NPR News: 02-27-2020 8PM ET

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Live from NPR news in Washington. I'm Jeanine herbst. Health and Human Services Secretary Alexander told a Congressional hearing today that the number of public health labs they can test specimens for the corona could more than double in a couple of days. We'd now as of yesterday afternoon. The FDA authorized the use of those tests by using just the first and second step provided definitive diagnostic. So forty labs or qualified to already be doing that and then by this weekend. All Ninety three labs around the country that get these will have other. Cdc or on Monday. We'll have the private sector on Monday. A modified tests even easier and he says the risk to the public from the virus's low but he also says that could change. Meanwhile another day of losses on Wall Street investors are worried about the spreading virus and its effects on the global economy. All three major indices fell more than four percent the close Democratic presidential candidate. Amy Klobuchar SARS in North Carolina ahead of Super Tuesday for a round table discussion on voting rights from member station W. fd David Ford reports. Following a brief tour of the famous former Woolworth's lunch counter commemorating the nineteen sixty. Sit INS Kluber. Sharlet a panel discussion. Before roughly one hundred area residents local and state officials shared their concerns with clovis shower over voter suppression efforts in the wake of recent Supreme Court decisions as well as their ongoing battles to reverse them Kluber. Sheriff says her visit was a reminder of a long fight for voting rights to see that lunch counter and think of those students who wouldn't give up and just kept coming back and back until the lunch counter was integrated. And that's how I feel about voting rights right now. We're just not going to give up. Kluber SHIRT SAYS SEVERAL ELECTION REFORM BILLS. That she's put forward have been passed by the House and await further action from Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell for NPR news. I'm David Ford as fighting intensifies in northwest Syria. Un humanitarian officials described the situation as intolerable as NPR's Michele Keleman reports the US is calling on Russia to stop airstrikes that have forced hundreds of thousands of Syrians to flee deputy U N Emergency Relief Coordinator. Ursula Mueller says Syrian women in Italy. Have a message for the Security Council. What is happening in northwest Syria? They said is beyond imagination. It is not humanly tolerable the toward children so traumatized they no longer speak. Russia's ambassador says aid groups should have been more prepared to deal with the situation and he argues that conflict won't end until all terrorist leave Syria. Us Ambassador Kelly Kraft is calling on Russia to ground its planes describing the situation around it. Lib as a Manmade Humanitarian Nightmare Michelle Kellerman. Npr News. The State Department Asia markets are trading lower at this hour. The Nikkei in Japan down just over three percent. The Asia Dow down just a little over one percent. You're listening to. Npr news from Washington. A massive water main break in Houston has left hundreds of thousands of people without running water as Laurie. Johnson of Texas public media reports it's shutdown businesses courts and schools and flooded a Houston freeway officials described the ninety six inch water main as a pipe the size of a bus. The first public sign of the break came when water rushed across a freeway so quickly. That drivers were left stranded. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said multiple. People had to be rescued. The water was coming out at a rapid rate and there were people that were literally on top of their cars. And that's where that's where fi you and police got them. Turner said the line serves forty five. To fifty percent of the city's water system officials said the break happened when contractors were onsite attempting to fix a leak. I'm Larry Johnson in Houston. Kia Motors is recalling. Nearly two hundred thousand vehicles yet. Another attempt to fix lingering problems that could cause engine fires the recovers twenty thirteen in two thousand fourteen optima midsize cars and twenty eleven. Twenty twelve sedona Minivans Kia says fuel hose can deteriorate and crack doing due to engine heat and that that could lead to fires and fires though or injuries have been reported so far on Wall Street today stocks were in a free fall the Dow Down One Thousand One hundred ninety points at twenty five thousand seven hundred sixty six. That's four point four percent. The Nasdaq down. Four hundred fourteen points at eight hundred sixty six four point six percent the S. and P. Five hundred lost one hundred. Thirty seven points to close at twenty nine seventy eight. That too is down. Four point four percent. I'm Jeanine herbst. Npr News in Washington.

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