National & World News

Coverage of national and world news from New England Public Radio, NPR, and other NPR stations.

Voters in Greenland have given an opposition party its first-ever chance to form a government after a campaign that sought to define the limits of development on the Arctic island.

The Inuit Ataqatigiit party won 37% of the vote, compared with 29% for the ruling social-democratic Siumut party, according to official results reported by Reuters. The vote totals should allow Inuit Ataqatigiit to grab 12 seats in the 31-member unicameral legislature, known as the Inatsisartut, meaning it will likely need to form a coalition with support from one of the smaller parties.

Researchers are reporting some progress in their search for drugs that tamp down the overwhelming immune reaction that can kill a patient with COVID-19.

These reactions are triggered by coronavirus infections and can veer out of control in some people. It's this reaction, rather than the virus itself, that is the real peril for people seriously ill with COVID-19.

Updated April 7, 2021 at 11:52 AM ET

The European Union's drug regulator said Wednesday that the benefits of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine outweigh its risks, but that rare blood clotting events should be listed as a possible side effect.

Joyce Ann Kraner is eager for the pandemic to end and for life to get back to normal. Kraner, 49, wants to be able to hug her mother, who lives in a nursing home.

But she says she has no plans to get the vaccine, even though it's widely available in her community of Murfreesboro, Tenn. "I feel like I'm healthy," she says.

A new surge of COVID-19 in Brazil is filling hospitals and morgues, as the country's record daily death toll from the disease is nearing even the grim U.S. peak in January.

With less than two-thirds the population of the U.S., Brazil logged nearly 4,200 deaths on Tuesday. That is close to the peak U.S. daily death toll of 4,476 recorded on Jan. 12, according to data maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

Updated April 7, 2021 at 10:39 AM ET

The Minneapolis police chief and other members of his department have testified that former officer Derek Chauvin's restraint of George Floyd was excessive and that it violated the department's policies on use of force.

MUMBAI — India confirmed another record jump in COVID-19 cases Wednesday, as the world's biggest vaccine maker said it was "very stressed" and needs help from the Indian government to boost production.

India is struggling to speed up vaccinations amid its sharpest spike in coronavirus infections since the pandemic began. Authorities are also trying to balance stricter curbs on movement while also ensuring fair voting in five regions holding state elections throughout the month.

It's become so common, perhaps you've stopped noticing how often your local weather forecast is "above normal." It's noted during extreme heat in the summer, when mild temperatures persist through the winter, or when nights don't cool down like they used to.

But on May 4, the hotter Earth will officially become the new normal.

In his $2 trillion plan to improve America's infrastructure, President Biden is promising to address the racism ingrained in historical transportation and urban planning.

Biden's plan includes $20 billion for a program that would "reconnect neighborhoods cut off by historic investments," according to the White House. It also looks to target "40 percent of the benefits of climate and clean infrastructure investments to disadvantaged communities."

The Texas state court system is signaling that it will no longer enforce a federal order aimed at stopping evictions during the coronavirus pandemic. That could clear the way for landlords to push ahead with tens of thousands of eviction cases that have been on hold.

The timing could be particularly painful for many families, coming after Congress has approved billions of dollars to help people pay the rent they owe to avoid eviction but before the vast majority of renters have been able to receive any of that money.

On a recent weekday, some three dozen Marines and civilians filed into an auditorium at Henderson Hall, a Marine support center on a hill above the Pentagon.

They were there to talk about extremism in the ranks.

They reviewed their oath to defend against any enemy foreign or domestic, learned about active service members arrested for stockpiling weapons as members of neo-Nazi and other extremist groups, and took part in a wide-ranging discussion that included race, values and how to report suspicious activity.

When Major League Baseball decided to move the All-Star Game to Denver, it was a moment of celebration for many Colorado politicos.

MLB had pulled the game from Atlanta in response to criticism of Georgia's new voting law. The choice of Coors Field as the new site was seen by Colorado lawmakers as another validation of Colorado's reputation for having some of the nation's most accessible and secure elections.

The San Francisco Board of Education will ultimately keep the names of dozens of public schools in a case of high-stakes second thoughts.

A resurgence of COVID-19 cases driven by virus variants throughout Canada has forced the country's largest city to suspend in-person learning.

All elementary and secondary school students in Toronto will return to remote learning Wednesday without the chance to return before April 18, city officials announced Tuesday.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the state legislature has gone a "step way too far," after the House and Senate on Tuesday voted to override his veto on a bill banning gender-affirming treatments for transgender minors in the state.

Updated April 6, 2021 at 4:49 PM ET

Officer Nicole Mackenzie, the medical support coordinator with the Minneapolis Police Department, was the third witness called on Tuesday afternoon in the trial of Derek Chauvin.

Chauvin is facing charges of murder and manslaughter in George Floyd's death last May.

Mackenzie, who trains officers in medical support, was asked by defense attorney Eric Nelson about "agonal breathing," which can occur in people in distress such as a medical emergency.

California could lift most statewide COVID-19 restrictions by June 15 if vaccine supply is sufficient and hospitalizations are low, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday.

Newsom said the state would lift its tiered system of risk and restriction, known as the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, contingent on those public health indicators, with its mask mandate and other "commonsense health measures" to remain in place.

The Border Patrol is overwhelmed by the numbers of unaccompanied migrant children in its custody — on Sunday, there were 4,699 sleeping in austere conditions for days on end. But there's help on the way. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is, for the first time, fielding teams of social service workers to relieve some of the agents from handing out mattresses and Pampers.

Greenlanders are going to the polls on Tuesday in a crucial election that could determine whether the Arctic island taps its vast deposits of rare-earth minerals to fuel eventual independence from Denmark.

When President Biden unveiled his major new infrastructure plan last week, the proposal included much more than fixing crumbling bridges. And for those who wish America had a more robust passenger train network, it gave them something new: hope.

Major League Baseball's 2021 All-Star Game will be played in Colorado's Coors Field, the league says, after it canceled plans for Atlanta to host baseball's midseason centerpiece. The change came in response to Georgia's controversial new voting law, which the MLB says is against its values.

"Major League Baseball is grateful to the Rockies, the City of Denver and the State of Colorado for their support of this summer's All-Star Game," Baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred Jr. said.

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

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

The United States may just become the engine of global economic growth this year, according to a new forecast released Tuesday by the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF expects the U.S. economy will grow 6.4% this year, its strongest growth in decades. That's faster than the 5.1% growth it was projecting just two months ago and nearly double the growth rate it predicted in October.

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, an outspoken and sometimes controversial figure in Florida and Washington, D.C., has died after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 84.

Hastings began his career as a civil rights lawyer. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter appointed him to a U.S. District Court seat, making him Florida's first African American federal judge.

When COVID-19 was detected last spring in Panama, 26-year-old cartographer Carlos Doviaza feared for his "brothers" — not his blood relatives but indigenous people like himself.

He believed the way he could help them was to do what he does best: making maps.

"I thought, why not use my strength to build a platform created by indigenous people for indigenous peoples to show relevant information about the pandemic visually and easily?"

Updated April 6, 2021 at 5:56 PM ET

President Biden announced Tuesday that he is moving up the deadline for states to open up COVID-19 vaccinations to all U.S. residents 18 and older by about two weeks. Less than a month after directing states to expand eligibility to all adults by May 1, Biden changed that deadline to April 19.

Updated April 6, 2021 at 1:35 PM ET

House and Senate Democratic leaders announced Tuesday that late U.S. Capitol Police Officer William "Billy" F. Evans, who was killed in the line of duty on April 2, will lie in honor in the United States Capitol rotunda.

It's been almost 15 years, but for Lakisa Muhammad, it's still hard to look back on all that went wrong with her daughter's delivery.

She expected a fulfilling experience — an all-natural water birth with a midwife by her side. But in the weeks before her due date, the birth center where she had scheduled the delivery suddenly closed its doors. It was time for a new plan.

North Korea says it will skip the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo, citing coronavirus concerns – a move that frustrates South Korea's hopes that the games might revive stalled peace talks between the bitter rivals.

The decision to sit out the already delayed Tokyo Games means the North's athletes will be a no-show at the Olympics for the first time since Pyongyang boycotted them in 1988, the year they were held in Seoul.

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