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NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with the Rev. Leah Daughtry, a former chief of staff of the Democratic Party, about Joe Biden picking Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate.

Joe Biden has chosen Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., as his 2020 running mate. NPR looks at why it was important for him to pick a Black woman as his running mate.

The Big Ten Conference has voted to postpone its 2020 college football season. NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with The Athletic's Kavitha Davidson about the decision.

More than 40 years ago, in Nigeria, a young scientist named Rattan Lal encountered an idea that changed his life — and led, eventually, to global recognition and a worldwide movement to protect the planet's soil.

Updated at 6:14 p.m. ET

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has picked Sen. Kamala Harris of California as his running mate.

The selection will make Harris the third woman — and first Black candidate — to be nominated for vice president by a major political party.

"These aren't normal times," Biden said in an email to supporters Tuesday afternoon. "I need someone working alongside me who is smart, tough, and ready to lead. Kamala is that person."

Barely a week after Georgia reopened its public schools amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a school district north of Atlanta has ordered 925 students, teachers and staff to self-quarantine after dozens tested positive for the coronavirus. The district also announced the temporary closing of one of its hardest-hit high schools.

A Japanese cargo ship struck a reef off the coast of Mauritius more than two weeks ago and has now leaked more than 1,000 metric tons of oil into the pristine waters and unique ecosystems of the island nation.

Mauritius has declared a state of environmental emergency, and the French government has sent technical support to assist with the disaster response. In addition, independently-organized local volunteers have been working to clean up and protect beaches with improvised materials.

But an even bigger danger looms.

Anti-government blockades in Bolivia have entered their second week amid escalating political tensions, violent confrontations and government allegations that protesters are causing deaths by stopping supplies from reaching coronavirus patients.

The protests are deepening the crisis facing a nation already struggling to cope with a pandemic which officials say has so far killed more than 3,700 people and infected more than 91,600.

We've been using the term "Latinx" on NPR's Code Switch podcast regularly. But new research shows it hasn't really caught on among Latino adults in the U.S.: While one in four have heard of the term, only 3% use it.

Updated 5:50 p.m. ET

Two major college conferences — the Big Ten and Pac-12 — each announced Tuesday they were sidelining college football and other fall sports because of the coronavirus, just weeks before schools were scheduled to play their first games.

The Big Ten, which includes universities with powerhouse sports programs, such as Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan State, said it will look at holding some competitions in the spring.

As the U.S. government prepares to execute Lezmond Mitchell, the only Native American man on federal death row, the leaders of the Navajo Nation have asked President Trump to reduce Mitchell's sentence to life imprisonment.

"We strongly hold to our cultural, traditional, and religious beliefs that life is sacred," Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer wrote in a recent letter.

After a 90% drop in visitors during its lockdown, the Las Vegas area has spent the summer trying to regain its economic footing while battling a resurgence of the coronavirus that is straining the health care system.

With 50 days left to count every person living in the U.S., Census Bureau workers around the country are facing what many consider an increasingly impossible mission.

It's a familiar moment. The kids want their cereal and the coffee's brewing, but you're out of milk. No problem, you think — the corner store is just a couple of minutes away. But if you have COVID-19 or have been exposed to the coronavirus, you're supposed to stay put. Even that quick errand could make you the reason someone else gets infected.

Veteran political consultant Stuart Stevens has spent years working as a strategist for Republican campaigns, including the presidential bids of Bob Dole, George W. Bush and Mitt Romney. But Stevens didn't support the party's candidate in the 2016 presidential election — and he wasn't alone.

"In 2016, when I went out and attacked Trump on television," he says, "I would say maybe a third of the party hierarchy would email me and thank me for doing this."

More than three months after its last case of community spread, New Zealand has four new cases of the coronavirus from an unknown source. The island nation, seen as a global exemplar in the battle to contain the coronavirus, moved quickly to identify the source of transmission and halt further spread.

All four cases are members of the same family, who live in South Auckland, the government said Tuesday.

The speaking lineup for the Democratic National Convention that kicks off Monday includes a number of party stars that represent the ideological spectrum, ranging from Bill and Hillary Clinton to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Democrats unveiled on Tuesday morning a long list of party leaders and influential voices who will speak during this year's convention, with a mix of both moderate and progressive voices. They'll be featured across four nights of programming.

President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday that Russia has become the first country to approve a vaccine to prevent coronavirus infection, saying one of his daughters has already received a dose of the new prophylaxis even though that it is still under development.

The announcement of the new vaccine, dubbed Sputnik-V, has been met with initial skepticism, as it has yet to complete Phase III trials in which large numbers of people are given doses to determine whether it is safe and effective in a general population.

Pandemic Or Not, Germans Still Prefer Cash

8 hours ago

Just as in other countries, grocery stores in Germany are hushed, angst-ridden places these days, where a controlled number of masked shoppers give each other a wide berth in the aisles. At the checkout, the cashiers — also masked — sit behind a plastic screen. Exchange with customers is kept to a minimum and contactless payment is encouraged.

But in a country where cash is traditionally used for most everyday transactions, some shoppers feel using a debit card is one coronavirus measure too many.

If you're tired of binge-watching TV during the pandemic, Mother Nature has an alternative. All you have to do is go outside between about 2 a.m. Wednesday and dawn local time, lie on your back and look up at the sky. The meteors and fireballs of the Perseid meteor shower should be streaking.

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Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, announced today that Russia is the first country to register a vaccine against the coronavirus. But there is a lot of skepticism. Here's NPR's Lucian Kim in Moscow.

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Some creatures seem to be taking advantage of this pandemic. I'm talking about sharks.

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(Vocalizing "Jaws" theme).

Textbooks censored. Teachers investigated for improper speech. Students arrested and charged with secession for their social media posts.

Just over a month after Beijing imposed a national security law in Hong Kong, authorities are targeting in rapid succession figures at all levels of Hong Kong's civil society and education sectors, despite assurances from Beijing officials and Hong Kong's top leader that the law would only be used to target a small minority of people.

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At least 97,000 children tested positive for the coronavirus during the last two weeks of July, according to a new review of state-level data by the American Academy of Pediatrics and Children's Hospital Association. The increase represents a 40% surge in the nation's cumulative total of child cases.

At least 97,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 during the last two weeks of July, according to a new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association. The increase represents a 40% surge in the nation's cumulative total of child cases.

In Indiana, school has started up for many students — or will in the next week. It's one of a majority of states where local districts will make most of the decisions about what school will look like this year.

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