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Oklahoma Ice Storm Leaves 300,000 Without Power

3 hours ago

An abnormally early but powerful ice storm has crippled large swaths of Oklahoma, causing hundreds of thousands of power outages and toppling thousands of trees.

"We lost a branch but have propped up others to save them," wrote the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum on Facebook. "We will continue to monitor it 24/7 throughout this historic storm."

As COVID-19 Cases Surge In Wisconsin, Health Workers Brace For More

9 hours ago

It took Wisconsin more than seven months to reach 100,000 coronavirus cases. On Monday, just five weeks later, it reached 200,000.

Updated at 7:29 p.m. ET

A Virginia judge has ruled that Richmond's statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee can be removed under the governor's order. The statue, which stands 60 feet high, is the only Confederate statue still standing on the city's Monument Avenue after others were toppled by protesters or removed by the city.

Judge W. Reilly Marchant's ruling came Tuesday evening, following testimony in the case a week earlier. The plaintiffs are expected to appeal the ruling.

Updated at 6:01 p.m. ET

"I can still hear his voice in my head," the woman in her early 30s told the Brooklyn courtroom Tuesday, her voice shaking.

"He robbed me of my youth,'' the woman, Camila, told the court, according to the New York Post. "He used my innocence to do whatever he wanted with me."

New Study Points To Invisible Killer Of Infants

10 hours ago

As wildfires raged up and down the Pacific Coast last month, families across California and Oregon lived in – and breathed in — smoky, toxic air for weeks. Many days, the region's air quality ranked among the worst in the world.

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Now, you have likely seen it or felt it yourself. Now a recent survey shows how the nation's bitter political divide is taking a toll on friendships. As NPR's Tovia Smith reports, with political polarization hitting a fever pitch, even decades-long relationships are caving under the pressure.

TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: It's been happening everywhere on social media and in real life.

SHAMA DAVIS: I did straight up say, dude, I'm done. Lose my number.

SMITH: That Shama Davis from LA.

If you find yourself fighting with a friend over politics, or frustrated and furious with your nearest and dearest over whom they're supporting for president, you're hardly alone. A recent survey shows just how much the nation's bitter political divide is causing social splintering and taking a toll on friendships. Even decades-long relationships have been caving under the pressure, giving new meaning to "social distancing."

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When President Trump announced the U.S. military raid that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi one year ago on Oct. 27, officials praised the nighttime operation and said civilians were protected.

But in December, NPR reported claims that forces had killed two Syrian civilians and maimed a third during the raid, prompting the military to investigate.

Updated at 6:17 p.m. ET

Zeta will strengthen on its way across the Gulf of Mexico, likely hitting the U.S. coast as a Category 1 hurricane on Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said. Parts of Louisiana and Mississippi are now under hurricane warnings, including metro New Orleans.

"This is a life-threatening situation," the hurricane center said Tuesday, urging people to take precautions against the risk of flooding and other hazards.

With a week until voting concludes this election season, the presidential candidates are making their final pitch to voters on the campaign trail — and on the airwaves.

As a young man, Joe Biden was fixated on a singular goal: "On his first date with his future wife, he told her mother that he wanted to grow up to be president," New Yorker writer Evan Osnos says.

Osnos, who writes about the Democratic presidential candidate in his new book, Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now, notes that the 2020 election represents Biden's third bid for the presidency.

A federal judge has denied the Justice Department's attempt to intervene on President Trump's behalf in a defamation lawsuit filed by a woman who alleges he sexually assaulted her in the mid-1990s.

In her memoir published last year, writer E. Jean Carroll accused the president of raping her in the dressing room of a Manhattan department store more than two decades ago.

Trump denied the allegations and accused her of lying to sell books.

The first Borat movie sparked anger in Kazakhstan for its portrayal of Kazakhstanis as coarse and backward. But the sequel, which was just released, is getting a warmer reception: Kazakhstan's tourism board is using Borat's famous catchphrase "Very nice!" as its new slogan.

The phrase is the centerpiece of a new ad campaign, punctuating videos that highlight Kazakhstan's natural beauty, architecture and culture. The goal is to give people a look at a nation that the tourism agency says is Asia's best-kept secret.

Diane di Prima, Beat Poet And Activist, Dead At 86

15 hours ago

One night in the 1950s Diane di Prima was at a party at Allen Ginsberg's place in New York City. It was usual poet stuff — talking, reading, smoking, drinking — until 11:30 p.m. came around and di Prima said she was going home to relieve her babysitter. Jack Kerouac, also a guest, shouted, "Di Prima, unless you forget about your babysitter, you're never going to be a writer."

Coronavirus cases are rising precipitously in the U.S., and have now surpassed the high levels logged in the summer when daily new cases hovered above 65,000 on average for nearly two weeks.

After a dip in new cases in September, the country now is logging an average of nearly 70,000 new cases a day, and health experts worry this surge could last longer and grip more of the country than in the spring or summer. And the average daily case count has climbed 41% over the past two weeks, according to an NPR analysis.

The Trump administration issued an executive order and memorandum in September, prohibiting any discussion in the federal workforce of concepts such as systemic racism, white privilege and unconscious bias during workplace diversity training.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

A week before the U.S. presidential election, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed a military agreement Tuesday in India before heading to Sri Lanka on a multicountry tour aimed at pushing the Trump administration's anti-China message.

Pompeo was joined in New Delhi by U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Together they signed a pact with their Indian counterparts to share sensitive satellite data, often used to steer missiles and drones.

Updated at 1:35 a.m. ET Wednesday

Several hundred troops from the Pennsylvania National Guard will be deployed to Philadelphia at the county's request, amid unrest following the shooting of a Black man on Monday.

Walter Wallace, 27, was killed after officers responded to emergency calls Monday afternoon in West Philadelphia. The city's mayor and police commissioner have promised a full investigation into the incident.

During 26 years at the CIA, Marc Polymeropoulos spent a lot of time in rough places, like war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But he never suffered any harm until December 2017, when he was sound asleep at a Marriott Hotel in Moscow near the U.S. Embassy.

"I was awoken in the middle of the night," recalled Polymeropoulos, 51. "I just had incredible vertigo, dizziness. I wanted to throw up. The room was spinning. I couldn't even stand up without falling down. I had tinnitus ringing in my ears."

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper are both in India's capital today. They signed military agreements and pushed the Trump administration's anti-China message. NPR's Lauren Frayer has details.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRUMPETS)

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U.S. Agency Targets Its Own Journalists' Independence

21 hours ago

A regulatory "firewall" intended to protect Voice of America and its affiliated newsrooms from political interference in their journalism was swept aside late Monday night by the chief executive of the federal agency which oversees the government's international broadcasters.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation could open the door to a world that many anti-abortion-rights activists have been envisioning for decades.

"I hope and pray that we will be in a world post-Roe v. Wade," said Carrie Murray Nellis, 41, an adoption attorney based in Georgia.

Despite Trump-Modi Friendship, Survey Says Indian Americans Back Biden

21 hours ago

Indian Americans — a small but possibly pivotal voting bloc — are overwhelmingly voting for Joe Biden this election, according to a new survey.

Both Joe Biden and President Trump's campaigns have been courting Indian American voters this year. Indian Americans are about 1% of the U.S. population and make up .82% of all eligible voters in the U.S. — but are large enough in numbers to make a decisive difference in certain swing states.

When Tiffany Qiu heard how much her surgery was going to cost her, she was sure the hospital's financial department had made a mistake. Qiu already knew from a breast cancer scare earlier that year that her plan required a 30% coinsurance payment on operations, so she pressed the person on the phone several times to make sure she had heard correctly: Her coinsurance payment would be only 20% if she had the procedure at Palomar Medical Center in Poway, Calif., about 38 miles south of where Qiu lives.

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President Trump is hitting all the places he can in this last week before Election Day. He will be in three states today, the latest in his whirlwind campaign rally tour.

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