NPR News

A lot "ales" Congress these days — with members clashing over President Biden's domestic agenda and continued fallout from the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

But on Wednesday night, bipartisan cooperation was on full display during the fourth annual Anheuser-Busch Brew Across America Congressional Brewing Competition, where five pairs of lawmakers work with breweries across the country to create new small batch beers and bring them back to Washington, D.C., to find out whose concoction is best.

Last year, band and choir classes were a far cry from normal, with students practicing outside or over Zoom. But with students back in school this fall, many are overjoyed to take part in almost-normal music classes. That includes senior tenor sax player Frank Papetti.

"Oh my God, I'm super excited," he says. "I love playing my instrument," Papetti is a member of the wind ensemble at Westwood High School, about 24 miles south of Boston.

LOS ANGELES — Peter Scolari, a versatile character actor whose television roles included a yuppie producer on Newhart and a closeted dad on Girls and who was on Broadway with longtime friend Tom Hanks in Lucky Guy, has died. He was 66.

Scolari died Friday morning in New York after fighting cancer for two years, according to Ellen Lubin Sanitsky, his manager.

Walmart is recalling an essential-oil aromatherapy spray after a "rare and dangerous bacteria" that can cause a potentially fatal condition was reported, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says. Officials are investigating four confirmed cases and there have been two deaths, including that of a child, associated with the bacteria, according to the agency.

Oh no. Not again.

Just when COVID surge in the U.S. has begun to decline, another coronavirus variant has immediately cropped up. This time in the U.K.

Known in the media as "delta-plus," this mutant is raising some concern because over the past few weeks, it's begun to spread in several parts of Britain. It now accounts for about 6% of all cases in the U.K.

Each week, we answer frequently asked questions about life during the coronavirus crisis. If you have a question you'd like us to consider for a future post, email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions." See an archive of our FAQs here.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

Copyright 2021 KJZZ. To see more, visit KJZZ.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Updated October 22, 2021 at 5:24 PM ET

A coalition of nearly 100 civil rights and criminal justice reform groups is protesting a Biden administration proposal that would potentially stiffen prison sentences for certain synthetic opioids, warning that it will exacerbate racial disparities already in the system.

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who died on the set of Rust when Alec Baldwin discharged a prop gun, is being remembered as a talented artist and a team player. Hutchins' credits include the superhero action film Archenemy, Blindfire and The Mad Hatter. She was 42 years old.

The island of Barbados is in the midst of great change. As the country continues to transition into a republic, the nation has elected a woman as its very first president.

Dame Sandra Mason was elected after securing two-thirds of the votes in the country's two houses of Parliament, the government announced.

Barbados announced in September 2020 that it would become a republic, a process that involves removing Queen Elizabeth as the island nation's head of state.

Four years ago, the Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Va., was at the heart of a violent white supremacist rally that left a counterprotester dead.

Now, a museum dedicated to Black culture and history has put forward a new proposal: Melt the statue down and use the bronze to create new works of public art.

The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center's proposal, titled "Swords into Plowshares," calls for commissioning an artist-in-residence to create the new artworks, which would be gifted to the city of Charlottesville upon completion.

Dune may not be the best new movie you'll see this year, but it's easily the most new movie you'll see this year. I left the theater feeling overwhelmed and a little parched, as though I'd spent two hours and 35 minutes being pummeled by hot desert winds and blinding sandstorms. The world of Frank Herbert's novel feels big and immersive here in a way it never has on-screen, with its futuristic spacecraft, cavernous fortresses and, of course, terrifying sand worms.

SAM BRIGER, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Sam Briger sitting in for Terry Gross. We're going to listen back to my interview with Lenny Kravitz. His memoir, now out in paperback, is about his early life up to the release of his first album, "Let Love Rule," in 1989, which launched his career and made him a rock 'n' roll star. Since then, he's sold over 40 million albums and won four Grammys in a row for best male rock vocal performance.

Updated October 22, 2021 at 1:40 PM ET

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to review a controversial Texas abortion law on Nov. 1 but refused to block the law while it examines the state's unusual enforcement scheme and whether the Department of Justice has the right to sue to block the law.

Updated October 22, 2021 at 5:54 PM ET

Expressing "shock and sadness" at the incident that has shaken Hollywood, actor Alec Baldwin says he is cooperating with the police investigation into the shooting on a New Mexico movie set that killed the film's cinematographer and injured its director.

Renowned Dutch conductor Bernard Haitink died Thursday at age 92. The range of his work gives a glimpse of how much he was admired and beloved both in Europe and the U.S., particularly by orchestras and soloists who hailed him as a musician's musician, prizing the work itself over showboating and glamor.

About the Episode

Anyone can have a big idea. But how do those big ideas come to fruition and grow? Director of the TED Fellows program Shoham Arad walks us through several speakers who turned a spark into a movement.

The shooting death of director of photography Halyna Hutchins on a film set in Santa Fe, N.M., is a stark reminder to the filmmaking community that, though they work in fantasy, actions on set can have real world consequences.

On Thursday, while filming the Western Rust, the movie's star Alec Baldwin discharged a prop gun that killed Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech say their data supports authorization of their COVID-19 vaccine in kids 5 to 11.

The Food and Drug Administration released the companies' briefing document Friday morning in a prelude to a meeting of expert advisers to the agency scheduled for Tuesday.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT DETROW, HOST:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT DETROW, HOST:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And we're joined now by U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. Surgeon General, welcome back to the program.

VIVEK MURTHY: Well, thank you so much Steve. It's nice to be with you again.

Updated October 22, 2021 at 10:08 PM ET

For $3.5 million, you can roam the halls of the Los Angeles house where Freddie Krueger murdered his victims. You have until Halloween to make an offer.

More than 40% of America's coal comes from the Powder River Basin, a 120-mile swath along the Montana-Wyoming border.

But times have been tough for producers there. Like other U.S. coal-producing areas, the Powder River Basin has seen mine closures and job losses mount in recent years. Production hit a 50-year low in 2020, and 151 coal mines were idled or closed.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT DETROW, HOST:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This next story takes us to Vienna, Austria, a place the Vienna Tourist Board would like you to visit. For the past couple of years, the tourist board struggled with its social media accounts.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT DETROW, HOST:

Movie review: 'The French Dispatch'

Oct 22, 2021

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT DETROW, HOST:

The new film "The French Dispatch" is kind of like seeing a classic issue of The New Yorker come to life. It's based on the colorful articles of a fictional magazine run by a grumpy but respectable editor, played by Bill Murray.

Pages