NPR News & Stories From WUNC

Until last week, Ahsan Pirzada ran a law firm in the Pakistani capital. But on March 22, when businesses shut down across Islamabad and thousands of low-wage Pakistanis lost their jobs, he decided to act.

Several large metal shipping containers are lined up in a warehouse under a large American flag. Their doors are ajar and workers stream in and out, power tools buzzing.

These are no ordinary shipping containers: They represent a huge scientific breakthrough in the fight against COVID-19.

"We're looking at the Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System that we've developed to be able to decontaminate PPE for health care workers on the front-line," says Will Richter, a researcher at the Columbus, Ohio-based company.

The nationalist government in Hungary passed a law Monday granting sweeping emergency powers that Prime Minister Viktor Orban says are necessary to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Those powers include sidelining parliament and giving Orban the power to rule by decree indefinitely. The law would punish those who spread false information about the pandemic with up to five years in prison.

"Changing our lives is now unavoidable," Orban told lawmakers last week. "Everyone has to leave their comfort zone. This law gives the government the power and means to defend Hungary."

President Trump revealed he'll be speaking with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday about, among other things, oil prices.

In an interview with Fox and Friends on Monday morning, Trump expressed concern that the recent price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia was endangering the oil industry.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Updated at 6:01 p.m. ET

Some Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island, N.Y., and Instacart's grocery delivery workers nationwide walked off their jobs on Monday. They are demanding stepped-up protection and pay as they continue to work while much of the country is asked to isolate as a safeguard against the coronavirus.

I can't recall an artist so committed to making their Tiny Desk concert memorable. I'd met with Allen Stone weeks prior to go over priorities, expectations and the usual formalities, but this was different. His questions about how to prepare for the Tiny Desk signaled to me that he held this platform in the highest regard and that this wasn't just any appearance.

The Summer Olympics that had been scheduled to begin in Tokyo this July will instead take place almost exactly one year later, the International Olympic Committee says. The games were postponed last week due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be celebrated from 23 July to 8 August 2021," the IOC said Monday. It added that the Paralympic Games will follow, running from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Well, we better get used to social distancing.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2020 KERA. To see more, visit KERA.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Facebook says it's dedicating $100 million to prop up news organizations pummeled by the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Just two weeks ago, the company announced it would devote $1 million to aid local newsrooms in the U.S. and Canada covering the crisis. It turns out, Facebook was already thinking about giving far more.

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

So there have been some stories, some suggestions that only the elderly and only those with underlying health conditions are at real risk from the coronavirus. Well, here's the story of one college student who shows that that is simply not the case.

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

China, of course, is the place where the coronavirus first struck in large numbers, and the Trump administration has been eager to point that out, pinning the blame on China for the spread of the disease. Here is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Large numbers of companies are rolling out mandatory work-from-home policies to help limit the risks posed by the coronavirus outbreak. But cybersecurity experts warn that those remote setups invite new hacking risks.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently issued warnings of an uptick in fraudulent crimes tied to the coronavirus, particularly by scammers posing as official health agencies.

Two weeks ago, President Trump entered the White House briefing room and announced an aggressive plan to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Stay home for 15 days, he told Americans. Avoid groups of more than 10 people. "If everyone makes this change, or these critical changes, and sacrifices now, we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus," he said.

A recently compiled report shows that Supreme Court justices get neither big bucks nor valuable gifts when they speak at public universities. But public and press access granted by the justices is idiosyncratic.

Two justices — Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito — have limited access to their appearances, even on occasion forbidding recording of their speeches for archival purposes.

President Trump is repeating his claim that the United States is doing more testing for the coronavirus than any other country.

"We have more cases because we're doing far more testing than anybody in the world," the president said in a White House briefing on Sunday.

The U.S has ramped up testing, but still lags other countries like Italy and South Korea, when it comes to testing on a per capita basis.

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

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The beginning of a new memoir begins with a fact that may surprise many people. There's no word in Hebrew that translates precisely to the English word history. The words used instead really mean memory.

With only her dog for company, a 4-year-old girl survived alone in the Alabama woods before an army of volunteers and law enforcement came together to find her not far from where she was last seen two days before.

Evelyn Sides, who goes by Vadie, wandered off into the woods near Loachapoka, Ala., Wednesday afternoon.

Updated 8:13 p.m. ET

President Trump said on Sunday that federal guidelines urging Americans to social distance to slow the spread of the coronavirus will remain in place for another month and could last until June.

Under the recommendations, the Trump administration is imploring people to avoid restaurants, bars and other situations involving more than 10 people and restrict traveling to trips deemed essential.

Krzysztof Penderecki, one of the world's leading composers, died Sunday at the age of 86. The Polish Ministry of Affairs announced his passing in a tweet. No cause of death was given.

The Polish-born composer established himself while still in his 20s with jarring atonal works such as Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, and came to be widely admired by music fans and musicians far outside traditional classical music circles.

A planeload of health care supplies arrived in New York City on Sunday from China, part of an effort the White House says will expedite the arrival of goods that are badly needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Pages