Colin Dwyer

Colin Dwyer covers breaking news for NPR. He reports on a wide array of subjects — from politics in Latin America and the Middle East, to the latest developments in sports and scientific research.

Colin began his work with NPR on the Arts Desk, where he reviewed books and produced stories on arts and culture, then went on to write a daily roundup of news in literature and the publishing industry for the Two-Way blog — named Book News, naturally.

Later, as a producer for the Digital News desk, he wrote and edited feature news coverage, curated NPR's home page and managed its social media accounts. During his time on the desk, he co-created NPR's live headline contest "Head to Head," with Camila Domonoske, and won the American Copy Editors Society's annual headline-writing prize in 2015.

These days, as a reporter for the News Desk, he writes for NPR.org, reports for the network's on-air newsmagazines, and regularly hosts NPR's daily Facebook Live segment, "Newstime." He has covered hurricanes, international elections and unfortunate marathon mishaps, among many other stories. He also had some things to say about shoes once on Invisibilia.

Colin graduated from Georgetown University with a master's degree in English literature.

Italy has taken another major step in its emergence from one of the world's strictest coronavirus lockdowns. In a decree issued early Saturday, the Italian government laid out its timeline for lifting restrictions on domestic and foreign travel.

The dire consequences of the global pandemic have been difficult to escape, let alone ignore. The devastating effects of the coronavirus — from physical symptoms to economic complications — have made themselves apparent in headline after headline, week after week, for months that have felt like decades.

Yet beneath the klaxon clang of grim news, the United Nations is warning that the coronavirus presents still another menace that health officials must not overlook.

Happy stories have been hard to come by during the coronavirus pandemic — particularly on Broadway, which shuttered stages two months ago and won't reopen until Labor Day at the earliest. This week, however, brought a rare, bright exception to the parade of grim tidings.

Updated at 2:05 p.m. ET Sunday

Three members of the White House's coronavirus task force, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, are quarantining themselves after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, and Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have decided to self-quarantine for two weeks.

Airlines and airport operators in the United Kingdom are not waiting for the government to publicly confirm their fears. Already, the groups representing major players in the U.K.'s air travel industry are pushing back on a proposal that would require travelers to quarantine after arriving from outside the country.

A spokesperson for Airlines UK — a trade body with British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair as members — says that the group understands from government officials that plans for a quarantine are in the works, but that details remain scarce at the moment.

Updated at 5:02 p.m. ET

It was supposed to be a day of parades, a vast party that would transcend borders and bring generations together, not unlike the spontaneous euphoria that swept through victorious European allies when Nazi Germany finally surrendered.

But instead of a mega-event, leaders in London, Paris, Moscow and other capitals, observed the 75th anniversary of V-E Day at a diminished level Friday due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a purported interrogation video released Wednesday by the Venezuelan government, one of the two former U.S. service members detained earlier this week in Venezuela acknowledged plans to help carry out a coup. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro revealed the video at a televised address in the capital, Caracas.

If it feels as if gravity has been tugging harder than it usually does the past couple of months, it'd be easy to guess why — what with the global pandemic, a hemorrhaging economy and the strain of staying at least six feet away from just about everyone

President Trump twice received intelligence briefings on the coronavirus in January, according to a White House official. The official tells NPR the briefings occurred on Jan. 23 and Jan. 28.

At a news conference Saturday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was not about to understate the scale of the effort to disinfect the New York City subway system.

"This is such a monumental undertaking, I can't even begin to describe it to you," Cuomo said during his briefing at a Metropolitan Transportation Authority facility in Queens. "The New York City subway system has never been closed. It operates 24 hours a day because we have a 24-hour city."

After waiting out a seven-week coronavirus lockdown and some of the strictest social distancing measures in Western Europe, adults in Spain are being allowed out to play at last.

The United Kingdom has endured the worst of its coronavirus outbreak, according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The British leader laid out the positive outlook on Thursday at his first briefing since his return to work after contracting COVID-19.

"I can confirm today that for the first time, we are past the peak of this disease," Johnson told reporters during a news conference at the prime minister's residence in London. "We're past the peak and on the downward slope."

The U.S. government paid Dorothea Lange to take photographs.

She's best known for her work with such federal programs as the Farm Security Administration, where she documented the painful economic and environmental crises of the 1930s and '40s across the American West. Across her body of work there are intimate glimpses of Great Depression bread lines, Japanese American internment camps during World War II and migrant farm workers — including the subject of perhaps her most famous portrait, Migrant Mother.

A whole lot has changed in the past three months.

As far as understatements go, that one outdoes most — but it still bears mentioning, given that Thursday marks precisely three months since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global health emergency.

Beginning May 4, all travelers who step foot on a plane operated by JetBlue will need to wear a crucial accessory: a face mask. The airline announced Monday that in one week, it will be mandatory for all passengers to cover their mouths and noses upon boarding their flights to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. JetBlue crew members have already received the same mandate.

Barbershops, nail salons, gyms and a host of other businesses once considered nonessential are reopening to the public across Georgia, as the state eases its coronavirus restrictions. But even as storefronts begin to reopen, Gov. Brian Kemp's move has drawn a bevy of criticism from across the political spectrum — from President Trump, a fellow Republican, to mayors throughout the state.

The World Health Organization has pushed back against the theory that individuals can only catch the coronavirus once, as well as proposals for reopening society that are based on this supposed immunity.

In a scientific brief dated Friday, the United Nations agency said the idea that one-time infection can lead to immunity remains unproven and is thus unreliable as a foundation for the next phase of the world's response to the pandemic.

President Trump has spiritedly backed hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, both in his regular news briefings and on his Twitter account. He has said the two drugs, when taken together to treat the coronavirus, could become "one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine."

That may well be, eventually — but not right now.

Updated at 1:49 p.m. ET

Please, everyone, do not try what the president just suggested at home.

That is the consensus from doctors, at least one manufacturer and even President Trump's own administration, after he speculated about possible treatments for the coronavirus during his task force briefing Thursday. After introducing research reflecting the disinfectant capabilities of ultraviolet light on surfaces, Trump mused that scientists may try to find a way to place strong disinfectants directly inside the body to treat a patient's infection.

It was already clear that the coronavirus has the capacity to spread at an alarming rate — that, of course, is why states across the country implemented sweeping measures to slow the rate at which it was filling hospitals. But new numbers released Thursday by New York, the state hardest hit by the virus so far, offered a startling glimpse of just how far the virus has spread there so far.

The public debate over the distribution of federal funds to small businesses has settled over some new battlefields this week: the campuses of wealthy universities across the country. On Wednesday, after a back-and-forth that involved President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Harvard University became the latest institution with a large endowment to announce it would turn down money from the recent federal relief package.

Even without a global pandemic multiplying the world's problems, the data are staggering.

Roughly 135 million people across the world lived on the brink of starvation last year, according to the World Food Program. For some context, the number of people who could not reliably obtain enough food in 2019 exceeded the entire population of Mexico and came close to matching Russia's.

What, exactly, is the status of Kim Jong Un?

That's the difficult question behind a flurry of recent international headlines that have raised the possibility that the North Korean leader's health is in jeopardy after he missed a major state event. And the answer — at least the public answer from observers most familiar with the notoriously secretive state — is that there is no news to speak of at the moment.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

Urged by President Trump, states across the country are beginning to eye the next phase of their response to the coronavirus: the cautious process of lifting their widespread restrictions, piece by piece, and returning to a semblance of daily life before the pandemic settled in. But how should that happen — and when?

So far, countries on the African continent have largely managed to dodge the brunt of the coronavirus. Even as the global pandemic has besieged medical centers in the U.S. and Western Europe, with a total death toll north of 100,000 in those regions, all of Africa's confirmed cases number in the thousands — most of which remain concentrated in just a handful of North African nations.

But global health authorities fear this won't continue forever.

Christy Lefteri grew up in the shadow of trauma. Her parents fled Cyprus after the Turkish invasion in 1974, and though the Cypriot refugees eventually made it to the United Kingdom, they couldn't help but bring their pain with them.

"When my dad finally got to the U.K., my grandma said she didn't recognize him and he had 'blood in his eyes,' " Lefteri recalls. "I don't know if his eyes were bloodshot — or if she saw something in his eyes that she didn't recognize."

In the fight to contain the coronavirus, states have issued sweeping directives shuttering businesses and asking residents to stay at home in recent weeks. Now, with the White House claiming the U.S. has passed its peak of coronavirus cases, at least two of those states have told businesses that the opportunity to reopen their doors may be just a couple of weeks away.

Dr. Michael Saag studies diseases for a living. The epidemiologist at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, specializes in HIV and AIDS research, so he's familiar with the toll a deadly infection can take on the human body.

No amount of study, however, could have adequately prepared him for having the coronavirus himself.

Almost one month ago, Saag and his son, who is also a physician, came down with symptoms of COVID-19 within days of each other. What came next was days of pain, anxiety and repeatedly dashed hope — until, at last, both men recovered fully.

Updated at 1:37 p.m. ET

New York City's public schools will remain closed to in-person classes for the rest of the school year, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Saturday. However, according to the state's governor, Andrew Cuomo, no such decision has been finalized.

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