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Mobile carrier T-Mobile announced today that it's officially completed a merger with Sprint. The deal, which was announced in 2018, means that the previously third and fourth largest wireless companies in the United States have now become the third — rivaling AT&T and Verizon. The new company, just called T-Mobile, is hoping to use its new pool of resources to expand its 5G capabilities, aiming to provide faster internet speeds to 99% of the population within the next six years.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says he told President Trump on Wednesday that the United States should grant hazard pay — additional pay for hazardous duty — to frontline federal employees responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

It makes sense that some of America's biggest cities — crowded port regions closely tied to the wider world — are among those hit hardest by the coronavirus.

Second Federal Inmate Dies From COVID-19

43 minutes ago

Updated 3:57 p.m. ET

A second person held at the federal prison in Oakdale, La., has died of COVID-19.

Nicholas Rodriquez, 43, became ill on March 25 and had a high temperature and a rapid heartbeat, according to Federal Bureau of Prisons officials. He was transported to a local hospital that day, and tested positive for COVID-19. Rodriquez was placed on a ventilator on March 27, after his condition deteriorated. He died on April 1.

Two years ago, science writer Ed Yong wrote an article for The Atlantic in which he warned that a new global pandemic was inevitable — and that the world would be unprepared for it when it arrived.

About six months after several major pharmacies pulled Zantac and its generic equivalents off their shelves, citing a potentially harmful contaminant in the heartburn medication, federal regulators are throwing their weight behind the drug's removal from the market. The Food and Drug Administration requested Wednesday that manufacturers immediately pull all prescription and over-the-counter versions of the drug.

City authorities in Moscow are rolling out new digital "social monitoring" tools targeting the public, after what officials say were constant violations of the city's quarantine imposed this week to fight the spread of the new coronavirus.

Under restrictions in place since Monday, most of the city's 12 million residents must remain indoors, barring a few exceptions — like trips to the supermarket or pharmacy, taking out the trash or briefly walking the dog.

Imagine this: One minute you're a volunteer doing work that you find incredibly meaningful in a faraway place.

Then you get a notice – evacuate immediately. Suddenly you're back home, probably feeling down and definitely jobless.

That's the situation that over 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers found themselves in after an unprecedented evacuation order in mid-March. The reason: fear of coronavirus. The Peace Corps explains that it didn't want its volunteers stranded abroad if travel became impossible.

Italy is extending its coronavirus lockdown to April 13, as the country's death toll from COVID-19 now tops 13,000 people. The death toll rose by the smallest amount in days, but officials say it's too soon to declare the epidemic over. The number of new cases, which had been declining, was higher than the previous day.

News of the continued lockdown in Italy comes after members of the White House's coronavirus task force referred to Italy as an example of how the coronavirus could play out in the U.S.

Some devout Orthodox Jewish communities have been slow to follow lockdown orders in Israel, helping drive a surge in coronavirus cases that officials are struggling to contain.

Known in Israel as Haredim, or God-fearers, ultra-Orthodox Jews make up about 12% of Israel's population — but they account for as much as 60% of Israel's COVID-19 cases, hospitals estimate. More than 6,000 Israelis have been infected and at least 25 have died.

After working for weeks to prepare for the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Mustafa Ahmed is now fighting his own case of COVID-19.

"For me it was just like being hit by a train," he says.

Ahmed is an interventional cardiologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a major medical hub for the state. Now, Alabama's largest city is under a shelter-in-place order, as city leaders here have taken a more aggressive approach than the state officials have in order to curtail the spread of the disease.

As the world battles the deadly coronavirus, there is a lot we can learn from one of the great pandemics of recent centuries: tuberculosis.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said Wednesday that Wisconsin should postpone next week's scheduled primary election amid the coronavirus outbreak, even as the state's governor said he was turning to the National Guard to help staff polling places on April 7.

Florida has now joined the list of states that are ordering residents to remain in their homes for all but essential activities to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement at an afternoon briefing. It was just a few hours after he spoke to President Trump. DeSantis said he's issuing an executive order that will direct "all Floridians to limit movements and personal interactions outside the home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or essential activities."

Have you or a loved one been refused reentry to a nursing home or long-term care residence after being hospitalized during the COVID-19 pandemic? Fill out this form to tell us your experiences, and an NPR producer or reporter may call you for an interview to air on the radio.

Updated at 5:41 p.m. ET

The White House coronavirus task force returns is briefing reporters Wednesday, one day after offering a "sobering" preview of the weeks and months ahead.

At least 100,000 Americans are expected to die in the pandemic, task force members said. They detailed the models underpinning that projection.

"I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead," President Trump said Tuesday. "We're going to go through a very tough two weeks."

President Trump and his top scientific advisers on the coronavirus task force gave a much-anticipated presentation Tuesday night, laying out the data behind the president's recent shift in tone regarding the outbreak, including his decision to extend national social distancing guidelines through April 30.

West Virginia is the latest state to delay its primary because of the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Jim Justice announced that the May 12 primary is being pushed back to June 9.

"I want this to be the biggest turnout of all time," Justice said while announcing the change via web stream. "Because all of us should treasure the opportunity and the privilege to vote, and I want us to have that opportunity, and by moving this it will give us a lot better chance to do so."

For years, Sherry Turkle has researched how technology is pushing people apart. But in the face of a global pandemic, is technological communication the thing that’s bringing us together?

To stop the spread of the coronavirus, health officials have a favorite refrain: After being in a city or region where there have been a lot of COVID-19 cases, spend 14 days in quarantine even if you feel perfectly fine — don't leave your house. Coming from New York? 14-day quarantine. Arriving in Hawaii?

For weeks, when healthy Americans asked whether they should be wearing face masks in public to help stem the spread of the coronavirus, health authorities in the U.S. have answered with a definitive no.

By the middle of March, the problem was undeniable: America didn't have enough ventilators for the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the next two weeks, U.S. manufacturers worked frantically to boost output in an effort that has been compared to the mobilization of industry during World War II. Medical companies paired up with automakers to increase their production to previously unthinkable levels.

Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal has some advice for President Trump on how to lead the nation through the coronavirus pandemic: instill confidence, tell the truth, be unified and fight it like a war.

Factories in the U.S. are hunkering down like the rest of us.

Manufacturing activity slowed in March, according to a survey conducted by the Institute for Supply Management.

Production and factory employment fell sharply, as the coronavirus pandemic and other problems weighed on the factory sector. New orders hit their lowest level in 11 years.

The U.S. Coast Guard is telling foreign-flagged cruise ships to be prepared to care for people with COVID-19 for an "indefinite period of time" at sea or to seek help from countries other than the U.S., citing a health care system that is being overwhelmed. The instructions are in a new safety bulletin that took effect this week along the southern Atlantic coast, including Florida – which is reporting more than 6,700 coronavirus cases, as of Tuesday evening.

In Germany, nearly half a million companies have applied for government funds to support employees with reduced work hours, as the country with the largest economy in Europe pushes to contain the new coronavirus.

Heavy restrictions on public life, an export slump because of nations' lockdowns and broken supply chains throughout industry have meant millions of Germany's workers are eligible for public financial aid.

How do you keep yourself occupied during these long days inside the house? One British family had an idea: a lockdown-themed parody of the song "One Day More" from the musical Les Misérables.

The family from Kent worked on the lyrics together, based on their own frustrations: friends unseen, soccer matches canceled, beloved grandparents who can't figure out Skype.

To read this comic in English, click here.

Chicos, chicas, este cómic es para vosotros.

Se basa en un reportaje de radio hecho por el corresponsal de educación para NPR, Cory Turner. Entrevistó a unos expertos sobre cosas que a lo mejor los jóvenes les gustarían saber sobre el coronavirus que se descubrió en China.

Amid all the rules to stay put during the coronavirus outbreak, there's a consistent companion message: it's important to keep moving. Exercise, outdoors and indoors, helps maintain good physical and mental health during this stressful time.

But for those movers, there are rules too.

Let's start outside, where health experts say the risk of infection is lower than inside.

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