Rachel Treisman

In Los Angeles County, an environmental regulator has temporarily relaxed limits on the number of cremations that can be performed each month, citing a backlog caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Just over a year after the world's first coronavirus cases were identified in China, the country's economy has bounced back from the ravages of the pandemic.

China's economy grew by 2.3% last year, according to data published Monday by the country's National Bureau of Statistics. The steady economic recovery was largely expected, and puts China on a track that other countries haven't achieved.

John le Carré, the British spy novelist behind dozens of works including The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, has died at 89 in Cornwall, England.

Le Carré, who was born David Cornwell, died of pneumonia on the evening of Dec. 12, according to a statement from his publisher.

With the U.S. death toll at about 300,000, the first doses of the first authorized COVID-19 vaccine are officially en route to distribution centers across the country.

Crowds gathered throughout France on Sunday to pay tribute to Samuel Paty, the 47-year-old history teacher who was beheaded after he reportedly showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a civics lesson.

The executive board of the union representing more than 6,400 of New York City's school leaders passed a unanimous vote of no confidence against Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza on Sunday for what it called officials' "failure to lead New York City through the safe and successful reopening of schools."

The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators is calling on the mayor to cede control of the city's education department for the duration of the public health crisis, and for both officials to seek swift intervention from New York state.

Certain businesses in most of Texas will be able to expand their operations starting Monday, thanks to an improvement in the state's COVID-19 metrics. But there is one notable exception: Bars must stay closed.

A grand jury in Omaha, Neb., on Tuesday indicted the white bar owner who fatally shot a Black man during protests for racial justice in May.

Jake Gardner shot 22-year-old James Scurlock in an altercation on May 30, during a tense night of protests in the city following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Athletes and fans anticipating the start of college basketball will have to wait a little bit longer.

The NCAA Division I Council announced on Wednesday that the upcoming men's and women's basketball seasons can begin on Nov. 25, roughly two weeks later than originally planned, in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Updated at 10:40 a.m. ET

Top congressional Democrats are calling for a federal investigation after a nurse who worked at an immigration detention center in Georgia filed a whistleblower complaint alleging a lack of medical care and unsafe work practices that facilitated the spread of COVID-19.

She also says that immigrant women received questionable hysterectomies, an allegation that lawmakers seized on in statements issued Tuesday.

One day after a federal judge ruled Pennsylvania's pandemic restrictions unconstitutional, Gov. Tom Wolf issued a statement slamming Republicans' celebratory response and urging people to take the coronavirus seriously.

"There's no sense debating a ruling that will be appealed," Wolf said on Tuesday. "But what's not up for debate is that our early and decisive action saved lives."

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.

Face coverings instead of costume masks. Virtual pumpkin-carving parties. No trick or treating. As fall approaches, health officials in California's most populous county are asking residents to plan for an unusual Halloween.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Wednesday released guidance to help families plan for a pandemic-safe Halloween, discouraging traditional festivities and recommending socially distant alternatives.

Months after it was tabled due to COVID-19, indoor dining is coming back to New York City.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that restaurants can resume indoor service on Sept. 30 at 25% capacity and with other safety precautions in place.

"We want to thank New Yorkers for the increase in compliance," Cuomo said at a press briefing. "And because the compliance has gotten better we can now take the next step."

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

A police officer in Salt Lake City shot a 13-year-old boy with an autism spectrum disorder on Friday after his mother called 911 seeking help for her son, who was experiencing a mental health crisis.

Golda Barton told CBS affiliate KUTV that she called police to request that a crisis intervention team transport her son, Linden Cameron, to a hospital for treatment as he was having a "mental breakdown."

Starting in 2024, would-be Oscar nominees must meet specific representation and inclusion standards in order to be eligible for the Best Picture category.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveiled the requirements on Tuesday, saying they are intended to "encourage equitable representation on and off screen in order to better reflect the diversity of the movie-going audience."

Anyone grasping for the right word or phrase to describe life in 2020 now has a larger lexicon to work with.

Dictionary.com has updated thousands of entries and added hundreds of words in its largest release to date, a reflection of the ways in which society and language have evolved even in just the past few months.

Kenosha County, Wis., lifted its nightly emergency curfew on Wednesday, more than a week after it was first enacted in response to protests over the Aug. 23 police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian said in a statement that he had made the decision after consulting with law enforcement and community leaders.

Updated at 10 a.m. ET Thursday

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has asked states to prepare to distribute a potential coronavirus vaccine as soon as late October, according to a series of planning documents sent to public health officials last week.

A CDC spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of the documents in an email to NPR on Wednesday. The documents were first published by The New York Times.

More deaths associated with Hurricane Laura were caused by the improper use of portable generators than the storm itself.

And officials warn that the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning persists, as thousands of households in Louisiana remain without power.

The Trump administration is considering drastically expanding the government's collection of biometric information from immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed on Tuesday.

The proposal would allow the government to demand more personal data, from more people, more often as part of the immigration application process.

The 2020 U.S. Open kicked off on Monday absent one of its most iconic hallmarks: the crowd.

Instead, the courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, N.Y., were mostly silent as spectators were kept away from the stadium because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The prohibition on in-person fans is part of New York's efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

A man was fatally shot during a night of confrontations between Trump supporters and counterprotesters in Portland, Ore., on Saturday, the latest high-profile incident in a city that has seen nightly demonstrations for three consecutive months. On Sunday, city leaders denounced the violence while President Trump criticized their ability to contain it.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Thursday that while the impact of Hurricane Laura was less catastrophic than initially predicted, the storm significantly damaged many communities and remains a threat to parts of several Southern states still in its path.

FEMA officials said on a call with reporters that it is working to assess the damage and distribute aid to people in need — while taking precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois teenager accused of shooting and killing protesters in Kenosha, Wis., has been charged with six criminal counts including felony charges of first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree intentional homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice on Wednesday identified the police officer who shot Jacob Blake over the weekend, providing its first update about the incident that has prompted widespread outrage and ongoing protests.

Even before fall classes began on Tuesday, The Ohio State University temporarily suspended more than 200 students for violating COVID-19 safety protocols.

Member station WOSU was one of several outlets to report that school officials had issued 228 interim suspensions tied to off-campus parties.

The University of Alabama is reporting more than 560 new cases of COVID-19 across its three campuses and medical center less than a week after starting classes.

According to data from a university dashboard, students, staff and faculty at the university's main campus, Tuscaloosa, account for 531 of the total confirmed cases since Aug. 19.

A Florida judge on Monday ruled against the state's order requiring schools to open for in-person instruction by the end of August, calling parts of it "unconstitutional." He granted a temporary injunction, putting the decision-making power in the hands of individual districts.

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