NPR News

The same day last month that Georgia's legislature passed a controversial new voting bill, Missouri's Republican-led House approved one of its own. It would impose strict photo ID and other requirements on voting.

A volcano on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent is threatening to erupt, triggering a mandatory emergency evacuation of residents who are potentially in the path of ash and lava.

The country's National Emergency Management Organization raised the island's alert level from orange to red on Thursday afternoon, after days of increased seismic activity associated with La Soufriere volcano.

A federal grand jury in Washington indicted a Florida man for taking his skateboard to the head of a Metropolitan Police officer during the U.S. Capitol insurrection Jan. 6.

Grady Douglas Owens, 21, was initially arrested on April 1 in Florida. He faces several charges including assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers or employees; obstruction; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

SAO PAULO (AP) — A Brazilian Supreme Court justice ordered the Senate on Thursday to investigate the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis and the full court ruled that churches can be barred from reopening during the pandemic, threatening to further strain tensions between President Jair Bolsonaro and the judiciary.

The order by Justice Luis Roberto Barroso for a Senate probe came only minutes after the whole court upheld the power of local authorities to prevent churches and other houses of worship from opening.

Racism is a scourge in American society. It's also a serious public health threat, according to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a statement released Thursday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky pointed to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color, as seen in case numbers, deaths and social consequence.

A year ago, when people were losing jobs left and right, millions called their local unemployment agency. Like many states, Texas struggled to deal with the volume of people applying for unemployment — which meant busy signals and long hold times. When you're dealing with the soul-crushing inefficiency of a government bureaucracy pushed beyond its purposely limited limits, sometimes you have to make the best of it.

Vaccine "passports" are making headlines and eliciting emergency measures by governors in a handful of states.

So what are these credentials, exactly, and what are they used for?

What is a vaccine passport?

It's a credential that can be used to show that a person has been vaccinated. The same technology can be used to show a person's coronavirus test results. It's a way to demonstrate a person's health status, generally through a smartphone app or a QR code that has been printed.

This isn't the first time the world has been engaged in a conversation about "vaccine passports." And there even is a version of a passport currently in use – the World Health Organization-approved yellow card, which since 1969 has been a document for travelers to certain countries to show proof of vaccination for yellow fever and other shots. Without which they can't visit those countries.

NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with sex therapist Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus about her upbringing, career, and advice from her new book Sex Points.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Just two months ago, airlines were warning about furloughing thousands of pilots. Now they're putting up help-wanted signs. As NPR's David Schaper reports, that's because air travel seems to be recovering more quickly than expected.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Far more Asian American students are learning remotely than members of any other racial or ethnic group in the U.S., according to the latest federal data. NPR's Anya Kamenetz reports that the reasons are complex, and the consequences may be damaging.

Updated April 8, 2021 at 4:00 PM ET

Declaring U.S. gun violence an "epidemic" and "an international embarrassment," President Biden outlined actions to regulate certain firearms and to try to prevent gun violence after a spate of mass shootings in recent weeks and pressure from advocates.

"This is an epidemic, for God's sake, and it has to stop," Biden said.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR.

Neither the pandemic nor age can keep legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp from her work. During the height of the COVID-19 lockdown, Tharp, now 79, choreographed several dances through through Zoom. One was with four dancers — each of whom was in a different time zone.

The long-awaited lifeline for live venues impacted by the coronavirus shut downs is finally here. Owners of small music venues, independent movie theaters and some museums can now apply for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant — a $16 billion grant program set up and run by the Small Business Administration.

Pages