National & International News

We follow stories about America and the world, with help from NPR.

The IRS sent nearly $1.4 billion in coronavirus relief payments to dead Americans, a new report by an independent government agency shows.

The Government Accountability Office said the error involved almost 1.1 million checks and direct deposits sent to ineligible Americans. The payments were part of the coronavirus aid package passed in March known as the CARES Act.

So far, the IRS has dispersed over 160 million payments — worth nearly $270 billion — to people for coronavirus relief.

Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus is offering to resign over the death of Carlos Ingram-Lopez – a man who died after being restrained by Tucson officers in April. Ingram-Lopez was handcuffed and kept face-down in a garage for some 12 minutes.

While the man was being restrained, police body cam video shows, he often cried out — repeatedly asking for water, and at times for his grandmother. At one point, he is heard saying he can't breathe.

NASCAR has finished its investigation and says it still doesn't know who tied a noose that was discovered this past weekend in the garage stall used by African American stock car driver Bubba Wallace at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

Millions of Americans have probably had the coronavirus without knowing it.

That's the conclusion of officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and many other experts.

"Our best estimate right now is that for every case that was reported, there actually were 10 other infections," Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC, said during a call with reporters Thursday.

Thanks to their efforts to steer clear of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Navy says two American warships that set sail in mid-January broke the modern record on Thursday for consecutive days at sea for U.S. naval surface vessels.

Minks on two fur farms in the Netherlands began getting sick in late April. Some were coughing, with runny noses; others had signs of severe respiratory disease. Soon, they started dying.

Researchers took swabs from the animals and dissected the ones that had died.

The culprit: SARS-COV-2, the novel coronavirus causing a global pandemic.

Less than a month after President Trump vowed to stop funding the World Health Organization, Germany and France say they will contribute financial backing to the agency in its fight against the coronavirus.

Germany promised to give 500 million euros (over $560 million) in funding and equipment to the WHO this year, as the country assumes the presidency of the European Union.

The Kentucky Derby will take place in the fall with spectators, racing venue Churchill Downs announced on Thursday.

The most famous horse racing event in the world, usually held in May, will now take place from Sept. 1 to Sept. 5. The Kentucky Derby will be on Sep. 5, and the Kentucky Oaks — a race for 3-year-old fillies — will run a day earlier.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has announced the state will "pause" any further reopening of its economy for now, a day after he said that Texas is facing a "massive outbreak" of the coronavirus.

Generations of South Asians have grown up with grocery aisles full of Fair & Lovely skin-lightening products. The brand's TV commercials feature Bollywood stars and equate pale, fair skin with beauty and success.

Those are racial stereotypes many find to be the opposite of fair.

Disney is putting off plans to reopen its southern California parks until state officials issue guidance on how theme parks can allow visitors back, The Walt Disney Company said on Wednesday.

While many Americans refer to the Korean War as the "forgotten war," it is anything but that in South Korea 70 years after North Korea invaded.

The war lasted from 1950 to 1953 but never formally ended, and tensions between North and South Korea continue to ebb and flow.

Survivors of one little-known group of combatants say they still want proper recognition. They are the former child soldiers.

Two decades of life experience made a mental-health activist of Kai Koerber. When he was 16 and a student at a Parkland, Fla., high school, a gunman killed 17 people, including one his friends.

"I really did suffer a domestic terrorist attack, and that's not something that happens to you every day," Koerber says.

The number of people infected by the coronavirus in some of Brazil's poorest and most vulnerable neighborhoods could be 30 times higher than the officially registered count, according to Brazilian researchers.

Since the pandemic began, there has been intense concern about the virus's impact on these communities, including favelas where the population is predominantly poor and black.

The Eiffel Tower reopened to visitors Thursday morning after having been shut down for more than three months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the Paris landmark's longest closure since World War II.

The reopening is a dramatic sign of people reclaiming public spaces in France following more than 100 days of restrictions. But the tower's highest point is still not open – and for now, visitors will need to take the stairs.

Three research institutions in Seattle have joined forces to study how Alzheimer's disease takes root in the brain.

The consortium will create a new research center at the Allen Institute for Brain Science to study tissue from brains donated by people who died with Alzheimer's.

Gone With The Wind has returned to the streaming service HBO Max after it was removed earlier this month because of its benign portrayal of American slavery. The film now features a new introduction by film scholar and Turner Classic Movies host Jacqueline Stewart.

In the introduction, Stewart addresses the film's problematic depiction of the Antebellum South.

On Thursday, the House and Senate will be in session at the same time, for the first time, since the pandemic began more than three months ago.

While the 100-member Senate resumed its regular floor business in May, the much larger House of Representatives has met sparingly. With more than 430 members, the lower chamber faces higher risks for an outbreak.

At a free mass testing site on Montana's Flathead Reservation, hundreds of people are queued up in idling cars. They're waiting an hour or more for the irritating nose swab test for the coronavirus, but most, like Francine Van Maanen, are just grateful to finally get one.

"We enjoyed the fact that they had this testing available to us, so why not get checked," she says, while waiting in line with her husband.

On a recent morning, Kim Gates helped hand out free boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables in an underserved area of Grand Rapids, Mich.

Lately, the retired schoolteacher from the nearby tiny town of Caledonia has been trying to volunteer with minority communities and read more about racism.

The 63-year-old white woman had always voted for the candidate she thought was best for the job — like, for instance, Michigan's recent Republican governor, Rick Snyder. She said she never considered herself political until Donald Trump's victory in 2016.

Melody Lewis lives like a nomad in the heart of downtown Denver.

Poking her head out of her green tent on a recent June day, the 57-year-old points to the place a few blocks away where city crews picked up her tent from a sidewalk median earlier this spring and replaced it with landscaping rocks, fencing and signs warning trespassers to keep out.

Lewis then moved just a quarter-mile away, to a new cracked sidewalk, with new neighbors and potentially, homeless advocates fear, new sources of exposure to the coronavirus.

Updated 5:29 PM ET

The Los Angeles Times is moving to settle a proposed class-action lawsuit filed by six Black, Hispanic and female journalists at the paper contending that the under-representation of people of color there is a result of longstanding discriminatory pay practices.

Three former staff members of a Michigan youth home have been charged in the death of a 16-year-old Black boy. He died last month after employees sat on his chest, abdomen and legs in an effort to restrain him.

Updated at 10:47 p.m. ET

As the number of new coronavirus cases surges each day in many parts of the country, some states are hitting pause on their plans to reopen.

Whether it's online-only consultations, closed pharmacies or having to wonder whether going into an office is safe, the coronavirus has upended access to health care. And it has presented particular challenges for women and reproductive health.

The in-person Democratic National Convention will be scaled down significantly as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with the Milwaukee event now relying heavily on "live broadcasts and curated content," organizers have announced.

Boston is poised to ban its use of facial surveillance technology, becoming the second-largest community in the world to do so.

The city council unanimously voted on Wednesday to ban the use of the technology and prohibit any city official from obtaining facial surveillance by asking for it through third parties. The measure will now go to Mayor Marty Walsh with a veto-proof majority. Walsh's office said he would review the ban.

An Internet shutdown that began a year ago in parts of Myanmar is keeping some villages unaware of the coronavirus pandemic, humanitarian groups say.

Restrictions on mobile Internet were put in place in eight townships in the state of Rakhine – and one in nearby Chin state — in June of last year amid fighting between the country's military and an ethnic minority, the Rakhine, and their Arakan Army.

The three white men accused in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was shot while he was jogging through a Glynn County, Ga., neighborhood this year, were indicted by a grand jury Wednesday.

Gregory and Travis McMichael, a father and son, as well as William "Roddie" Bryan, were charged in May in the Feb. 23 killing of Arbery.

Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes announced the indictment on nine counts, including malice murder, felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

The Trump administration's latest freeze on certain types of work visas, designed to protect American jobs during the COVID-19 crisis, is having a disproportionate effect on workers in India.

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