Austin Horn

Austin Horn is a 2019-2020 Kroc Fellow. He joined NPR after internships at the San Antonio Express-News and Frankfort State-Journal, as well as a couple stints in the service industry. He aims to keep his reporting grounded in the experience of real individuals of all stripes.

He graduated from Columbia University in 2019 with a degree in American Studies. You can find him tweeting about basketball, music or his home state of Kentucky at @_AustinHorn.

North Korea said on Tuesday that it plans to cut off all communications with South Korea and treat South Korea as an "enemy," according to North Korea's state news service, Korea Central News Agency.

According to a Tuesday report from KCNA, the move comes in response to "defectors from the North" scattering leaflets "smearing" North Korea.

Workers in Paris began removing large sections of damaged scaffolding from the exterior of Notre Dame cathedral this week.

The scaffolding had initially been placed on the cathedral's old spire for renovation, but was caught in a 2019 blaze that destroyed the spire and roof.

Mayor Bill De Blasio announced on Sunday that New York City would end its curfew. The curfew was initially imposed last week as mass protests grew against police brutality sparked by the police killing of George Floyd.

Tropical Storm Cristobal has reached the southeastern United States, bringing heavy rains and sustained winds of up to 50 mph.

Storm surge warnings have been issued for the southeast coast of Louisiana as well as the Mississippi coast for Sunday.

Cristobal is the third named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. If the storm maintains its current track, Mississippi could be the state hardest hit, according to Gavin Phillips, a forecaster with the National Weather Service New Orleans.

Updated at 5:12 p.m. ET

Former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday he will vote for Joe Biden in the upcoming presidential election.

Michael White, a U.S. Navy veteran held in Iran for almost two years, was released by Iranian authorities on Thursday, according to a statement from his mother, Joanne White.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday that he would be willing to allow more than 2.8 million people from Hong Kong to live and work in the U.K. if China implements a controversial proposed national security law on the former British colony.

The law could take effect as soon as this month, and would expand mainland China's control over Hong Kong.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that the "number of new [coronavirus] cases walking in the door is at an all-time low."

Cuomo said that the number of new coronavirus hospitalizations reported on June 1 was 154, which is the lowest number since the state started counting in mid-March.

New York has been the state hit hardest in the U.S. by the coronavirus.

New York City's five boroughs have seen more than 200,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to the dashboard from John's Hopkins University.

Louisville, Ky., resident David McAtee was shot and killed during a police response to a curfew violation early Monday. Both police and National Guard members were on the scene and fired shots. The incident has led to the firing of the police chief.

For the first time in 30 years, police in Hong Kong have denied permission for organizers to hold an annual vigil for victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Police have cited concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.

George Floyd and Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death, worked together at a Minneapolis club as recently as last year, according to a report from local television station KSTP.

The 124th annual Boston Marathon has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Boston Athletic Association announced the move in a statement on Thursday, saying that the marathon will instead be held as a virtual event.

All participants who were set to run in the event initially slated for April 20 and later pushed back to Sept. 14 will be offered a full refund of their entry fee and have the opportunity to participate in the alternative.

The coronavirus pandemic has put nearly 14 million people in the Caribbean and Latin America at risk of missing meals, according to a report released Wednesday from the U.N.'s World Food Programme.

The National Women's Soccer League announced Wednesday that it will return in June to play a 25-game tournament without fans.

The league's nine teams are set to gather in Utah to play for 30 days, according to a statement the league sent out Wednesday. All players, officials and staff members will be tested two days before their arrival in Utah and will be subject to consistent coronavirus testing and symptom review during the tournament, according to the statement.

Updated at 10:35 p.m. ET

The mayor of Minneapolis says four Minneapolis Police Department officers involved in the death of a black man in police custody have been terminated. The FBI is investigating the incident.

After the firings were announced, a crowd several blocks long marched from the site of the killing to the city's Third Precinct police building, according to The Star Tribune.

New data released by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union shows that among the grocery store workers it represents, 10,000 have been infected by or are known to have been exposed to coronavirus and 68 have died from it. At least 3,257 have been infected with the virus, the union estimated on Friday.

Beijing has signaled it will push through sweeping national security legislation for Hong Kong, its most aggressive effort yet to exert its control over the semi-autonomous city since it was returned to Chinese control in 1997.

Updated at 5:16 p.m. ET

Texas is moving forward with further reopening plans Monday but will delay the execution of those plans in the state's northern panhandle in light of its relatively high rate of confirmed coronavirus cases near Amarillo. Amarillo alone had more than 700 new cases on Friday.

There's a new drink on the menu at the Twisted Citrus, and it matches some new drapery.

The Rubber Duckie Mimosa, a concoction of champagne and blue rasberry lemonade with a classic yellow rubber duck floating on top, was inspired by the North Canton, Ohio breakfast joint's method of protecting its patrons from the spread of COVID-19: shower curtains.

In mid-March, when the unproven idea of giving coronavirus patients anti-malarial drugs emerged on social media and on Fox News, the online pharmacy HealthWarehouse said orders for hydroxychloroquine started to spike.

After three consecutive days with no new coronavirus cases reported, New Zealand allowed most businesses to reopen on Thursday.

The island country, which is home to nearly 5 million people, has been praised for its swift response to the spread of the coronavirus. New Zealand's prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has even said that the country has "won [the] battle" of widespread COVID-19 community transmission.

In 1988, American mathematician Scott Johnson, 27, died after falling off a cliff in Sydney, Australia. His death was initially classified as a suicide, but this week, authorities arrested a suspect, a 49-year-old male, and charged him with murdering Johnson.

The Chinese city of Wuhan will begin what it is calling "10 days of mass battle" to test all 11 million residents after the discovery of a new cluster of coronavirus cases, NPR's Emily Feng reported.

Each of the city's districts will be required to create a testing plan by Tuesday, according Reuters, which first reported the initiative.

In a televised address to the nation, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Monday that the country will begin easing its national "non-working period" on Tuesday, according to a report from The Moscow Times.

Jeffery Gerritt, editor of the Palestine Herald-Press in East Texas, hadn't planned on writing a series about inmates who were dying in county jails.

But he thought the death of a woman in jail, and the local authorities' silence on the matter, was worth pointing out to his town of about 19,000 residents.

The United Nations is calling on members to contribute more to a global plan to fight the effects of coronavirus in "fragile countries."

As part of its Global Humanitarian Response Plan, the U.N. is requesting $6.7 billion in aid — more than tripling the $2 billion it requested in late March. Most of the countries that would receive the aid are located in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America. In total, the aid would reach 63 countries.

An independent oversight board for the social media giant Facebook announced its initial 20 members today in a New York Times opinion piece.

Human Rights Watch is accusing China of discrimination against African communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Authorities in China's Guangdong province, home to China's largest African population, have singled out people of African descent for testing, the rights group alleges. It characterizes the tests as forcible, and says that as many Africans were forced to quarantine, landlords evicted them.

Three family members — a woman, her husband and her adult son — were charged Monday in the fatal shooting of a security guard at a Family Dollar store in Flint, Mich.

According to Genesee County prosecutor David Leyton, the security guard, 43-year-old Calvin Munerlyn, was shot shortly after telling the woman that her daughter could not enter the store because she wasn't wearing a mask.

Under state executive order, all customers and employees in stores are required to wear masks as a precaution against the coronavirus.

The NFL announced on Monday that it has moved the 2020 season's international games back to the U.S.

One game scheduled to take place in Mexico City, and four games slated for London, will instead take place in the U.S. due to the coronavirus, according to a statement from the NFL.

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