KTEP - El Paso, Texas

James Doubek

Christopher Krebs, the former top cybersecurity official in the U.S., says Russia is to blame for a massive breach that's affected the State Department, the Pentagon, the Treasury Department, the Department of Homeland Security and other departments and agencies.

"I understand it is, in fact, the Russians," Krebs told Steve Inskeep on Morning Edition.

Leave it to a beaver to find new ways to build dams.

That much was revealed by Nancy Coyne, who's rehabilitating a beaver in her home in New York's Hudson Valley. Coyne's videos of Beave the beaver on TikTok have quickly racked up millions of views.

Beave has taken to building dams out of whatever's available around the house.

Emergency room physician Cleavon Gilman compares working in a hospital amid the pandemic to war.

"You can actually die at your job now, and that's never really been an issue before," he says.

He has the experience to make the comparison: Gilman served as a combat medic in the Iraq War.

As the U.S. marks 300,000 dead, it's impossible to capture the grief families around the country are experiencing.

Each person who dies of COVID-19 has a story. But many of those left behind no longer have access to the traditional ways of remembering the dead. Funerals are often happening over Zoom or as stripped-down, socially distant affairs.

Hugs aren't safe anymore.

The Food and Drug Administration looks set to allow emergency authorization of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine shortly. With that, vaccinations will likely begin soon for health care workers and people in nursing homes.

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.

As coronavirus cases increase across the U.S., children have been increasingly testing positive as well.

Elizabeth Hawse, a pediatrician in Lexington, Ky., says she has seen a jump from earlier this year, when she was getting "sporadic calls."

"But over the past few weeks, we are seeing more and more kids calling the office that they've been exposed or family members exposed and more and more positive cases," Hawse tells Steve Inskeep on Morning Edition.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's foremost infectious disease expert, tells NPR that it's "OK to celebrate" the good news about Moderna's coronavirus vaccine, but warned it's not the time to back off on basic health measures.

The biotechnology Moderna Inc. said Monday that its experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing the disease, according to data from its clinical trial.

Iowa is one of several states, mostly in the Midwest, where coronavirus cases in nursing homes are rising faster than in nursing homes nationally.

While national cases in nursing home residents and staff rose by 8% between September and October, the numbers in Iowa more than doubled in that time, according to the AARP.

A federal judge in New York City says Chad Wolf was not legally serving as the acting secretary of homeland security when he issued a memo in July that stopped new applicants to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Therefore, Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of New York ruled Saturday, Wolf's memo is invalid.

After a purge at the Pentagon, former national security officials are worried about the fallout if President Trump were to launch an unprovoked military action against Iran or make big changes in Afghanistan in his waning days in office.

That's in addition to the ways that President Trump's refusal to concede and to give President-elect Biden access to intelligence materials are already damaging national security.

Despite Joe Biden's victory, congressional Democrats are upset.

Bolstered by President Trump's unpopularity and the pandemic, polls had showed Democrats possibly taking control of the Senate, expanding their majority in the House of Representatives and Biden winning convincingly in several swing states.

But Democrats didn't gain a majority in the Senate. They lost a handful of seats in the House. And though Biden won the popular vote, it was a close contest in several battleground states.

Nebraska is a heavily Republican state. But for the second time since 2008, it's awarding one of its Electoral College votes to a Democrat.

Nebraska is one of only two states to split Electoral College votes. Nebraska has five. Two votes go to the overall state winner, while one vote goes to each of the state's three congressional districts. The split system was first used in 1992 in an effort to attract candidates to campaign there.

It took Wisconsin more than seven months to reach 100,000 coronavirus cases. On Monday, just five weeks later, it reached 200,000.

Indian Americans — a small but possibly pivotal voting bloc — are overwhelmingly voting for Joe Biden this election, according to a new survey.

Both Joe Biden and President Trump's campaigns have been courting Indian American voters this year. Indian Americans are about 1% of the U.S. population and make up .82% of all eligible voters in the U.S. — but are large enough in numbers to make a decisive difference in certain swing states.

Coronavirus cases appear headed for a new surge in the U.S., which could eclipse the explosion of cases in July.

Much of the new surge is driven by cases in the Midwest and Great Plains states.

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, says "it was all sadly somewhat predictable."

Senate Republicans plan to move forward with Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination with hearings before the Judiciary Committee starting Oct. 12.

Barrett's likely confirmation will lock in arguably the most conservative Supreme Court since the 1930s, with the potential to weaken patient protections of the Affordable Care Act and abortion rights in Roe v. Wade, among other decisions.

Novavax, a vaccine maker in Maryland, is becoming the 10th coronavirus vaccine candidate to enter the final phase of testing, called phase 3.

The trial is taking place in the U.K., where researchers plan to enroll up to 10,000 adults of various ages in the next four to six weeks. Half the participants will get a placebo and half will get the company's vaccine.

At least a quarter of participants will be over the age of 65, the company says, and it will also "prioritize groups that are most affected by COVID-19, including racial and ethnic minorities."

As of now, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization say the primary way the coronavirus spreads is by hitching a ride on respiratory droplets when people are in close contact.

Respiratory droplets form when someone sneezes, coughs, talks or sings, for example. They don't travel far and fall to the ground quickly.

The U.S. marked 100,000 recorded deaths from COVID-19 on May 27. Now it's preparing to reach 200,000.

Though the number of daily fatalities has gone down since the highs of spring, COVID-19 still claims the lives of hundreds of people in the U.S. each day. More are expected to die as the weather gets colder.

In February 1965, two of America's most towering public intellectuals faced off at the University of Cambridge in England. They were there to debate the proposition: "The American Dream is at the expense of the American Negro."

Novelist and essayist James Baldwin argued in favor. He did so by pointing to the experience of the Black man in America. He said the legacy of slavery and white supremacy had in effect "destroy[ed] his sense of reality." Black fathers have no authority over their sons, Baldwin said, because a Black boy's "father has no power in the world."

Facebook is launching a climate change information page in an effort to promote facts about climate change from trusted sources.

Users in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany are seeing links and information from Facebook's Climate Change Information Center starting Tuesday. It's similar to the COVID-19 information page launched in March.

Farmworkers in California are facing two crises at once: the coronavirus and exposure to dangerous air from wildfires.

Massive fires border large swaths of California's agriculture region, the Central Valley. Monitoring stations report unhealthy air across the interior of the state.

Since it was first popularized by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in the 1920s, fascism, and accusations of it, have been a common theme in American political discourse.

Editor's note: This story contains a racial slur.

In his movie roles, Chadwick Boseman was praised for bringing dignity and humanity to icons in the fight for racial justice — figures like Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall and James Brown. He also inspired millions as the superhero Black Panther.

Pages