UNICEF, the largest single buyer of vaccines in the world, wants to hit the ground running as soon as a COVID-19 vaccine is ready.

The United Nations agency said Monday it plans to stockpile 520 million syringes by the end of 2020. It also will map out global distribution and storage plans for a future COVID-19 vaccine.

Purchasing the syringes now will help reduce the pressure on the market, the organization said, and will ensure timely availability once a vaccine is rolled out.

In 1970, a film version of the controversial gay-themed play "The Boys in the Band" hit theaters courtesy of director William Friedkin. 50 years later, and a new film adaptation is available on Netflix, featuring the cast from a recent Tony-winning revival. Nathan Weinbender takes a look at the intense drama.

Nathan Weinbender is the Film and Music Editor for the Inlander and a co-host of Spokane Public Radio's "Movies 101" heard Friday evenings at 6:30 here on KPBX.

In South Korea, churches resumed in-person services and stadiums welcomed sports fans over the weekend as the country once again manages to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The government eased social distancing restrictions after the country apparently dodged a surge in cases that was feared to follow the Chuseok national holiday in early October.

Police in France raided numerous homes Monday in a sweep of suspects alleged to have offered online support for last week's beheading of a schoolteacher who had shown his students controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, the Interior Ministry said.

The raids come as thousands have poured into the streets in France to show solidarity in the wake of Friday's attack in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, northwest of Paris, where history teacher Samuel Paty, 47, was killed by a man later identified as an 18-year-old Moscow-born Chechen.

The U.S. Supreme Court said it will hear cases that involve the U.S. "Remain in Mexico" policy and the border wall, two of President Trump's most controversial attempts to limit migration across the southern border with Mexico.

The court did not say when it will hear the cases, but arguments are likely to be heard well after the Nov. 3 election. The outcome of next month's presidential election could render both cases moot if Trump loses his reelection bid.

Brooke Matson reads "Land o' Lakes" by Matt Rasmussen

11 hours ago

Brooke Matson is a poet and book artist in Spokane, Washington, where she is the executive director of Spark Central, a non-profit dedicated to igniting creativity, innovation, and imagination. Eight years of teaching and mentoring at-risk youth deepened her study of physical science and the psychological effects of violence and loss. 

Matson's second collection of poetry, In Accelerated Silence, was selected by Mark Doty as winner of the Jake Adam York Prize and published by Milkweed Editions. 

When Major League Baseball announced on March 12 that it was suspending spring training due to the spread of the coronavirus, Richard Wang's first thought was, OK, this may be a very slow year.

In a remote Indian village, Ranjana Dwivedi goes door to door to educate people about the coronavirus. Once she almost fell into a river on her rounds.

In the halls of power in Iceland, Dr. Alma D. Möller leads the nation's response to the pandemic.

In a mobile testing center in California, Sheeba Shafaq works 12-hour shifts as she also seeks to become certified to practice medicine in the U.S. after fleeing Afghanistan, where the doctor's life was in danger because of her role as an advocate for women.

The world hit a new benchmark in the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday, surpassing 40 million coronavirus infections, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. With the flu season looming, the rate of new cases in the U.S. and other countries is rising at rates not seen in months.

Updated at 9:20 a.m. ET

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat is being treated for COVID-19 in a Jerusalem hospital, according to the hospital, after Israel gave the OK for his transfer from the West Bank.

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