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Top Story:  Americans support mandatory masks and lockdowns.

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Accessed on 04 August 2020, 1540 UTC, Post 436.

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Russ Roberts
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by Jill Hudson and Suzette Lohmeyer

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Here's what we're following today.

The community of Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina bore the brunt of Tropical Storm Isaias Monday night when it came ashore with sustained winds of 85 mph. The system is expected travel inland  before swirling up the Mid-Atlantic coast and into the northeastern United States on Tuesday night.

While debates over masks have dominated headlines, more than three-quarters of respondents to a new NPR/Ipsos poll support enacting state laws to require mask wearing in public at all times. And nearly 60% said they would support a nationwide order making it mandatory to shelter at home for two weeks. A majority of respondents also said they believe the U.S. is handling the pandemic worse than other countries, and most want the federal government to take extensive action to slow the spread of the coronavirus, favoring a top-down approach to reopening schools and businesses.

The Census Bureau is ending all counting efforts for the 2020 census on Sept. 30, a month shorter than previously announced. That includes critical door-knocking efforts and collecting responses online, over the phone and by mail. With roughly 4 out of 10 households nationwide yet to be counted and already delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, the bureau now has less than two months left to try to reach people who are not likely to fill out a census form on their own.

Religious organizations, having received as much as $10 billion in the first round of COVID-19 aid, hope to receive more funding under any new relief package. And while Democrats and Republicans remain far apart in their negotiations over a new round of COVID-19 relief funding, both parties' proposals include new PPP funding, with religious nonprofits still able to participate.

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Today's Listens

Tianna Spears joined the State Department in 2018, looking forward to the promise of a fulfilling career. She left after less than two years, and is one of a growing number to speak out recently about the special challenges faced by minority foreign service officers.
Kennedi Carter for NPR

Tianna Spears’ first Foreign Service posting was with the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, just across the border from El Paso, Texas. Spears, who is Black, quickly noticed that she was regularly pulled over by border officers for secondary inspection when crossing back into the U.S. to shop or meet friends for coffee. She is one of a growing number of current and former minority foreign service officers to speak out recently about the special challenges they face as diplomats. Click here to listen or read the story

Before You Go

NPR
  • This year's Tiny Desk Contest was unlike any other. Amid lockdowns, social distancing guidelines and ongoing adjustments to daily life, over 6,000 dedicated unsigned artists sent in their songs. Our winner, New York singer-songwriter Linda Diaz, stood out with a song about slowing down and enjoying life.
  • Seth Rogen stars alongside ... well, Seth Rogen in the comedy An American Pickles, about a Polish immigrant who falls into a vat of pickle brine and is preserved for 100 years. 
  • Akwaeke Emezi’s new novel begins with a dead body on a Lagos doorstep, but the book itself is full of life. Critic Lily Meyer calls The Death of Vivek Oji “a portrait of love triumphant over death.”

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Before we look at the world in detail, here's the latest news summary from the BBC in London.  Please use this link to download the current BBC News Video:

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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…