Jessica Deahl

Jessica Deahl is an editor for NPR's award-winning program All Things Considered. There she works closely with NPR hosts in the shaping of program segments and arranges interviews with key newsmakers in the most central, relevant stories of the day.

She is the recipient of a 2017 Gracie Award from The Alliance of Women in Media for a 12-part NPR series called "Stretched: Working Parents' Juggling Act," which covered topics ranging from the dearth of parental leave to the scarcity of childcare in the United States.

She did her graduate studies at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, and her undergraduate studies at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Fourth-generation funeral director Patrick Kearns has seen a lot in his 25 years working around death. But nothing, he says, compares with the intensity of what he has experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Patrick and his brother-in-law Paul Kearns-Stanley are partners in a family funeral business that has been operating in New York City since 1900.

"I do think of it like a wave that hit us," says Paul. "You don't see it coming. It knocks you over, you get tossed and you're trying to figure out which way is up."

Andy Slavitt understands the inner workings of the U.S. health care system better than most. From 2015 to 2017, he ran the Affordable Care Act, sometimes called Obamacare, as head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Since leaving that post in January, he's been an outspoken critic of the Republican proposals to dismantle it.

Yesterday, shortly after the release of the Senate bill, he tweeted, "It's the ugly step-sibling of the House bill." And this morning his message was, "We must start over. It's too important."

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has been entertaining audiences for a long time. Its history goes back 146 years — to about the time when professional baseball emerged and before Coca-Cola was invented.

One of the most stressful questions a new parent confronts is, "Who's going to take care of my baby when I go back to work?"

Figuring out the answer to that question is often not easy. When NPR, along with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, surveyed more than 1,000 parents nationwide about their child care experiences, a third reported difficulty finding care.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Out of 193 countries in the United Nations, only a small handful do not have a national paid parental leave law: New Guinea, Suriname, a few South Pacific island nations and the United States.

In the U.S., that means a lot moms and dads go back to work much sooner after the birth of a baby than they would like because they can't afford unpaid time off.

Jody Heymann, founding director of the World Policy Analysis Center at UCLA, says the global landscape for paid parental leave looks bright, but the U.S. is far behind.