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South Korea's government says it is in a critical struggle to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus from the disease's epicenter in Daegu. It has given itself four weeks to stabilize the situation in the country's city of 2.5 million, some 150 miles southeast of the capital, Seoul.

"If authorities fail to contain the spread of the COVID-19 in Daegu, there is a high possibility that COVID-19 could spread nationwide," vice health minister Kim Gang-lip told reporters on Monday.

The extradition hearing for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange began Monday in London — the latest turn in the legal saga of perhaps the world's most famous secret-spiller.

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Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

Italy reported a total of 229 novel coronavirus cases on Monday, leaping above Japan (156 cases) on the list of worst-hit countries. Six people have died from the respiratory disease known as COVID-19 in Italy, and 27 more are in intensive care.

Updated 2:46 p.m. ET

Some 20,000 mourners packed the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Monday for the public memorial honoring legendary former NBA player Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who were killed along with seven other people in a helicopter crash last month.

Retired stars NBA stars Michael Jordan, Dwyane Wade, and Tim Duncan along with late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel were all in attendance for the ceremony called "A Celebration of Life. "

Editor's note: This report includes graphic descriptions of sexual assault accusations.

Updated at 3:42 p.m. ET

A Manhattan jury has found Harvey Weinstein guilty of rape and sexual abuse but acquitted him of the most serious charges, capping one of the most closely watched trials of the #MeToo era. The mixed verdict means the former Hollywood producer will likely spend time in prison.

It wasn't a coup attempt.

But when soldiers briefly occupied El Salvador's congress this month to intimidate lawmakers into passing an anti-crime bill, the scene recalled one of Latin America's darkest eras: In the 1970s and 1980s, much of the region was ruled by abusive military dictators.

Parker Smith grows corn and soybeans on land near Champaign, Ill., together with his father and uncle. But Smith Farms doesn't own most of the land it uses. "About 75 percent of what we farm is rented ground," he says.

This is common. Across the Midwest, about half of all the farmland is owned by landlords who live somewhere else. Farmers compete to rent that land. "There's only so much ground, and most of the farmers out there want more, so obviously it gets pretty competitive," Smith says.

There's an unexpected jolt of energy that comes with getting caught up — whether you're ready for it or not. This week's selects run the gamet of what it means to get caught up — in the feeling of new love, in the pressure of perception, in the grips of temptation or in the cycle of the same old bulls***.

You know what it is. Stream this week's Heat Check playlist via Spotify and Apple Music.


Katherine Johnson, a mathematician who was one of NASA's human "computers" and an unsung hero of the space agency's early days, died Monday. She calculated the flight path for America's first crewed space mission and moon landing, and she was among the women profiled in the book and movie Hidden Figures. She was 101.

Her death was announced by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

The Band generated mythic status from the start. Crashing on the scene as Bob Dylan's anonymous-but-not-for-long backup band on his controversial and thrilling electrified tours of 1965-66, the group emerged fully formed, capable of both intense and experimentalist noise and tight, basic rock and roll.

Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET

The coronavirus contagion has spread to Wall Street.

U.S. markets fell sharply Monday amid widening concern that the continuing spread of cases could lead to a global pandemic. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled nearly 1032 points, or 3.56% All of the major market indexes were down more than 3%.

Stock markets in Europe and Asia were also down sharply.

Having seen Jenny Lewis' recent concert spectacle, with its Las Vegas sparkle — complete with a multi-level stage — I loved the contrast her Tiny Desk Concert provided.

Jenny arrived at NPR with just her acoustic guitar and bandmates Emily Elbert, who sang and played guitar, and Anna Butterss on upright bass and vocals. Stripped of all the glitz, it was the words that found their way to my heart. A consummate storyteller, going as far back to her days with her band Rilo Kiley, Jenny's words have comforted and inspired so many.

The Trump administration is being criticized for its handling of certain government records.

Historians and activists charge that the White House has failed to keep notes of the president's meetings with foreign leaders, including with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and that other papers, including records of alleged abuses of undocumented immigrants, could be destroyed.

Sudeep Taksali, an orthopedic surgeon, became worried that his 8-year-old daughter had already grown taller than his 12-year-old son. And sometimes she had an attitude that seemed more fitting for a teenager too. Something seemed wrong.

Taksali and his wife, Sara, realized their daughter had grown 7 inches in two years and she was showing signs of puberty. They took her to the doctor, who referred her to a pediatric endocrinologist for a work-up.

She was in medical school. He was just out of prison.

Sarah Ziegenhorn and Andy Beeler's romance grew out of a shared passion to do more about the country's drug overdose crisis.

Ziegenhorn moved back to her home state of Iowa when she was 26. She had been working in Washington, D.C., where she also volunteered at a needle exchange. She was ambitious and driven to help those in her community who were overdosing and dying, including people she had grown up with.

"It did not have to be this way, and there was a time when it was not," Adam Cohen writes in his introduction to Supreme Inequality: The Supreme Court's Fifty-Year Battle for a More Unjust America.

America could have top-notch, racially integrated schools, a criminal justice system that hadn't ballooned to the world's largest by locking up generations of black and brown people, a political system that wasn't suffocating in money and a legal system that valued individuals over big business. Today, though, the likelihood of implementing such a vision looks dim.

Brian Adams has spent his photography career reconnecting with his own Inuit culture. Raised in Girdwood, Alaska, Adams is half Iñupiat but grew up largely disconnected from his indigenous culture. Iñupiat people are part of an Inuit group, which includes indigenous people in northern Alaska, arctic Canada, Greenland and Russia.

"Since 2007, [I am] really just trying to reconnect to my roots, my family and my culture," Adams said.

Efforts by the Trump administration to increase deportations to Laos have galvanized the Hmong community in the U.S., and some leaders are speaking out in ways they haven't before.

The Hmong, a Southeast Asian ethnic group, fought as U.S. allies in the Vietnam War. After the war, tens of thousands of them were forced to flee Laos and a crackdown from its Communist government. They came to the U.S. as refugees beginning in the 1970s.

Now the Trump administration is negotiating with Laos to deport thousands of Hmong who have broken the law here.

Even on one of the coldest days of winter, there's a lot of bare flesh on display at Oxbow Tattoo in Easthampton, Mass. It's where artist Eric Talbot, who's been drawing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the franchise since the late 1980s is about to ink his first full-color Ninja Turtle tattoo.

"I have two greens that I'm considering," Talbot says as he follows a stencil outline on his client's arm. "But I'm not going to just have a flat color. "I'm working colors together like I do with my traditional art."

The world is less generous and less welcoming because B. Smith, former model, entertainer and lifestyle doyenne, has left it.

At age 70, Smith succumbed to early onset Alzheimer's, which she had been battling for years. She died Saturday at her Long Island home with family nearby.

The U.S. district judge presiding over Roger Stone's case swatted down his request to disqualify herself over further proceedings because of alleged bias.

In a strongly worded order issued Sunday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson dismissed the Stone defense team's claims, arguing that the motion to have her recuse herself lacked "any factual or legal support."

Updated at 9 a.m. ET

"America loves India, America respects India, and America will always be faithful and loyal friends to the Indian people," President Trump told a cheering crowd of more than 100,000 people in India's huge Motera cricket stadium on Monday.

"From this day on, India will always hold a very special place in our hearts," Trump said. He referred to his host, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as "a man I am proud to call my true friend."

When California voters passed Proposition 64 in 2016, they made it legal to use marijuana recreationally and gave residents an opportunity to clear their records of certain marijuana-related convictions.

But the proposition came with a caveat: In order to get a past conviction reduced or dismissed, the burden fell to the person convicted — a process considered costly, time-consuming and confusing. Consequently, just 3% of people who qualify for relief received it, according to the nonpartisan group Code for America.

The daredevil "Mad" Mike Hughes was killed in a rocket launch gone wrong Saturday in Barstow, Calif., two witnesses to the accident confirmed. He was 64.

It was the third launch for Hughes in one of his homemade rockets and part of his eventual plan to be able to determine for himself, up in the sky, if Earth was as flat as he proclaimed to believe.

Updated at 4:10 p.m. ET

As coronavirus prevention and control measures continue in China, new outbreaks of the respiratory disease COVID-19 in South Korea, Italy and Iran have health officials on high alert over the global spread of an illness that has infected nearly 77,000 people in China, with more than 2,400 deaths tied to the virus.

In a meeting with Communist Party leaders on Sunday, Chinese President Xi Jinping called the epidemic "severely complex," noting that efforts to control the spread of the virus have entered a "crucial stage."

When President Trump arrives on his first official visit to India on Monday, his first stop will be Ahmedabad, the largest city in the western state of Gujarat. It's the place where Indian freedom leader Mahatma Gandhi built his ashram, a place for prayer and communal living, on a riverbank lined with Indian lilac trees.

Jessica Simpson is back in the news, this time in her own words.

Her in her new memoir, Open Book, Simpson writes honestly about her career as a pop singer, her marriage to and divorce from Nick Lachey, her stint on reality TV, and her time with John Mayer. And she reflects on becoming a fashion mogul with a billion-dollar company.

But she also opens up about sexual abuse she experienced in childhood — and addiction.

Interview Highlights

On why she decided to open up now

On-air challenge: Every answer today is the name of a classic dessert in two or more words. I'll tell you the number of letters in the words and the first two letters of each word. You name the desserts.

Ex. [5,7] PE- CO- --> Peach cobbler

1. [3,5,8] IC- CR- SA-

2. [6,4,4] DE- FO- CA-

3. [5,8,3] LE- ME- PI-

4. [7,6,6] OA- RA- CO-

5. [3,5,6] HO- FU- SU-

6. [9,6] CH- MO-

7. [6,5] BA- SP-

8. [5,6] BA- AL-

9. [6,5] SA- TO-

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