Listen

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!").

After a year of grim milestones, Sunday marked a hopeful statistic in America's fight against the coronavirus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of all American adults have now gotten at least one vaccine dose.

NASA will pay Elon Musk's SpaceX $2.9 billion to build a lunar landing system to ferry astronauts to the surface of the moon.

SpaceX was one of three companies chosen last year to develop technology for NASA's Human Landing System program. On Friday NASA announced SpaceX's "Starship" design had beat out the other two companies for the contract.

Updated April 17, 2021 at 11:54 AM ET

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II was memorialized Saturday in a funeral service, decades in the making, before being laid to rest in Windsor Castle.

Because of the pandemic, many of the usual ceremonies were dropped. After a national moment of silence, Philip's body was carried to the gates of Windsor Castle in a personalized hearse, a Land Rover that he helped modify.

Five days after a skyscraper-sized container vessel was dislodged from the Suez Canal, the backlog of ships waiting to cross through the Egyptian waterway has been cleared, the canal authority says.

Ever since Lee Wong came to the U.S. after graduating from high school, he has faced questions about his patriotism.

It started, he says, when he was a college student in the 1970s and a white man attacked him while hurling anti-Asian insults. Throughout his life, the discrimination continued — his application to be a police officer was immediately thrown into the trash, he says, as the officers laughed about the "Chinaman" who wants to be policeman.

Indonesian officials are monitoring the country's most active volcano after it erupted again Saturday morning, launching hot ash clouds high into the air, and sending lava spewing down the side of the mountain.

Ash plumes shot more than 600 feet into the air as volcanic debris spilled down the slopes of Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta on the densely populated Indonesian island of Java, about 250 miles east of Jakarta. The name "Merapi" loosely translates to "Mountain of Fire."

Parts of Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska are digging out from under over a foot of snow, in what the National Weather Service has called a "historic and crippling" blizzard. And the storm is likely to continue, as the central part of the country is poised to see blizzard conditions before snow moves into the Midwest.

When Mike Phelps moved from Detroit to western Kentucky in 2019, he brought his small business, GenDrop, with him.

GenDrop rents out generator power for concerts and music festivals. Phelps had already powered nearly 100 special events throughout Michigan, and he hoped to do the same in his new state. But when the pandemic hit, and shows were canceled all over the world, Phelps began bleeding money.

More than a month after the military orchestrated a coup against the country's democratically elected leader, Myanmar police are continuing to use violence against peaceful protesters. The death toll is continuing to rise — and it now includes a local official from the deposed leader's political party.

In January, Dallas resident Shannon Marrs paid $257 for electricity. But after Texas suffered the worst winter storm in years, Marrs' February electricity bill totaled more than $10,000.

To millions of people around the world, the young poet Amanda Gorman represents hope, change and the promise of a better America.

But to a security guard on Friday night, the young African American woman represented a potential threat to public safety.

The Harvard-educated Gorman, who won wide acclaim with her inauguration poem urging the nation to confront the injustices of the past and work to create a better future, says she was tailed by a security guard on her walk home.

Updated at 8:05 a.m. ET

The Hong Kong government charged 47 democracy advocates Sunday with violating a national security law that prohibits "conspiracy to commit subversion," prompting hundreds of protesters to gather in defiance of the law to show their support.

One week ago, Myanmar military forces warned pro-democracy protesters that if their demonstrations continued, there would be further loss of life.

The military has made good on its threat.

The 19-year-old woman was standing with a group of about a dozen people on Feb. 9, peacefully protesting the recent military coup in Myanmar, when suddenly, she dropped to the ground.

A bullet fired by Myanmar troops had pierced the motorcycle helmet that Mya Thwet Thwet Khine was wearing. For more than a week, she lay in a hospital bed in Myanmar's capital, passing her 20th birthday while unconscious.

As Texas thaws from the unexpected deep freeze that knocked out power to millions and killed dozens, its residents are continuing to grapple with a secondary peril: lack of safe drinking water.

Texans across the state have reported water outages and burst pipes after water lines froze solid. Other residents once again have water coming through their faucets, but at low pressure.

For decades, the prevailing theory about the extinction of the dinosaurs was that an asteroid from the belt between Mars and Jupiter slammed into the planet, causing cataclysmic devastation that wiped out most life on the planet.

But new research out of Harvard University theorizes that the Armageddon-causing object came from much farther out than originally believed.

After three members of a family in New Zealand's largest city tested positive for the coronavirus, the city of Auckland has gone into lockdown — and the entire country is on high alert.

In a televised address Sunday evening, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the country is taking a "precautionary approach that has served us so well as a country."

Updated at 12:23 p.m. ET

As more details emerge about a heated phone call between then-President Donald Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., as rioters were storming the Capitol, some lawmakers are pushing for Trump's lawyers to more fully explain the president's actions that day.

Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, who served in four different Cabinet-level posts and helped guide America out of the Cold War, died Saturday evening at his home in California. He was 100.

One of the key figures of 20th century American politics, Shultz served in Cabinet-level positions under two American presidents. For Richard Nixon, he was U.S. secretary of labor, director of the Office of Management and Budget, and secretary of the treasury.

For nearly an hour Saturday, about 50 vaccination opponents and right-wing supporters of former President Donald Trump delayed COVID-19 vaccinations when they protested at the entrance to Dodger Stadium, the site of a mass vaccination campaign.

Holding signs that said things such as "COVID=Scam," "Don't be a lab rat" and "Tell Bill Gates to go vaccinate himself," the protesters caused the Los Angeles Fire Department to close the stadium entrance as a precaution. People in hundreds of cars, waiting in line for hours, had to wait even longer.

The list is long of the baseless conspiracy theories that Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has embraced. She's denied that a plane hit the Pentagon on Sept.

Almost exactly one year after the first case of the coronavirus was detected in the United States, the country has now reached 25 million confirmed infections. As it has for months, the U.S. remains by far the most coronavirus-riddled country in the world.

Arizona Republicans passed resolutions on Saturday to censure three of the state's most prominent party leaders who have found themselves at odds with former President Donald Trump: Gov. Doug Ducey, former Sen. Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain, widow of late longtime Sen. John McCain.

The sweeping — yet essentially symbolic — rebuke took place during a meeting to figure out how to move forward after the state flipped blue in November, narrowly giving its 11 electoral votes to now-President Biden.

It's the kind of purchase many shoppers make on impulse. Eggs, milk, yogurt and — why not? — a lottery ticket.

With just six numbers drawn Friday night — 4, 26, 42, 50, 60 and the Mega Ball of 24 — a ticket sold at a Michigan grocery store made somebody one of the richest people in the country.

NASA has more work to do, after a rocket test Saturday for its shuttle replacement ended with a premature and unexpected shutdown.

The test, at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, was part of NASA's Artemis program, a plan to return to the moon in the coming years. NASA's test called for four engines to fire for eight minutes — roughly the time it will take for NASA's long-delayed Space Launch System (SLS) to generate the thrust needed to send the rocket to space.

The U.S. House of Representatives has opened an investigation into this month's attack on the U.S. Capitol. In a letter to the heads of America's leading intelligence and law enforcement agencies, House lawmakers asked for any information that could help them understand whether warning signs were missed.

Next week's swearing-in of President-elect Joe Biden will see the biggest security presence of any inauguration in U.S. history. For days, thousands of National Guard troops have been pouring into the capital, and by Wednesday's ceremony, up to 25,000 troops will be in place to guard against security threats.

Pope Francis offered prayers Sunday for those who lost their lives during the siege at the U.S. Capitol — and encouraged Americans to come together in a spirit of reconciliation.

"I extend an affectionate greeting to the people of the United States of America, shaken by the recent siege of Congress," Francis said, as reported by the Catholic News Agency. "I pray for those who lost their lives — five lost in those dramatic moments."

Last summer, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Congress that if the U.S. didn't get the coronavirus outbreak under control, the country could see 100,000 new cases per day.

Six months later, the U.S. is adding, on average, more than 271,000 new cases per day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Over the past 24 hours, 3,700 new deaths were recorded.

That brings the total number of reported cases in the U.S. to more than 22 million since the start of the outbreak — with a death toll of 373,000.

The violence at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday was unprecedented in modern U.S. history — but some pro-Trump extremists are promising it was just a taste of things to come.

"Many of Us will return on January 19, 2021, carrying Our weapons, in support of Our nation's resolve, towhich [sic] the world will never forget!!!" one person wrote on Parler, a site friendly to right-wing extremists. "We will come in numbers that no standing army or police agency can match."

Pages