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WEAA Morgan State University NPR 89 9 FM - Live Online Radio

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  • 62 Million And Counting: Americans Are Breaking Early Voting Records

    weaa.org Tuesday, 27 October 2020 04:45:00

    With about a week still remaining until Election Day, Americans have already cast a record-breaking 62 million early ballots, putting the 2020 election on track for historic levels of voter turnout. That's some 15 million more pre-election votes than were cast in the 2016 election, according to the U.S. Elections Project , a turnout-tracking database run by University of Florida professor Michael McDonald. McDonald calculates that nationally, voters have cast more than 45% of the total votes counted in the 2016 election. "We continue to pile on votes at a record pace. We've already passed any raw number of early votes in any prior election in U.S. history," McDonald told NPR on Monday. "It's good news, because we were very much concerned about how it would be possible to conduct an election during a pandemic," he said, citing concerns that mail-in ballots would be returned by voters en masse at the conclusion of the early voting period, overwhelming election officials. "Instead, what

  • Colorado Governor Faces Challenges As COVID-19 Cases Surge And Winter Approaches

    weaa.org Tuesday, 27 October 2020 04:39:00

    Colorado is among the states experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. In August, the state logged about 2,000 new cases a week. Last week, that number jumped to more than 8,000 . The state's Democratic governor, Jared Polis, warns that the situation could worsen in the coming months. "We just have this short window of time to get this back under control before the holiday season, and we need to do it," he told reporters last week . "Every one of us needs to really ask ourselves what is our resolve to avoid unnecessary loss of life." In July, Polis implemented a mask requirement for public indoor spaces that's in force until Nov. 10. On Friday the health department limited social gatherings to 10 people or fewer from no more than two households . "If people do need to feel the need to socialize, we totally understand that," he says during an interview on NPR's All Things Considered . "But not a neighborhood block party, not three or four different households. No more than two households.

  • Now A Hurricane, Zeta Is On Track To Hit Louisiana On Wednesday

    weaa.org Tuesday, 27 October 2020 04:32:00

    Zeta has officially strengthened into a hurricane, and is predicted to make landfall late Monday on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula before setting its sights on the U.S. Louisiana is directly in the path of Hurricane Zeta, which is expected to make landfall there on Wednesday night. If it does so, it would be the fifth named storm to make landfall in the state during a single year — the highest number since the state started keeping records in 1851, state climatologist Barry Keim told The Times-Picayune . (A few other storms have crossed into Louisiana after making landfall in other states.) Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency in advance of the hurricane. The storm is currently expected to bring 2-4 inches of rain across southeast Louisiana, but the greatest threat will come from high winds, Edwards said Monday. "The good thing, and the bad thing at the same time, is we've had a lot of practice this year" dealing with storms, Edwards said. The Federal Emergency

  • Vatican Court Hears Unprecedented Sexual Abuse Criminal Trial

    weaa.org Tuesday, 27 October 2020 03:53:00

    Editor's note: This story includes details some readers may find disturbing. An unprecedented trial is underway this month at the Vatican, the result of a whistleblower going public. A young priest is charged with sexually abusing an altar boy over a five-year period inside Vatican City walls. An older priest is charged with covering up the abuse. It's the first criminal trial for sexual abuse to take place in the Vatican court. The first hearing of the trial, held earlier this month, lasted just eight minutes — enough for the Vatican court to hear graphic descriptions of the charges. The alleged victim, identified by his initials, LG, was forced "to undergo carnal acts, acts of sodomy and masturbation at different times and in different places inside Vatican City," according to charges read out by the court clerk. The alleged abuse took place from 2007, when the victim was 13, until 2012. Whistleblower Kamil Jarzembowski meets journalists outside St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on

  • El Paso, Texas, Judge Issues 2-Week Curfew To Stem Surge Of COVID-19 Cases

    weaa.org Tuesday, 27 October 2020 03:31:00

    With new coronavirus cases on the rise, residents of El Paso, Texas, nestled on the U.S-Mexico border, are encouraged to stay home for two weeks as a judge imposes a mandatory curfew. Noting that area hospitals are overrun and the positivity rate of residents has ballooned since the beginning of the month, El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said he was "left with no choice" but to impose a countywide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. The order went into effect Sunday and is set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 8. Residents are only permitted to leave their residences from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for emergency reasons. "Our hospitals are now at a point where they are overwhelmed and exhausted, and I am left with no choice but to take this next step in hopes of seeing some stability in our community and most importantly to save lives," Samaniego said in a statement . He noted that El Paso County has seen a 160% increase in its positivity rate in the last three weeks. There has also been an 300%

  • Chile Celebrates Voters' Decision To Scrap Constitution, Start Over

    weaa.org Tuesday, 27 October 2020 03:13:00

    It started as a ripple: anger over higher subway prices. But a growing wave of protests followed, and now people in Chile have voted overwhelmingly to throw out their country's Pinochet-era constitution and create a new document under which to live. Nearly 80% of the voters chose to form a new constitution. The result threw Chile into a huge celebration. One year after Santiago's streets were jammed by protesters, they were filled Sunday with revelers, ecstatic over the results of a national plebiscite. There were music and fireworks. Signs declared "Renace Chile" — Chile Reborn. The protests and response also jarred the conceptions of Chile as one of South America's most stable countries. At least 30 people died in the unrest, and thousands more were injured. Damages to train systems, businesses and other targets were estimated in the billions of dollars. Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

  • They Work In Several Nursing Homes To Eke Out A Living, And That May Spread The Virus

    weaa.org Tuesday, 27 October 2020 02:49:00

    To make ends meet, Martha Tapia works 64 hours a week at two Orange County, Calif., nursing homes. She is one of thousands of certified nursing assistants who perform the intimate and physical work of bathing, dressing and feeding the nation's fragile elderly. "We do everything for them. Everything you do for yourself, you have to do for the residents," Tapia says. And she's one of many in that low-paid field, predominantly women of color, who work at more than one facility. In March, when the coronavirus began racing through nursing homes, the federal government banned visitors . (That guidance has since been updated .) But even with the ban, infections kept spreading. A team of researchers from UCLA and Yale University decided to examine the people who continued to enter nursing homes in that time — the employees. Keith Chen , a behavioral economist and UCLA professor, says the key question is this: "The people who, we can infer, work in this nursing home — what other nursing homes

  • In Lara Downes' New Series, Black Musicians Rise To A Pivotal Moment

    weaa.org Tuesday, 27 October 2020 02:08:00

    How can a moment of protest and isolation inspire creative rebirth? That's the question renowned pianist Lara Downes is exploring as the host of a new video series for NPR Music, simply titled Amplify With Lara Downes . Downes says the mission of the series is to present intimate conversations with Black musicians who are experiencing creative awakenings during a time of transformation and uncertainty. She joined Ari Shapiro on All Things Considered to talk about it; hear the radio version at the audio link, and read on for an edited transcript. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Ari Shapiro: In your introduction to this series, you mention Harlem in the 1920s, a time when Black artists from around the country came together in one place. You say something similar is happening now, even though we're all so isolated. How so? Lara Downes: Rebirth comes out of devastation. This is a time of so much tragedy and loss, and I think that in the moment that we are losing so

  • Water On The Moon: NASA Confirms Water Molecules On Our Neighbor's Sunny Surface

    weaa.org Tuesday, 27 October 2020 02:04:00

    NASA has confirmed the presence of water on the moon's sunlit surface, a breakthrough that suggests the chemical compound that is vital to life on Earth could be distributed across more parts of the lunar surface than the ice that has previously been found in dark and cold areas . "We don't know yet if we can use it as a resource," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said, but he added that learning more about the water is crucial to U.S. plans to explore the moon. The discovery comes from the space agency's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA — a modified Boeing 747 that can take its large telescope high into Earth's atmosphere, at altitudes up to 45,000 feet. Those heights allow researchers to peer at objects in space with hardly any visual disruptions from water vapor. The water molecules are in Clavius crater, a large crater in the moon's southern hemisphere. To detect the molecules, SOFIA used a special infrared camera that can discern between water's

  • Uber Fires Drivers Based On 'Racially Biased' Star Rating System, Lawsuit Claims

    weaa.org Tuesday, 27 October 2020 02:04:00

    A former Uber driver in San Diego sued the ride-hailing company on Monday for racial discrimination in how it uses passengers' reviews to evaluate drivers. The company relies on a star rating system, which the lawsuit says disproportionately leads to the firing of people who are not white or who speak with accents. "Uber has long known that relying on a system that depends on passenger evaluation of drivers is discriminatory," wrote the driver's attorney, Shannon Liss-Riordan, in the federal lawsuit , which was filed in San Francisco and is seeking class-action status. The suit claims Uber fires drivers if their average ratings drop too low. The suit aims to represent all minority Uber drivers who have been kicked off the app because of poor star ratings. It asks the court to order Uber to stop using passenger evaluations when deciding whether to ban drivers from the app. "Uber's use of this system to determine driver terminations constitutes race discrimination, as it is widely

  • VMI Superintendent Steps Down Amid Allegations Of 'Structural Racism'

    weaa.org Tuesday, 27 October 2020 02:00:00

    One week after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam opened an investigation into systemic racism at the Virginia Military Institute, the college's superintendent has submitted his resignation. On Friday, "the Governor's Chief of Staff conveyed that the Governor and certain legislative leaders had lost confidence in my leadership as Superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute and desired my resignation," retired U.S. Army General J.H. Binford Peay III, 80, wrote to the school's Board of Visitors. "Therefore, effective today ... I hereby resign." Peay, who was superintendent of the public college for 17 years, told The Washington Post earlier this month that "there is no place for racism or discrimination at VMI." Black students make up about 8% of the school's 1,700 enrollment. In Northam's Oct. 19 letter , the governor expressed his "deep concerns about the clear and appalling culture of ongoing structural racism" at the school. "Black cadets at VMI have long faced repeated instances of

  • Stocks Tumble As Coronavirus Cases Spike Again In U.S. And Europe

    weaa.org Tuesday, 27 October 2020 00:47:00

    Updated at 5 p.m. ET Stocks on Monday posted their worst day since early September amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the United States and Europe and declining optimism about another U.S. pandemic relief bill. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day down 650 points, or 2.3%, posting its biggest decline since Sept. 3. The other major indexes were also down, though not as much. The declines happened amid reports that coronavirus cases have spiked in the United States, with more than 80,000 new infections reported on Friday and Saturday, while France and Italy registered a record number of new cases. "Coronavirus worries are back," said Lindsey Bell, chief investment strategist at Ally Invest. In addition to new cases reaching records, she said, "the timing of a vaccine continues to be crucial, but elusive, adding to concerns about economic prospects." Companies slammed by the pandemic, such as airlines and travel companies, were among those hardest-hit, with United Airlines

  • 'A Decarbonized Society': Japan Pledges To Be Carbon Neutral By 2050

    weaa.org Tuesday, 27 October 2020 00:46:00

    Japan has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050, joining a growing list of countries aiming to stave off the worst effects of climate change. The country's approach will include new solar cells and carbon recycling, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Monday, according to Reuters . Further plans are expected to be announced in the future. Suga took office last month . Carbon neutral means balancing carbon emissions by also removing carbon from the atmosphere. Japan joins the European Union, which previously said it aims to be carbon neutral in that same timeline. Japan set its goal a decade sooner than China, which pledged last month to be carbon neutral by 2060. "Responding to climate change is no longer a constraint on economic growth," Suga said Monday, according to Reuters. "I declare we will aim to realize a decarbonized society." In fact, economic growth has been disconnected from greenhouse gas emissions since at least 2015, according to the International Energy Agency. Japan has

  • Nagorno-Karabakh: U.S.-Brokered Cease-Fire Falters Soon After It Starts

    weaa.org Tuesday, 27 October 2020 00:42:00

    On Sunday afternoon, President Trump tweeted his congratulations to the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan for agreeing to a cease-fire in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. "Many lives will be saved," Trump wrote. The U.S.-brokered truce — the third attempt by outside powers to end hostilities that erupted a month ago — went into effect at 8 a.m. local time on Monday. But it wasn't long before the two sides were accusing each other of violating it. The conflict dates back to the end of the Soviet Union three decades ago, when ethnic groups across the country were demanding independence. The Armenians living in Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh region prevailed in a bloody war of secession and have been living in legal limbo for the past quarter century: not recognized as an independent state but running their own affairs as if it were one. Loading... Together with Russia and France, the United States co-chairs a diplomatic initiative called the Minsk Group that has been charged with

  • You're Not Welcome Here: How Social Distancing Can Destroy The Global Economy

    weaa.org Tuesday, 27 October 2020 00:39:00

    Stay out. It's what people are being asked to tell each other. Less than 10 days ago, London banned people who live in different households from meeting each other indoors, to stop the spread of the coronavirus. "Nobody wants to see more restrictions, but this is deemed to be necessary in order to protect Londoners' lives," London Mayor Sadiq Khan told the London Assembly. Taking away the welcome mat is key to cutting off the path of the coronavirus. From the beginning of the pandemic, cities, states and countries have banned each other. And now, eight months into lockdowns that have led to immense stress and fatigue among people, some places around the world are introducing even more draconian measures. The path toward recovery continues to be inherently antisocial and runs counter to how humans interact, live lives and conduct their business. This unwelcome policy — which has already harmed families, societies and economies — has the potential to lead to a tectonic shift in how the

  • Marcus Samuelsson: Erasing Black Culinary History Ignores 'The Soul Of American Food'

    weaa.org Monday, 26 October 2020 23:14:00

    When COVID-19 forced New York City into lockdown in March, Harlem chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson had a choice: stay or go. Born in Ethiopia and raised by adoptive parents in Sweden, Samuelsson says leaving the city during the pandemic "would be the easier way out." But he decided to stay. "My father was a tribe leader in Ethiopia. You don't leave at the toughest time," he says. "You can't come in and take all the benefits and then, when it comes to your turn to chip in, leave." The James Beard award-winning chef says his flagship restaurant, Red Rooster, became his "haven" during the height of pandemic. Working with José Andrés' World Central Kitchen organization, Samuelsson converted the restaurant to a community kitchen. Over the course of six months, Red Rooster served more than 200,000 meals to first responders and others in need. "It was a place for me when our world was so ripped apart and no one knew what to do," he says. Samuelsson says feeding the community during the

  • Can Preflight Coronavirus Testing Get Travelers Back On Planes?

    weaa.org Monday, 26 October 2020 23:10:00

    For people who are itching to travel, airlines are working hard to offer reassurance. They're requiring masks, disinfecting airplane cabins between flights and using hospital-grade HEPA air filtration systems. Airlines are also touting a recent study that shows that modern aircraft ventilation systems help prevent the spread of the coronavirus and suggests the probability of spreading and contracting the coronavirus on even a packed airline flight is low. Now they're offering one more thing in hopes of putting travelers' minds at ease about flying: testing for the coronavirus at the airport, before you board your flight. The tests are allowing some travelers to reschedule and take vacations they had to cancel or postpone months ago. Matt Battiata and his wife and four kids had to postpone a dream vacation to Hawaii's lush landscapes and sparkling beaches back in March, when the island state began requiring every traveler to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. That essentially

  • Waukegan, Ill., Officer Who Killed Black Man Has Been Fired; City To Release Video

    weaa.org Monday, 26 October 2020 22:50:00

    A police officer who shot and killed a young Black man and injured the man's girlfriend during a traffic stop last week in Waukegan, Ill., has been fired. City officials are expected to release police video of the encounter, which could come as soon as this week. State and local officials attended a vigil Sunday in Waukegan, where attendees paid tribute to the deceased, Marcellis Stinnette, 19, and Tafara Williams, who is recovering from injuries sustained last week. Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham spoke at the gathering, telling the crowd the release of the police video is expected before Thursday, the Chicago Tribune reported . That's the deadline set by a Freedom of Information Act request. "We want to beat the FOIA request," Cunningham said, according to the newspaper. The mayor added stipulations to the video's release in a statement Sunday, saying it will only be made public "after a determination is made that the release of the relevant videos will not prejudice or adversely

  • 11 Arrested In Clashes After Pro-Trump Convoy Passes Through NYC's Times Square

    weaa.org Monday, 26 October 2020 21:31:00

    Police arrested 11 people Sunday in New York City after fights erupted in Times Square as a large Jews for Trump convoy rolled through. Skirmishes broke out after some counterdemonstrators yanked flags off vehicles – and some drivers and passengers got out of their cars. The clashes were caught on video and posted to social media, showing frequent outbursts of violence as people shouted threats at each other. At least one car had red paint thrown on it. Those arrested were a mix of men and women, a New York City Police Department spokesperson told NPR on Monday. Most of the people have been charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing government administration – a charge that often broadly refers to interfering with police activity. YouTube Organizers of the Jews for Trump rally were aiming to capitalize on pro-Trump sentiments as well as frustrations over the city's and state's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, protests have erupted in Orthodox and other Jewish

  • 'American Utopia' Book Argues For The Reincarnation Of Hope In The American Project

    weaa.org Monday, 26 October 2020 20:27:00

    The New Wave musician and former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne cannot have known a pandemic was en route when he decided to convert his 2019 Broadway show, American Utopia , into an impressionistic, sweetly illustrated adult picture book — created in collaboration with the much-loved artist Maira Kalman. American Utopia, David Byrne amd Maira Kalman Bloomsbury Publishing It can only have been a stroke of luck that, together, Kalman and Byrne hit on a form perfect for our attention-frayed, stay-at-home age: a version of a play that, rather than offering the full script with no visuals, offers the staged American Utopia 's spirit or, at least, what I imagine its spirit must have been. Not having seen the musical, I can only guess — but I can testify, with great pleasure, that the book stands on its own as a soothing and uplifting, if somewhat nebulous, experience of art, as well as an argument for the reincarnation of hope in the American project. In the spirit of honest criticism,

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