National & World News from NPR

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, HOST:

As colleges prepare to reopen, many are leaving the decision to students - that is, whether they feel safe enough to return to campus despite the pandemic.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, HOST:

Composer Max Richter has scored soundtracks and had his music placed across film and television, including recent Hollywood movies such as Mary Queen of Scots, Hostiles and Ad Astra. But Richter's also a composer who's not afraid to take on political issues in his music.

Copyright 2020 WDET 101.9 FM. To see more, visit WDET 101.9 FM.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, HOST:

White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said on Sunday that the U.S. is in a "new phase" of the pandemic, urging people to follow public health guidance as cases continue to climb in many parts of the United States.

"What we're seeing today is different from March and April," Birx said on CNN's State of the Union. "It is extraordinarily widespread — it's into the rural as equal urban areas."

Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET

Two NASA astronauts are back on Earth after their space capsule splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Pensacola, Fla.

The last time any NASA astronauts came home by splashing down was in 1975 — and back then, they were in an Apollo space vehicle. This time, the astronauts were in a white, bell-shaped capsule owned by SpaceX.

Multiple wildfires are spreading across California, forcing thousands of people to evacuate their homes in the midst of a global pandemic.

As of Sunday morning, there are 15 separate fires raging throughout the state, according to Cal Fire. The state's three largest fires have already burned through more than 50,000 acres of land.

Tropical Storm Isaias is continuing its push toward Florida's east coast on Sunday after battering the Bahamas with heavy rainfall and gusty winds.

Isaias, which was downgraded to a tropical storm after reaching hurricane status, is whipping up sustained winds of 65 miles per hour and could bring 1 to 7 inches of rainfall from Florida to New England in the coming week, according to the National Hurricane Center.

It's strawberry season in northwest Washington's Skagit Valley.

For Ana, a farmworker, that means long days bent nearly doubled over to snap ripe strawberries from low bushes.

"You have to lean over a lot to pick strawberries, so of course everything hurts — your legs, your back — everything," she said in an interview in Spanish.

Ana moved to the U.S. from Mexico nearly 20 years ago. She asked that we not use her last name because she's undocumented.

Canadians are typically seen as pretty friendly people, and until the coronavirus pandemic, most were happy to welcome Americans.

But when the coronavirus began to quickly spread in March, the U.S. and Canada shut their shared border to all nonessential traffic.

Since then, Canada's border patrol has effectively prevented caravans of Americans — and their RVs and their campers — from surging across the border as they normally do each summer.

But Americans can be crafty.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Kansas Public Radio. To see more, visit Kansas Public Radio.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

A demonstrator holds a sign reading "Black Pete Is Racism" during a 2013 demonstration in Amsterdam.

There are many rose gardens, but in Washington, D.C., at least, there is only one capital-R capital-G Rose Garden.

"It's one of the few spaces at the White House that I think most Americans know, both by name and by sight," says Stewart McLaurin, president of the White House Historical Association."You say 'the Rose Garden at the White House,' and it brings back presidential daughter's weddings and state dinners."

The Department of Homeland Security has reassigned its top intelligence official, according to media outlets, following news that his office compiled intelligence reports on journalists and protesters in Portland, Ore.

Amy Holditch isn't the kind of woman to let fear dictate her life.

"No, she's not," says her mom, 73-year-old Sandra Gillis. "She pretty much gets her mind on something, then it's probably going to happen."

So when the coronavirus cancelled her family trip to Hawaii, she didn't postpone the trip with her mom and 12-year-old son for another year.

"I just kind of jumped off the cliff and did it."

Wilford Brimley, the mustached actor known for Cocoon, The Natural and The Firm, has died. He was 85.

The actor died Saturday morning at a Utah hospital, according to his manager, Lynda Bensky. He was on dialysis and had several medical issues.

"Wilford Brimley was a man you could trust," Bensky said. "He said what he meant and he meant what he said. He had a gruff exterior and a tender heart. I'm sad that I will no longer get to hear my friend's wonderful stories. He was one of a kind."

The Washington State Department of Agriculture announced Friday that it trapped its first Asian giant hornet on July 14, a step forward in the race to remove the invasive species before it damages North American bee populations beyond repair.

"This is encouraging because it means we know that the traps work," Sven Spichiger, the managing entomologist for WSDA, said in a press release. "But it also means we have work to do."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, HOST:

Finally today, Beyonce's long-awaited visual album "Black Is King" dropped yesterday on the Disney Plus streaming service. It includes a song Beyonce released earlier as a music video called "Already."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ALREADY")

Standing on the banks of the Ohio River looking from Kentucky across to southern Indiana, poet and author Hannah Drake thinks about the enslaved people who stood here more than a century ago.

"What did they do when they weren't working tobacco fields or hemp fields? When they wanted to escape to Indiana, what were they dreaming about?" she wonders.

Kentucky claimed neutrality during the Civil War, but it was a slave state. Freedom lay on the other side of the river.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, HOST:

This past week, President Trump renewed his unsubstantiated claim that mail-in voting begets inaccurate or fraudulent results when he raised the prospect of delaying November's election.

"With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history," Trump tweeted Thursday.

Rep. Raúl Grijalva tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, becoming at least the 12th member of Congress to contract the virus.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Updated at 6:52 p.m. ET

Isaias weakened from a hurricane to a tropical storm as it headed toward Florida's southeast coast on Saturday evening, but it is expected to restrengthen to a hurricane overnight. The National Hurricane Center is warning that tropical storm conditions are expected to begin Saturday night in Florida and is urging residents to prepare "to protect life and property."

Pages