News You Can Use

A farmer from Shandong province along China's east coast, Liu recalls how during Chinese Lunar New Year in January, he went out for a walk and came home to discover local officials preparing to demolish his home.

When he called the police on the demolishers, they arrested him instead, saying that the police would "assist the work of the local government."

"To demolish my home, about 100 security officers surrounded and subdued me, and detained me," Liu said on a recent visit to his village, Liushuanglou, near the city of Heze. He was released from detention the next day.

If you told Brian Dzenis three years ago he would be loading postal semis for work, he would have laughed in your face. A former sports reporter at the now-defunct Youngstown Vindicator, affectionately known as the Vindy, Dzenis, 31, has spent the time after his layoff as a second-shift loader for FedEx, and an expediter for the United States Postal Service.

The ad is stark.

An elderly white woman is watching the news. An anchor reports that cities want to "defund" the police, as she hears a noise coming from elsewhere in the house.

She calls 911 — as Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity says that Joe Biden is "absolutely on board with defunding the police" — only to be told that there is no one there to answer her call and she should leave a message.

Back in the days before the coronavirus pandemic, lots of people found community and comfort in singing together, whether at school, as a form of worship, in amateur groups or performing as professionals. Last year, Chorus America reported that some 54 million Americans — that is, more than 15% of the entire country's population — participated in some kind of organized group singing. And that study revealed that nearly three-quarters of those polled felt less lonely.

For Marjorie Roberts, it started on March 26.

The healthy, 59-year-old life coach in Atlanta says it started as a normal day. She went out to get the mail. As she walked back to her apartment, she lost her balance. Odd for her, but she didn't think much of it.

By evening, "everything came down on me like a ton of bricks," she says. Extreme fatigue was the first symptom among several. Her long ordeal was just beginning. "I had no idea what I was in for."

Editor's note: NPR will be continuing this conversation about Being Black in America online and on air.

When Imani Brown, a 38-year-old from San Francisco, hit the streets to protest the recent police violence against Black Americans, she felt inspired and energized. Her parents fought for racial justice before her, so her participation felt like a part of her inheritance.

They're wiggly and slimy and live inside the flesh of other animals. Now, scientists are making a new case for why they should be saved.

Parasites play crucial roles in ecosystems around the world, making up around 40% of animal species. As wildlife faces the growing threats of climate change and habitat loss, scientists warn that parasites are equally vulnerable.

That's why a team of scientists has released a "global parasite conservation plan."

Trump's massive border wall gets all the buzz.

But U.S. Customs and Border Protection is quietly testing a new generation of free-standing surveillance towers, on the Arizona border, that could revolutionize border security. The telescoping towers are equipped with infrared and daytime cameras, along with laser range-finders and illuminators that can zoom in on a target miles away for a close-up. They're mounted in the bed of a Ford F-150 pickup, so they're completely mobile and can be operated remotely.

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai and several executives at the media company he founded have been arrested for colluding with foreign forces, the highest profile arrests thus far under a sweeping national security law imposed by Beijing just over a month ago.

International leaders at a virtual summit Sunday pledged $298 million in aid to help Lebanon in the aftermath of the catastrophic blast that killed at least 158 people and devastated large swaths of Beirut.

In his opening remarks, French President Emmanuel Macron — co-host of the summit along with the U.N. — said "Lebanon's future was at stake" and urged attendees "to come together in support of Lebanon and its people."

Democrats on Sunday slammed President Trump's executive actions aimed at providing economic relief during the coronavirus pandemic, saying the measures are both ineffective and unconstitutional.

Trump signed three memoranda and one executive order at his Bedminster, N.J., golf resort on Saturday amid stalled negotiations with Congress over a new COVID-19 relief package.

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

The U.S. has hit 5 million confirmed coronavirus cases — just 17 days after crossing the 4 million mark — as lawmakers and states continue to grapple with how to chart a path back to normal as the pandemic continues to rage on.

First China was hit by the novel coronavirus. Now it is dealing with the worst flooding in more than 20 years across vast swaths, from its southwestern interior to its east coast.

Zeng Hailin is one of an estimated 3.7 million people displaced or evacuated because of floods in China largely since June.

Koko Kondo was eight months old and with her mother when the first atomic bomb hit her home city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Her father, Methodist minister Rev. Kiyoshi Tanimoto, had left earlier that morning.

"Suddenly, the whole house crashed," Kondo remembers. She was trapped beneath the rubble with her mother.

When cases of the coronavirus spiked in March, doctors and nurses across the country found themselves overwhelmed with work. The shutdown also took away an important creative outlet for a special breed of medical professional: classical musicians. That's why John Masko, a symphony conductor in Boston, founded the National Virtual Medical Orchestra, giving those in the medical field a chance to perform and connect with each other.

"I kept hearing from musician after musician from our ensemble [about] how much they wish they were playing," Masko says.

Humans have never been particularly good at eradicating entire viruses, and COVID-19 might not be any different.

It's back to school season, but that looks different all across the U.S. Some schools are opening up for in-person classes, while others have decided to pursue distance learning for the foreseeable future — and there are even hybrid models. Quite a few school systems are preparing for multiple scenarios, leaving teachers, students, guardians and employees confused about what next month or even next week will look like.

With few signs the coronavirus is fading, election officials face an increasingly urgent question: how to accommodate voters who become infected in the days leading up to the election.

In Texas — a state that fought expanding mail-in ballot access all the way up to the Supreme Court — COVID-19 positive voters can be put in the position of choosing between their right to vote and the public's health.

Before COVID-19 and before the death of George Floyd, Monique Sampson said she thought Joe Biden and President Trump were "different wings on the same bird."

What TV are you bingeing these days?

It's a question you've probably been asked a lot — and asked others — five months into the pandemic. Movies are shut. Theater is on hold. So there's not much else to do. I myself can't stop watching Korean dramas (just finished Crash Landing On You) and reruns of Gossip Girl on Netflix.

"You aren't going to have the year you thought you'd have."

That's what a nurse told my wife and me after my wife was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. The cancer news came as a shock, as it often does. There were no warning signs. The tumor was picked up on a routine mammogram.

It was hard to take in what the nurse was telling us. We had plans and projects and dreams for the months ahead. Then suddenly — surgery, chemotherapy and radiation were the top items on our agenda.

We were mad. How dare cancer interfere?

Updated at 10 a.m. ET Sunday

At his Bedminster, N.J., golf resort on Saturday, President Trump signed four executive actions to provide economic relief amid the coronavirus pandemic. The actions amount to a stopgap measure, after failing to secure an agreement with Congress.

The three memorandums and one executive order call for extending some enhanced unemployment benefits, taking steps to stop evictions, continuing the suspension of student loan repayments and deferring payroll taxes.

Thousands of protesters outraged over this week's deadly explosion in Beirut amassed in the Lebanese capital on Saturday, as public anger gave way to clashes with police and the storming of the nation's foreign ministry.

Blame for the blast — which killed more than 150 people and injured thousands more — has been widely cast on a culture of corruption and negligence among the nation's ruling class.

Demonstrators set up a mock gallows, hanging cardboard cutouts of politicians, including the country's president, Michel Aoun, and Prime Minister Hassan Diab.

While most children who catch the coronavirus have either no symptoms or mild ones, they are still at risk of developing "severe" symptoms requiring admission to an intensive care unit, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a new report released Friday.

Hispanic and Black children in particular were much more likely to require hospitalization for COVID-19, with Hispanic children about eight times as likely as white children to be hospitalized, while Black children were five times as likely.

TikTok is planning to sue the Trump administration, challenging the president's executive order banning the service from the United States.

Virginia's Supreme Court has granted a request from Gov. Ralph Northam to temporarily stop evictions proceedings, extending protections for tenants who can't pay their rent through the beginning of September.

In a 4-3 ruling Friday, the court agreed to a moratorium on eviction proceedings through Sept. 7, declaring that public safety concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic constituted a "judicial emergency."

New York City is hitting bridges, tunnels, Penn Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal to intercept travelers — and returning residents — from states designated high-risk by Governor Andrew Cuomo and warn them: isolate yourself for 14 days or risk paying fines up to $10,000.

Um Hiba's trauma over being enslaved, raped and beaten by ISIS after fighters raided her village didn't end when she was freed three years ago. Instead, like thousands of other survivors of the genocide against Yazidis, she languishes, still traumatized, with what's left of her family.

Kathleen Edwards had devoted fans and a successful career, with hits on the Billboard Top 40 charts and songwriting awards. But after her last album in 2012, she walked away from the music business. In fact, she opened a cafe in the suburbs of Ottawa, Canada, called Quitters Coffee.

Pages