Around the country, communities of color continue to be among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. So in many of these communities, local leaders are stepping in to try to help solve a problem they say is years in the making.

In Richmond, Va., crews of local firefighters and volunteers have been fanning out across the city, going door to door with plastic bags, filled with masks, hand sanitizer, and information about staying healthy.

Updated at 11:05 a.m. ET

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ordered the Hagia Sophia museum, one of Istanbul's most famous landmarks, to be converted into a mosque.

He made the announcement hours after a top court cleared the way for him to make the change.

The Hagia Sofia, a major draw for tourists, has a long and complicated history. The architectural marvel was built as a church by the Byzantines in the 6th century, and was converted into a mosque in 1453 under Ottoman rule.

Capital punishment is on the decline in the United States, with only 13 new death sentences and seven executions so far this year.

But the U.S. Justice Department is moving in the other direction. Authorities are preparing the death chamber in Terre Haute, Ind., for the first federal executions in 17 years, starting Monday.

Death row inmates, their spiritual advisers and even one set of victims' relatives are moving to the courts to try to stop or delay the process. They're using a novel argument: the coronavirus pandemic.

Rufus Wainwright has been making music pretty much his entire life. It's almost as if he were destined to do it, considering his pedigree: Rufus is the son of folk singers Loudon Wainwright III and the late Kate McGarrigle; his sister, musician Martha Wainwright; his half-sister, singer-songwriter Lucy Wainwright Roche.

Russian military intelligence, known as the GRU, was founded a century ago under the leadership of the revolutionary Leon Trotsky.

Only in recent years has it come to the fore with a series of brazen actions. They include Russia's military operations in Ukraine and Syria and the hack of Democratic Party emails in the 2016 U.S. election.

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

California COVID-19 Cases Rise Sharply

4 hours ago

Copyright 2020 KPCC. To see more, visit KPCC.

While the last few months have provided more than plenty of obstacles for musicians worldwide, Compton emcee and singer-songwriter Buddy has kept his foot on the gas. He dropped an EP with Kent Jamz, released singles left and right — including a new one with Lucky Daye — and even recorded a Tiny Desk (home) concert for us.

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

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

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