Q & A: Voting And Acts Of Kindness

Bestselling author Cheryl Strayed joins NPR’s Ari Shaprio as listeners share stories about acts of kindness they’ve experienced.

These excerpts come from NPR’s nightly radio show about the coronavirus crisis, The National Conversation. In this episode:

-NPR reporter Miles Parks answers questions about how upcoming elections can be run safely.

-Cheryl Strayed, bestselling author of ‘Wild’ and host of the podcast Sugar Calling, joins NPR host Ari Shapiro to hear listeners’ stories about acts of kindness during the pandemic.

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The Rural/Urban Divide; Safe Summer Activities

Democrats want another coronavirus relief bill. A sticking point for Republicans is $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits — which means some workers have been able to collect more money on unemployment than they did in their previous jobs.

Essential workers who have continued to work may have received temporary wage bumps. But NPR’s Alina Selyukh reports many companies are ending that hazard pay.

Challenges to statewide stay-at-home orders are mounting in rural communities that have few coronavirus cases. NPR’s Kirk Siegler reports on the dispute in Baker County, Oregon.

Plus, experts weigh in on the safety of different summer activities.

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Why Are Some Countries Doing Better Than Others?

A new study suggests the coronavirus is both more common and less deadly than it first appeared, NPR’s Jon Hamilton reports.

From NPR’s Joel Rose: a shortage of machines to process tests is the latest bottleneck in the pandemic supply chain.

Certain countries like New Zealand, Germany and several nations in Asia have been successful in controlling the coronvavirus. NPR’s Jason Beaubien reports on how leadership played a strong role.

Mara Gay is 33-years-old, lives in New York City and got sick with COVID-19 in April. She spoke with NPR’s Michel Martin about her long recovery process, despite being young and healthy.

Plus, two teenagers who were looking forward to competing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which was cancelled this week.

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Are you among those in Texas who are contemplating divorce?

When you got married in a Texas courthouse or church, you no doubt assumed you were going to spend the rest of your life with the person at your side. Fast forward 10, 20 or more years and things may not have turned out the way you’d hoped. Marriage can be difficult, and while some spouses are able to resolve their differences, others choose to go their separate ways rather than remain in an unhappy relationship.

If you have children, making a decision to divorce will greatly affect their lives. However, most family court judges in Texas believe that children fare best in such situations if they have an opportunity to spend ample time with both parents. Many parents find they have certain issues in common when they determine whether they can restore their marital relationships or are choosing to file for divorce.

Do you relate to these issues?

Your marriage and family life is unique; however, you may be able to relate to the issues included in the following list, which many spouses say were causal factors toward their own divorce:

  • Constant bickering and arguing reportedly weakens many marital relationships to the point that spouses would rather sever their ties than keep living in an atmosphere full of confrontation.
  • Do you feel that your spouse lacks commitment to your relationship? This is also a common factor that prompts people to file for divorce.
  • It’s a fact that marital infidelity can permanently damage spousal relationships. This remains as one of the top causes of divorce in Texas and across the country.
  • Have financial problems or arguments over money caused a rift between you and your spouse? Many spouses say they’d rather live alone than fight over every penny.
  • Lack of preparation for marriage is another big concern for many spouses who are contemplating divorce. If you feel like you had no idea what to expect in marriage or that you did not receive the advice or guidance you may have needed, this issue might be causing problems in your relationship.
  • Religious differences are also common factors in many divorces. You might not have thought it was a big deal that you and your intended spouse practiced different faiths, but you later realized it was causing more problems in your relationship than you thought it might.
  • If you and your spouse are always at odds on child-related issues, you can likely relate to other parents who say this was a leading factor in their divorce.

The good news is that children are adaptable and resilient by nature. If you are headed for divorce, it pays to build a strong support network from the start. It’s less important what types of issues have led to your divorce than gathering the tools you need to help your kids cope with the situation and move on in life.

Take one step at a time

Many of the issues mentioned earlier can cause obstacles or delays toward achieving a fair and agreeable settlement. It’s critical that you know your parental rights and how to protect them. Like all good parents, you want what’s best for your children, so it’s equally important to make sure their best interests are the central focus of all proceedings.

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Author: On behalf of Katie L. Lewis of Katie L. Lewis, P.C. Family Law

What is parental alienation syndrome?

In recent years, some experts say that parental alienation has been on the rise. Do you know what this syndrome is and how it begins? Moreover, do you know how it could impact your relationship with your child after a divorce?

Essentially, it is when one parent attempts to cause the child to reject the other parent. They turn the child against them. It is a form of manipulation that allows them to control how much the child wants to see that parent and how close they are.

For instance, the child custody agreement may say that the parents have to split custody. A father may want to harm the mother’s relationship with the child, but he knows he has to follow the court order. He can’t keep them apart. What he can do is manipulate the child so that they slowly turn against the mother and does not want to see her. This is often done by lying, exaggerating, insulting and working to make the child feel angry, withdrawn or even fearful.

This is a serious issue because children grow and develop best when they have strong relationships with both parents. This is true before and after divorce. Parental alienation harms not just that relationship, but the child’s own future. The child doesn’t understand it is happening and it can be heartbreaking for the other parent.

Has this been happening to you or are you worried that it will? Have you been unable to see your children less than your custody agreement allows? You need to know what legal steps you can take to protect your rights and your relationship with your kids.

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Author: On behalf of Katie L. Lewis of Katie L. Lewis, P.C. Family Law

Global Vaccine Competition; More Than 100,000 Dead

According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 100,000 people have died in the United States from COVID-19, and experts at the World Health Organization warn a second peak of COVID-19 infections could occur during this first wave of the virus. Meanwhile, the global race for a vaccine is generating competition between nations, mainly the U.S. and China.

New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal more than 60,000 health care workers have been infected with COVID-19, and almost 300 have died. This is a dramatic increase since the CDC first released numbers six weeks ago.

Bangladesh has extended its coronavirus lockdown — except for the garment factories. But with big brands canceling orders, workers face pay cuts, hunger and little to no social distancing.

Plus, an obituary writer reflects on COVID-19 deaths.

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99,000 People Dead And A Dire Summer Prediction

As the United States nears 100,000 coronavirus deaths and states begin to re-open, what’s next for the country? Dr. Ashish Jha of Harvard’s Global Health Institute cautions it’s still early in the crisis.

Researchers have found the coronavirus was introduced to the U.S. in part by affluent travelers — but those weren’t the people hit the hardest.

Cathy Cody owns a janitorial company in a Georgia community with a high rate of COVID-19. Her company offers a new service boxing up the belongings of residents who have died. Read or listen to the full story from NPR’s Morning Edition.

Plus, rollerblading is having a moment.

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Joint credit card debt and divorce: What should you do?

Many married couples have at least one joint credit card. While this financial tool can benefit you in many ways, it can also result in complications should you decide to divorce.

There is no right or wrong way to manage joint credit card debt in a divorce, but there are several options to consider.

  • Pay off the debt before you divorce: If you and your spouse are on speaking terms, talk to them about using money on hand to pay off all your joint credit card debt. Yes, it’s a hit to what you’ve saved, but it’s also one less thing you have to worry about in your divorce.
  • Split the debt: In many cases, it’s best to split the debt down the middle. The easiest way of doing so is a balance transfer credit card. This leaves both individuals with the same amount of debt, without the other’s name on the account.
  • Make sure it’s yours: Before you do anything, make sure the debt is actually tied to you. For example, if your spouse brought a large credit card balance into your marriage, and your name isn’t on the account, you may not be responsible for the debt.

When it comes to matters of debt division, you can expect some resistance during the divorce process.

Joint credit card debt is common, so make sure you have an idea of how to best manage it before, during and after your divorce.

By taking the right approach, you reduce the risk of joint credit card debt bogging down the divorce process and your future budget.

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Author: On behalf of Katie L. Lewis of Katie L. Lewis, P.C. Family Law

The Cost Of Being “Essential”

From NPR’s Embedded: The workers who produce pork, chicken, and beef in plants around the country have been deemed “essential” by the government and their employers. Now, the factories where they work have become some of the largest clusters for the coronavirus in the country. The workers, many of whom are immigrants, say their bosses have not done enough to protect them.

Regular episodes return tomorrow.

Q & A: Vaccine Development And Kids’ Questions

NPR Science Correspondent Joe Palca answers listener questions about vaccine development, and medical experts tackle questions sent in by kids.

These excerpts come from NPR’s nightly radio show about the coronavirus crisis, The National Conversation. In this episode:

NPR Science Correspondent Joe Palca explains how vaccines are made and the unique challenges associated with COVID-19.

-Kids’ questions are answered by pediatric nurse practitioner Suzannah Stivison from the Capitol Medical Group in Washington, D.C., and Dr. Wanjiku Njoroge, medical director for the Young Child Clinic at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

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