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!").

President Trump signed legislation Saturday extending the deadline for small businesses to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program, enacted in the weeks following the economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The original deadline to apply for the PPP was this past Tuesday night. But $130 billion still remained in the fund, out of $660 billion allocated. Both houses of Congress approved the extension unanimously earlier this week. With Trump's signature Saturday, businesses will now have until Aug. 8 to apply for the assistance.

At least 15 people are presumed dead and several more are missing after torrential rains pounded southern Japan on Saturday, flooding residential areas, causing mudslides and knocking out power for thousands. Officials asked more than 200,000 people to evacuate.

Fourteen of those found without vital signs were at a nursing home in Kuma village, where water and mud gushed into the building. Japanese medical officials declared that the victims were in "cardio-respiratory arrest" — a term used in Japan before death can be officially certified.

For months, Spc. Vanessa Guillen's family held out hope that their daughter and sister, last seen at Fort Hood in Texas, was alive.

Twenty Saudi Arabians were put on trial Friday in Istanbul, accused of killing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. None of the accused were present in the courtroom because the Saudi government has refused to extradite them.

Updated at 8:49 a.m.

The world is about to hit a devastating milestone: half a million people dead, killed by the coronavirus pandemic that has swept the planet.

Presidential power only goes so far — and then Congress has the constitutional duty to assert its authority, Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia told NPR's Michel Martin in an interview Saturday.

After nearly two decades, the federal government will once again begin executing criminals, the Justice Department announced Monday. Four inmates convicted of murdering children are set to be put to death by lethal injection.

The WNBA is the latest sports league to announce a plan for games to return after a months-long shutdown to help combat spread of the coronavirus.

Each of the league's 12 teams will train and play starting next month at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., a neutral site as there are no current WNBA teams playing in the state. This will be the first time in league history that all players will train and play in the same location. Exact dates and matchups have not yet been announced, but the 2020 season is expected to begin in late July.

The people are continuing to be kept away from The People's House.

An expanded security perimeter around the White House will be in place for several more days, even as the mayor of Washington, D.C., called on the Trump administration to withdraw its extra federal law enforcement and military presence from the city.

As Americans observe a subdued Memorial Day, President Trump visited Fort McHenry in Baltimore to remember those soldiers who have fallen in service of the country.

"I stand before you at this noble fortress of American liberty to pay tribute to the immortal souls who fought and died to keep us free," Trump told the crowd, which included several members of his Cabinet. "We pledge in their cherished memories that this majestic flag will proudly fly forever."

A Virginia gun range can remain open, despite Gov. Ralph Northam's order closing nonessential businesses throughout the state in response to the coronavirus pandemic, a state judge ruled Monday.

Germany is backing away from a centralized digital contact tracing program it had been considering to combat the coronavirus, saying the effort will only work if people trust that their privacy is being respected.

Before 9/11, there was Oklahoma City.

On April 19, 1995, the United States experienced what was — to that point — the most deadly act of terror ever perpetrated on American soil, when a right-wing extremist detonated a truck bomb next to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

It's been 25 years since 168 people — including 19 children — lost their lives when thousands of pounds of fertilizer, fuel and other chemicals exploded and ripped a gaping hole in the building's facade.

They still threw their caps into the air as F-16s flew overhead.

They still responded with a resounding "hua!" whenever anyone mentioned the class of 2020.

As the death toll from COVID-19 continues to rise, governors around the U.S. are figuring out how to reopen their economies while still ensuring the safety of their citizens.

New York lost another 758 lives over a 24-hour-period, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during his daily news conference on Sunday.

"Every one is a face and a name and a family that is suffering," Cuomo said. "This is truly tragic news."

It's the sixth straight day of losses of more than 700 per day.

"That's the one number that I look forward to seeing drop as soon as I open my eyes in the morning," Cuomo said. "It has been flattening, but flattening at a terrible high level."

In a nearly empty St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis celebrated Easter in virtual solitude on Sunday, calling for the world to come together in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

The world is "oppressed by a pandemic severely testing our whole human family," Francis said, according to a translation provided by the Vatican. In the midst of that suffering, Francis said, the message that Christ has risen is "the contagion of hope."

By most accounts, Saturday in the southeastern United States was beautiful, filled with blue skies and sunshine. Sunday could be the polar opposite, as the region faces the prospect of heavy storms, hail, damaging winds and violent tornadoes.

During dangerous weather, communities often open storm shelters. But shelters can get crowded — a potentially dangerous situation of its own at a time of social distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

So how are states balancing the possible spread of the coronavirus, versus the potential for severe storms?

New York is flattening the curve, but the state still lost 783 lives over the last 24 hours, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at his daily news briefing on Saturday. That marks the fifth straight day of more than 700 deaths per day.

"These are just incredible numbers, depicting incredible loss and pain," Cuomo said.

At first, the cancellations came in a trickle.

A performance of the Mozart Requiem in Washington, D.C., Bach's St. Matthew Passion in Seattle. Local jazz nights in New York City.

Then, almost at once, it seemed like the entire March calendars of musicians across the country were wiped clean. Within hours Wednesday, thousands of dollars in expected income vanished.

Televangelist Jim Bakker held up a blue and silver bottle, gazing intently at the label, as he questioned the woman sitting next to him.

"This influenza that is now circling the globe," Bakker said on the Feb. 12 broadcast of The Jim Bakker Show, "you're saying that Silver Solution would be effective."

Updated at 6:25 a.m. ET Wednesday

Russia's lower house of parliament on Wednesday approved a constitutional amendment to allow President Vladimir Putin — already the country's longest-serving leader since Josef Stalin — to extend his rule until 2036.

Lawmakers in the State Duma voted 383 to 0 in favor of the amendment, with 43 abstentions. Putin said on Tuesday that Russia's Constitutional Court would have to rule on whether the move would contradict Russian law. Putin's critics have said approval by the court is all-but certain.

Democratic presidential hopefuls have stepped up their criticism of President Trump's handling of the coronavirus, accusing his administration of "incompetence."

The president has noticed. Speaking to supporters Friday night in South Carolina, he accused his Democratic rivals of using the virus for political ends.

Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, killed in a drone strike early Friday, is getting the vast majority of the media attention. But several others were also killed in the attack, including militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. For years, Muhandis has been one of the most important military figures in Iraq, as the deputy commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces.

One by one, amateur models came across the Craigslist ad that promised to help launch their careers. And one by one, those women learned they were expected to do more than just pose for pictures.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is expanding, and soon fans will see a transgender character.

At an event Saturday at the New York Film Academy, the president of Marvel Studios was asked whether there were plans to bring "more LGBT+ characters" into the Marvel universe --"specifically the T, trans characters?"

More than 100 Gold Star families are suing several major defense contractors, alleging they made illegal "protection payments" to the Taliban — thereby funding the Taliban's insurgency efforts that killed or wounded thousands of Americans in Afghanistan.

It's illegal under the federal Anti-Terrorism Act to provide material support to the Taliban. The U.S. has warned defense contractors that protection payments are against the law, but according to the lawsuit, the practice has proliferated because defense contractors feel it's a cost of doing business.

Facing a rash of anti-Semitic attacks, the New York City Police Department will increase its presence in Brooklyn neighborhoods that have large Jewish communities, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday.

At least six incidents of hate-fueled attacks have been reported over the past week. The violence is taking place against the backdrop of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, which began Sunday evening.

Being remembered for a mistake is hard. Being the living symbol of 86 years of futility is just about impossible.

But that's exactly what Bill Buckner was to Boston Red Sox fans for nearly 20 years.

Buckner, an All-Star baseball player who played in the major leagues for 22 years, died Monday. He was 69.

Updated 7:30 a.m. ET

A devastating series of storms late Wednesday spawned multiple tornadoes that caused extensive damage to several buildings and led to three deaths in Missouri.

"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Gov. Mike Parson told reporters at a morning press briefing. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state."

He added: "But three is too many."

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