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!").

The number of hospitalizations from the coronavirus set yet another record on Saturday, as cases continue to surge and public health officials warn of a worsening outlook with the holiday season just weeks away.

More than 91,500 people were hospitalized with the virus on Saturday, with 18,000 in intensive care units. That's according to data compiled by the COVID Tracking Project, which collects and analyzes data from across the United States. Over 6,000 patients were on ventilators.

Kneeling before Pope Francis, 72-year-old Wilton Gregory received the red hat and ring Saturday, becoming the first Black American cardinal in the history of Catholicism.

Gregory, the archbishop of Washington since 2019, is one of 13 bishops and priests elevated to the College of Cardinals at the Vatican on Saturday. With the ceremony, Francis has appointed 73 of the 128 cardinals who can elect the next pope.

Tony Hsieh, who helped grow the online company Zappos into one of the largest retailers of shoes on the Internet, died Friday after being injured in a house fire. He was 46.

"The world has lost a tremendous visionary and an incredible human being," Zappos CEO Kedar Deshpande said in a statement. "We recognize that not only have we lost our inspiring former leader, but many of you have also lost a mentor and a friend."

The first death threat came in the form of a note slipped under the front door.

The former Colombian police officer had spent his career fighting rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — also known as FARC — and now that he was retired, they promised to hunt him down.

Updated at 6:54 a.m. ET Saturday

A top Iranian scientist believed to be responsible for developing the country's military nuclear program was killed Friday, causing outrage in Iran and raising U.S. concerns over potential retaliation.

The strongest tropical cyclone ever measured in the northern Indian Ocean has made landfall in eastern Africa, where it is poised to drop two years' worth of rain in the next two days.

Tropical Cyclone Gati made landfall in Somalia on Sunday with sustained winds of around 105 mph. It's the first recorded instance of a hurricane-strength system hitting the country. At one point before landfall, Gati's winds were measured at 115 mph.

One of the experimental drugs that President Trump received while he was battling the coronavirus has been approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration. The drug, made by the biotech company Regeneron, is the second antibody treatment to win emergency use approval from the FDA.

The treatment combines two antibodies — casirivimab and imdevimab — and administers them together by IV. In a clinical trial of about 800 people, the combination was shown to significantly reduce virus levels within days of treatment.

One of the most prolific spies in modern American history, who delivered hundreds of classified American documents to Israeli intelligence during the waning years of the Cold War, is now a free man.

The Justice Department announced Friday that former Navy intelligence analyst and convicted spy Jonathan Pollard has completed his parole. Pollard's attorneys say the 66-year-old plans move to Israel.

Donald Trump Jr. has become the latest member of the president's orbit to test positive for the coronavirus.

"Apparently I got the 'rona," the president's son told his Instagram followers late Friday.

"You wouldn't know it based on anything that I felt or have seen," he said. "I've been totally asymptomatic."

Updated 4:30 p.m. ET Monday

Less than one week after assuming the office of the presidency, Manuel Merino has stepped down as interim president of Peru.

Peru's Congress has elected legislator Francisco Sagasti as the country's interim president, Reuters reports. Sagasti, a member of the centrist Morado Party, will serve as Peru's president until the nation's elections in April 2021. He received 97 votes in favor and 26 against.

Sagasti will be the country's third president in a week.

The Trump administration has not cooperated with President-elect Joe Biden's transition team, and top Biden officials say the incoming president is limited in what he can do before his team takes the reins. Still, Biden's coronavirus advisory board co-chair Vivek Murthy says they're doing everything they can to ensure plans are ready to go on Inauguration Day — including stronger mask requirements.

The U.S. added more than 184,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday, the fourth day in a row that the country has set a record for daily infections, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

Updated at 1:34 a.m. ET Monday

Tropical Storm Eta made landfall late Sunday in the Florida Keys. The southern part of the state faces a potential one-two punch from Eta, which could strengthen into a hurricane and drop up to a foot of rain before retreating to the Gulf of Mexico to gather strength for round two.

The National Hurricane Center says Eta had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph on Sunday night and was centered about 30 miles east-northeast of Marathon, Fla., and 70 miles east-northeast of Key West. It was moving west-northwest at 14 mph.

President-elect Joe Biden will have his work cut out for him.

The United States added 126,480 new coronavirus cases on Friday, according to data released Saturday by the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. It's the third day in a row that the U.S. has set a daily record, bringing the total number of infections in the country to more than 9.7 million. More than 236,000 have died.

Updated at 7:45 p.m. ET

President Trump is celebrating a caravan of supporters who followed a Biden-Harris campaign bus in Central Texas.

In a Saturday night tweet, the president retweeted a video showing his supporters surrounding the bus, set to Tech N9ne's "Red Kingdom." "I LOVE TEXAS!" Trump said.

As the U.S. adds nearly 100,000 new positive coronavirus cases in one day, and the never-ending election season strains our mystic chords of memory, there is at least a small bit of good news: You can have one extra hour of sleep tonight.

The U.S. is edging ever closer to 100,000 new daily cases of the coronavirus. According to data released Saturday by Johns Hopkins University, the country added 99,321 cases and 1,030 deaths to its tally on Friday.

After your team wins the World Series, it's only natural to run onto the field to celebrate with your teammates.

But when you've been diagnosed with COVID-19 — and gotten a warning from security to leave the field — that natural instinct can lead to a "full investigation" by Major League Baseball.

Updated at 10:34 p.m. ET

Hurricane Zeta, which made landfall as a Category 2 storm in southern Louisiana, is losing intensity on its trail of destruction over the Gulf Coast.

The storm came ashore Wednesday evening in the fishing village of Cocodrie, La., before moving over New Orleans and onto to Mississippi and Alabama.

Updated at 6:01 p.m. ET

"I can still hear his voice in my head," the woman in her early 30s told the Brooklyn courtroom Tuesday, her voice shaking.

"He robbed me of my youth,'' the woman, Camila, told the court, according to the New York Post. "He used my innocence to do whatever he wanted with me."

Zeta has officially strengthened into a hurricane, and is predicted to make landfall late Monday on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula before setting its sights on the U.S.

One week after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam opened an investigation into systemic racism at the Virginia Military Institute, the college's superintendent has submitted his resignation.

Updated Oct. 26 at 9:50 a.m. ET

A tropical storm stalled over the Caribbean Sea is poised to drop heavy rain on the U.S. Gulf Coast within the next few days. Forecasters say it is likely to move in a northwestward direction and strengthen into a hurricane by the time it hits the southern U.S. on Wednesday.

Updated at 2:24 p.m. ET

Catholics in the United States will get their first African-American cardinal next month. In a surprise announcement Sunday from his window overlooking St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis named Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., among 13 new cardinals.

Gregory will be elevated to the position in a ceremony at the Vatican on Nov. 28.

Country music singer Jerry Jeff Walker, the man behind "Mr. Bojangles," died Friday after a battle with throat cancer. He was 78.

"He was at home until an hour before his passing," his wife of 46 years, Susan Walker, told the Austin American-Statesman. "He went very peacefully, which we were extremely grateful for."

Poland's president, Andrzej Duda, is in isolation after testing positive for the coronavirus, his spokesman announced Saturday.

"The president is fine," his spokesman, Blazej Spychalski, said on Twitter. "We are in constant contact with the relevant medical services."

A Louisiana man serving a life sentence for stealing a pair of hedge clippers in 1997 was paroled on Thursday, after spending more than two decades in prison for his crime.

That act of simple burglary wouldn't normally lead to a life sentence. But over the previous two decades, Fair Wayne Bryant had committed four other felonies, including armed robbery of a cab driver, stealing merchandise from a store, forging a check for $150, and stealing property from somebody's home.

The powerful derecho that swept through the Midwest in August, focusing its destruction on central Iowa, is officially the most costly thunderstorm event in recorded U.S. history.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has won re-election in a landslide.

The win wasn't surprising; Ardern's leadership has helped New Zealand become one of the most successful countries in handling the coronavirus pandemic. Going into the election, polls showed Ardern's Labour Party with a wide lead over the nearest competitor, the conservative National Party.

Ask an infectious disease doctor whether the president still has coronavirus, and you quickly realize that "having" the virus is a concept that exists more among laypeople than doctors.

"We try to avoid that question," says Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center of Health Security. "It becomes much harder to explain to people, well why is the test positive when you're saying he's not contagious? It's because, that far out, it's not viable virus."

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