Matthew S. Schwartz | KALW

Matthew S. Schwartz

Matthew S. Schwartz is a reporter with NPR's news desk. Before coming to NPR, Schwartz worked as a reporter for Washington, DC, member station WAMU, where he won the national Edward R. Murrow award for feature reporting in large market radio. Previously, Schwartz worked as a technology reporter covering the intricacies of Internet regulation. In a past life, Schwartz was a Washington telecom lawyer. He got his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and his B.A. from the University of Michigan ("Go Blue!").

One week ago, Myanmar military forces warned pro-democracy protesters that if their demonstrations continued, there would be further loss of life.

The military has made good on its threat.

As Texas thaws from the unexpected deep freeze that knocked out power to millions and killed dozens, its residents are continuing to grapple with a secondary peril: lack of safe drinking water.

Texans across the state have reported water outages and burst pipes after water lines froze solid. Other residents once again have water coming through their faucets, but at low pressure.

For decades, the prevailing theory about the extinction of the dinosaurs was that an asteroid from the belt between Mars and Jupiter slammed into the planet, causing cataclysmic devastation that wiped out most life on the planet.

But new research out of Harvard University theorizes that the Armageddon-causing object came from much farther out than originally believed.

Facing allegations that the state under-reported the number of coronavirus deaths in nursing homes, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that everything reported was accurate — albeit delayed.

"All the deaths in the nursing homes and in the hospitals were always fully, publicly and accurately reported," Cuomo said. "The numbers were the numbers. Always."

After three members of a family in New Zealand's largest city tested positive for the coronavirus, the city of Auckland has gone into lockdown — and the entire country is on high alert.

In a televised address Sunday evening, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the country is taking a "precautionary approach that has served us so well as a country."

Updated at 12:23 p.m. ET

As more details emerge about a heated phone call between then-President Donald Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., as rioters were storming the Capitol, some lawmakers are pushing for Trump's lawyers to more fully explain the president's actions that day.

The sun was shining Saturday morning in Salt Lake City — a beautiful day, local officials said, that masked a hidden danger.

Four skiers in their 20s and 30s were killed in one of the most deadly avalanches in the history of Utah.

Eight skiers from two different groups were on steep terrain in the Wilson Glade area of Mill Creek Canyon — about 9,800 feet high — when they unintentionally triggered the slide, the Utah Avalanche Center said in an accident report.

For nearly an hour Saturday, about 50 vaccination opponents and right-wing supporters of former President Donald Trump delayed COVID-19 vaccinations when they protested at the entrance to Dodger Stadium, the site of a mass vaccination campaign.

Holding signs that said things such as "COVID=Scam," "Don't be a lab rat" and "Tell Bill Gates to go vaccinate himself," the protesters caused the Los Angeles Fire Department to close the stadium entrance as a precaution. People in hundreds of cars, waiting in line for hours, had to wait even longer.

Almost exactly one year after the first case of the coronavirus was detected in the United States, the country has now reached 25 million confirmed infections. As it has for months, the U.S. remains by far the most coronavirus-riddled country in the world.

It's the kind of purchase many shoppers make on impulse. Eggs, milk, yogurt and — why not? — a lottery ticket.

With just six numbers drawn Friday night — 4, 26, 42, 50, 60 and the Mega Ball of 24 — a ticket sold at a Michigan grocery store made somebody one of the richest people in the country.

NASA has more work to do, after a rocket test Saturday for its shuttle replacement ended with a premature and unexpected shutdown.

The test, at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, was part of NASA's Artemis program, a plan to return to the moon in the coming years. NASA's test called for four engines to fire for eight minutes — roughly the time it will take for NASA's long-delayed Space Launch System (SLS) to generate the thrust needed to send the rocket to space.

The U.S. House of Representatives has opened an investigation into this month's attack on the U.S. Capitol. In a letter to the heads of America's leading intelligence and law enforcement agencies, House lawmakers asked for any information that could help them understand whether warning signs were missed.

Next week's swearing-in of President-elect Joe Biden will see the biggest security presence of any inauguration in U.S. history. For days, thousands of National Guard troops have been pouring into the capital, and by Wednesday's ceremony, up to 25,000 troops will be in place to guard against security threats.

Last summer, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Congress that if the U.S. didn't get the coronavirus outbreak under control, the country could see 100,000 new cases per day.

Six months later, the U.S. is adding, on average, more than 271,000 new cases per day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Over the past 24 hours, 3,700 new deaths were recorded.

That brings the total number of reported cases in the U.S. to more than 22 million since the start of the outbreak — with a death toll of 373,000.

The violence at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday was unprecedented in modern U.S. history — but some pro-Trump extremists are promising it was just a taste of things to come.

"Many of Us will return on January 19, 2021, carrying Our weapons, in support of Our nation's resolve, towhich [sic] the world will never forget!!!" one person wrote on Parler, a site friendly to right-wing extremists. "We will come in numbers that no standing army or police agency can match."

A battle is looming between congressional Republicans who plan to object to the certification of November's presidential election results, and others who believe Congress needs to accept the will of the voters.

Updated at 12:45 a.m. ET Sunday

The U.S. has hit another devastating milestone: COVID-19 has killed more than 350,000 people in the country, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker. The grim number comes as a new variant of the coronavirus is spreading across dozens of countries.

Updated at 9:37 p.m. ET Saturday

A federal judge threw out a lawsuit that challenges President-elect Joe Biden's victory Friday, as Congress moves toward finalizing the results of the 2020 election.

And on Saturday, a panel of judges at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the case for "essentially" the same reasons as the lower court: the plaintiffs don't have standing to sue.

National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro — a longtime pitcher for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves who was known for his blistering knuckleball — died in his sleep after a long battle with cancer, the team announced Sunday. He was 81.

Updated at 2:25 a.m. ET on Monday

The violent explosion that rocked downtown Nashville, Tenn., on Christmas morning is believed to be a suicide bombing by Anthony Q. Warner, 63, U.S. Attorney Don Cochran said Sunday.

Authorities continue to ask those who knew or encountered the suspect to contact the FBI. The agency is still investigating, but there is no indication that anyone else was involved, Cochran said.

Updated at 6:43 p.m. ET

One day after a Christmas bombing in downtown Nashville, Tenn., damaged dozens of buildings over several blocks and injured at least three people, police are working with federal authorities to find the perpetrator.

In his Christmas Day address, Pope Francis appealed to the nations of the world to share the new coronavirus vaccines with the most needy.

"Today, in this time of darkness and uncertainty regarding the pandemic, various lights of hope appear, such as the discovery of vaccines," Francis said. "But for these lights to illuminate and bring hope to all, they need to be available to all."

More than 2 million people have passed through security checkpoints at U.S. airports over the last two days, according to statistics provided by the Transportation Security Administration. This is despite official guidance to stay home for the holidays as the coronavirus pandemic rages and the nation's death toll continues to rise.

The United Kingdom has entered a period of intense restrictions after a mutation of the coronavirus was discovered spreading rapidly through the population of London and the southeast and east of England. Most of the country faces a strict lockdown as Christmas approaches, and several countries throughout Europe have banned travel from the United Kingdom.

The British government put several parts of England into what's known as "Tier 4" restrictions after the spike in infections. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the new restrictions on Saturday.

The Army has soldiers. The Navy has sailors. Now, one year after its creation, it's official: The Space Force has "guardians."

Vice President Mike Pence revealed the moniker during remarks celebrating the first anniversary of the military branch on Friday.

With a hard end-of-year deadline looming, the U.K. and the European Union will continue negotiations to try to avoid a no-deal Brexit, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Sunday.

Taking the podium at EU headquarters in Brussels, Von der Leyen said that despite the lack of any breakthrough, talks to determine the two sides' future trading relationship would continue. Von der Leyen said she had a "constructive and useful phone call" with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in which they discussed "major unsolved topics."

Democracy activist Jimmy Lai, a prominent Hong Kong media mogul charged with violating a new and controversial national security law, was denied bail Saturday.

Lai, who publishes a tabloid newspaper that's critical of China, is one of the most high-profile people charged with colluding with a foreign country under a controversial new national security law. China's ruling Communist Party has been taking its most prominent critics into custody as it attempts to suppress the pro-democracy movement there.

Updated at 5:07 p.m. ET

President Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the president. Trump made the announcement on Twitter on Sunday afternoon.

As U.S. health authorities continue examining the proposed COVID-19 vaccines, residents in the United Kingdom — the first Western country to issue approval for emergency use — are set to receive their first shots as early as this week.

But quickly vaccinating as many people as possible in the U.K. will pose enormous logistical challenges — from keeping the doses frozen to figuring out how to methodically and fairly distribute the vaccine across the nation of 68 million.

The number of hospitalizations from the coronavirus set yet another record on Saturday, as cases continue to surge and public health officials warn of a worsening outlook with the holiday season just weeks away.

More than 91,500 people were hospitalized with the virus on Saturday, with 18,000 in intensive care units. That's according to data compiled by the COVID Tracking Project, which collects and analyzes data from across the United States. Over 6,000 patients were on ventilators.

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