Matthew S. Schwartz

Matthew S. Schwartz is a reporter with NPR's news desk. Before coming to NPR, Schwartz worked as a reporter for Washington, DC, member station WAMU, where he won the national Edward R. Murrow award for feature reporting in large market radio. Previously, Schwartz worked as a technology reporter covering the intricacies of Internet regulation. In a past life, Schwartz was a Washington telecom lawyer. He got his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and his B.A. from the University of Michigan ("Go Blue!").

As Americans observe a subdued Memorial Day, President Trump visited Fort McHenry in Baltimore to remember those soldiers who have fallen in service of the country.

"I stand before you at this noble fortress of American liberty to pay tribute to the immortal souls who fought and died to keep us free," Trump told the crowd, which included several members of his Cabinet. "We pledge in their cherished memories that this majestic flag will proudly fly forever."

A Virginia gun range can remain open, despite Gov. Ralph Northam's order closing nonessential businesses throughout the state in response to the coronavirus pandemic, a state judge ruled Monday.

Germany is backing away from a centralized digital contact tracing program it had been considering to combat the coronavirus, saying the effort will only work if people trust that their privacy is being respected.

Before 9/11, there was Oklahoma City.

On April 19, 1995, the United States experienced what was — to that point — the most deadly act of terror ever perpetrated on American soil, when a right-wing extremist detonated a truck bomb next to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

It's been 25 years since 168 people — including 19 children — lost their lives when thousands of pounds of fertilizer, fuel and other chemicals exploded and ripped a gaping hole in the building's facade.

They still threw their caps into the air as F-16s flew overhead.

They still responded with a resounding "hua!" whenever anyone mentioned the class of 2020.

As the death toll from COVID-19 continues to rise, governors around the U.S. are figuring out how to reopen their economies while still ensuring the safety of their citizens.

New York lost another 758 lives over a 24-hour-period, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during his daily news conference on Sunday.

"Every one is a face and a name and a family that is suffering," Cuomo said. "This is truly tragic news."

It's the sixth straight day of losses of more than 700 per day.

"That's the one number that I look forward to seeing drop as soon as I open my eyes in the morning," Cuomo said. "It has been flattening, but flattening at a terrible high level."

In a nearly empty St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis celebrated Easter in virtual solitude on Sunday, calling for the world to come together in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

The world is "oppressed by a pandemic severely testing our whole human family," Francis said, according to a translation provided by the Vatican. In the midst of that suffering, Francis said, the message that Christ has risen is "the contagion of hope."

By most accounts, Saturday in the southeastern United States was beautiful, filled with blue skies and sunshine. Sunday could be the polar opposite, as the region faces the prospect of heavy storms, hail, damaging winds and violent tornadoes.

During dangerous weather, communities often open storm shelters. But shelters can get crowded — a potentially dangerous situation of its own at a time of social distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

So how are states balancing the possible spread of the coronavirus, versus the potential for severe storms?

New York is flattening the curve, but the state still lost 783 lives over the last 24 hours, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at his daily news briefing on Saturday. That marks the fifth straight day of more than 700 deaths per day.

"These are just incredible numbers, depicting incredible loss and pain," Cuomo said.

At first, the cancellations came in a trickle.

A performance of the Mozart Requiem in Washington, D.C., Bach's St. Matthew Passion in Seattle. Local jazz nights in New York City.

Then, almost at once, it seemed like the entire March calendars of musicians across the country were wiped clean. Within hours Wednesday, thousands of dollars in expected income vanished.

Televangelist Jim Bakker held up a blue and silver bottle, gazing intently at the label, as he questioned the woman sitting next to him.

"This influenza that is now circling the globe," Bakker said on the Feb. 12 broadcast of The Jim Bakker Show, "you're saying that Silver Solution would be effective."

Updated at 6:25 a.m. ET Wednesday

Russia's lower house of parliament on Wednesday approved a constitutional amendment to allow President Vladimir Putin — already the country's longest-serving leader since Josef Stalin — to extend his rule until 2036.

Lawmakers in the State Duma voted 383 to 0 in favor of the amendment, with 43 abstentions. Putin said on Tuesday that Russia's Constitutional Court would have to rule on whether the move would contradict Russian law. Putin's critics have said approval by the court is all-but certain.

Democratic presidential hopefuls have stepped up their criticism of President Trump's handling of the coronavirus, accusing his administration of "incompetence."

The president has noticed. Speaking to supporters Friday night in South Carolina, he accused his Democratic rivals of using the virus for political ends.

Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, killed in a drone strike early Friday, is getting the vast majority of the media attention. But several others were also killed in the attack, including militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. For years, Muhandis has been one of the most important military figures in Iraq, as the deputy commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces.

One by one, amateur models came across the Craigslist ad that promised to help launch their careers. And one by one, those women learned they were expected to do more than just pose for pictures.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is expanding, and soon fans will see a transgender character.

At an event Saturday at the New York Film Academy, the president of Marvel Studios was asked whether there were plans to bring "more LGBT+ characters" into the Marvel universe --"specifically the T, trans characters?"

More than 100 Gold Star families are suing several major defense contractors, alleging they made illegal "protection payments" to the Taliban — thereby funding the Taliban's insurgency efforts that killed or wounded thousands of Americans in Afghanistan.

It's illegal under the federal Anti-Terrorism Act to provide material support to the Taliban. The U.S. has warned defense contractors that protection payments are against the law, but according to the lawsuit, the practice has proliferated because defense contractors feel it's a cost of doing business.

One of the largest school districts in the country is trying something new: Starting next month, students in Fairfax County, Va., can take one day off per school year to engage in political activism.

The plan has its roots in the 2018 shooting at a Parkland, Fla. high school that left 17 dead. In its aftermath came a rise in student activism unlike anything the Fairfax school district had ever seen, Fairfax School Board member Ryan McElveen tells NPR.

Facing a rash of anti-Semitic attacks, the New York City Police Department will increase its presence in Brooklyn neighborhoods that have large Jewish communities, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday.

At least six incidents of hate-fueled attacks have been reported over the past week. The violence is taking place against the backdrop of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, which began Sunday evening.

Being remembered for a mistake is hard. Being the living symbol of 86 years of futility is just about impossible.

But that's exactly what Bill Buckner was to Boston Red Sox fans for nearly 20 years.

Buckner, an All-Star baseball player who played in the major leagues for 22 years, died Monday. He was 69.

Updated 7:30 a.m. ET

A devastating series of storms late Wednesday spawned multiple tornadoes that caused extensive damage to several buildings and led to three deaths in Missouri.

"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Gov. Mike Parson told reporters at a morning press briefing. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state."

He added: "But three is too many."

President Hillary Clinton?

That might have been the result of the 2016 presidential election — if the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact were in effect.

With a state Senate vote Tuesday, Nevada is close to becoming the latest state to drop the traditional practice of awarding all its electors to the presidential candidate who won the state. Instead, Nevada would award its six electors to whomever receives the most votes across the entire country.

While states like Alabama, Missouri and Georgia are grabbing the spotlight for their new laws restricting access to abortion, Nevada is moving in the opposite direction. The state Assembly on Tuesday passed a law removing some requirements that had been in place for decades.

Formula One world champion Niki Lauda of Austria, who survived a fiery crash in 1976 and went on to win the championship twice more, has died. He was 70.

Born Andreas Nikolaus "Niki" Lauda, he was a prominent race car driver in the 1970s and 1980s, who first won the F1 championship driving for Ferrari in 1975. He's known by many for the serious crash he suffered the next year, in the 1976 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring race track, where he suffered third-degree burns to his head and face. At the hospital, Lauda fell into a coma, and also received last rites.

From student loan debt to unaffordable housing to the opioid crisis, Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has developed a reputation for having a policy plan for everything.

Updated Tuesday at 3 a.m. ET

Days after blacklisting Chinese technology company Huawei from buying American-made products, the Trump administration is now easing up.

Right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan are running out of places to espouse their views online.

Facebook banned these high-profile personalities and several others from its social media platforms Thursday, becoming the latest tech company to officially declare them persona non grata. Many of them have already been banned from Twitter, YouTube and Apple's Podcasts app.

A 32-year-old soldier, straining to get a better view of the inside of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano, was seriously injured after he fell from a 300-foot-high cliff into the volcano crater.

According to a parks spokesman, the man climbed over a metal guardrail to get a better vantage point. Then the ground beneath him collapsed.

A Jewish family has lost a 15-year legal battle to recover a painting stolen by Nazis during World War II.

An 1897 impressionist work by Camille Pissarro, Rue Saint-Honoré, Après-midi, Effet de Pluie, depicting a rain-covered Paris street, had been in the family since 1900. But when Fritz and Lilly Cassirer decided to flee Nazi Germany in 1939, the government had a condition: If they wanted a visa to leave the country, they needed to hand over the oil painting in exchange for about $360 — well below the painting's value.

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