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!").

Independent investigations by The New York Times and The Washington Post are calling into question the U.S. military claims that its Aug. 29 drone strike in Kabul destroyed a car operated by an ISIS-K sympathizer, which allegedly contained explosives destined for the Kabul airport.

More than 1,200 people are confirmed dead after the massive earthquake that struck Haiti on Saturday. But as rescue crews dig through the rubble of countless flattened buildings, many fear the actual death toll will be much higher.

Amanda Knox — who once spent almost four years in an Italian prison for murder — was long ago exonerated by Italy's highest court, which ruled that "stunning flaws" in the police investigation had inappropriately led to Knox's conviction for the murder of her roommate, British exchange student Meredith Kercher.

Two weeks after undergoing an operation to remove half of his colon, Pope Francis delivered his Sunday blessings to a crowd of several hundred gathered in St. Peter's Square.

After ruminating on the importance of rest — "it is not enough to 'unplug' ourselves" he said, "we need to truly rest" — Francis turned to the turmoil and social unrest engulfing many parts of the world.

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.

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 3:04 p.m. ET Sunday

The showdown between the city of Chicago and its teachers may be near an end.

Chicago Public Schools announced a tentative agreement Sunday with the teachers union for in-person learning to resume starting as early as Thursday on a phased-in schedule and promises to vaccinate 1,500 school staff each week.

More than 2 million people have passed through security checkpoints at U.S. airports over the last two days, according to statistics provided by the Transportation Security Administration. This is despite official guidance to stay home for the holidays as the coronavirus pandemic rages and the nation's death toll continues to rise.

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.

While states like Alabama, Missouri and Georgia are grabbing the spotlight for their new laws restricting access to abortion, Nevada is moving in the opposite direction. The state Assembly on Tuesday passed a law removing some requirements that had been in place for decades.

President Hillary Clinton?

That might have been the result of the 2016 presidential election — if the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact were in effect.

With a state Senate vote Tuesday, Nevada is close to becoming the latest state to drop the traditional practice of awarding all its electors to the presidential candidate who won the state. Instead, Nevada would award its six electors to whomever receives the most votes across the entire country.

A Jewish family has lost a 15-year legal battle to recover a painting stolen by Nazis during World War II.

An 1897 impressionist work by Camille Pissarro, Rue Saint-Honoré, Après-midi, Effet de Pluie, depicting a rain-covered Paris street, had been in the family since 1900. But when Fritz and Lilly Cassirer decided to flee Nazi Germany in 1939, the government had a condition: If they wanted a visa to leave the country, they needed to hand over the oil painting in exchange for about $360 — well below the painting's value.

The American Civil Liberties Union says it has uncovered new evidence that federal border agents are violating the Constitution when they search travelers' electronic devices.

Until the Trump administration changed its practice last year, the government had quietly separated thousands of children from parents trying to cross into the country at the southern border — in the process, sometimes losing track of where exactly those children went, and to whom they belong.

On Thursday a federal judge gave the administration six months to figure it out.

If North Korea is given security guarantees, Kim Jong Un would be willing to denuclearize, Russian President Vladimir Putin said after talks with Kim on Thursday. Their first face-to-face meeting took place on Russky Island in eastern Russia.

With the pending payout of a parent's life insurance policy, the confessed Parkland, Fla., school shooter could get more than $430,000. So he is no longer entitled to be represented for free by a public defender, his lawyers said in a court filing Wednesday asking to withdraw from the case.

"It has come to the attention of undersigned counsel that Nikolas Cruz is a beneficiary in a MetLife life insurance policy and is entitled to half of a death benefit valued at $864,929.17 as of April 23, 2019," the Broward County Public Defender's Office wrote.

Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the devastating Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, according to a posting by the group's Amaq news agency Tuesday.

Without offering evidence of its involvement, the group commonly known as ISIS said the suicide attacks that killed more than 320 people were carried out by "fighters of the Islamic State."

Two Reuters reporters, jailed after investigating the killing of several Rohingya Muslims, will remain in prison, Myanmar's highest court ruled Tuesday.

"They were sentenced for seven years and this decision stands, and the appeal is rejected," Supreme Court Justice Soe Naing told the court, according to Reuters. The judge did not elaborate.

For years he has played a high school history teacher who accidentally became president of Ukraine. On Sunday, Ukraine's voters made that fiction a reality.

With nearly all the ballots counted, the 41-year-old Volodymyr Zelenskiy took 73% of the vote, trouncing incumbent President Petro Poroshenko, who received less than 25%. Zelenskiy's victory is widely seen as a rebuke of the status quo, a response to perceived corruption within the political establishment, and a reflection of malaise over the lackluster economy and ongoing conflict with Russia in eastern Ukraine.

Interstates were closed for hundreds of miles in the Midwest and Plains Thursday, as a "bomb cyclone" brought a major winter storm to states in those regions. Some towns that just days ago were experiencing sunshine and temperate weather are now under 1 or 2 feet of snow.

Most of Nebraska and South Dakota remained under a blizzard warning Thursday afternoon, as snow continued to cause dangerous conditions. Minnesota, Wisconsin and much of Michigan's Upper Peninsula face a winter storm warning. Eastern North Dakota is under a flood warning.

In a move aimed at getting the public's attention, officials in New York's Rockland County have declared a state of emergency in response to an ongoing measles outbreak. Among the measures: a 30-day ban on any unvaccinated people under the age of 18 from being in public places.

In a move that appeared aimed at what some view as a growing trend of political correctness on college campuses, President Trump signed an executive order Thursday to bar federal research grants to institutions that don't "avoid creating environments that stifle competing perspectives."

In the corridors of the Europa building in Brussels, European Union officials gathered around a small table, determining the fate of the country that had voted to reject them.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May was relegated to another room while the rest deliberated: Would May get the months-long extension she had requested to give her time to negotiate a Brexit withdrawal arrangement with Parliament?

The "bomb cyclone" that swept through the Midwest this week has caused more than $1 billion of flood damage in Nebraska, the state's governor said Wednesday. At least three people have been killed in Nebraska and Iowa.

The enslaved man's name was Renty. His image adorns the cover of a Harvard publication that the university sells for $40.

Tamara Lanier says "Papa Renty" is the patriarch of her family. And in a lawsuit filed Wednesday, she says Harvard is using those photos without permission — and in so doing, profiting from photos taken by a racist professor determined to prove the inferiority of black people.

With just over a week to go until the deadline for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, the son of President Trump says that everything would be on track had British Prime Minister Theresa May taken his father's advice on Brexit.

Updated at 10:15 a.m. ET

A Facebook vice president said fewer than 200 people saw the Christchurch massacre while it was being streamed live on the site. But the video was viewed about 4,000 times before Facebook removed it, he added. Countless more views occurred in the hours afterward, as copies of the video proliferated more quickly than online platforms like Facebook could remove them.

New Zealand's cabinet has agreed "in principle" to tighten gun control laws, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday, promising the changes will make the country safer. "We've unified, there are simply details to work through," she said.

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