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Every weekday, join the hosts as they present two hours of breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special -- sometimes quirky -- features.

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The surge in COVID-19 infections throughout Alabama is forcing Gov. Kay Ivey to rethink plans to reopen the state.

For the last seven days, Alabama has logged an average of nearly 1,000 new daily coronavirus cases, with hospitalizations at their highest level since the pandemic began.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

COVID-19 infections are now on the rise in 40 states, and that is forcing many governors to rethink their reopening plans. In Alabama yesterday, Gov. Kay Ivey extended her state's safer-at-home orders until the end of July.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

KAY IVEY: While we are not overwhelmed yet, we should not think that because our summer feels more normal than our spring that we are back to normal. Fact is, folks, we are still in the thick of this virus disease, and it is deadly.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

COVID-19 infections are now on the rise in 40 states, and that is forcing many governors to rethink their reopening plans. In Alabama yesterday, Gov. Kay Ivey extended her state's safer-at-home orders until the end of July.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

KAY IVEY: While we are not overwhelmed yet, we should not think that because our summer feels more normal than our spring that we are back to normal. Fact is, folks, we are still in the thick of this virus disease, and it is deadly.

Boston To Remove A Copy Of Thomas Ball's 1876 Emancipation Memorial

22 hours ago

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

COVID-19 infections are now on the rise in 40 states, and that is forcing many governors to rethink their reopening plans. In Alabama yesterday, Gov. Kay Ivey extended her state's safer-at-home orders until the end of July.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

KAY IVEY: While we are not overwhelmed yet, we should not think that because our summer feels more normal than our spring that we are back to normal. Fact is, folks, we are still in the thick of this virus disease, and it is deadly.

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This week, Bob Dylan's first album of new music in eight years, Rough and Rowdy Ways, rose to No. 2 on the Billboard albums chart, making him the first ever artist to have a Top 40 album in every decade since the 1960s. But Bob Dylan is not alone in making vital new music well into what some might call his "retirement" years.

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

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Tourism has been decimated by coronavirus closures. And that's been especially tough in areas that rely heavily on seasonal dollars, like the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. Andrea Shea of member station WBUR reports on the region's creative economy now shut down by the pandemic.

ANDREA SHEA, BYLINE: During a normal summer, 350,000 visitors set up blankets and coolers on the lawn at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox to hear music in the open air.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Many immigrants have inspiring stories. Then there's Janis Shinwari, who worked eight years as an Afghan interpreter with the U.S. military in some of the most dangerous parts of his homeland.

"During his service, he saved the lives of five American soldiers. That is not something many people can say," Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The drugmaker behind the experimental COVID-19 treatment remdesivir has announced how much it will charge for the drug, after months of speculation as the company tried to figure out how to balance profit and public health needs in the middle of a pandemic.

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

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Dungeons and Dragons is reconsidering what it means to be evil.

The classic role playing game's publisher, Wizards of the Coast, recently announced some changes it was making to the game in response to the ongoing protests over racism and police violence. While this includes editing some past racist descriptions, as well as adding more diverse writers, the game's designers are also making a fundamental change to the way certain playable characters are portrayed.

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College Athletes Rise Up To Protest Racism

Jun 28, 2020

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Book And TV Recommendations From NPR Guests

Jun 27, 2020

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And finally today, we want to leave you with a few more recommendations from our recent guests. We've been asking people to share something to read or watch that would help people make sense of the current moment, and here is what they said.

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

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Some residents of Washington, D.C., have lived there for years but still cast their votes from elsewhere in the United States.

D.C. is home to over 700,000 people, a population greater than Wyoming and Vermont — but unlike citizens in those states, D.C. residents don't have anyone voting for their interests in Congress.

Mohammed Monsuri is an incarcerated student and musician who is serving a 25-year sentence at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, N.Y. In this essay, dictated to journalist Daniel A.

Sitting outside a pharmaceutical warehouse in central New Jersey, Reynalda Cruz counted dozens of workers arriving in vans for the early morning shift.

Workers spilled out of packed vehicles that rolled up to the facility, one after the other. Cruz, a labor organizer, counted 16 people in a van built to hold 15 — despite recommendations that everyone stay six feet apart to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"Oh my God, there's more," Cruz, 47, exclaimed in Spanish. "It's like they're not in a pandemic."

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As COVID-19 cases in Texas continue to surge, young people appear to be the driving force.

Texas reported nearly 6,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, a single-day record for the state. The Texas Medical Center — a massive cluster of health care facilities based in Houston — warned that intensive care units are near capacity and have the potential to be overwhelmed.

More than three months into the pandemic, it can still be tough to get a coronavirus test, especially if you live in some of the country's more remote tribal communities.

Montana is finally trying to change that with "mass surveillance" testing events.

Until recently on the state's Flathead Reservation, you could only get a test if you were showing COVID-19 symptoms. So Eric Van Maanen was grateful to hear of a free day-long testing event in the parking lot of Salish and Kootenai College.

The state of Georgia is juggling three crises: a rising number of COVID-19 cases, problems with voting access as the general election approaches, and the killings of two Black men,

Updated at 8:44 p.m. ET Thursday

Attorney General William Barr said Thursday that he doesn't believe President Trump has overstepped the boundaries between the White House and the Justice Department in a number of big recent cases.

Barr told NPR in a wide-ranging interview that he believes Trump has "supervisory authority" to oversee the effective course of justice — but Barr said that ultimately, the choices were made and carried through independently by the Justice Department.

In a new rule announced Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos signaled she is standing firm on her intention to reroute millions of dollars in coronavirus aid money to K-12 private school students. The CARES Act rescue package included more than $13 billion to help public schools cover pandemic-related costs.

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