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Wuhan is a ghost town, yet there are still definite signs of life.

That's the status of this city of 11 million, which has seen strict quarantine measures imposed in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the new coronavirus disease.

As of Feb. 10, every compound, or residential complex, in Wuhan has been put under "closed-off management" orders by the government.

The goal is to keep healthy people from getting infected by going out and about.

The residents of Murtazabad, a village in the highlands of Pakistan, are welcoming of strangers. On a recent day, they proffered passing visitors a yak meat porridge they had made for a religious celebration. They indulgently smiled as a horde of Thai tourists raced into one of their orchards and posed with piles of red and yellow apples.

But some days, their patience wears thin.

Andy Davidson probably wrote The Boatman's Daughter sitting at a table at home or at a coffee joint. But it reads as if he pulled it out of the wet earth of the Arkansas bayous with his bare hands on a moonless night while chanting an incantation he learned from a dying witch.

Editor's note: This report contains a racial slur.

Here's one thing historians know to be true about Harriet Wilson: Some indomitable part of her spirit allowed her to survive a life on the margins of American society.

R&B singer R. Kelly has again been charged by federal prosecutors in Illinois. Thursday's filing, which includes 13 charges, supersedes an indictment filed last July and accuses Kelly with sexually abusing another minor.

The minor added to Thursday's federal indictment in Illinois was about 14 years old when the abuse allegedly started in about 1997 and lasted for more than three years.

Valentine's Day is one of the busiest days of the year for those who work in restaurants. It's also a day that many in the industry love to hate.

Los Angeles County courts may soon throw out nearly 66,000 marijuana-related convictions of residents dating back more than 50 years.

Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey has asked a judge to dismiss and seal the records of 62,000 felony cannabis convictions for cases as early as 1961, as well as, 3,700 misdemeanor cannabis possession cases.

Lacey, who is caught in a tight race for the district attorney seat against two progressive candidates, called it a marker of the sweeping change that can occur when government partners with technology leaders.

Native American tribes in North Dakota secured a major victory this week when they settled a pair of lawsuits challenging the state's restrictive voter identification requirements.

The lawsuits were brought by the Spirit Lake Nation, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and several individual voters contesting the state law mandating voters present identification that includes their residential street address.

Episode #2007

Feb 14, 2020

A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court decision blocking states' requirements that people must work in order to receive Medicaid.

Residents of Kentucky and Arkansas brought the action against Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, contending that Azar "acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner when he approved Medicaid demonstration requests for Kentucky and Arkansas."

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed, writing in an opinion posted Friday that the secretary's authorization was indeed unlawful.

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In Kenya today, some men are boycotting Valentine's Day and going instead to men's empowerment conferences. NPR's Eyder Peralta joined me earlier from Nairobi with some of the attendees.

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Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit


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Feeling lonely this Valentine's Day? And do you enjoy the convenience of delivery apps, such as Postmates?


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What makes a person tell a lie about themselves? That question is at the heart of a debut collection of stories by Peter Kispert.

PETER KISPERT, BYLINE: I think that sometimes when we lie, what we're doing is kicking the truth deeper into us. And it makes them more unforgettable, the experiences that we have, the truths we know that we're unwilling to share, it steels them inside of us.

NPR's Steve Inskeep talked to Cui Tiankai, China's ambassador to the U.S. They spoke as China faces one of the largest crises of its history; the coronavirus is a public health problem but it's also economic and political. The full interview is below.

We have an editor who closely follows China, who regards this as China's worst crisis in years, because it is a health crisis, but also an economic crisis and a political crisis. How severe is this, in your view, compared to other crises that China has faced in recent years?

A former Major League Baseball player said this week that the Houston Astros sign-stealing scheme ruined his career.

Former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Mike Bolsinger filed a lawsuit against the Astros claiming the team stole his signs during the 2017 season. Astros players used a video feed to see the signs opposing catchers’ gave to the pitchers — including Bolsinger.

Friday marks two years since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

On Feb. 14, 2018, a former student burst into the school with an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle and killed 17 people in what became the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history.

This week, the White House, with help of four federal departments, experts and some Parkland families, unveiled an online resource center — — to help schools prevent deadly tragedies.

BP and Delta have both pledged to go carbon neutral. The oil producer says it’ll offset its carbon emissions by 2050, and the airline is aiming for the end of the decade.

But what does it mean for a major carbon emitter to go carbon neutral? Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson talks to WBUR business reporter Callum Borchers (@callumborchers).

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


This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, sitting in for Terry GROSS.


After the chaotic Iowa caucuses, all eyes are on Nevada, which begins early caucus voting on Saturday.

A new poll shows Sen. Bernie Sanders as a top contender among Democratic presidential candidates in Nevada’s early caucusing.

High Temperatures Set Record In January

Feb 14, 2020

Last month was the hottest January on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Meanwhile, Brazilian researchers in Antarctica recorded the highest temperature there ever.

Host Jeremy Hobson speaks with Gavin Schmidt (@ClimateOfGavin), climatologist and director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

On Oct. 1, 2020, regular driver’s licenses will no longer be accepted to get through airport security for domestic flights or to get access to federal buildings.

Travelers will have to get a Real ID-compliant driver’s license or use a passport. Host Jeremy Hobson talks to Jim Gregory, from the Transportation Security Administration, about how — and why — to get a Real ID.

Is everyone over 18 required to get a Real ID?

On a recent morning, Matt Marshall sat at a back table in Jim Bob's Chuck Wagon, a café in an old timber town about a half-hour outside of Seattle.

It was the eve of a political rally that Marshall had spent months planning. He scribbled last-minute notes in a homemade booklet, a Christmas present from his daughter. On the front, in black marker, she had drawn the logo of the Washington Three Percent, the name of her dad's militia.

Although, that's not the word he uses.

"We're absolutely not a paramilitary," he said. "We're a nonprofit corporation."

Public radio in Colombia isn’t exactly NPR. The newest station is run by former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels and their victims, part of the peace treaty signed in 2016.

John Otis (@JohnOtis) of WAMC reports.