89.1 WEMU

Christianna Silva

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.

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."

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

For the fifth consecutive day, there were more than 1,000 deaths from the coronavirus in the United States and infections haven't shown signs of significantly slowing, according to the COVID Tracking Project. More than 145,000 people in the country have died from the virus and more than 4,000,000 people have been infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Larry Hogan defeated non-Hodgkin's lymphoma five years ago, a fight that he says has colored many of his decisions as the Republican governor of Maryland, from criticizing President Trump to navigating the coronavirus pandemic.

The employees who work in the poultry plants on the Eastern Shore of Virginia are accustomed to long hours and some of the most grueling work in the country — work that has grown uniquely dangerous amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Many of these workers came to the United States from Guatemala and Mexico, and are not used to having their voices heard. That is, until this past Wednesday, when one of their demands was answered.

Thomas Chatterton Williams, along with more than 150 prominent journalists, authors and writers, published a letter in Harper's Magazine on Tuesday, decrying what it called the "intolerant climate that has set in on all sides" of debate. The letter set off a heated controversy over free speech, privilege and the role of social media in public discourse.

Pirette McKamey is fighting for anti-racist education.

Over her more than 30 years as an educator, the principal at Mission High School in San Francisco spent a decade leading an anti-racism committee.

In the wake of ongoing protests for racial justice, young people in America are demanding change from their schools.

Nearly 130,000 people in the United States have died from the coronavirus and more than 2,800,000 people have been infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

June 2020 was a pride month that looked different from past years, and not just because people were socially distancing and wearing masks: Demonstrations for LGBTQ equality overlapped with protests against violence and systemic racism against Black people.

At the intersection of these two fights for equality are Black transgender people.

Imara Jones, an independent journalist and founder of TransLash media, told NPR's All Things Considered, that this moment has been "a crucible."

When Christian Picciolini was a neo-Nazi, he heard the term "white power" all the time. It was the term neo-Nazis used as a greeting, as a pejorative, to instill fear, even to sign off letters in lieu of "sincerely."

"It was also a proclamation that distilled what we believed in into two words," Picciolini — who is now an author and founder of the Free Radicals Project, a group that works to prevent extremism — told NPR's Morning Edition.

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.

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,

Former NASCAR driver Bill Lester, one of only seven Black drivers to race in NASCAR's top-tier cup series, wanted the Confederate flag gone when he raced more than a decade ago, but the time wasn't right, he says.

"There was no way that I could affect change during the time that I was racing," Lester says. "This is a different day."

Mark Shaver hadn't seen his 96-year-old mother, Betty, in months when he hit a breaking point and decided he had to see her.

Shaver lived in South Carolina and Betty was in a nursing home in Morgantown, W.Va., when COVID-19 outbreaks began sweeping across the nation. By early March, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice requested that nursing homes in the state restrict visitors, blocking any real chance Shaver would have to see his mom in person.

The family of the late American rock legend Tom Petty has sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Trump campaign after it blasted the song "I Won't Back Down" at the president's rally in Tulsa, Okla.

In a statement posted to Petty's Twitter account on Saturday, the family said the use of the song was "in no way authorized."

The National Institutes of Health has halted its study of hydroxychloroquine, a drug President Donald Trump has promoted as a possible treatment for COVID-19 and once claimed to be taking himself.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the agency said that although it did not appear hydroxychloroquine caused harm to patients in the study, it was also "very unlikely to be beneficial."

Six campaign staffers working on the advance team for President Trump's rally in Tulsa, Okla., have tested positive for COVID-19, the campaign said Saturday. Trump is still attending the rally.

Growing up, Skip Auld says he didn't know much about the man his great-grandfather was named after. It wasn't a part of family lore, he says, and he always went by his nickname, Skip.

At birth, Skip Auld was named Hampton — for his great-grandfather, whose namesake was Wade Hampton III, a Confederate general and slave owner.

He was the fourth Hampton Auld in his family.

On Sunday, up to 1,000 South Florida service members, first responders and family members who came to Homestead-Miami Speedway are becoming the first fans to watch a NASCAR race from the stands since March.

The crowd at the rain-delayed Dixie Vodka 400 gathered after weeks of races without any spectators beyond essential staff, a guideline NASCAR followed in mid-May in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The police killings of George Floyd, Eric Garner and other black men and women began with allegations of a minor offense, such as passing a counterfeit $20 bill or selling individual, untaxed cigarettes.

North Carolina is experiencing a surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations during its second phase of reopening, forcing the state's health director to contend with the idea of a second shutdown.

"If we need to go back to stay-at-home [orders], we will," Mandy Cohen, the secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, told NPR's Morning Edition on Thursday. "I hope we don't have to. I think there are things we can do before we have to get there, but yes, we are concerned."

As protests against police violence continue throughout the country, Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate are working on sweeping new federal legislation to combat police misconduct.

The bill, called the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, includes an array of measures intended to increase police accountability, data collection and training. Co-sponsored by Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., the bill would ban the use of chokeholds, "no knock" warrants and religious and racial profiling.

With nationwide protests focusing renewed attention and urgency on the issue of police brutality, Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago says that police unions continue to be one of the biggest obstacles to reform.

Marc Rebillet was supposed to be on tour this summer, playing electronic music at festivals throughout the United States and Europe.

"Of course, those have been canceled," the New York City-based musician said.

As COVID-19 sweeps across the world, musicians have been forced to postpone, reschedule or cancel tours altogether, leaving countless artists struggling to maintain their livelihoods.

For Rebillet, bidding farewell to live shows means he is not only losing ticket sales, but also the force that fueled his work.

Protests have erupted across the nation in response to the death of George Floyd, and some of the demonstrations have turned violent, leading political leaders and activists to debate over who is responsible.