NPR News

Swastika, New York, Is Keeping Its Name

Sep 24, 2020

Michael Alcamo lives in New York City but loves cycling through the Adirondack Mountains in northern New York, with their tiny towns and hamlets and historical cemeteries.

He was on a trip like this, winding through a remote stretch this summer, when he noticed something else, a small brown street sign with the name "Swastika."

At a time when symbols and place names with links to white supremacy are being debated across the U.S., Alcamo found the name of the unincorporated hamlet he had crossed into unsettling.

If there is such a thing as a model citizen, Quimberly "Kym" Villamer might qualify.

She's a dynamo in a five-foot-one-inch frame.

"Excited," she says, to vote in her first U.S. presidential election, Villamer is part of the huge diaspora from the Philippines who have moved abroad for a chance at a more prosperous life.

In the age of social distancing, car and truck caravans of MAGA flag-waving supporters of President Trump have hit the road from New York to California.

"We stretched for a very long distance; I mean miles back," said Shawn Farash, who organized a caravan of hundreds of motorcycles, cars and trucks that drove through the streets of Long Island last weekend.

Since the pandemic began, working mothers have grappled with staying engaged at their jobs. That predictable outcome has big consequences for families, employers and the American economy.

With the 2020 census currently underway, the redrawing of electoral districts is soon to follow. It’s a part of as gerrymandering, the process by which local, state, and national jurisdictions take stock of their demographics and change their district boundaries. The move is notorious among both Democrats and Republicans for having the ability to skew political power  and divide constituent votes.

Due to the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, women are leaving their jobs or scaling back work responsibilities at alarming rates. And in part, it’s because of the still-ingrained expectation that women are responsible for child care.

From Chabeli Carrrazana, writing for The 19th:

Mental illness can run in families. And Dr. Kafui Dzirasa grew up in one of these families.

His close relatives include people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. As a medical student, he learned about the ones who'd been committed to psychiatric hospitals or who "went missing" and were discovered in alleyways.

Dzirasa decided to dedicate his career to "figuring out how to make science relevant to ultimately help my own family."

Amy Coney Barrett is viewed as the leading candidate to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 48-year-old judge on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago is a favorite among social conservatives. They, and others on the right, view her record as anti-abortion rights and hostile to the Affordable Care Act. If nominated and confirmed, Barrett would be the youngest justice on the Supreme Court and could help reshape the law and society for generations to come.

For nearly a century, spy stories were a male preserve, one dominated by the likes of James Bond, or — at the classier end — John le Carré. That has finally begun to change, especially on television.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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