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As the pandemic calms in the U.S., a growing number of states have started scaling back how often they update their dashboards tracking what's happening with the virus.

The moves are sparking alarm among many public health experts.

Rural communities outside America's cities are falling further behind in the race to vaccinate against COVID-19 as President Joe Biden's Fourth of July goal to reach 70% of American adults looms over the horizon.

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Democrats who hoped that narrow control in Washington, D.C., would lead to a rush of votes to approve new progressive policies are facing a major roadblock — moderates in their own party.

Moderate Senate Democrats from Republican-leaning states and swing states are flexing the power that comes along with a 50-50 Senate, where every vote has the potential to make or break a bill.

For Manas Ray, the distance from his home in Massachusetts to India, where his extended family lives, has made the coronavirus pandemic feel like a nightmare.

At least 12 friends and family members close to the biochemist have been infected since April 2020, including his mother, Bandana. Reports earlier this spring from his friends and relatives were especially bleak as the second wave devastated the country he left 33 years ago.

"It's very hard on me because I'm so far away from them and cannot help," Ray tells Morning Edition.

The president of El Salvador announced Wednesday that the country's state-run geothermal energy utility would begin using power derived from volcanoes for Bitcoin mining.

The announcement on social media came just hours after the Central American nation's congress voted to make the cryptocurrency an acceptable legal tender.

A large fire at an electrical substation for Puerto Rico's new electricity provider, Luma Energy, knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of the island's residents Thursday.

At the height of the blackout, nearly 800,000 customers were without power, according to Luma. By midnight, roughly 60,000 customers were still in the dark.

"The fire caused major blackouts across the entire island. The situation is under assessment and work is being done to restore the system," LUMA Energy tweeted.

The fire and blackout were not the only crises facing Luma on Thursday.

As temperatures rise in California and people in search of respite head for the beach, there's a new concern beyond damaging sun rays and strong undercurrents: disease-carrying ticks that appear to be spreading all along the Golden State's coast.

CARBIS BAY, England — Security is tight in the English county of Cornwall as President Biden and other leaders of the Group of Seven – seven of the world's wealthiest countries — prepare to meet for a weekend summit beginning Friday.

But if you want to catch a firsthand glimpse of Biden, Germany's Angela Merkel or the other powerful politicians, your best bet may be a two-story sculpture that replicates their likenesses using electronic waste in the hills overlooking the resort where they are meeting.

Updated June 10, 2021 at 7:53 PM ET

A bipartisan group of 10 U.S. senators says they agree on a "framework" for a deal on an infrastructure package, but the members did not release any details and top leaders from both parties have been mostly silent on the development.

According to two sources familiar with the negotiations, the agreement is focused on "core, physical infrastructure." The proposal would cost $1.2 trillion over eight years and include $579 billion in new spending.

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Updated June 10, 2021 at 5:27 PM ET

A son of Pakistani immigrants has just been confirmed by the Senate as the first Muslim American federal judge in U.S. history.

Zahid Quraishi was confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey by a vote of 81-16 on Thursday.

"It's a historic appointment as the first Muslim Article 3 judge in history. He just has this long, very enviable record of public service," Carl Tobias, a professor of law at the University of Richmond, told NPR.

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When Mark Miller's 92-year-old mother died this past Sunday, the grief he felt was complex.

According to a new report from Amnesty International published Thursday, the Chinese government's actions against people in Muslim minority groups in the country constitute crimes against humanity. The report details systematic state-organized mass imprisonment, torture and persecution against people in Xinjiang province, including Uyghurs and Kazakhs. It also details the extensive cover-up efforts by the Chinese government.

Rep. Ilhan Omar issued a statement clarifying comments she made this week that appeared to compare the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban, prompting criticism from both sides of the aisle and from Democratic leadership.

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You can't eat prestige. That's just one of the protest messages that greeted media mogul Anna Wintour on Tuesday night.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER: Bosses wear Prada.

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SPLIT, Croatia — There's a lot of hype surrounding Froggyland. The brochure for the museum, located outside the walls of Split's ancient palace built for the 4th century Roman Emperor Diocletian, declares: "Froggyland and first love will never be forgotten!"

LONDON — For the first time in nearly two years, the leaders of seven of the world's wealthiest democracies will meet to try to tackle some of the biggest global problems, including the post-pandemic recovery, climate change and the challenge of China. The three-day meeting of the Group of Seven, hosted by the United Kingdom, will open on Friday in Carbis Bay, a seaside resort in Cornwall in southwest England.

Fifteen months into the pandemic, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a mandatory workplace safety rule aimed at protecting workers from COVID-19. But it only applies to health care settings, a setback for unions and worker safety advocates who had called for much broader requirements.

Undergraduate college enrollment fell again this spring, down nearly 5% from a year ago. That means 727,000 fewer students, according to new data from the National Student Clearinghouse.

The Statue of Liberty will celebrate Independence Day with her little sister this year.

One hundred thirty-five years after gifting the original Lady Liberty, France is sending a second, smaller Statue of Liberty across the Atlantic just in time for America's July Fourth festivities. The bronze sibling statue, nicknamed the "little sister," has been in France since its completion in 2009.

The Houston Methodist hospital system in Texas has suspended 178 workers for not meeting a deadline to receive the COVID-19 vaccine — a policy that prompted more than 100 employees to file a lawsuit against the hospital. The employees now have until June 21 to be vaccinated, or face being fired.

The standoff represents one of the most high-profile examples of how employers' desire for their workers to be fully vaccinated is being tested by some employees' deeply held vaccine hesitancy — and in this case, the dispute is playing out within the health care system.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Ransomware attacks have disrupted the flow of gas and the supply of meat in just the past few weeks after Colonial Pipeline and JBS, the meat processing company, had their computer systems held hostage for ransom. Similar ransomware attacks have been waged on many companies, large and small, and on hospitals, the police and cities. My guest got an inside look at how the new breed of ransomware attackers operate.

Updated June 10, 2021 at 1:01 PM ET

In their first face-to-face meeting, President Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed a 21st century version of the historic Atlantic Charter, an attempt to depict their countries as the chief global leaders taking on the world's biggest challenges.

The two leaders pledged to work "closely with all partners who share our democratic values" and to counter "the efforts of those who seek to undermine our alliances and institutions."

MUMBAI AND SAN FRANCISCO — One night last month, police crowded into the lobby of Twitter's offices in India's capital New Delhi. They were from an elite squad that normally investigates terrorism and organized crime, and said they were trying to deliver a notice alerting Twitter to misinformation allegedly tweeted by opposition politicians.

A retired California nun has agreed to plead guilty to stealing $835,339 from a Catholic elementary school where she was the principal — in part to fund her gambling habit.

Mary Margaret Kreuper, 79, is charged with one count of money laundering and one count of wire fraud, the Justice Department announced Tuesday. It said she agreed to plead to both federal charges, which carry a maximum prison term of 40 years.

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