NPR Stories

My first thought, when I heard about HBO's docuseries Allen v. Farrow, was that this moment was inevitable.

Jared Stacy is still processing his decision to leave Spotswood Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, Va., last year. Until November, he was ministering to young parishioners in their 20s and 30s.

But in the four years since he had joined the church as a pastor, Stacy had found himself increasingly up against an invisible, powerful force taking hold of members of his congregation: conspiracy theories, disinformation and lies.

Stacy has seen the real consequences of these lies build up over the years; he says it has tainted the name of his faith.

Darren Arnold lights the burners on a natural gas stove at a testing facility near Portland, Ore. He's using a new, lower-carbon gas mixture for NW Natural, a gas utility that serves 770,000 customers across the region.

"For a cooktop burner, we're looking for a nice blue flame, nice little peaks on the tips of the flame," he says. "So everything looks really good. We'll also check the oven."

Most people know Judge Merrick Garland for what didn't happen to him. Five years ago, the Senate never acted on his nomination to the Supreme Court.

This week, that will change, as a new chapter begins in Garland's lifelong commitment to public service. Garland, 68, will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday as President Biden's pick to serve as attorney general. This time, few obstacles stand in his path to confirmation. But the institution he's likely to join operates largely in a state of shock.

After three decades of fishing for lobsters in Cape Cod Bay in Massachusetts, Rob Martin knows his boat inside and out.

"It's only 40 feet. It was big when I first got it and now it seems small," he says while warming up inside the cabin on a cold morning.

Just as Cape Cod lobstermen have done for centuries, Martin used to check his traps by looking for buoys connected to cages on the ocean floor by ropes.

But his buoys are gone and he is one of a handful of Massachusetts lobstermen testing ropeless fishing systems.

A fundraising effort spearheaded by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to help storm-battered Texans has raised more than $4 million in just a few days.

On Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez was on the ground in Texas to celebrate the success of the fundraising effort, which will go to local organizations providing Texans food assistance, homelessness relief and elder care. She was joined by Democratic Texas Reps. Sylvia Garcia and Sheila Jackson Lee, all of whom helped fill boxes at the Houston Food Bank.

Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea as head of the Vatican's liturgy department, removing a conservative who was seen as an opponent of the pontiff's vision for the church.

In a statement released on Saturday, the Holy See Press Office announced that Sarah had stepped down from his leadership position. The Vatican did not provide any reason for his resignation or name a successor.

A United Airlines flight bound for Honolulu, Hawaii was forced to make an emergency landing at Denver International Airport on Saturday afternoon after experiencing an engine failure shortly after takeoff.

Images circulating on social media appeared to show aircraft debris landing in several locations across the Denver metro area.

No injuries have been reported.

A space supply ship carrying some four tons of cargo bound for the International Space Station launched from Virginia on Saturday. The capsule is named for a Black mathematician whose contributions were featured in the Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures.

At least two people were killed during an anti-coup protest in Myanmar in the bloodiest day since the Feb. 1 military takeover that led to the arrest of the country's de facto leader and kicked off weeks of nearly nonstop demonstrations.

As Texas thaws from the unexpected deep freeze that knocked out power to millions and killed dozens, its residents are continuing to grapple with a secondary peril: lack of safe drinking water.

Texans across the state have reported water outages and burst pipes after water lines froze solid. Other residents once again have water coming through their faucets, but at low pressure.

A 95-year-old Tennessee man has been deported to Germany because he worked as a guard at a Nazi concentration camp during World War II, the Justice Department announced Saturday.

Friedrich Karl Berger was sent to Germany because he participated in Nazi-sponsored acts of persecution while serving as an armed guard at the Neuengamme concentration camp system near Meppen, Germany, in 1945, according to the announcement.

The incoming head of the World Trade Organization says getting countries to drop export restrictions on vaccines and medical supplies needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic will be one of her top priorities.

Nigerian economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is set to become the WTO's director-general on March 1. She's the first woman and first African to lead the group that governs trade rules between countries.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit last year, big parts of the U.S. economy just turned off. Voluntary social distancing and lockdowns, like those during the first wave in March, were necessary to help "flatten the curve" of COVID-19's spread throughout the country, but these lockdowns had ripple effects on the economy.

California is planning to start setting aside 10% of the COVID-19 vaccine the state receives each week to vaccinate teachers, day care workers and other school employees in the hopes of getting more students back in the classroom.

"It must be done, and it must be done much sooner than the current path we are on. And we believe this will advance that cause," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday as he announced the plan at an Oakland vaccination site.

The plan will begin March 1 by setting aside about 75,000 vaccine doses from the state's current weekly allotment, Newsom said.

A court in Moscow has turned down an appeal by the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny against his prison sentence, the latest legal defeat for the man who has emerged as the Kremlin's most vocal critic.

In the midst of a pandemic that is taxing medical workers like never before, a doctor in a Los Angeles hospital turned a camera toward his colleagues.

Dr. Scott Kobner is the chief emergency room resident at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. He's also an amateur photographer. His black-and-white photos show the suffering, anxiety and chaos unfolding in overrun COVID-19 units.

It was a couple months into the pandemic that Kobner started taking pictures of scenes from his own hospital.

Stocks, bonds, bitcoin or baseball cards?

In the midst of all the losses of this pandemic, prices for collectible baseball cards seem to be ... outta here.

A mint-condition 1952 Mickey Mantle card has sold for $5.2 million; a Mike Trout card for $3.9 million.

In the last 28 months, the Republican Party has lost the White House and lost control of both chambers of Congress.

With the shock of those setbacks still sinking in, the party has been rocked and riven by former President Donald Trump's refusal to concede, a pro-Trump riot in the U.S. Capitol, and an impeachment effort that even some Republicans backed.

At a CNN town hall on Tuesday night, President Biden was asked if he supported the idea of forgiving up to $50,000 of student loan debt for individuals.

His answer: No. He supports cancelling $10,000 in debt, he explained. But he said he is wary of erasing big chunks of loans for people who went to Ivy League schools: "The idea that ... I'm going to forgive the debt, the billions of dollars in debt, for people who have gone to Harvard and Yale and Penn ..."

When Chase Hensel in Alaska daydreams about life returning to some type of normal, he thinks of his two granddaughters living in London.

Both are learning to ride bikes, and he envisions himself flying there to pedal with them along a local park.

So Hensel bought himself a foldable bike, one that would be easy to travel with once it feels safe again.

Just a day after a bill banning most abortions in South Carolina was signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster, a federal court blocked the measure.

U.S. District Court Judge Mary Geiger Lewis granted a two-week temporary restraining order on Friday while the case, brought by Planned Parenthood, works its way through the legal system.

I'm eligible for the COVID vaccine and due for a mammogram. Which should I do first?

South Dakota's Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg was charged Thursday with three 2nd-class misdemeanors for his role in a car accident that killed a man who was walking down the side of a highway in September.

Water pressure should be restored to most of Austin, Texas, over the weekend, Austin Water Director Greg Meszaros said at a news conference Friday. The state is recovering from the cold and snow and resulting power outages, which shut down water treatment plants.

It might not be full pressure, he said, but the main goal right now is to get every household water.

Meszaros noted there is still a boil-water notice in effect and asked that residents still conserve water.

The Justice Department charged six more people Friday it says are members of a right-wing militia group that plotted in advance of Jan. 6 to attack the U.S. Capitol.

The indictment offers the most sweeping evidence so far that members of the far-right extremist group known as the Oath Keepers had spent months allegedly planning to prevent Congress from certifying President Joe Biden's victory in a bid to keep former President Donald Trump in power.

Editor's note: This story was updated at 9:55 a.m. ET on Feb. 20 to include a statement provided by email from AstraZeneca.

The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Keith Rowley, is not happy about how the global rollout of COVID vaccines is going. He's not happy at all.

"We are more than a little bit concerned that there is ... or is to be ... hoarding and price gouging," of vaccines, the Prime Minister said in a press conference on Thursday with the head of the World Health Organization.

Updated at 5:49 p.m. ET

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he is opposing President Biden's nominee to run the Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden. The White House is standing by the nomination even as Manchin's opposition makes it more precarious.

Manchin cited negative comments about Republicans that Tanden made while running the left-leaning think tank Center for American Progress. The social media remarks have been scrutinized, largely on the right, since her nomination.

White House officials on Friday confirmed the extent of the weather's chilling effect on COVID-19 vaccine distribution, saying this week's storms created a backlog of some 6 million doses affecting all 50 states.

That number represents three days' worth of delayed shipments, said Andy Slavitt, senior adviser on the White House COVID-19 Response Team. He added that many states have been able to cover some of the delay with their existing inventory, and that the Biden administration expects to make up the backlog shortly.

After traveling nearly 300 million miles and surviving a heart-stopping 7-minute descent to the surface of Mars, NASA's Perseverance rover is preparing to get down to the real science – looking for signs of ancient life on the red planet.

On Thursday, Perseverance shed its "cruise stage" and began a blistering 12,000 mph drop to the Martian surface.

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