National and International News

Conspiracy theories need just the right ingredients to take off within a population and the COVID-19 pandemic has been a breeding ground for them. A Pew Research Center survey recently asked people if they had heard the theory that the COVID-19 outbreak was intentionally planned by people in power. Seventy-one percent of US adults said they had. And a third of those respondents said it was "definitely" or "probably" true.

The American Academy of Pediatrics once again plunged into the growing debate over school reopening with a strong new statement Friday, making clear that while in-person school provides crucial benefits to children, "Public health agencies must make recommendations based on evidence, not politics." The statement also said that "science and community circumstances must guide decision-making."

When his phone died, 11-year-old Davon McNeal was at a Stop the Violence cookout in Washington, D.C., that his mother had helped organize. She took him to his aunt's house close by to borrow a charger and John Ayala, his grandfather, says the little boy hopped out of the car.

"At that moment shots rang out. Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. He goes to the ground. You know, you hear bullets, you get out the way," Ayala said.

The U.S. Department of Education moved this week to make it easier for colleges to reconsider and potentially increase financial aid for students who have lost jobs or family income in the economic crisis.

NPR's Mary Louise Kelly talks with pop culture critic Cate Young about the proliferation of memes around Breonna Taylor's death and how many disregard Taylor and her story.

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