NPR News & Stories From WUNC

The state of California updated its plans Friday to allow outdoor events at stadiums, ballparks and theme parks to begin to reopen April 1.

Sports facilities and amusement parks will reopen at reduced capacity, contingent on county-level infection rates. The California Department of Public Health released its Blueprint for a Safer Economy guidelines last August, which has dictated the opening and closing of businesses at the county level ever since.

New York lawmakers voted to strip Gov. Andrew Cuomo of his extraordinary emergency powers on Friday, saying that current COVID-19 circumstances no longer justify the expansive powers Cuomo was granted last year. But the legislation also allows the governor to extend orders he has already issued.

The artist Grimes recently sold a bunch of NFTs for nearly $6 million. An NFT of LeBron James making a historic dunk for the Lakers garnered more than $200,000. The band Kings of Leon is releasing its new album in the form of an NFT.

An appeals court has ordered a Minnesota judge to consider charging former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin with third-degree murder in the death of George Floyd last May.

This story is republished from Carolina Public Press.

As more and more North Carolinians receive the COVID-19 vaccines, one population in particular has lagged behind the rest. Less than 4% of the Hispanic community in North Carolina has received a first dose of the potentially lifesaving vaccines.

This weekend marks 56 years since civil rights marchers were attacked by Alabama state troopers on a day now known as "Bloody Sunday." The annual commemoration will be different this year — there's a pandemic, a new president and perhaps most notably, one missing voice.

On March, 7 1965, the late John Lewis and other civil rights leaders led a march from Selma to Montgomery to demonstrate for voting rights. While crossing onto the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the peaceful demonstrators, including Lewis, were brutally beaten by police.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The commemoration of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Ala., will be different this year. The pandemic means there won't be marching crowds this weekend. The church service will be virtual.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

And notably, a voice will be missing.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOHN LEWIS: We're marching today to dramatize to the nation, dramatize to the world, the hundreds and thousands of Negro citizens of Alabama, but particularly here in the Black Belt area, denied the right to vote.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The commemoration of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Ala., will be different this year. The pandemic means there won't be marching crowds this weekend. The church service will be virtual.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

And notably, a voice will be missing.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOHN LEWIS: We're marching today to dramatize to the nation, dramatize to the world, the hundreds and thousands of Negro citizens of Alabama, but particularly here in the Black Belt area, denied the right to vote.

Driving was markedly down in 2020, yet a new report found a surprising and alarming statistic: Traffic deaths actually rose last year.

The National Safety Council (NSC) says deaths from motor vehicles rose 8% last year, with as many as 42,060 people dying in vehicle crashes.

When comparing traffic deaths to the number of miles driven, the rate of fatalities rose 24% — the highest spike in nearly a century, NSC says.

It was a simple experiment. Lucia Alcala, a psychologist, built a tiny model grocery store with aisles and different items that she could put on a family's dining room table.

She and her colleagues brought the model store to 43 family's homes along California's Central Coast. Each family had a pair of siblings, ages 6 to 10.

A Dallas police officer has been arrested on charges that he ordered an acquaintance to kill two people in 2017.

Officer Bryan Riser, 36, was charged with capital murder in the deaths of a 61-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman, Dallas Police Chief Eddie García said at a Thursday media briefing.

The body of Liza Saenz, which had multiple gunshot wounds, was found on March 1o, 2017, in an area river. The family of the second victim, Albert Douglas, reported him missing the previous month. His remains were never found, the police chief said.

As coronavirus numbers improve in many countries, in Brazil, things are getting worse – a lot worse.

The country is seeing a surge in cases of a seemingly more contagious variant infecting people who have already been sick. And on Wednesday, Brazil – second only to the U.S. in the number of people who have died – hit their highest death toll number recorded in a single day: more than 1,900.

Raya and the Last Dragon is a lovely, moving surprise. Its big selling point is that it's the first Disney animated film to feature Southeast Asian characters, but like so many movies that break ground in terms of representation, it tells a story that's actually woven from reassuringly familiar parts. I didn't mind that in the slightest.

McBride's most recent novel, Deacon King Kong, is set in a Brooklyn housing project in 1969. "Time and place is really crucial to good storytelling," he says. Originally broadcast Feb. 29, 2020.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

As the newest coronavirus vaccine makes its debut, the American public has a new set of deliberations before walking into their vaccine clinic — go with the new arrival or stick with the two vaccines that have already gone into the arms of more than 50 million Americans?

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has a few distinct advantages: only one shot is required and it can hold up in a refrigerator for several months.

The NFL has named a Black woman as an official for the first time.

Maia Chaka, a health and physical education teacher in the Virginia Beach area, has participated in the NFL's officiating development program since 2014 while also officiating at the college level.

Next season, she will make history when she takes the field in an NFL game.

Updated at 12:55 p.m. ET

As several states face criticism for lifting coronavirus-related public health restrictions, a study published Friday confirms that state-imposed mask mandates and on-premises dining restrictions help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Check-In: Purple And Green

10 hours ago

Ophira Eisenberg and Jonathan Coulton talk about the bold fashion choices they made in high school.

Heard on Eddie Huang & 'Judas And The Black Messiah' Writers: Who Tells Your Story.

Reality-Breaking News

10 hours ago

Comedy writers Emmy Blotnick and Emily Heller play a game about real journalists in fictional movies. Hey, when will Audie Cornish get cast in a blockbuster?

Heard on Eddie Huang & 'Judas And The Black Messiah' Writers: Who Tells Your Story.

Shady Tree

10 hours ago

Comedians Emily Heller and Emmy Blotnick meet very special guest host Oak-phira Eisen-birch, who tests them about their tree knowledge. If you like a-corny puns, you're in fir a tree-t!

Heard on Eddie Huang & 'Judas And The Black Messiah' Writers: Who Tells Your Story.

Story writers of Judas and The Black Messiah Keith and Kenny Lucas decide whether each clue is a pseudonym of a real hacker, a mushroom, or the name of an anime.

Heard on Eddie Huang & 'Judas And The Black Messiah' Writers: Who Tells Your Story.

B-Gs

10 hours ago

Writers and comedians Keith and Kenny Lucas are stayin' alive as house musician Jonathan Coulton sings songs from the Bee Gees rewritten to be about things with the initials B.G.

Heard on Eddie Huang & 'Judas And The Black Messiah' Writers: Who Tells Your Story.

Eddie Huang

10 hours ago

In 2009, Eddie Huang opened Baohaus, a Taiwanese bun shop in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Huang said his attraction to cooking began with his mother. "She would taste something at a restaurant and be able to make it. And I think that gene or whatever my mom's magic is, it got passed to me." The secret to being able to recreate the magic? According to Huang, it's about paying attention. "When you're eating to pay attention, you know to savor it, think about it. And if you do that, you can probably make it again."

As hopes increase that life will soon get back to normal, there's one pandemic ritual that a lot of kids and parents are going to miss.

A year ago, as the coronavirus began to rage, fitness instructor Joe Wicks, known as The Body Coach, started a daily exercise class for kids on YouTube called "PE With Joe." The idea was to help children stay active during the lockdown.

For months, a conflict in Ethiopia between the government in Addis Ababa and a defiant region has cost thousands of lives and displaced at least a million people.

Despite the increasing brutality of the conflict in Tigray, until now, it has been largely overlooked by the outside world. But attention and concern is growing with news of alleged atrocities and a worsening refugee crisis.

We've put together nine things you should know about the situation in the Horn of Africa.

The FBI has arrested a former mid-level State Department aide in the Trump administration for allegedly assaulting police officers while storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Federico Klein, who also worked on the 2016 Trump campaign, was taken into custody on Thursday in Virginia. He is facing several charges, including obstructing an official proceeding, obstructing law enforcement and assaulting an officer with a dangerous weapon.

Senate Democrats are updating President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package to extend the current $300 weekly federal unemployment benefits through the end of September, adding an extra month of coverage for those who have lost jobs during the pandemic.

The world's oldest known wild bird, a Laysan albatross named Wisdom, has hatched yet another chick at Midway Atoll in the Hawaiian archipelago. Biologists first identified and banded Wisdom in 1956; she is at least 70 years old.

Wisdom's latest chick successfully hatched in February, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's office in the Pacific Islands.

Hiring picked up steam in February as a winter wave of coronavirus infections eased and consumers spent more freely.

U.S. employers added 379,000 jobs in February, while the unemployment rate dipped to 6.2%.

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