Rachel Martin

The coronavirus pandemic has been especially tough on women, who are still bearing the brunt of the demands of child care and housework.

About 400,000 more women than men have left the workforce since the start of the pandemic. The percentage of women in the paid labor force has not recovered from the steep drop in the spring of 2020.

An attorney for Andrew Brown Jr.'s family is disputing a North Carolina district attorney's contention that Brown used his vehicle as a deadly weapon against the deputies who fatally shot him.

On Tuesday, District Attorney Andrew Womble announced he had decided not to file charges against the Pasquotank County deputies.

Children's immunizations dropped dramatically during the pandemic, and health officials are eager to get kids caught back up on their routine shots before they return to school.

Updated May 4, 2021 at 1:11 PM ET

Facebook's independent Oversight Board on Wednesday is expected to announce its biggest decision yet: whether to uphold or reverse Facebook's indefinite ban on former President Donald Trump.

Much has been written about how the pandemic came to be, but not so well known are the details about how it was able to spread so quickly in the United States.

Author Michael Lewis has written a new book, The Premonition, that fills in those blanks. And it is a sweeping indictment of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Youn Yuh-jung is an institution in Korean cinema. Her career spans five decades and includes starring roles in classic Korean films and famous TV dramas. Now, at 73, she has newfound fame in the U.S. for her role in the Oscar-nominated film Minari.

Youn is nominated for Best Supporting Actress, making her the first South Korean woman ever to be nominated for an Academy Award in an acting category.

Eight minutes and 46 seconds. That's the amount of time that former police officer Derek Chauvin was believed to have held his knee on George Floyd's neck.

In the aftermath of Floyd's death, 8:46 became part of the rallying cry in protests around the world. It appeared on signs. People chanted it. They held vigils and stayed quiet for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to mark Floyd's death.

A lot of us went into 2020 with the best intentions: to be more present, to read more, to stay healthy.

The universe, however, had other plans.

We won't tick through all that went wrong in 2020. But needless to say, the coronavirus single-handedly shaped pretty much everything — from the way we go about our daily routines and see loved ones to how we celebrate milestones and grieve losses.

More than 250,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19, a devastating milestone that was "absolutely" preventable, according to Dr. Abraar Karan, an internal medicine physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

"We saw this all over the world. We have so many lessons we could have learned from other countries, right from the start," Karan tells NPR's Morning Edition. "These deaths were preventable."

Iowa is one of several states, mostly in the Midwest, where coronavirus cases in nursing homes are rising faster than in nursing homes nationally.

While national cases in nursing home residents and staff rose by 8% between September and October, the numbers in Iowa more than doubled in that time, according to the AARP.

The Food and Drug Administration's sprint toward approving a COVID-19 vaccine does not mean the government is "cutting corners" or shorting safety, said Dr. Mark McClellan, former FDA commissioner under George W. Bush.

McClellan observed Thursday's FDA advisory panel on COVID-19 vaccine research, where independent experts offered advice on the way forward. Later that day, President Trump fueled fears that a vaccine is being rushed when he promised at a presidential debate to have "a vaccine that's coming, it's ready, it's going to be announced within weeks."

Dana Canedy has spent her career working with the written word.

"My son calls me 'word nerd,' because I'm obsessed with words and books," she says. "I've been writing since I was 12 years old. And my mother asked me in high school, 'If you don't become a writer, what's your Plan B?' And I said 'There is no Plan B.'"

Plan A worked.

Mark Shaver hadn't seen his 96-year-old mother, Betty, in months when he hit a breaking point and decided he had to see her.

Shaver lived in South Carolina and Betty was in a nursing home in Morgantown, W.Va., when COVID-19 outbreaks began sweeping across the nation. By early March, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice requested that nursing homes in the state restrict visitors, blocking any real chance Shaver would have to see his mom in person.

The world's top health officials are warning that there could be a "second peak" of coronavirus infections during the current outbreak, separate from a second wave expected in the fall. As cases decline, officials worry that some countries are lifting restrictions too quickly — the U.S. among them.

What's key to understanding the different patterns emerging around the globe is recognizing that "this coronavirus is not the flu," said Dr. Margaret Harris, a member of the World Health Organization's coronavirus response team.

The coronavirus spread rapidly throughout crowded cities in the country. But one rural area has more COVID-19 cases per capita than nearly any other place in the United States: the Navajo Nation.

When Dr. Vivek Murthy was surgeon general of the United States during the Obama administration, he went on a listening tour of America: He wanted to hear firsthand about people's health concerns.

That meant addressing opioid addiction, diabetes and heart disease. And one more thing — something he wasn't really prepared for — the number of Americans suffering from a lack of human connection. Loneliness, he learned, was impacting them not only mentally but also physically.

For nearly three years, Mark Green led the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in delivering foreign aid to countries in need during times of crisis, including the coronavirus pandemic.

Vinton County, Ohio, has been on the front lines of the opioid crisis in the U.S. for several years. The drugs may have changed over the years — from opioids to meth — but the devastating effects on families have not. And even though the county hasn't had high infection rates of the coronavirus, the necessary social restrictions have made it harder to keep people addicted to drugs and their children safe.

The writer Ada Calhoun has talked to a lot of Generation X women about the angst they might be feeling as they hit midlife.

"Being middle-aged in America right now as a middle-class American woman is different than it was for our mothers and grandmothers," she says, "and for a lot of women — not for all of them, but for a lot of them — it is incredibly hard."

She's not talking about poor women or rich women, but middle-class women. And in her new book, Why We Can't Sleep, Calhoun lays out what makes the burdens heavier on Gen X than other generations.

As the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland has an important job, though it's not a position that makes someone a household name.

So how has he become a crucial player in the controversy that could jeopardize the Trump presidency?

What is the president actually allowed to do under the U.S. Constitution?

It's a question that's comes up from time to time at NPR, and when it does, we've turned to experts such as Kim Wehle, now a law professor and CBS News legal commentator. Now, she's written a book about it. It's called How to Read the Constitution — and Why.

National attention is turning to issues that have been central to Kirsten Gillibrand's years of public service: equality and reproductive rights.

Ani DiFranco grew up in a house with no walls. "It was like a brick carriage house there. Inside there was just one room on the first floor and one room on the second floor. So it was an intimate house for a non-intimate family."

DiFranco's deep craving for intimacy led her to writing music. And the things DiFranco wanted to write were exactly what a generation of women coming of age in the '90s wanted to hear. DiFranco relives those early years in her new memoir, No Walls and the Recurring Dream.

Rock fans fell in love with The Cranberries in the early '90s, thanks, in large part, to the haunting, Celtic-inspired voice of the Irish rock band's lead singer, Dolores O'Riordan. The Cranberries, made up of O'Riordan on lead vocal, guitarist Noel Hogan, bassist Mike Hogan and Fergal Lawler on drums, created an intoxicating juxtaposition of grunge and alternative pop, with O'Riordan's lilting lyrics searing through right in.

Megan Stack, a former foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, gave up a life of covering war and natural disasters when she had her first child in Beijing.

She quickly hired a nanny and soon realized how dependent she was on this woman — something she writes about in her book Women's Work: A Reckoning with Work and Home.

Stack spoke with NPR about the book — and the difficult decision to write about her own family.

For 24 years, literary scholar Robert Alter has been working on a new translation of the Hebrew Bible and — "this may shock some of your listeners," he warns — he's been working on it by hand.

"I'm very particular — I write on narrow-lined paper and I have a Cross mechanical pencil," he says.

The result is a three-volume set — a translation with commentary — that runs over 3,000 pages.

It was the kind of love triangle that would test the imagination of even the most creative novelists.

In 2015, Richard Matt and David Sweat, two prison inmates, turned a sexual relationship with a female employee at the prison into their ticket to freedom. And for weeks, news coverage followed every twist and turn of their remarkable escape from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and other top Democrats sent a letter to President Trump yesterday, laying out five tough demands ahead of Trump's summit with North Korea later this month, including "verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear program." Schumer spoke with NPR's Rachel Martin on Monday afternoon in his office at the Capitol.

Rachel Martin: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us.

Sen. Chuck Schumer: Great to be here.

Kate Bowler's new memoir, Everything Happens for a Reason And Other Lies I've Loved, is a funny, intimate portrait of living in that nether space between life and death. In it, she shares her experiences with incurable stage 4 cancer and gives advice on what not to say to those who are terminally ill.

Bowler is also the host of Everything Happens, a new podcast.

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