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A Look At Biden's Cabinet Picks

5 hours 35 min ago
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: We're going to begin this hour thinking about President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet picks and the arguments within the Democratic Party over who should or should not be selected. Just days after the announcement of some key Cabinet positions, those divisions are becoming clear. Progressives are pressuring Biden to avoid selecting people with ties to past policy positions or industries to which they object. For example, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a rising progressive star with an enormous social media following, tweeted - it was shameful that former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a former Obama chief of staff and congressman, was reportedly on the short list for a Cabinet position. Emanuel has been much criticized for his handling of a police shooting of a teenager while serving as mayor. Meanwhile, the president-elect must also live up to his commitment to assemble a diverse Cabinet that will not only unify

Music Review: Secretary Of State Pick Anthony Blinken

5 hours 35 min ago
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: We've been talking about the politics of President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet choices - now a very different review of the work of one particular member of the incoming Biden team. Here's NPR's Stephen Thompson with that. STEPHEN THOMPSON, BYLINE: My job at NPR is simple. I write and talk about music and movies and TV shows - that sort of thing. Sometimes I produce Tiny Desk concerts. I don't get paid to expound on politics. So when someone asks me for thoughts on likely future Secretary of State Antony Blinken, it's because they want me to talk about his music, or at least the two songs he's posted on Spotify using the name Ablinken - Abe Lincoln - get it? One of these songs is called "Lip Service." And if you're familiar with the Smithereens, see if you can spot the influence of that band's singer, Pat DiNizio. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LIP SERVICE") ABLINKEN: (Singing) I took a look around - nothing to see. But then I finally

Record number of new COVID-19 cases in Monroe County: 515

5 hours 39 min ago
There was a new record in the number of daily new COVID-19 cases for Monroe County in the numbers reported on Saturday. The Department of Public Health reports 515 new confirmed cases. The 7-day rolling average of new cases is 354 new cases per day. The 7-day rolling average positivity rate for Monroe County is 4.88% There were no new deaths. The number of deaths to date is 317. The Livingston County Department of Health reports that as of Thursday, there were 51,985 negative and 705 positive cases of COVID-19 in Livingston County. Of these positive cases, 93 are currently active. According to Jennifer Rodriguez, Livingston County’s Public Health Director, “This reported case count represents the highest peak of active cases in Livingston County since the beginning of the pandemic.” In addition, County Administrator Ian Coyle reports that the Livingston County Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation is experiencing an uptick in cases. He said that the county remains, “strong in our

'We Know We Are Asking A Lot.' Los Angeles County Announces New Stay-At-Home Order

5 hours 44 min ago
As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the nation, Los Angeles County has announced a new stay-at-home order that places new restrictions on businesses and gatherings but does not ban them altogether. Friday's announcement came on a day when the number of new cases reached 205,000 nationwide — a figure believed to be higher, in part, due to delays in reporting caused by the Thanksgiving holiday. More than 4,500 of those cases were reported in Los Angeles County, along with 24 deaths. The " safer at home" order — which takes effect Monday and runs through Dec. 20 — prohibits all public and private gatherings with individuals outside of a person's household, with exceptions for faith-based services and protests because they are "constitutionally protected rights." Residents are advised to stay home "as much as possible" but to wear a mask if they do go out. "We know we are asking a lot from so many who have been sacrificing for months on end and we hope that L.A. County residents

Sarah Fuller Makes History As 1st Woman To Play In A Power 5 Football Game

5 hours 49 min ago
Updated at 4:38 p.m. ET Sarah Fuller has made history as the first woman to play in a Power Five college football game. The Vanderbilt University senior made her historic debut as a kicker for the Commodores in their faceoff Saturday against the University of Missouri Tigers. She kicked off for the Commodores to start the second half, making her the first woman to see game-time action in a Power Five football game. The Power Five consists of the biggest and most popular athletic conferences: the Southeastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten Conference, Big 12 Conference and Pac-12 Conference. Fuller joined the football team's roster after practicing with them earlier this week, The Vanderbilt Hustler reported. The decision to add her to the ranks reportedly came after several team specialists entered quarantines related to COVID-19. Although it was her first time playing for the football team, Fuller is no stranger to Vanderbilt sports. The Wylie, Texas, native made her

Tony Hsieh, Former Zappos CEO, Dies At 46

6 hours 6 min ago
Tony Hsieh, who helped grow the online company Zappos into one of the largest retailers of shoes on the Internet, died Friday after being injured in a house fire. He was 46. "The world has lost a tremendous visionary and an incredible human being," Zappos CEO Kedar Deshpande said in a statement . "We recognize that not only have we lost our inspiring former leader, but many of you have also lost a mentor and a friend." Megan Fazio, a spokeswoman for Hsieh's side venture, DTP Cos., told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Hsieh died from injuries sustained in a house fire in Connecticut. A local CBS affiliate reported that Hsieh died peacefully in Connecticut, surrounded by family. Hsieh graduated from Harvard University in the mid-90s with a degree in computer science. While working at Oracle, Hsieh and a college roommate created a business called LinkExchange to help companies buy advertisements on websites. In 1998, during the heyday of the dot-com bubble, they sold the company to

Iran Vows Retaliation In 'Proper Time' For Nuclear Scientist's Killing

7 hours 47 min ago
One day after the assassination of a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist, the country's leaders have made clear they intend to retaliate for a slaying they blame on Israel. In separate statements delivered Saturday, both Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani threatened an aggressive response to the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh near Tehran. "All relevant administrators must seriously place two crucial matters on their agenda: 1st to investigate this crime and firmly prosecute its perpetrators and its commanders, 2nd to continue the martyr's scientific and technological efforts in all the sectors where he was active," Iran's supreme leader said on his English-language Twitter account Saturday. Rouhani, meanwhile, directly named Israel as the suspected perpetrator of what Iranian authorities described as a daytime ambush in Absard, a district east of the Iranian capital. The scientist, who was among several dead, had been singled out by Israeli Prime Minister

Germany Passes 1 Million Coronavirus Cases As Merkel Warns Of 'A Tough Winter'

11 hours 7 min ago
Germany officially passed 1 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Friday as the country's daily totals remain high through the first month of what the government calls "lockdown light." Since the beginning of November, schools and most shops have remained open, but bars, gyms and other indoor leisure centers have closed, with restaurants only open for takeaway orders. On Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the country will have to live with these restrictions through at least Dec. 20. "We're in for a tough winter, but it will come to an end," she said in an address to Germany's parliament. "And right now, as people start to think about Christmas and the New Year, my wish for us all is that we act responsibly and stand up for each other." Merkel said most of Germany will ease social distancing measures over Christmas so that the number of people allowed to gather will rise from five to 10, but the government is asking for people to avoid all social contact the week

Republican Infighting Threatens GOP Chances In Georgia Senate Runoffs

11 hours 57 min ago
Updated at 10:42 a.m. ET Campaigning in Georgia's two Senate runoffs is well underway, but Republicans are still fighting over the state's November election and casting doubt on its voting system without evidence. The possible effect of the mixed messaging on Republican turnout in January is worrying some of Georgia's conservatives. The state's Republican election officials have repeatedly asserted there's been no evidence of widespread fraud. But incumbent Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler have called on Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to resign without evidence. President Trump has also criticized Raffensperger and called out Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who received Trump's endorsement in 2018. "We could be handing [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck Schumer control of the Senate by the Republican disarray," conservative talk show host Erick Erickson said last week on WSB radio. "It's a little bit frustrating to see the Republicans squabbling with each

Biden Gains Votes In Recount Of Milwaukee County Requested By Trump

12 hours 51 min ago
President Trump's push to overturn the election results suffered another in a series of defeats on Friday — this time in Wisconsin, where officials in the state's most populous county announced that a recount had added to President-elect Joe Biden's lead. Albeit slightly: Out of the roughly 460,000 ballots cast in Milwaukee County, Biden made a net gain of 132 votes on review. The results offer unwelcome news for Trump, who lost to Biden in Wisconsin by roughly 20,000 votes and lost the national popular vote by more than 6 million . The Trump campaign paid the Wisconsin Elections Commission a fee of $3 million to proceed with recounts in Milwaukee and Dane counties. The two counties, which together account for roughly a quarter of the state's population, swung heavily for Biden with 69% and 75% of the vote, respectively. Dane County is expected to wrap up its own recount by the end of the weekend . Trump and his allies have repeatedly and baselessly claimed that widespread fraud

Trooper fires at suspect's car after wrong-way incident & pedestrian struck

13 hours 7 min ago
State Police say that they are investigating an incident Friday night that involved a wrong-way driver on the Thruway, a pedestrian struck by a vehicle, and shots fired at a Thruway service area. It happened at about 8:20 p.m. Friday night when police got a call of a wrong-way vehicle in I-90 in the eastbound lanes near the Scottsville service area. A trooper responding to the call saw the car going west in the eastbound lanes. Shortly after that police got a call about an accident and multiple reports of the driver they were looking for intentionally trying to hit other cars. The trooper saw the vehicle they were looking for had pulled into the Scottsville service area. Troopers say that car intentionally hit a pedestrian in the rest area and was approaching the trooper. At that point, police say the trooper fired his gun at the vehicle. The suspect took off and went back onto the Thruway going east. The trooper gave medical aid to the injured pedestrian, and the suspect’s vehicle was

COVID-19 Hits Hard For South Louisiana's Cajun Musicians

14 hours 43 min ago
Musicians — who depend on live audiences as much as they do — have been especially hard hit by the pandemic. Perhaps nowhere has this been felt more acutely than in South Louisiana, where music lies at the heart of Cajun culture. They still gather on Saturday mornings at Marc Savoy's music store in the town of Eunice amid the rice fields and crawfish farms in what's called Cajun prairie country. Musicians pull chairs into a circle — outside now because of the virus — to play the Acadian French ballads they learned from their grandparents. But the jam sessions have been diminished since four aged musicians — two fiddlers, a guitarist and a harmonica player — succumbed to COVID-19. "I was almost on the verge of canceling the jam session because it's not the same ambience, it's not the same spirit anymore since these old-timers are gone," says Savoy, one of the patriarchs of Cajun music. At 80 years old, he is still building accordions, playing them and hosting the jams. "Cajun people

Week In Politics: Trump Acknowledges Transition Of Power, But Stops Short Of Conceding

14 hours 43 min ago
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit SCOTT SIMON, HOST: President Trump signaled this week he would accept the results of the election once the Electoral College declares Joe Biden the winner after weeks of mounting failed legal challenges and making unfounded allegations of voter fraud. But after that moment of lucidity on Thursday, the president returned to calling the elections, quote, a "massive fraud" and a "big scam." He tweeted more of the same yesterday. NPR senior editor and correspondent Ron Elving joins us. Ron, good morning. RON ELVING, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Scott. SIMON: Is this as close as we might come to hearing a concession, if not the word? ELVING: You know, it's all over, perhaps, but for the tongue-lashing the president's lawyers keep getting in the courts. Yesterday, it was a federal appeals court in Pennsylvania saying that, quote, "calling an election unfair does not make it so." This in the same week the president called in to a Republican event - it

Trump Administration Moves To Sell Drilling Rights To Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife

14 hours 43 min ago
Copyright 2020 Alaska Public Media. To see more, visit Alaska Public Media . SCOTT SIMON, HOST: The battle over opening Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling has gone on for decades. Now the Trump administration is closer to auctioning off drilling rights in one of America's most remote stretches of wilderness before President-elect Biden takes office. Tegan Hanlon joins us. She's a reporter for Alaska Public Media in Anchorage. Tegan, thanks so much for being with us. TEGAN HANLON, BYLINE: Hey, Scott. Thanks for having me. SIMON: And let's get a picture of this potential drilling field that we're talking about. HANLON: Sure. So the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is in northeast Alaska, and it's massive and really remote. It's sometimes described as untouched or pristine wilderness. And the area in the refuge that the government wants to have a lease sale is called the Coastal Plain. It makes up just about 8% of the refuge but still covers an area about the

What's Next For Pennsylvania's John Fetterman

14 hours 43 min ago
Copyright 2020 WITF. To see more, visit WITF . SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman captured the nation's attention during the post-election fight in Pennsylvania, almost like BJ Leiderman, who does our theme music. The lieutenant governor told NPR's Morning Edition... (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST) JOHN FETTERMAN: I will never tweet out anything that Twitter has to slap a warning on like a pack of cigarettes. SIMON: In other words, he says he steers clear of hyperbole and tries to stay focused on facts. Sam Dunklau of member station WITF tells us what might be next for the charismatic state leader. SAM DUNKLAU, BYLINE: If you've been paying attention to the post-election news cycle in Pennsylvania, you've no doubt heard the voice or seen the face of John Fetterman, the state's 6-foot-8, tattooed lieutenant governor who has a Harvard degree. He sums up the attempts by Trump's campaign to discredit the state's election like this. FETTERMAN: I said

Pandemic Takes Toll On Children's Mental Health

15 hours 43 min ago
As a toddler, Kenley Gupta stopped speaking after her mom died. Over the years, she recovered from the anxiety disorder, called mutism, but in March the 8-year-old went silent again. The change occurred soon after her school shut down. Kenley was shocked when her school closed. "I was really sad I couldn't see my friends," she said. She was normally a social butterfly and a good student. But after the pandemic forced the school to adopt full-time distance learning, Kenley often crumpled into a ball and hid under her blanket. She would clutch Green Guy, her favorite stuffed animal. Most of the time she refused to talk. The few words she uttered were expressed in Green Guy's cartoon voice. Instead of logging onto Zoom for classes, she spent much of the day gaming — glued to a hot pink iPad. She also stopped drawing and started to eat more. "There was a kind of almost compulsive snacking that I had never seen before," said Jay Gupta, Kenley's dad. As a single father, he's struggling, too.

Boil water order for parts of Clarkson and Sweden

Fri, 11/27/2020 - 7:50pm
Due to a water main break, some residents in the towns of Clarkson and Sweden including the Village of Brockport have been told to boil their water before drinking it or preparing food. The Monroe County Water Authority says the water system lost pressure due to a water main break early Friday morning on North Lake Road in the town of Clarkson. Efforts by Water Authority crews to make repairs to the water main are complete. But officials say residents in the affected area should boil their water before using it until further notice. The water in the area is being tested and residents will be told when they no longer need to boil their water. You can get more information at the Monroe County Water Authority website.

'World's Loneliest Elephant' Moving To Sanctuary, With Help From Cher

Fri, 11/27/2020 - 7:36pm
Singer Cher was in Pakistan on Friday with a message for "the world's loneliest elephant": There is life after love. Kaavan the elephant has been languishing in poor conditions in Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad since 1985, according to the animal welfare group Four Paws International. He was brought there as a gift from Sri Lanka at 1 year old. Kaavan had a partner elephant, Saheli, who lived with him from 1990 to 2012. She died when an infection became gangrenous. A veterinarian with Four Paws told The Associated Press that Kaavan was heartbroken when she died. He's been alone ever since. On Sunday, Kaavan will move to an animal sanctuary in Cambodia, where he will be able to socialize with other elephants. Activists around the world, including local Pakistanis as well as Cher's charity, Free the Wild , have been campaigning for years for Kaavan's release. Cher wrote on Twitter that she met Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to thank him for making it possible to move the elephant. Cher

'Voters, Not Lawyers, Choose The President': Trump Team Dealt Another Blow In Court

Fri, 11/27/2020 - 6:03pm
The Trump legal team has suffered another loss in its continuing attempts to reverse the results of the 2020 presidential election. In a scathing opinion, a federal appeals court said Friday that a lower court acted properly when it threw out the Trump campaign's challenge to the certification of the election results in Pennsylvania. "Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy," wrote Judge Stephanos Bibas, a former member of the Federalist Society whom President Trump nominated to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017. "Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so." The ruling caps a tumultuous November for the Trump campaign, which has seen virtually every legal challenge to the outcome of the presidential election tossed by the courts. Friday's decision upholds last week's dismissal of Trump's bid to delay vote certification in Pennsylvania. The Trump legal team has already signaled its intention to appeal the ruling to

Monroe County COVID-19 numbers for Friday: 276 additional cases

Fri, 11/27/2020 - 4:10pm
The latest Monroe County COVID-19 numbers show 276 additional cases as of Friday. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 324 new cases per day. There were no new deaths, the total is still 317 to date. Data released Friday by New York state shows increases in the COVID-19 infection rate for the yellow and orange zone micro-clusters in Monroe County. The seven-day rolling average within the yellow zone is 4.39%; the rolling average in the orange zone is 5.46%. The seven-day average for the COVID-19 infection rate in the Finger Lakes region is 4.19%. Statewide, there were another 47 patients hospitalized, with 8 more in the ICU. The number of deaths across the state rose by 39. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that 219,442 COVID-19 test results were reported to New York State on Thursday, which is a new record high for the second straight day. Here is a breakdown of the latest Monroe County daily COVID-19 cases by age: