With news that the president and first lady have tested positive for COVID-19, our politics team is working hard to keep you abreast of the unfolding story. First up is our top story today: Washington bureau chief Linda Feldmann offers insights on the most important considerations for the country in the coming days.
Before we get to that, some good news to brighten the end of your week:
”It has to be Doris Miller.” That was the reaction when the Navy asked whose name should go on a new supercarrier. When Japanese fighters bombed Pearl Harbor, sinking his ship, Naval messman Miller jumped behind an antiaircraft gun and returned fire. His heroism continued after he ran out of bullets. He was one of the last to leave his ship, pulling wounded sailors out of burning, oil-covered water. At the time he faced two enemies: The Japanese and a racist system that made it illegal for a Black sailor to fire a gun, NPR reports. The USS Doris Miller will be the first supercarrier named after an African American and an enlisted sailor.
In Afghanistan, a coal miner’s daughter has placed No. 1 out of 200,000 students on the university entrance exam. At 15, Shamsea Alizada survived a Taliban suicide bombing in Kabul at a tutoring center that killed dozens of her fellow students, The New York Times reports. When she called her father to tell him the good news about the test, “he was so happy he was in tears,” she said.
Finally, from Cambodia, the tale of an unlikely hero. Over the past four years, Magawa, an African giant pouched rat, has cleared more than 1.5 million square feet of land mines, finding dozens and saving lives, the BBC reports. He has become the first rat to receive the gold medal ”for animal gallantry or devotion to duty” from the British charity PDSA.