Sarah McCammon

Sarah McCammon worked for Iowa Public Radio as Morning Edition Host from January 2010 until December 2013.

A Democratic U.S. senator who has spoken openly about motherhood and giving birth at age 50 is asking her Republican colleagues to reconsider their support for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett in light of the judge's ties to an organization that has publicly opposed some types of fertility treatments.

Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET

Americans woke up to the news on Friday that President Trump and his wife, Melania, had both tested positive for the coronavirus. And like with so many issues, the reactions often fell along political lines.

States led by officials supportive of abortion rights are preparing for a world without Roe v. Wade. If the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide is overturned by an increasingly conservative Supreme Court, regulation of abortion would fall to state lawmakers.

President Trump's hesitation, once again, to denounce white supremacy during Tuesday's presidential debate is drawing quick condemnation from anti-racism activists — as are his unusual comments directed at a white supremacist group called the Proud Boys.

During an exchange on the debate stage, moderator Chris Wallace repeatedly asked Trump if he would condemn white supremacists. Trump initially sidestepped that question, claiming that he mostly sees violence "from the left wing."

President Trump has made no secret of his intentions regarding the U.S. Supreme Court and abortion rights. During a presidential debate in 2016, Trump vowed to appoint justices who'd vote to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has made no secret of his affection for The Princess Bride — the 1987 cult classic starring Robin Wright. But he's now making it clear he's no fan of a plan by cast members to stump for Democrats in Wisconsin next week.

The mayor of Rochester, N.Y., is promising reforms to the city's police department after five nights of protests over the death of Daniel Prude after his arrest in March.

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Updated at 11:03 p.m. ET

Officials at Liberty University, one of the nation's largest and most well-known Christian universities, are doubling down after Jerry Falwell Jr. denied reports he'd agreed to step down as president following allegations of sexual behavior at odds with the school's honor code.

Students at Liberty University are returning to school in Lynchburg, Va., in the coming days in the midst of a pandemic, a contentious presidential election and tumult on their campus.

Jerry Falwell Jr., a prominent evangelical ally of President Trump's, is taking "an indefinite leave of absence" from his positions as the president and chancellor of Liberty University in Virginia.

The move comes days after Falwell received criticism for posting a photo to social media that showed him with his pants unzipped alongside a woman who is not his wife.

Virginia is rolling out a new app designed to aid in contact tracing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said COVIDWISE is the first statewide app to use technology developed for the purpose by Google and Apple. It relies on Bluetooth technology that can notify users if they may have been exposed to someone with the coronavirus.

Six states led by a bipartisan group of governors are joining together in an effort to speed up coronavirus testing. As the nation's death count continues to rise above 150,000, the states said they will jointly purchase 3 million rapid antigen tests that can quickly detect the virus.

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

All right. So that's the situation in that particular county in North Carolina. We're going to turn now to NPR's Sarah McCammon, who is in Virginia Beach, watching all this unfold and tracking the storm. Hi, Sarah.

For more than 40 years, 96.3 WHUR-FM broadcast Patrick Ellis's beloved and popular radio show Gospel Spirit Sunday mornings, filling the homes and cars of Washington, D.C., with the sound of church.

Each Sunday, Ellis chose music that would inspire, uplift and speak to his devoted listeners. And he filled the airwaves with their lives, too, sharing community and church announcements and marking birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions.

Patrick Ellis passed away July 16 from complications of the coronavirus. He was 77 years old.

The sex lives of people in Morocco are shaped by cultural forces — and also the penal code. Sex outside marriage is illegal, and so is abortion in almost all cases. Adultery is punishable by prison time. And as for violating Morocco's cultural laws — those punishments fall mostly on women.

The French-Moroccan writer Leila Slimani explores the places where desire, intimacy and the patriarchy collide in her new book, Sex and Lies: True Stories of Women's Intimate Lives in the Arab World.

Parents, teachers and students across the country are gearing up for the new school year. But what school will look like is still a mystery.

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.

Whether it's online-only consultations, closed pharmacies or having to wonder whether going into an office is safe, the coronavirus has upended access to health care. And it has presented particular challenges for women and reproductive health.

Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET

With abortion rights advocates on the defensive at the federal and state levels over the last four years, Planned Parenthood's advocacy arm is endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden in his race to defeat President Trump.

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