Ari Shapiro

The surge in COVID-19 infections throughout Alabama is forcing Gov. Kay Ivey to rethink plans to reopen the state.

For the last seven days, Alabama has logged an average of nearly 1,000 new daily coronavirus cases, with hospitalizations at their highest level since the pandemic began.

In the last installment of Play It Forward, the series in which musicians give thanks for the artists who have inspired them, Ari Shapiro spoke with saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin.

In the two-and-a-half weeks since police killed George Floyd in Minneapolis, the question of how to change policing has eclipsed almost every other topic of debate.

Some of the loudest voices opposing dramatic change are from police unions.

Last time on Play It Forward, our musical chain of gratitude, R&B singer and producer Georgia Anne Muldrow raved about the saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin. They share a few things in common: Both studied together at The New School's School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, both tap a similar spiritual vein in their music and as Muldrow sees it, both are "sangin' " even if it's through different mediums.

For white people who have just recently recognized their own complicity in America's racist systems and are looking to "fix" that — it's not going to happen overnight.

"It's a little bit like saying 'I want to be in shape tomorrow' ..." says author Robin DiAngelo. "This is going to be a process."

The coronavirus pandemic set a new record this weekend: More than 136,000 new cases around the world were reported on Sunday, the highest number in a single day.

The statistic comes from the United Nations, the global body the world often turns to in a crisis.

Louisville, Ky., has been a center of protests after police shot and killed Breonna Taylor in March. A lot has happened in the city since then.

David McAtee, owner of Yaya's BBQ, was a beloved fixture in the Russell neighborhood of Louisville, Ky., remembered as a pillar of the community and known to give out his food free of charge, even to local police officers.

His death at the hands of law enforcement has come as a shock to those who knew him.

McAtee, a chef, was killed early Monday morning at his barbecue business when Louisville Metro Police Department officers and National Guard troops responded to reports of a crowd gathered after the city's 9 p.m. curfew near the corner of 26th Street and Broadway.

As one of the country's worst economic and health crises in history deepens, rent is due again for millions of people who are struggling to make ends meet.

Over the last few months, states and the federal government have taken steps to help tenants who've lost their jobs. Now, while the unemployment rate is still climbing, some of the protections for renters are running out.

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One month ago, the White House announced principles for reopening the country. Soon after, governors who felt they weren't getting enough federal guidance banded together to coordinate regional reopening plans.

Michigan's Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, for example, told NPR last month that she'd been in regular contact with the governors of Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio.

Earlier this month, All Things Considered spoke to Glenn Copeland for Play It Forward, our ongoing musical chain of gratitude. Copeland spoke about experiencing widespread recognition for the first time in his 70s and his appreciation for Canadian jazz-pop band Bernice and its lead singer, Robin Dann.

"I am one of your down on my knees fans, out of a sense of awe," he said. "I just want to say, no matter what, don't stop. Don't stop writing. Your vision is extraordinary, and it's musically so exciting."

When it comes to the spread of America's coronavirus outbreak across the 50 states, Missouri's infection rate and death rate fall roughly in the middle of the pack.

The state's stay-at-home order is currently set to expire on April 24 — at least a month earlier than many other states — though some cities in Missouri have issued longer stay-at-home orders.

Last week All Things Considered kicked off our new musical chain of gratitude series Play It Forward with Dan Snaith, who records as Caribou. He told us why he's grateful for a musician named Glenn Copeland, who is today's link in the chain.

Chelsea Bieker's mother left when she was 9 years old. "Growing up, I was hungry for narratives that were tackling some of the things that I was experiencing and feeling," she recalls. Whenever she found those stories, she says it felt healing, cathartic — a release.

"It didn't feel like I was so isolated — it made my experience feel more universal," she says.

"Home," the first single from Caribou's latest album Suddenly, has taken on an unexpected meaning. As millions of Americans sit under self-quarantine at home and may be reaching for music as a form of solace, you could hear the refrain — "I'm home" — as either a cry or a reassurance.

With a societal shift away from buying albums, touring has been one of the main ways for musicians to support themselves. But now, as the coronavirus precautions shut down public spaces, clubs and concert halls are empty, the tour buses are parked and artists are trying to figure out how they'll get by in an era of social distancing.

Mandy Moore grew up in the musical spotlight: her 1999 hit "Candy" was released when she was just 15. But for the last 11 years, Moore hasn't released any new music; these days she's more known for playing Rebecca Pearson on the NBC drama This Is Us. Now Mandy Moore the singer is back with a reflective new album called Silver Landings.

Twitter is deploying new features on Thursday that it says will keep pace with disinformation and influence operations targeting the 2020 election.

A new policy on "synthetic and manipulated media," attempts to flag and provide greater context for content that the platform believes to have been "significantly and deceptively altered or fabricated."

Unlike postcard mountain resort towns, or the booming, high-tech corridor centered around Denver, Pueblo is Colorado's faded industrial relic. A city struggling to redefine its economy, and its politics following decades as a solidly blue-collar Democratic stronghold.

Pueblo is a two-hour drive south from Denver, through prosperous Colorado Springs with its military bases, defense contractors and megachurches. Wide open plains stretch for miles, mountains off in the distance.

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The public's view of President Trump's impeachment trial is limited. In an era of ubiquitous cameras, no photographs are allowed in the Senate chamber. The only video comes from a set of cameras operated by government employees that's used by the television networks. There aren't many camera angles.

To give the public a closer view, news outlets are employing a low-tech solution.

Music is a kind of family inheritance for Georgia Barnes. The stories she tells of her relatives usually come back to music or dancing some way or another. Her dad used to play in an electronic group called Leftfield.

"My bedroom was actually Leftfield's studio," she says. "It was keyboards, drum machines, wires, bits of percussion, microphones."

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As the U.S. Senate solemnly considers the fate of a president, Twitter has been somewhat less solemn, considering another question. Can you drink milk on the Senate floor?

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Twenty-four hours over three days - that's how long each side gets to make its case in the Senate impeachment trial.

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Shortly after noon on this cold and bright Tuesday in Washington, President Trump's impeachment trial began. First, some tradition and ceremony - Senate Chaplain Barry Black opened the trial with a prayer.

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People across China are remembering the life of Liang Jun, who is celebrated as the first Chinese woman to work as a tractor driver.

Recognized as a national folk hero, trailblazer and model socialist worker, Liang Jun was immortalized in the 1960s on China's 1 yuan banknote driving a tractor. She died this week at the age of 90.

Her story is typical of model workers in China, says Tina Mai Chen, a professor of Chinese history at the University of Manitoba. Chen interviewed Liang Jun in 1996.

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NANCY PELOSI: We are here today to cross a very important threshold in American history.

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That's Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and the threshold she's referring to is the impeachment trial of President Trump.

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U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper thought he would be spending the year 2020 focusing on China, also Russia. Instead, he is leading the military through a series of attacks on and from Iran.

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