Matthew S. Schwartz

Matthew S. Schwartz is a reporter with NPR's news desk. Before coming to NPR, Schwartz worked as a reporter for Washington, DC, member station WAMU, where he won the national Edward R. Murrow award for feature reporting in large market radio. Previously, Schwartz worked as a technology reporter covering the intricacies of Internet regulation. In a past life, Schwartz was a Washington telecom lawyer. He got his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and his B.A. from the University of Michigan ("Go Blue!").

One week ago, Myanmar military forces warned pro-democracy protesters that if their demonstrations continued, there would be further loss of life.

The military has made good on its threat.

Updated at 8:05 a.m. ET

The Hong Kong government charged 47 democracy advocates Sunday with violating a national security law that prohibits "conspiracy to commit subversion," prompting hundreds of protesters to gather in defiance of the law to show their support.

For decades, the prevailing theory about the extinction of the dinosaurs was that an asteroid from the belt between Mars and Jupiter slammed into the planet, causing cataclysmic devastation that wiped out most life on the planet.

But new research out of Harvard University theorizes that the Armageddon-causing object came from much farther out than originally believed.

Facing allegations that the state under-reported the number of coronavirus deaths in nursing homes, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that everything reported was accurate — albeit delayed.

"All the deaths in the nursing homes and in the hospitals were always fully, publicly and accurately reported," Cuomo said. "The numbers were the numbers. Always."

After three members of a family in New Zealand's largest city tested positive for the coronavirus, the city of Auckland has gone into lockdown — and the entire country is on high alert.

In a televised address Sunday evening, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the country is taking a "precautionary approach that has served us so well as a country."

For nearly an hour Saturday, about 50 vaccination opponents and right-wing supporters of former President Donald Trump delayed COVID-19 vaccinations when they protested at the entrance to Dodger Stadium, the site of a mass vaccination campaign.

Holding signs that said things such as "COVID=Scam," "Don't be a lab rat" and "Tell Bill Gates to go vaccinate himself," the protesters caused the Los Angeles Fire Department to close the stadium entrance as a precaution. People in hundreds of cars, waiting in line for hours, had to wait even longer.

Almost exactly one year after the first case of the coronavirus was detected in the United States, the country has now reached 25 million confirmed infections. As it has for months, the U.S. remains by far the most coronavirus-riddled country in the world.

NASA has more work to do, after a rocket test Saturday for its shuttle replacement ended with a premature and unexpected shutdown.

The test, at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, was part of NASA's Artemis program, a plan to return to the moon in the coming years. NASA's test called for four engines to fire for eight minutes — roughly the time it will take for NASA's long-delayed Space Launch System (SLS) to generate the thrust needed to send the rocket to space.

Pope Francis offered prayers Sunday for those who lost their lives during the siege at the U.S. Capitol — and encouraged Americans to come together in a spirit of reconciliation.

"I extend an affectionate greeting to the people of the United States of America, shaken by the recent siege of Congress," Francis said, as reported by the Catholic News Agency. "I pray for those who lost their lives — five lost in those dramatic moments."

The violence at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday was unprecedented in modern U.S. history — but some pro-Trump extremists are promising it was just a taste of things to come.

"Many of Us will return on January 19, 2021, carrying Our weapons, in support of Our nation's resolve, towhich [sic] the world will never forget!!!" one person wrote on Parler, a site friendly to right-wing extremists. "We will come in numbers that no standing army or police agency can match."

Last summer, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Congress that if the U.S. didn't get the coronavirus outbreak under control, the country could see 100,000 new cases per day.

Six months later, the U.S. is adding, on average, more than 271,000 new cases per day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Over the past 24 hours, 3,700 new deaths were recorded.

That brings the total number of reported cases in the U.S. to more than 22 million since the start of the outbreak — with a death toll of 373,000.

Updated at 12:45 a.m. ET Sunday

The U.S. has hit another devastating milestone: COVID-19 has killed more than 350,000 people in the country, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker. The grim number comes as a new variant of the coronavirus is spreading across dozens of countries.

Updated at 2:25 a.m. ET on Monday

The violent explosion that rocked downtown Nashville, Tenn., on Christmas morning is believed to be a suicide bombing by Anthony Q. Warner, 63, U.S. Attorney Don Cochran said Sunday.

Authorities continue to ask those who knew or encountered the suspect to contact the FBI. The agency is still investigating, but there is no indication that anyone else was involved, Cochran said.

National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro — a longtime pitcher for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves who was known for his blistering knuckleball — died in his sleep after a long battle with cancer, the team announced Sunday. He was 81.

In his Christmas Day address, Pope Francis appealed to the nations of the world to share the new coronavirus vaccines with the most needy.

"Today, in this time of darkness and uncertainty regarding the pandemic, various lights of hope appear, such as the discovery of vaccines," Francis said. "But for these lights to illuminate and bring hope to all, they need to be available to all."

More than 2 million people have passed through security checkpoints at U.S. airports over the last two days, according to statistics provided by the Transportation Security Administration. This is despite official guidance to stay home for the holidays as the coronavirus pandemic rages and the nation's death toll continues to rise.

The United Kingdom has entered a period of intense restrictions after a mutation of the coronavirus was discovered spreading rapidly through the population of London and the southeast and east of England. Most of the country faces a strict lockdown as Christmas approaches, and several countries throughout Europe have banned travel from the United Kingdom.

The British government put several parts of England into what's known as "Tier 4" restrictions after the spike in infections. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the new restrictions on Saturday.

China is days away from becoming the third country to bring moon rocks back to Earth.

China's state news agency Xinhua announced Sunday that the country's lunar probe, Chang'e-5, had completed its second orbital maneuver, and entered the "moon-Earth transfer orbit." The craft is expect to land in China's Inner Mongolia region later this week.

Updated at 5:07 p.m. ET

President Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the president. Trump made the announcement on Twitter on Sunday afternoon.

As U.S. health authorities continue examining the proposed COVID-19 vaccines, residents in the United Kingdom — the first Western country to issue approval for emergency use — are set to receive their first shots as early as this week.

But quickly vaccinating as many people as possible in the U.K. will pose enormous logistical challenges — from keeping the doses frozen to figuring out how to methodically and fairly distribute the vaccine across the nation of 68 million.

The number of hospitalizations from the coronavirus set yet another record on Saturday, as cases continue to surge and public health officials warn of a worsening outlook with the holiday season just weeks away.

More than 91,500 people were hospitalized with the virus on Saturday, with 18,000 in intensive care units. That's according to data compiled by the COVID Tracking Project, which collects and analyzes data from across the United States. Over 6,000 patients were on ventilators.

One of the experimental drugs that President Trump received while he was battling the coronavirus has been approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration. The drug, made by the biotech company Regeneron, is the second antibody treatment to win emergency use approval from the FDA.

The treatment combines two antibodies — casirivimab and imdevimab — and administers them together by IV. In a clinical trial of about 800 people, the combination was shown to significantly reduce virus levels within days of treatment.

Donald Trump Jr. has become the latest member of the president's orbit to test positive for the coronavirus.

"Apparently I got the 'rona," the president's son told his Instagram followers late Friday.

"You wouldn't know it based on anything that I felt or have seen," he said. "I've been totally asymptomatic."

Updated 4:30 p.m. ET Monday

Less than one week after assuming the office of the presidency, Manuel Merino has stepped down as interim president of Peru.

Peru's Congress has elected legislator Francisco Sagasti as the country's interim president, Reuters reports. Sagasti, a member of the centrist Morado Party, will serve as Peru's president until the nation's elections in April 2021. He received 97 votes in favor and 26 against.

Sagasti will be the country's third president in a week.

The Trump administration has not cooperated with President-elect Joe Biden's transition team, and top Biden officials say the incoming president is limited in what he can do before his team takes the reins. Still, Biden's coronavirus advisory board co-chair Vivek Murthy says they're doing everything they can to ensure plans are ready to go on Inauguration Day — including stronger mask requirements.

The U.S. added more than 184,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday, the fourth day in a row that the country has set a record for daily infections, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

Updated at 1:34 a.m. ET Monday

Tropical Storm Eta made landfall late Sunday in the Florida Keys. The southern part of the state faces a potential one-two punch from Eta, which could strengthen into a hurricane and drop up to a foot of rain before retreating to the Gulf of Mexico to gather strength for round two.

The National Hurricane Center says Eta had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph on Sunday night and was centered about 30 miles east-northeast of Marathon, Fla., and 70 miles east-northeast of Key West. It was moving west-northwest at 14 mph.

President-elect Joe Biden will have his work cut out for him.

The United States added 126,480 new coronavirus cases on Friday, according to data released Saturday by the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. It's the third day in a row that the U.S. has set a daily record, bringing the total number of infections in the country to more than 9.7 million. More than 236,000 have died.

The U.S. is edging ever closer to 100,000 new daily cases of the coronavirus. According to data released Saturday by Johns Hopkins University, the country added 99,321 cases and 1,030 deaths to its tally on Friday.

After your team wins the World Series, it's only natural to run onto the field to celebrate with your teammates.

But when you've been diagnosed with COVID-19 — and gotten a warning from security to leave the field — that natural instinct can lead to a "full investigation" by Major League Baseball.

Pages