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Updated at 11:49 a.m. ET

Frederick "Toots" Hibbert, the lead singer and songwriter of Toots and the Maytals and one of reggae's foundational figures, died Friday in Kingston, Jamaica. He was 77.

His death was announced on the band's Facebook and Twitter accounts. "It is with the heaviest of hearts to announce that Frederick Nathaniel 'Toots' Hibbert passed away peacefully tonight, surrounded by his family at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica," read the statement.

Over the centuries, Europe has suffered through plagues, pestilence and the Black Death.

When Italy became the first Western country to be hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the city of Florence discovered that one of its unique architectural quirks was perfect for coronavirus-era social distancing.

In downtown Namie, a small coastal city in eastern Fukushima prefecture, there was a chorus of construction noise this spring. Truck after truck rolled through, bringing workers to string up power lines and rip down deserted houses, rebuild structures and repave roads.

But at night, all was quiet — except in one small corner of a tiny strip mall. The faint sounds of music, laughter and maybe a hit of tambourine floated on the wind, traveling down empty sidewalks and deserted streets, leading to a karaoke bar in full swing.

During normal times, the concrete alleyway behind the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in downtown Sacramento goes mostly unnoticed.

Cars and delivery trucks pass through, crows fly over at dusk and homeless people sleep there at night.

But since July, when California banned indoor religious services in many counties in order to stop the spread of COVID-19, this alley has been a place of worship.

For Camilo Villa, a sophomore at Providence College, and his peers, there's one issue that keeps coming up: getting ready to vote.

"It's an icebreaker. 'Are you registered? Are you voting? Who are you voting for?' " he describes. "We finally get to perform our first real adult civic duty. It's like — I'm a big boy now, I get to go out and vote for what I believe in."

There's a political adage when it comes to young voters: always promised, never delivered.

But Villa thinks this could be the year that trend is reversed.

President Trump is under fire for misleading Americans by publicly downplaying the risk of the coronavirus even while he privately acknowledged the magnitude of the threat, a central revelation in Rage, a new book by journalist Bob Woodward.

"I wanted to always play it down," Trump said on March 19 in an interview recorded by Woodward. "I still like playing it down because I don't want to create a panic."

Nine Black Lives Matter protesters who were confronted by a white St. Louis couple waving an AR 15-style rifle and a semi-automatic pistol as they allegedly stood guard on the beautifully manicured lawn of their mansion, have been issued trespassing summonses for marching onto a private property.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department issued the citations after more than two months of investigations, and these are now under review by the city counselor's office, officials told NPR.

Adults who tested positive for the coronavirus were about twice as likely to have dined at a restaurant within a two-week period prior to becoming sick, according to a new study from Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.

The study looked at 314 adults who had showed symptoms of COVID-19 and had sought testing at one of 11 facilities across 10 states in July. Of the participants, 154 tested positive for COVID-19, while 160 tested negative and served as a control group.

Federal police officers who cleared a crowded park near the White House with smoke and tear gas in June violated court-ordered regulations that spell out how demonstrators are to be warned before aggressive tactics are used against them, attorneys who helped write the agreed-upon rules say.

At least 24 people have died as a result of fires consuming large swaths of the West Coast, with hundreds of thousands under evacuation orders to get to safety.

One hundred large fires are burning in 12 states across the West — but just five of them have been contained, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Each week, we answer "frequently asked questions" about life during the coronavirus crisis. If you have a question you'd like us to consider for a future post, email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions."

If you're wondering when it will be safe to date again — or how to do it — you're not alone.

Via social media and email, NPR readers have sent in questions about dating and relationships in the age of COVID-19. Some of the queries:

A controversial rule backed by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and meant to reroute millions of dollars in coronavirus aid to K-12 private school students, has been shut down, at least temporarily.

The U.S. Education Department announced Wednesday that the rule is no longer in effect after a federal judge determined that the department had not only "acted beyond its authority" but misinterpreted the will of Congress.

Google says it is making changes to its autocomplete feature ahead of the November presidential election.

Autocomplete suggests possible search terms based on what a user starts typing. In a blog post, Google said it was removing suggestions that could be viewed as being for or against a particular candidate or party.

The search engine also is blocking suggestions that could be viewed as claims about "the integrity or legitimacy of electoral processes."

Black patients are some of the most reluctant to participate in clinical trials, according to FDA statistics.

President Trump has publicly blamed the World Health Organization for being slow to sound alarm bells about the coronavirus.

Four Houston police officers have been terminated for their involvement in the fatal shooting of 27-year-old Nicolas Chavez in April.

The Houston Police Department announced the firings Thursday and released body camera footage of the encounter.

Multiple officers were on the scene the night Chavez was shot to death. They fired a total of 24 shots at Chavez — only three of which were deemed "objectively reasonable," Police Chief Art Acevedo said at a news conference.

In yet another Trump-era break with longstanding tradition, it now seems all but certain that the Inter-American Development Bank will be led by a non-Latin American citizen. Mauricio Claver-Carone, a Cuban-American who is President Trump's top adviser on Latin America at the National Security Council and his nominee to head the bank, is the sole candidate for the job.

Gwen Mickens was startled by the prices in the butcher case during her last trip to the supermarket.

"Short ribs are like twice as much as they used to be. And of course the bacon is more expensive as well," said Mickens, a Florida data analyst who was shopping for her husband and adult son. "You kind of close your eyes and just pick it up and throw it in the grocery cart."

Her checkout receipt topped $250.

Mining giant Rio Tinto is parting ways with its chief executive as it tries to quell public anger over the company's destruction of a 46,000-year-old sacred Aboriginal site in Australia.

In May, the company blasted through two rock shelters in Juukan Gorge in Western Australia in order to mine iron ore. Evidence of human habitation there dates back tens of millennia.

Updated at 2:04 p.m. ET

Friday marks the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks against the United States — the single deadliest instance of a terrorist attack in world history and among the most consequential global policy markers in modern times.

When the coronavirus swept the country, a lot of things government did in response were controversial. Politicians fought over mask-wearing rules and quarantine restrictions.

But one policy, making sure Americans have ready access to alcohol, was truly bipartisan.

"The State Liquor Authority is going to change its rules that will allow bars, restaurants and distilleries to sell their products off-premises," said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, in mid-March.

It's become a near-annual occurrence. A massive wildfire forces thousands of people to flee their homes. Exhausted firefighters warn of its speed and intensity. Smoke smothers cities and states hundreds of miles away.

Note: An audio version of this story aired on NPR's Planet Money. Listen to the episode here.

Laura Leebrick, a manager at Rogue Disposal & Recycling in southern Oregon, is standing on the end of its landfill watching an avalanche of plastic trash pour out of a semitrailer: containers, bags, packaging, strawberry containers, yogurt cups.

None of this plastic will be turned into new plastic things. All of it is buried.

The 2020 presidential campaign heads into the fall stretch with a dizzying pace of news developments threatening to upend the contest. But NPR interviews with voters across the country around Labor Day weekend found that most are locked into their support for either President Trump or Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The small contingent of undecided voters said they are unenthusiastic about their choices.

The al-Qaida attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, may now seem like a distant memory for some. But not for Ali Soufan, a former FBI agent who interrogated many al-Qaida suspects.

"For me, it has the feeling that it just happened yesterday," Soufan told NPR in an interview.

He has good reasons for feeling that way. This week, Soufan released a new version of his 2011 book, The Black Banners (Declassified): How Torture Derailed The War On Terror After 9/11, which now includes details of interrogations previously censored by the U.S. government.

From his perch in Cary, N.C., Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has launched a war against Silicon Valley powerhouses Apple and Google.

The billionaire maker of the video game phenomenon Fortnite dragged the tech giants to court last month over the 30% fee they charge on purchases made in their mobile app stores.

Federal authorities on Thursday arrested the police chief and the personnel director of Bridgeport, Conn., on charges of fraud, alleging the two rigged the process that led to the chief's hiring in 2018.

Starting Monday, New Yorkers who refuse to wear a mask on public transportation could face a $50 fine.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said on Thursday that the new measure will take effect on all New York City subways and buses, as well as the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad.

President Trump on Thursday defended his decision to mislead the public about the deadliness of the coronavirus as documented in Bob Woodward's new book, declining to call his misstatements about the virus and its spread a "lie" and saying he needed to show "strength" in the face of the crisis.

"I want to show a level of confidence, and I want to show strength as a leader, and I want to show our country is going to be fine one way or another," Trump said at a news conference.

Updated at 11:25 p.m. ET

A special three-judge court in New York on Thursday blocked the Trump administration's efforts to make an unprecedented change to who is included in the census numbers that determine each state's share of seats in Congress.

The president, the court concluded, cannot leave unauthorized immigrants out of that specific count.

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