The Latest News from NPR

California will release up to 8,000 prisoners this summer in an effort to create more space and prevent the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in prisons.

News of the plan comes after more than a third of the inmates and staff at the San Quentin State Prison in the San Francisco Bay Area tested positive for the coronavirus.

Around the world, countries are debating what to do about schools during a pandemic.

In many places, they've been shut. In some they've reopened.

Hong Kong offers a cautionary tale of how difficult these decisions can be.

Schoolchildren were sent home at the end of January as the first wave of the outbreak began, originating from visitors from mainland China. Schools stayed closed through a second wave, sparked largely by European and North American travelers.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced on Friday that all bars and restaurants in the state must stop serving alcohol by 11 each night to try to stem a statewide rise in coronavirus cases.

This week, South Carolina is averaging 1,570 new cases of the virus per day. That's more than twice the rate of new cases compared with three weeks ago.

Roughly 8,000 people incarcerated in state prisons in California could be eligible for early release by the end of August, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announcement Friday.

The decision comes amid a devastating COVID-19 outbreak at San Quentin State Prison and other facilities, with Gov. Gavin Newsom facing mounting pressure from advocates, lawmakers and federal judges to quickly reduce the prison population to enable physical distancing and quarantine efforts.

The American Academy of Pediatrics once again plunged into the growing debate over school reopening with a strong new statement Friday, making clear that while in-person school provides crucial benefits to children, "Public health agencies must make recommendations based on evidence, not politics." The statement also said that "science and community circumstances must guide decision-making."

When his phone died, 11-year-old Davon McNeal was at a Stop the Violence cookout in Washington, D.C., that his mother had helped organize. She took him to his aunt's house close by to borrow a charger and John Ayala, his grandfather, says the little boy hopped out of the car.

"At that moment shots rang out. Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. He goes to the ground. You know, you hear bullets, you get out the way," Ayala said.

UPDATE (4:33 p.m. PT) - The Oregon Employment Department is facing a lawsuit this week for allegedly violating state and federal law in its administration of unemployment benefits during the coronavirus crisis.

The suit asks the Multnomah County Circuit Court to compel OED to approve or deny unemployment claims within four weeks of a person’s application.

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

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Every protest movement has a soundtrack, and the backbone of many of those soundtracks is hip-hop.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FIGHT THE POWER")

PUBLIC ENEMY: Fight the power. Fight the power.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ALRIGHT")

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

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

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

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Arizona hospitals are filling up with coronavirus patients, and many experts are concerned the health care system there could soon buckle under the pressure. NPR's Will Stone reports.

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2020 MPR News. To see more, visit MPR News.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Important climate information is not being collected because of the pandemic. That is partly because research ships have not been able to sail safely. NPR's Rebecca Hersher reports.

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

That drumbeat sound you are hearing getting louder and louder this week as the days have passed, it's the drumbeat from the Trump administration to reopen American schools.

(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE)

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

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

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

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

As Major League Baseball prepares to start its season, a massive set of coronavirus test results shows that 28 out of the league's 30 teams have had a player or staff member test positive.

So far, 71 players and 12 staff members have tested positive for the coronavirus, MLB announced Friday.

When teams convened for training camps at the beginning of the month, the league carried out intake screenings. Some 58 players and eight staff members tested positive. That's a rate of 1.8%, with more than 3,700 samples tested.

Giants star catcher Buster Posey became the latest big-name player to skip this season because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

Announcing his decision Friday, the six-time All-Star said his family finalized the adoption of identical twin girls this week. The babies were born prematurely, and Posey said after consultations with his wife and doctor he decided to opt out of the season.

Posey had already missed three practices in San Francisco while dealing with a personal issue.

The U.S. Department of Education moved this week to make it easier for colleges to reconsider and potentially increase financial aid for students who have lost jobs or family income in the economic crisis.

 #160; 

The reopening of a Burgerville in Northeast Portland is on pause over working conditions related to the novel coronavirus.

On Friday morning, Burgerville Workers Union announced they had gone on strike due to concerns related to one staff member testing positive for COVID-19. The worker tested positive Tuesday. The store had been closed since.

Tom Hanks’ screen persona is …

 #160; 

 #160; 

We get opinions and analysis on some of the biggest local news stories of the week with Rachael McDonald, Erious Johnson and Eric Fruits.

 #160; 

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross. Today's guest is actor Andre Holland, who has starred in very different roles in very different media. On film, he played the adult Kevin in the movie "Moonlight." On TV, he starred as the owner of a jazz club in Paris in the Netflix miniseries "The Eddy." And next week, on New York Public Radio, he stars in a new radio play adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Richard II." Here he is in the title role in a scene with Miriam Hyman.

More than 20 states have now issued orders requiring people to wear face masks in public as the rate of new coronavirus cases surges to record heights in parts of the United States.

The U.S. has recorded more than 1 million coronavirus infections over the past month alone, pushing the number of confirmed cases past the 3 million mark this week.

A Christian camp in Missouri has been forced to shut down after dozens of staff, campers and counselors tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Kanakuk K-2 camp in Lampe, just north of the border with Arkansas, closed after 41 people became infected with the coronavirus, the Stone County Health Department announced last week.

New leadership has taken over at a company known for a particular brand of cute.

Shintaro Tsuji, the 92-year-old founder of Sanrio, the Japanese company that created Hello Kitty, handed over the reins to his 31-year-old grandson Tomokuni Tsuji, who officially became Sanrio's president and CEO on July 1. It's the first leadership change in the company's 60-year history.

No invitation cards, no shuttles to shows, no cameras clicking, no front row seats, no influencers or street style. In a first among firsts in fashion, the Autumn/Winter 2020 Haute Couture shows — normally held in Paris — were egalitarian, presented online for everyone to see.

Around the country, communities of color continue to be among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. So in many of these communities, local leaders are stepping in to try to help solve a problem they say is years in the making.

In Richmond, Va., crews of local firefighters and volunteers have been fanning out across the city, going door to door with plastic bags filled with masks, hand sanitizer and information about staying healthy.

Pages