David Welna

A new delay emerged Wednesday for an expected decision by U.S. Navy leaders on the possible reinstatement of Capt. Brett Crozier, who was relieved of his command on April 2 of the coronavirus-plagued nuclear aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.

In not even three months since the first known U.S. deaths from COVID-19, more lives have now been lost to the coronavirus pandemic on U.S. soil than the 58,220 Americans who died over nearly two decades in Vietnam.

Early Tuesday evening ET, the U.S. death toll reached 58,365, according to Johns Hopkins University.

In what could amount to a stunning about-face for the Pentagon, congressional sources have confirmed to NPR that top Navy leaders have recommended that Capt. Brett Crozier be put back in command of the coronavirus-plagued aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.

Top U.S. defense officials are not ruling out restoring Navy Capt. Brett Crozier to his former command of the coronavirus-sidelined aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.

Amid growing concerns about military readiness, a sailor from the coronavirus-sidelined aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt became the first crew member to be hospitalized in intensive care in Guam Thursday. He is one of more than 400 of the ship's sailors who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Updated at 6:55 p.m. ET

Five days after firing the commander of a coronavirus-crippled U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, and a day after apologizing for calling that skipper naive and stupid in heated remarks to that warship's crew, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly has called it quits. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has accepted his resignation.

A day after U.S. Navy Captain Brett Crozier was abruptly removed from his post as commanding officer of the coronavirus-infected aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, a Navy official confirms to NPR that acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly intends for Crozier to be reassigned rather than dismissed from the Navy.

The U.S. Navy captain who wrote an anguished and widely publicized letter this week to his superiors about a coronavirus outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, which he commanded, has now been relieved of that command.

"I lost confidence in his ability," acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly said of Capt. Brett Crozier while briefing reporters late Thursday at the Defense Department on the commander's dismissal.

Two days after the top U.S. immunologist warned the death toll from the coronavirus pandemic could surpass 100,000, the Pentagon confirmed on Thursday that it has received a request from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to round up 100,000 body bags from Department of Defense contractors.

The U.S. Marine Corps says it is temporarily suspending the shipment of recruits to its 105-year-old depot at Parris Island, S.C., where all newly enlisted Marines east of the Mississippi River are sent for basic training, after several people at the facility tested positive for novel coronavirus.

First it was commercial cruise ships that became floating petri dishes for the coronavirus.

Now the U.S. Navy's nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt has been diverted to the U.S. island territory of Guam, the first American warship to have confirmed cases of COVID-19.

When President Jimmy Carter urged Congress in 1980 to revive a lapsed national requirement to register for possible conscription into the military, he said it should apply to everyone, regardless of gender. Congress disagreed, and for the last four decades only males in the U.S. and men overseas who are U.S. citizens have been required, between ages 18 and 25, to register with the Selective Service System.

A former oil supertanker that became the U.S. Navy's lead floating hospital set sail late Monday from its home port in San Diego. The white-hulled USNS Mercy's next stop: the Port of Los Angeles, where it is to help relieve the strain being put on that city's hospitals by the coronavirus pandemic.

Shortly before dawn on Friday at a high-security prison on the outskirts of New Delhi, four men were hanged for the December 2012 gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman who became known as "Nirbhaya," or the fearless one. The widely publicized crime prompted large street demonstrations and a reform of India's laws on sexual assault.

When local health officers issued simultaneous orders on March 16 for all residents of seven counties in the San Francisco Bay area to "shelter at their place of residence," Arnab Mukherjea thought it was "a bit draconian" for him as well as his wife and two young children.

Two days after being sworn in for a second five-year term at a ceremony attended by senior U.S. officials, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has reversed his initial refusal to release Taliban prisoners prior to peace talks with the insurgents.

Political chaos reigned in Afghanistan Monday as dueling presidential swearing-in ceremonies took place in Kabul.

Incumbent Afghan President Ashraf Ghani took the oath of office for a second term while Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, citing fraud, proclaimed himself Afghanistan's president at a rival inauguration event.

With less than four days to go before peace talks are to begin in Afghanistan between that nation's authorities and the Taliban insurgency, things are not looking promising.

Taliban fighters are stepping up attacks on Afghan security forces. American warplanes are counterattacking. And a prisoner exchange that was to take place before those intra-Afghan talks start is being rejected by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

For nearly a half century, Freedom House — the avowedly non-partisan democracy advocacy organization whose founders include Eleanor Roosevelt and Wendell Wilkie — has published an annual report on the state of freedom in the world. This year's edition, titled "A Leaderless Struggle for Democracy," is just out, and it is decidedly downbeat in its assessment of where worldwide freedom stands today.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has given the go-ahead to begin a drawdown of American forces in Afghanistan, despite reports that the Taliban is ending a partial ceasefire and has resumed attacks on Afghan forces.

Updated at 10:22 a.m. ET

The U.S. and the Taliban have struck a deal that paves the way for eventual peace in Afghanistan. U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad and the head of the militant Islamist group, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, signed the potentially historic agreement Saturday in Doha, Qatar, where the two sides spent months hashing out its details.

As fears spread of a wider coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., experts in global health pandemics as well as some of President Trump's leading political adversaries contend that the federal government's response may be lacking a key figure: a coronavirus czar.

The price the U.S. has paid trying to build up infrastructure and a working system of governance in Afghanistan, while at the same time waging Washington's longest war there, has typically been measured in dollars.

The more than $137 billion the U.S. has spent implementing that 18-year nation-building effort in Afghanistan well exceeds, in today's dollars, what the U.S. spent on the Marshall Plan to help rebuild 16 Western European nations after World War II.

Updated at 3:24 p.m. ET

Two astronauts aboard the International Space Station conducted their fourth and final spacewalk Saturday to finish a series of repairs aimed at extending the functioning of a cosmic ray detector attached to the spacecraft.

The six-hour, 16-minute foray outside the space capsule began shortly after 7:00 a.m. ET and ended at 1:20 p.m.

Eight U.S. troops diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI) arrived in the U.S. on Friday, according to Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman.

Two years after moving the metaphorical minute hand of its Doomsday Clock to within two minutes of midnight — a figurative two-minute warning for all humanity — the science and security board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists revealed Thursday that it has moved that minute hand another 20 seconds closer to the midnight hour.

It was Day Two of the House managers' opening arguments in another Senate impeachment trial 21 years ago. Bob Barr, a Georgia House Republican,
was speaking in the well of the Senate, making a case for removing President Bill Clinton from office.

"We urge you, the distinguished jurors in this case," Barr said to the assembled senators, "not to be fooled."

Kept in the dark beforehand and skeptical of claims the Trump administration made afterward to justify killing Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week in a drone strike, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is promising swift action this week to reassert Congress' war powers and rein in President Trump.

A wanted notice was delivered to Lebanese authorities on Thursday by Interpol for Carlos Ghosn, three days after the former head of Nissan jumped bail in Japan and surreptitiously fled to Beirut via Turkey.

In addition, seven people suspected of being accomplices in Ghosn's escape to Lebanon have been detained in Turkey.

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