Martin Kaste

Virologists are rushing to learn more about a variant of the Covid-19 virus that was first identified in Botswana, and which is rapidly outcompeting other versions of the virus in the region of South Africa that includes Johannesburg.

Darrell E. Brooks, Jr., has become the poster boy for the backlash against bail reform.

The 39-year-old faces at least six counts of homicide for allegedly driving his maroon Ford Escape through a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisc. on Sunday evening — only two weeks after being released on $1,000 cash bail for another act of vehicular aggression, in which he allegedly ran over a woman during an altercation.

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And we are joined now by Ahmaud Arbery's father, Marcus Arbery, and family attorney Ben Crump.

Thank you both for being with us today.

BEN CRUMP: Thank you for having us.

MARCUS ARBERY: Yes.

Updated November 17, 2021 at 11:03 AM ET

If you live in certain parts of the country, you're probably having to show proof of vaccination on a daily basis. Your card — or a photo of the card — will usually get you into your favorite restaurant.

But paper cards wear out and get lost, and some bigger events don't want to deal with the small print in a photo. The alternative is a proof-of-vaccination app. Still, not all apps are created equal.

Updated November 3, 2021 at 12:25 AM ET

Voters in Minneapolis have resoundingly rejected a proposal to reinvent policing in their city, 17 months after the killing of George Floyd by police sparked massive protests and calls for change.

A federal jury in Tacoma, Wash., says the GEO Group, which owns and runs a large detention center for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, owes former detainees $17.3 million in back pay for tasks such as cleaning and cooking meals.

The Florida-based for-profit prison company paid detainees $1 a day for such work, a practice the jury determined earlier this week is a violation of the state's minimum wage law. On Friday, they announced how much back pay was owed.

Deaths involving police have been greatly undercounted in the United States, and African American people die in such encounters at 3.5 times the rate of whites, according to a new analysis by public health researchers.

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Sirhan Sirhan, the man convicted of assassinating Sen. Robert F. Kennedy during a Los Angeles presidential campaign stop in 1968, was recommended for parole Friday in San Diego.

Two commissioners of the California Board of Parole made their recommendation after a review of Sirhan's record while in prison and hearing from two of Kennedy's sons, according to The Associated Press. Here's what we know.

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Minneapolis voters will decide this November whether to end their city's police department, replacing it with a new "Department of Public Safety."

The city council last week signed off on language for a ballot question to change the city charter to create a new agency.

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Another local government has voted to ban facial recognition technology - King County, Wash., which includes Seattle and its suburbs. NPR's Martin Kaste has this update on the national political movement to restrict the technology.

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A couple of summers ago in Poulsbo, Wash., in a crowded park before a fireworks show, a man named Stonechild Chiefstick was bothering people, according to police. They got complaints about him seeming intoxicated and "doing crazy stuff."

At first, the cops just talked to him about it. But when they got a report that he'd threatened someone with a screwdriver, they went to arrest him. The encounter ended with police shooting and killing him.

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Police officers were watching the verdict in Derek Chauvin's murder trial very closely.

NPR law enforcement correspondent Martin Kaste has been talking to some of them. Good morning, Martin.

MARTIN KASTE, BYLINE: Good morning, Noel.

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To talk about what this verdict might mean for law enforcement going forward, we are joined by NPR's Martin Kaste, who has been talking with his sources in police forces around the country.

Hi, Martin.

MARTIN KASTE, BYLINE: Hey, Ari.

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This year's tax season comes with an extra source of stress: Will you find out that scammers claimed government money in your name?

Unemployment benefits fraud was rampant in 2020 as the government rushed to send out COVID-19 relief. The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Inspector General has estimated the amount of benefits stolen was at least $63 billion, based on earlier patterns of unemployment fraud. But a lot of the fraud is coming to light only now, during tax time.

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The year of the pandemic was also the year of the gun. Shootings took off in almost every city, large and small. New York saw shootings double, and nationally, non-suicide gun deaths jumped about 25%, according to the independent Gun Violence Archive.

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Law enforcement agencies around the country are dealing with the fallout of off-duty officers who took part in the Jan. 6 pro-Trump rally that turned into a violent siege of the U.S. Capitol.

So far, more than 30 off-duty officers have been placed at the rally. In some cities, that fact has shaken confidence in the police.

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