NPR Stories

As COVID-19 cases surge, the federal government and some private employers are requiring their workers to show proof of vaccination. Plus, certain cities and localities are once again requiring masks indoors.

Some states, however, are not just ordering more precautions, but already moving to stop vaccination mandates in the future.

BANGKOK — Six months after seizing power from the elected government, Myanmar's military leader on Sunday declared himself prime minister and said he would lead the country under the extended state of emergency until elections are held in about two years.

"We must create conditions to hold a free and fair multiparty general election," Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing said during a recorded televised address. "We have to make preparations. I pledge to hold the multiparty general election without fail."

JERUSALEM — Israel's Supreme Court on Monday floated a compromise that would prevent the evictions of dozens of Palestinians in the east Jerusalem of Sheikh Jarrah, where attempts by Jewish settlers to expel them from their homes helped spark an 11-day war between Israel and Gaza militants in May.

The cases examined Monday involve four Palestinian families numbering a total of about 70 people.

Lower Israeli courts have approved the evictions of the four families. They ruled that their houses were built on land owned by Jews before Israel was established in 1948.

If watching Olympic competitions has been sparking a bit of anxiety, you might want to turn to knitting — British diver Tom Daley certainly has.

Photos of Daley knitting what appears to be a pink-purple-blue pouch of sorts were posted all over social media Sunday when the athlete sat in the stands watching the women's springboard diving event in Tokyo. As of Monday morning, it appears Daley is working on another project, using white yarn.

Laurel Hubbard has made history by becoming the first openly transgender athlete to compete in an individual event at the Summer Olympics. The New Zealand weightlifter did not make the podium, after failing to advance to the final.

Competing in the 87+kg class on Monday, Hubbard struggled to lift 125 kg (275 pounds), putting her out of the running. Her official result is "did not finish," as she bowed out after failing to record a clean lift in the snatch section of the two-part competition.

Looking to spend money on a single piece of 40-year-old cake from someone else's wedding?

Well, what if that wedding was the royal nuptials of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer?

LOS ANGELES — Saginaw Grant, a prolific Native American character actor and hereditary chief of the Sac & Fox Nation of Oklahoma, has died. He was 85.

Grant died peacefully in his sleep of natural causes on Wednesday at a private care facility in Hollywood, California, said Lani Carmichael, Grant's publicist and longtime friend.

"He loved both Oklahoma and L.A.," Carmichael said. "He made his home here as an actor, but he never forgot his roots in Oklahoma. He remained a fan of the Sooner Nation."

TOKYO — We're in the home stretch of the most dramatic Olympics in recent memory, held against great odds amid a global pandemic in a country where many Japanese residents didn't want it to happen at all.

Updated August 2, 2021 at 7:04 AM ET

TOKYO — U.S. gymnast Jade Carey has won gold — her first Olympic medal — in the individual floor exercise final at the Tokyo Olympics.

Carey, a 21-year-old from Arizona, became the sole U.S. competitor in this event after Simone Biles withdrew to focus on her mental health. Carey pulled off a complicated tumbling routine with a high degree of difficulty, scoring a 14.366.

Updated August 2, 2021 at 5:57 AM ET

TOKYO — In an upset, the top-ranked U.S. women's soccer team lost its semifinal game to Canada 1-0 at the Tokyo Olympics, pushing it out of contention for a gold medal.

The World Cup champs could still take bronze if they win their next game against Australia on Thursday.

TOKYO — In the year leading up to the delayed Summer Olympics, public opinion polls in Japan showed people overwhelmingly against holding the Games in the country. Some feared it would spread the coronavirus. Others complained about the high costs. There are still some small occasional protests. But now that Olympics are underway and Team Japan is doing well, people here seem excited.

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has a message for schools across the country ahead of the new school year: Students need to be in classrooms.

"That's where students learn best," Cardona told NPR's A Martínez. "Schools are more than just places where students learn how to read and write — they're communities. They're like second families to our students."

To retake control of the House of Representatives, Republicans need to pick up just five seats in the 2022 midterm elections. It's Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney's job to make sure that doesn't happen.

The New York Democrat and chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee told NPR that the party is hopeful that an ambitious, multitrillion-dollar economic agenda trumpeted by the Biden administration will resonate with voters when it's time to head to the polls next fall.

Sitting in the passenger seat of her parked car in Boston and peering at the Zoom app open on her phone, Michelle Wu's voice almost cracks as she describes the difficulties she has faced trying to access city resources.

"I had fought in the wake of my mother's mental illness to connect her with treatment and experienced such a dehumanizing system," she recounts. "And I had fought to open a small family business to keep us going and felt just a complete helplessness in going through bureaucratic systems that seem designed to force you to give up."

Just a quick walk through the parking lot of Choices-Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, in this legendary music mecca, speaks volumes about access to abortion in the American South. Parked alongside the polished SUVs and weathered sedans with Tennessee license plates are cars from Mississippi, Arkansas, Florida and, on many days, Alabama, Georgia and Texas.

Updated August 2, 2021 at 9:19 AM ET

U.S. star gymnast Simone Biles will return for the final women's artistic gymnastic event of the Tokyo Olympics, after multiple withdrawals to focus on her mental health.

"We are so excited to confirm that you will see two U.S. athletes in the balance beam final tomorrow - Suni Lee AND Simone Biles!!" USA Gymnastics said. "Can't wait to watch you both!"

Updated August 2, 2021 at 12:01 PM ET

Belarusian sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya will seek political asylum in Poland after she refused to board a flight back to her home country from the Tokyo Games.

The 24-year-old sprinter entered the Polish Embassy in Tokyo on Monday, according to multiple media reports, one day after Belarusian officials abruptly pulled her from the Olympics and took her to the airport before she could compete in Monday's 200-meter event.

TOKYO — The International Olympic Committee said it's looking into a U.S. athlete's decision to defy a ban on protesting while on the medal podium in Tokyo.

U.S. shot-putter Raven Saunders briefly held her arms above her head in the shape of an X after accepting her silver medal. The ceremony was over; China's anthem to honor gold medalist Gong Lijiao was complete.

TOKYO — Dutch distance runner Sifan Hassan was entering the final lap of her 1,500-meter heat when the runner in front of her tripped, bringing Hassan crashing to the ground.

Suddenly well behind the leaders, she stood up and turned on the gas.

Eleven of the world's fastest runners stood between her and victory. With astonishing drive, she blazed by them one by one, rapidly making up ground.

Updated August 2, 2021 at 10:49 AM ET

The Senate is poised to begin voting on a roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package this week following a rare weekend session, culminating days and weeks of wrenching negotiations among a group of bipartisan lawmakers and President Biden.

Beginning in 1974, New Zealand police armed with dogs woke up Pacific Islanders who allegedly overstayed their visas at dawn, pushed them into police vans for questioning, then often deported them and placed their children in state care homes. The early morning operation became known as the "Dawn Raids."

Nearly 50 years later, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Sunday formally apologized for those raids and the lasting hurt they have caused. Ardern expressed the government's "sorrow, remorse and regret" over the raids.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

They call themselves documented DREAMers, kids who spent their entire lives in the United States - making friends, going to school - but at the age of 21 face deportation because they age out of their parents' legal immigration statuses. It's the reality for over 200,000 kids, many of whom are the children of foreign tech workers from countries like India on temporary work visas like H-1Bs.

Pareen Mhatre is one of them. And she joins us now. Welcome to the program.

PAREEN MHATRE: Thank you.

A Belarusian sprinter who spoke out publicly about the "negligence" of her Olympic coaches says she was allegedly taken against her wishes to the Tokyo airport for a flight back to Belarus.

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, 24, told Reuters in an interview Sunday that she was pleading for help from Japanese police at the airport and "will not return to Belarus."

Florida reported 21,683 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, the state's highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Over the last week, Florida saw a 50% increase weekly in new cases, as the state reported 110,477 cases from July 23 to July 29, according to data released by the Florida Department of Health.

TOKYO — Marcell Jacobs of Italy is the surprise victor of the fastest track race at the Tokyo Olympics, the men's 100 meter.

Jacobs beat his personal best time and put his star solidly on the map in the blazing fast race.

He was not well-known in the track world before today, making it to the semi-finals of this event in the 2019 World Athletics Championships.

After his victory, he gleefully hugged his teammate, high jumper Gianmarco Tamberi.

TOKYO — U.S. golfer Xander Schauffele won the Olympic men's individual stroke play competition Sunday. Schauffele sank key putts near the end of the final round while Japan's top golfer faded out of medal contention.

The 27-year-old clinched what he called the biggest win of his career with two pressure putts. On the 17th green, he sank a six-footer for birdie to break a tie with Rory Sabbatini, representing Slovakia. On the final green, Schauffele sank a 4-foot par putt to give him a one shot victory over Sabbatini.

TOKYO — U.S. gymnast Sunisa Lee has taken bronze in the uneven bars event final at the Tokyo Olympics, adding another medal to her hugely successful Games.

Belgium's Nina Derwael took gold and Anastasiia Iliankova with the team from Russia took silver.

Lee, an 18-year-old from Minnesota, became the U.S.'s best hope for gold in the individual all-around competition when Simone Biles withdrew to focus on her mental health. Lee delivered strong routines in every apparatus, snagging the top award in individual gymnastics.

The uneven bars is her best event.

TOKYO — U.S. gymnast MyKayla Skinner has won a silver medal in the individual gymnastics final for the vault – a competition she wasn't expecting to take part in at the Tokyo Olympics.

Skinner, 24, was tapped to compete in the vault after Simone Biles, the greatest gymnast in the world, withdrew from the competition to focus on her mental health.

"I dedicate this medal to Simone. I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for her," she said. "I told her I would be doing this one for her. She said, 'don't do it for me, do it for yourself', so technically it's for all of us."

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