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by Korva Coleman, Jill Hudson and Suzette Lohmeyer

First Up

The Economy Shrank At 32.9% Rate In 2nd Quarter.
Alyson Hurt/NPR
Here's what we're following today.

The U.S. economy suffered its worst quarter ever, the Commerce Department said Thursday. The gross domestic product — the broadest measure of economic activity — shrank 32.9% during April, May and June, as America’s businesses ground to a halt in a desperate effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The numbers continue to paint a grim picture as another 1.43 million people filed for unemployment last week, according to the Labor Department’s latest findings.

Federal law enforcement officers will start a phased withdrawal from Portland on Thursday, according to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. State and city officials say the federal presence has worsened tensions between local police and protesters who have held daily demonstrations since the killing of George Floyd. Some Portland protesters who are awaiting trial on federal charges are being released on the condition that they stay away from future protests within city or state limits — something first amendment experts find troubling.

Wednesday's Big Tech congressional hearing was supposed to be about power and market dominance. But Republicans made it about something else: "Big Tech is out to get conservatives," said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who read aloud headlines making claims that conservative-leaning publications and voices have been suppressed or censored on Facebook and Google. Here are other key takeaways from the hearing.

As the coronavirus pandemic has upended normal balloting, more than half of voters under the age of 35 say they don't have the resources or knowledge they need to vote by mail in November. A new poll says the need for more information about how to mail-in vote underscored in the poll could be particularly acute among young people of color.

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How To, For You

Angela Hsieh for NPR

Forgiveness has a P.R. problem. Think about all those useless idioms used to describe it: “forgive and forget,” “turn a blind eye,” and “'let bygones be bygones.” Contrary to popular belief, forgiveness isn’t necessarily about reconciliation, or even receiving an apology, says peace educator Ana Holub. It’s about “letting go of our pain, our sorrow, our suffering. And we do that because we want to be free. We do that because we want to be healthy and we want to have peace of mind,” she says. Click here to listen or read the story.

Today's Listens

Families are still seeking the musical instruments and other items stolen by the Nazis.
Cornelia Li for NPR

The Nazi plunder of Jewish-owned artwork in Europe during WWII is well known, but the Nazis also looted thousands of musical instruments from Jews. A number of scholars have been focused on bringing this facet of Nazi crimes to light. Click here to listen or read the story.

If you glance at your Facebook or Instagram feed right now, you will see the #challengeaccepted hashtag next to millions of black-and-white selfies of women. Over the past few days, there’s been a viral trend to nominate women you know to post a photo with the hashtag as a way to promote female empowerment. A recent story by Taylor Lorenz, culture reporter for The New York Times, took a critical look at how social media optics win in a battle against making actual change. Click here to listen

The Picture Show

Betty Entzminger, a native Washingtonian, sings as she holds onto designer Kevin Dicksen while they wait in line at the U.S. Capitol to pay respect to John Lewis.
Dee Dwyer for NPR

As the nation prepares to say farewell to a lion of the civil rights movement, many people braved the heat, long lines, and the pandemic to pay their last respects to John Lewis. Here are portraits of some of the mourners and their words about what Lewis meant to them.

Before You Go

Sheep graze in front of southern England's Stonehenge in April. Scientists say they've determined some of the structure's sandstone megaliths came from 15 miles away.
Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images
  • Now we know where the stones that make up the outer ring of Stonehenge came from! Scientists say they've determined some of the structure's sandstone megaliths came from 15 miles away. The monument was erected around 2500 BC, and no one knows how the stones, some of which weigh up to 30 tons, were transported.
  • California State University, the largest public university system in the country, is requiring all students to take an ethnic studies or social justice course in order to graduate — a move that will go into effect at the beginning of the 2023-2024 academic school year.
  • Agriculture officials are investigating strange packets of unidentified seeds that have been landing in the mailboxes of unsuspecting recipients over the past few weeks. Experts are warning residents not to plant the seeds until they figure out whether they are an invasive species. 

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WORLD NEWS MONITORINGGet by Email •  RSS Published on 09:12 GMT
Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 24 times on Feb.14 - Feb.15 15 February 2020 12:18 (UTC+04:00) 239 By Trend Over the past 24 hours, Armenian armed forces have violated the ceasefire along the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops 24 times, Trend reports referring to the Azerbaijani Defense … Source: Azer News Published on 01:31 GMT
Here's where to fin…