National News

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9 in 10 cars now being sold in Norway are electric or hybrid

Norway just hit a record in its move to phase out cars that rely on fossil fuels.

More than 9 in 10 new cars sold there in September were either electric or rechargeable hybrids, according to the Norwegian Information Council for Road Traffic, or OFV. Of all new passenger cars sold so far in 2021, less than 5% are gas-powered. A slightly smaller percentage use diesel.


AFP via Getty Images

Hospitals brace for an onslaught this winter, from flu as well as COVID

With a second pandemic winter approaching, there are promising signs that the worst of the delta surge has run its course, but in America's hospitals — already short-staffed and backlogged from the summer torrent of COVID-19 — the relief may be only short-lived.

Many are staring down a tough stretch of colder months with the threat of a potentially bad influenza season, an influx of patients trying to catch up on delayed care and a depleted workforce that has had little time — if any — to regroup from this latest wave of coronavirus infections.


AP

Dozens of people have been killed in a mosque explosion in Afghanistan

Updated October 8, 2021 at 10:39 AM ET

A suicide bomb explosion ripped through a Shiite mosque in northern Afghanistan's Kunduz province, killing and wounding dozens of worshippers, according to a local official.

Afghanistan's TOLO news agency quotes the director of information and culture of Kunduz as saying that at least 43 people are dead and more than 140 hurt in the suicide attack.


Michelle Kondrich for NPR

Kids are losing school days to quarantines. Here's a way to keep them in classrooms

Brayan has spent only one uninterrupted week in fifth grade since classes started in early August. His charter school has sent him home six separate times to quarantine because of exposure to COVID-19, though he has never tested positive. He's struggling to keep up with his lessons.

"Yesterday he was crying. He says he wants to go to school, he wants to be smart, he wants to learn, but he can't," says his father, José.


AP

Is China a threat or an opportunity? Depends which Americans you ask

In many parts of the U.S., China remains a huge business opportunity despite recent friction. That's the country where Apple makes its phones and Nike stitches its shoes. U.S. farmers sell soybeans to China and Wall Street investors trade Chinese stocks.

Yet inside the Washington Beltway, China is a security threat. Full stop. It's one of the few things Democrats, Republicans and most everyone else in the capital agree on.


Bloomberg via Getty Images

U.S. officials will negotiate a new security deal with Mexico during talks Friday

Senior members of the Biden administration will meet with their Mexican counterparts in Mexico City on Friday to discuss overhauling an existing security arrangement between the two nations.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will lead high-level security discussions between the two nations.


AP

The Nobel Peace Prize goes to journalists in the Philippines and Russia

Updated October 8, 2021 at 1:23 PM ET

Two crusading journalists in the Philippines and Russia have won the Nobel Peace Prize this year. The Nobel Committee praised Maria Ressa, the co-founder of the digital news site Rappler, and Dmitry Muratov, the longtime editor of Novaya Gazeta, a Russian independent newspaper, for fighting for freedom of expression and holding power to account.


AFP via Getty Images

August's jobs numbers were bad. September was even worse, but there's room for hope

Updated October 8, 2021 at 10:59 AM ET

A few months ago, forecasters thought September would be a banner month for hiring.

Schools would reopen, freeing parents to go back to work. Supplemental unemployment benefits that some employers blamed for keeping workers on the sidelines would expire. Most importantly, widespread vaccinations would put the pandemic in the rearview mirror.

It hasn't exactly worked out that way.


NPR

EXCLUSIVE: Governors have questions about Afghan refugees. Here's who they call

Over the coming year, about 100,000 people from Afghanistan will start new lives in the United States: new beginnings that requires a mind-boggling amount of coordination between federal, state and private organizations.

At the White House, Jack Markell, a former Delaware governor, has the responsibility of trying to make this go as smoothly as possible.


Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

The Postal Service is slowing the mail to save money. Critics say it's a death spiral

Maybe you've noticed the birthday card that arrived belatedly or the check in the mail that didn't pay your credit card quite on time. It's not your imagination. The mail has definitely gotten less speedy.

The U.S. Postal Service began slowing deliveries of first-class mail nationwide on Oct. 1.


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