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Court OKs Video Jury Selection for Civil Trials

7 hours ago

As jury trials throughout the state have been put on pause during the pandemic, the Illinois Supreme Court is now allowing jury selection for civil trials to be held remotely via video conference.

The court’s order to allow remote jury selection comes after months of discussion and research by the Court Operations during COVID-19 Task Force.

The COVID-19 task force, which was formed by the court in late June, is charged with making recommendations for safely continuing court operations — including civil and criminal jury trials — amid the pandemic.

A ninth of the state’s 11 COVID-19 reopening regions triggered increased mitigations Thursday as the governor touted the release of federal funding for businesses affected by pandemic-related closures and some legislative Democrats called on the administration to do more for those businesses.

The announcement that Region 3, which includes Springfield and several surrounding counties, would be subject to mitigations including prohibition of indoor service at bars and restaurants starting Sunday came as hospitalizations again hit second-wave highs and the state again announced its single-day record for new cases with 6,363.

Gray wolves, a species that has long been vilified and admired, will no longer receive federal protections under the Endangered Species Act in the Lower 48 U.S. states, the Trump administration announced Thursday.

Rescue and emergency teams are sorting through the damage wrought by Hurricane Zeta, which made landfall in Louisiana as a very strong Category 2 storm Wednesday afternoon. Zeta brought powerful winds to much of the southeast, where more than 2 million power customers are now without electricity.

The hurricane struck Louisiana's coast with winds of 110 mph, arriving Wednesday afternoon near Cocodrie, in Terrebonne Parish. Its eye then pushed inland over New Orleans and neighboring areas before rushing on to Mississippi and nearby states.

The return of live music may still be a distant hope, but Jeff Tweedy has found plenty to keep him busy during the pandemic. The leader of Wilco has a new solo album called Love Is the King, on which he's traded his usual bandmates for people he's been quarantining with — his sons Spencer, who's 24, and Sammy, who's 20.

Democratic lawmakers are demanding more information from the Trump administration about an incident in January in which U.S. agents working in Guatemala rounded up U.S.-bound Honduran migrants and transported them back to the Guatemala-Honduras border.

Two recent "superspreader events" on Long Island, N.Y., show the impact of large gatherings during virus outbreaks — and threaten to undo the months-long efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus in the area.

Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone announced fines on Wednesday against a country club and a homeowner for hosting events in violation of social-gathering limits.

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No shows, no tours, but Jeff Tweedy has found plenty to keep him busy during the pandemic. Tweedy, frontman for the rock band Wilco, has a new solo album out - it's called "Love Is The King" - on which he has traded his Wilco bandmates for people he's been quarantining with, his sons - Spencer, who's 24, and Sammy, who's 20. He's also been livestreaming their evenings at home. Tune in via Instagram, and you might hear an impromptu family cover of a beloved song.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

No shows, no tours, but Jeff Tweedy has found plenty to keep him busy during the pandemic. Tweedy, frontman for the rock band Wilco, has a new solo album out - it's called "Love Is The King" - on which he has traded his Wilco bandmates for people he's been quarantining with, his sons - Spencer, who's 24, and Sammy, who's 20. He's also been livestreaming their evenings at home. Tune in via Instagram, and you might hear an impromptu family cover of a beloved song.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

No shows, no tours, but Jeff Tweedy has found plenty to keep him busy during the pandemic. Tweedy, frontman for the rock band Wilco, has a new solo album out - it's called "Love Is The King" - on which he has traded his Wilco bandmates for people he's been quarantining with, his sons - Spencer, who's 24, and Sammy, who's 20. He's also been livestreaming their evenings at home. Tune in via Instagram, and you might hear an impromptu family cover of a beloved song.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

There have been a lot of questions heading into Election Day 2020 about how much information will and will not be available on election night, as everyone waits to see who has won the presidential contest and other races.

NPR provides live coverage of the results on the radio and online, and we rely on The Associated Press for all vote counting and race calls.

That means we explicitly cite the AP when reporting results — there are no "NPR calls." We will display AP results of the presidential election and other contests on our website.

Months ago, as the primary season was unfolding, election experts began to sound the alarm on what they saw as a glaring threat to a smooth voting process come fall: a shortage of poll workers.

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Updated 4:45 p.m. ET

Philadelphia, still on edge following days of protests and unrest that engulfed the city in response to the police killing of a 27-year-old Black man, Walter Wallace Jr., experienced a relatively quiet night Wednesday.

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw vowed on Wednesday that the department would release "in the near future" 911 tapes and body camera footage worn by the officers involved with the killing.

If you fall off a bike, you'll probably end up with a cinematic memory of the experience: the wind in your hair, the pebble on the road, then the pain.

The Marshall Islands, a group of volcanic islands and atolls in the Pacific, closed its borders in March to fend off the coronavirus.

At the time, the government said the islands were already dealing with outbreaks of dengue fever and an "Influenza-like-Illness."

"A single-case of COVID-19 would be catastrophic to the health system," the government said at the time.

In April, 9 in 10 of the world's children were out of school in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

India has surpassed 8 million confirmed coronavirus cases, making it the second country to reach that milestone after the United States.

Daily new cases in India are continuing to drop after a record high in September, and a government-appointed panel of scientists has said that the country is past its peak.

But the Hindu festival season, local elections and seasonal air pollution are raising concerns that the virus could surge again.

Jamal Abdullah Naser stands behind the counter of the small grocery store where he works and watches for the first time a video of a wounded teenager, who he believes is his son, just before he was killed by a Navy SEAL.

Updated at 12:25 p.m. ET

A man used a knife to attack people at the Notre Dame Basilica in Nice, France, Thursday, killing three people, authorities say. Several more were injured. Police have arrested a suspect, according to Mayor Christian Estrosi.

Two people were killed inside the church, and another died outside it, according to local media reports.

"Very clearly, it was France that was attacked," French President Emmanuel Macron said outside the church in Nice, after hurrying to the site of the attack.

The U.S. economy grew at a record pace during the last three months, according to the last major economic report before the election.

Not many people are popping champagne corks, though, because GDP also shrank at a record pace during the previous three months. Despite the strong rebound in July, August and September, the economy has not yet recovered from the damage done by the coronavirus pandemic.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced a limited lockdown in a bid to stop the exponential growth in coronavirus cases, currently doubling every seven days.

Following long negotiations with Germany's 16 state governors, Merkel, who's been urging the public to dial down socializing for weeks, persuaded the governors that closing bars, restaurants, cafes, gyms, swimming pools, theaters, cinemas and concert venues is their best option.

"We only need infection numbers to double another four times and the health system is finished," she warned Wednesday.

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A dramatic upswing in COVID-19 cases and positivity rates in El Paso, Texas, has led officials to ask residents to stay at home for two weeks and to impose a mandatory countywide curfew.

Dr. Ogechika Alozie, chief medical officer of the Del Sol Medical Center in El Paso, told NPR's Morning Edition that as you walk through the intensive care unit "it hits you just how surreal and how strange this is."

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