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If you find yourself fighting with a friend over politics, or frustrated and furious with your nearest and dearest over who they're supporting for president, you're hardly alone. A recent survey shows just how much the nation's bitter political divide is causing social splintering and taking a toll on friendships. Even decades-long relationships have been caving under the pressure, giving new meaning to "social distancing."

Updated at 6:01 p.m. ET

"I can still hear his voice in my head," the woman in her early 30s told the Brooklyn courtroom Tuesday, her voice shaking.

"He robbed me of my youth,'' the woman, Camila, told the court, according to the New York Post. "He used my innocence to do whatever he wanted with me."

As wildfires raged up and down the Pacific Coast last month, families across California and Oregon lived in – and breathed in — smoky, toxic air for weeks. Many days, the region's air quality ranked among the worst in the world.

When President Trump announced the U.S. military raid that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi one year ago on Oct. 27, officials praised the nighttime operation and said civilians were protected.

But last December, NPR reported claims that forces had killed two Syrian civilians and maimed a third during the raid, prompting the military to investigate.

Zeta will strengthen on its way across the Gulf of Mexico, likely hitting the U.S. coast as a Category 1 hurricane on Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said. Parts of Louisiana and Mississippi are now under hurricane warnings, including metro New Orleans.

"This is a life-threatening situation," the hurricane center said Tuesday, urging people to take precautions against the risk of flooding and other hazards.

With a week until voting concludes this election season, the presidential candidates are making their final pitch to voters on the campaign trail — and on the airwaves.

As a young man, Joe Biden was fixated on a singular goal: "On his first date with his future wife, he told her mother that he wanted to grow up to be president," New Yorker writer Evan Osnos says.

Osnos, who writes about the Democratic presidential candidate in his new book, Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now, notes that the 2020 election represents Biden's third bid for the presidency.

A federal judge has denied the Justice Department's attempt to intervene on President Trump's behalf in a defamation lawsuit filed by a woman who alleges he sexually assaulted her in the mid-1990s.

In her memoir published last year, writer E. Jean Carroll accused the president of raping her in the dressing room of a Manhattan department store more than two decades ago.

Trump denied the allegations and accused her of lying to sell books.

The first Borat movie sparked anger in Kazakhstan for its portrayal of Kazakhstanis as coarse and backward. But the sequel, which was just released, is getting a warmer reception: Kazakhstan's tourism board is using Borat's famous catchphrase "Very nice!" as its new slogan.

The phrase is the centerpiece of a new ad campaign, punctuating videos that highlight Kazakhstan's natural beauty, architecture and culture. The goal is to give people a look at a nation that the tourism agency says is Asia's best-kept secret.

One night in the 1950s Diane di Prima was at a party at Allen Ginsberg's place in New York City. It was usual poet stuff — talking, reading, smoking, drinking — until 11:30 p.m. came around and di Prima said she was going home to relieve her babysitter. Jack Kerouac, also a guest, shouted, "Di Prima, unless you forget about your babysitter, you're never going to be a writer."

Coronavirus cases are rising precipitously in the U.S., and have now surpassed the high levels logged in the summer when daily new cases hovered above 65,000 on average for nearly two weeks.

After a dip in new cases in September, the country now is logging an average of nearly 70,000 new cases a day, and health experts worry this surge could last longer and grip more of the country than in the spring or summer. And the average daily case count has climbed 41% over the past two weeks, according to an NPR analysis.

The Trump administration issued an executive order and memorandum in September, prohibiting any discussion in the federal workforce of concepts such as systemic racism, white privilege and unconscious bias during workplace diversity training.

Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET

Violent clashes between police and demonstrators in Philadelphia erupted Monday night into the early hours of Tuesday after police fatally shot a 27-year-old Black man. Police reported that about 30 police officers were injured during the skirmishes, according to local media.

The man, identified by officials as Walter Wallace, was killed during a confrontation Monday afternoon in West Philadelphia.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

A week before the U.S. presidential election, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed a military agreement Tuesday in India before heading to Sri Lanka on a multicountry tour aimed at pushing the Trump administration's anti-China message.

Pompeo was joined in New Delhi by U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Together they signed a pact with their Indian counterparts to share sensitive satellite data, often used to steer missiles and drones.

During 26 years at the CIA, Marc Polymeropoulos spent a lot of time in rough places, like war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But he never suffered any harm until December 2017, when he was sound asleep at a Marriott Hotel in Moscow near the U.S. Embassy.

"I was awoken in the middle of the night," recalled Polymeropoulos, 51. "I just had incredible vertigo, dizziness. I wanted to throw up. The room was spinning. I couldn't even stand up without falling down. I had tinnitus ringing in my ears."

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper are both in India's capital today. They signed military agreements and pushed the Trump administration's anti-China message. NPR's Lauren Frayer has details.

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A regulatory "firewall" intended to protect Voice of America and its affiliated newsrooms from political interference in their journalism was swept aside late Monday night by the chief executive of the federal agency which oversees the government's international broadcasters.

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President Trump is hitting all the places he can in this last week before Election Day. He will be in three states today, the latest in his whirlwind campaign rally tour.

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When Tiffany Qiu heard how much her surgery was going to cost her, she was sure the hospital's financial department had made a mistake. Qiu already knew from a breast cancer scare earlier that year that her plan required a 30% coinsurance payment on operations, so she pressed the person on the phone several times to make sure she had heard correctly: Her coinsurance payment would be only 20% if she had the procedure at Palomar Medical Center in Poway, Calif., about 38 miles south of where Qiu lives.

Indian Americans — a small but possibly pivotal voting bloc — are overwhelmingly voting for Joe Biden this election, according to a new survey.

Both Joe Biden and President Trump's campaigns have been courting Indian American voters this year. Indian Americans are about 1% of the U.S. population and make up .82% of all eligible voters in the U.S. — but are large enough in numbers to make a decisive difference in certain swing states.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation could open the door to a world that many anti-abortion-rights activists have been envisioning for decades.

"I hope and pray that we will be in a world post-Roe v. Wade," said Carrie Murray Nellis, 41, an adoption attorney based in Georgia.

Throughout her years as a working mother climbing the corporate ladder, Farida Mercedes tried to be home for dinner with her kids. But until recently, she never imagined staying home full time.

"I respect stay-at-home moms. But it wasn't part of my DNA," said Mercedes, who spent almost two decades working for the cosmetics company, L'Oreal. "I love the hustle. I love being hungry and passionate. And I love my children. But I just couldn't see myself out of that."

Foreign interference is a very old problem, but most Americans didn't used to worry much about it and the security of elections.

Now, lessons learned about the Russian attack on the 2016 presidential election have brought the most intense focus ever on the U.S. information environment, elections practices, voter databases and other parts of the infrastructure of democracy.

President Trump has tried to get rid of the Affordable Care Act since the first day of his presidency, but there's one part of Obamacare that he wants to preserve.

"We will always protect patients with preexisting conditions — always," Trump told a campaign crowd on Sunday in Londonderry, N.H. It's a message he has shared repeatedly in the final days and weeks before the presidential election.

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