigenous language of the Andes: Suni Paz, which means "lasting peace." That's because, she says, lasting peace is what she wants for the world. The 85-year-old singer and songwriter has dedicated herself to singing for and about indigenous and working-class people, and children of all backgrounds.

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Comedian Dave Chappelle had a strange request for his fans. Don't stream his show.

"I'm begging you. If you ever liked me," he said in a video of a stand-up routine he shared on Tuesday. "Boycott Chappelle's Show. Do not watch it unless they pay me."

Chappelle was calling out the network Comedy Central, which first aired Chappelle's Show from 2003 to 2006. He said in the video the company licensed the show to Netflix and HBO Max without paying him or informing him about the deal.

The day before Thanksgiving offered a jarring contrast between President-elect Joe Biden and President Trump, who has yet to concede he lost the election.

Biden on Wednesday delivered a Thanksgiving address in Wilmington, Del., calling on Americans to unite in protecting their communities as they celebrate the holiday this year amid the raging coronavirus pandemic.

Editor's note: This interview mentions suicidal ideations.