National News

Yifan Wu for NPR

UCLA Student Charged In Capitol Riot Took Inspiration From Online Extremist

For nearly a year, UCLA students said, they raised the alarm about one of their classmates.

On Twitter, classmate Christian Secor attacked women and minorities, they said, and embraced the ideology of a far-right extremist. On campus, he pushed a student Republicans group toward extreme positions against all immigration. And on the video streaming site DLive, Secor took on the handle "Scuffed Elliot Rodger" — an apparent reference to the misogynist gunman who killed six people in Isla Vista, Calif., in 2014.


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Biden Taps Economist Gene Sperling To Oversee $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Rollout

President Biden has chosen economist Gene Sperling to oversee the rollout of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus recovery act, leaning on the longtime Democratic adviser's expertise to deliver on promises including $1,400 checks to millions of Americans.


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COVID-19 Data Miss A Lot Of People — Raising Questions

What does it take to make good data? That's an important question, especially after a year of watching COVID-19 statistics being lobbed around by the minute. We need good data to see how this year has gone and to know what action to take in the future.


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U.S. Arrests 2 Men, Saying They Sprayed Sicknick And Others With Chemical At Capitol

Two men have been arrested for allegedly spraying a chemical on Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick and two other law enforcement officers during the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol. Sicknick died one day later; officials have recently said they're still determining what factors might have led to his death.


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The Women Powering Biden's Economy Are Rewriting The Course Of American History

Women and people of color are notoriously underrepresented in economics. Only 14% of full professors are women, and one survey found only 1.6% Black faculty in the economics departments of the 30 highest-ranked universities.


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Myanmar Police Kill Dozens Of Protesters In Weekend Of Anti-Junta Unrest

Myanmar has imposed martial law in parts of the country's largest city after a crackdown on peaceful protests opposing last month's military coup resulted in the deaths of dozens of people over the weekend.


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Vatican Says Catholic Church Cannot Bless Same-Sex Marriages

The Roman Catholic Church cannot bless same-sex marriages, no matter how stable or positive the couples' relationships are, the Vatican said on Monday. The message, approved by Pope Francis, came in response to questions about whether the church should reflect the increasing social and legal acceptance of same-sex unions.


NPR

Many Hospitals Are Still Overwhelmed By COVID-19 Patients. Is Yours?

Note: This story was updated at 10:04 a.m. ET Monday Mar. 15, and will be updated periodically, as new data are released.

The federal government regularly releases detailed hospital-level data which reveal the toll the pandemic is taking on health care facilities. These data show how many inpatient and ICU beds are in use on a weekly basis — and what portion of them are occupied by COVID-19 patients.


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Desert Dust Sweeps Into Beijing, Causing China's Worst Sandstorm In 10 Years

Residents of Beijing woke up to a choking orange hue in the air on Monday as strong winds whipped up dust from the Gobi Desert and deposited it across northern China. The country's weather bureau is calling it the worst such sandstorm in a decade.

In Beijing, morning commuters navigated cars and motorbikes through the haze, which NPR's Emily Feng describes as "Mars-like."

The thick cloud of dust also caused more than 400 flights at the capital's two main airports to be canceled, The Associated Press reports.


AP

Thousands March In Australia As Another #MeToo Wave Hits The Country

Tens of thousands of people marched across Australia on Monday to protest sexual violence, harassment and gender inequality in the country after a wave of sexual assault allegations tied to Parliament.

Participants wore all black. Many women held signs that said, "Enough is enough." In Melbourne, marchers carried a list of names of women killed by men since 2008.


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