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Updated at 4:56 p.m. ET

President Trump warned tech companies he is "watching them very closely during this election cycle" as his administration proposed stripping online platforms of long-held legal protections.

"We see so many things that are unfair," Trump said during at a White House discussion with Republican state attorneys general about social media. "It's very serious. Very bad. Very serious."

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Gale Sayers, a graceful and quick Chicago Bears running back whose elusiveness bedeviled defenses and delighted fans, has died, the team and the NFL announced Wednesday. He was 77.

Sayers was a fearsome competitor, but he was also famous for his character and fortitude.

The story of the Black football star's friendship with a white teammate, Brian Piccolo, inspired the beloved 1971 TV movie Brian's Song, after Sayers used his acceptance speech for the NFL's Most Courageous Player award to praise his less-heralded friend who was battling cancer.

Data gathered early in the pandemic showed that communities of color are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 across the United States. But incomplete data left a muddy picture of these disparities.

Today, as the U.S. has surpassed 200,000 COVID-19 deaths, and reached nearly 7 million confirmed cases, racial data is more complete, and the trend is crystal clear: People of color get sick and die of COVID-19 at rates higher than whites and higher than their share of the population.

Hunter Biden's position on the board of a Ukrainian energy company was "awkward" and "problematic" at the time his father, Joe Biden, was serving as vice president, two Republican-led Senate committees say in a new report — but the study does not show that it influenced U.S. government policy.

The long-awaited Republican report appeared six weeks ahead of the presidential election. Democrats have dismissed it as a politically motivated effort to try to hamper Biden's 2020 campaign in the race against President Trump.

Wildfires near cities have become commonplace in the Western United States, but this year the reach and intensity of the dangerous air pollution they produce has been the worst on record.

Many Americans in populous, urban areas endured smoke for longer than previous years. Some places experienced very unhealthy or hazardous air from wildfires for the first time ever recorded.

Updated at 7:20 p.m. ET

Following months of outrage, activism and anticipation, a Kentucky grand jury has decided to indict one of the three Louisville Metro Police Department officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in March.

Brett Hankison, who was terminated in June, has been charged with three counts of wanton endangerment over shooting into neighboring apartments. Bond was set at $15,000.

Uncle Ben's will now be known as Ben's Original.

Food giant Mars, Incorporated said Wednesday that it is changing the rice brand's name, which has faced criticism for racial stereotyping. It said the change signals "the brand's ambition to create a more inclusive future while maintaining its commitment to producing the world's best rice."

Mars also said it will remove the image of the elderly Black man in a bow tie from its packaging.

Swastika, New York, Is Keeping Its Name

23 hours ago

Michael Alcamo lives in New York City but loves cycling through the Adirondack Mountains in northern New York, with their tiny towns and hamlets and historical cemeteries.

He was on a trip like this, winding through a remote stretch this summer, when he noticed something else, a small brown street sign with the name "Swastika."

At a time when symbols and place names with links to white supremacy are being debated across the U.S., Alcamo found the name of the unincorporated hamlet he had crossed into unsettling.

Philadelphia's famed jazz culture runs deep among fans and regional artists, who have celebrated this uniquely American art form for the better part of a century.

Americans will get their first chance to see Joe Biden and Donald Trump onstage together during next week's presidential debate.

If you're just starting to pay attention to the race, or if you've been feeling ambivalent about your choices this election, what questions or concerns do you have about the two major party candidates? What's keeping you from being enthusiastic about either one?

Fill out the form below and an NPR producer may reach out to include your perspective in an upcoming on-air segment.

The venerable Sizzler USA family steakhouse chain has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing a business environment roiled by COVID-19 restrictions — and saying that not enough has been done to help restaurants survive.

"Our current financial state is a direct consequence of the pandemic's economic impact," Sizzler President Chris Perkins said, "due to long-term indoor dining closures and landlords' refusal to provide necessary rent abatements."

Polls show widespread distrust toward China is growing in the U.S. over how China initially handled its coronavirus outbreak and ongoing human rights abuses.

At the same time, Chinese attitudes toward the U.S. are souring — while popular satisfaction with the Chinese state has grown since the central government quickly brought the pandemic under control through sometimes brutal methods.

In a secret ceremony, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko was sworn in for a sixth term Wednesday in the capital amid nationwide protests and international outrage over his August reelection in a vote widely viewed as fraudulent.

State media announced that Lukashenko, who has held on to power for more than a quarter-century, took the oath of office during a ceremony at Independence Palace in Minsk that was attended by several hundred government officials.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Updated at 11:01 a.m. ET

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is lying in repose at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday and Thursday, a two-day event honoring a justice who was both a cultural and legal icon.

As Ginsburg's casket arrived at the high court, former law clerks lined the Supreme Court steps. Supreme Court police officers served as pallbearers. Then the justice's family, close friends and members of the court held a brief ceremony in the court's Great Hall.

Updated at 1:37 p.m. ET

Amid criticism from Democrats that politics may be guiding decisions at the nation's top health agencies, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration told Congress on Wednesday that a coronavirus vaccine would not be approved until it met "vigorous expectations" for safety and effectiveness.

Updated at 12:37 p.m. ET

Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain, is the latest prominent conservative to urge Republicans to cross party lines and support Joe Biden for president.

"There's only one candidate in this race who stands up for our values as a nation, and that is Joe Biden," she tweeted Tuesday evening.

McCain said the president's numerous tweets about her late husband and family don't get under her skin.

An authoritative history of post 9/11 America has not yet been written. We may be too close to the events of that day — and the weeks and years after — to see it clearly.

But that is, in part, the assignment celebrated novelist Laila Lalami gives herself in Conditional Citizens, a no-holds-barred non-fiction debut.

A new national effort asks K-12 schools to voluntarily — and anonymously — report their confirmed and suspected coronavirus cases, along with the safety strategies they're using.

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