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More news from National Public Radio

In a unanimous 22-0, a panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration recommended that the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson be authorized for emergency use in adults during the pandemic.

The vote in favor of the vaccine, which requires only one shot for protection, was taken to answer this question: Do the benefits of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine outweigh its risks for use in people 18 years of age and older.

Before Jan. 6, 18-year-old Bruno Cua was best known in his small town of Milton, Ga., as a great builder of treehouses. These were big, elaborate creations with ladders and trapdoors and framed-out windows. They were so impressive, neighbors paid Cua to build them for their kids.

Updated at 5:42 p.m. ET

Some Democratic lawmakers on Friday sought justification from the Biden administration for Thursday's airstrikes in Syria, marking the first significant test of President Biden's military approach.

Each week, we answer "frequently asked questions" about life during the coronavirus crisis. If you have a question you'd like us to consider for a future post, email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions."

With concerns rising about more transmissible variants, I've been reading a lot about double masking. But are there other ways to improve mask fit? What about mask braces and mask tape? And do I need to shave my beard?!

BOGOTA, Colombia — Since fleeing Venezuela three years ago to escape a socialist dictatorship and the country's worst-ever economic collapse, Isaias Bello has lived in legal limbo.

The WNBA franchise the Atlanta Dream, which had been co-owned by former U.S. Sen. Kelley Loeffler of Georgia, has been sold, the league announced Friday afternoon.

The three-member investor group which purchased the team includes former Dream player Renee Montgomery, making her the first retired player to become both an owner and a WNBA executive.

The other owners are Larry Gottesdiener and Suzanne Abair, two executives from the Massachusetts-based real estate firm Northland Investment Corp.

Newly confirmed Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm seized on the bruising winter weather that left millions of Texans without heat and electricity last week to press for reform of the state's power systems, arguing that pivoting to a clean energy economy can ensure a dependable grid and help create jobs.

An explosion ripped through the hull of an Israeli-owned cargo ship in the Gulf of Oman, reportedly leaving holes in each side of the vessel. Officials said the crew and vessel are safe, but there was no immediate explanation for the blast in a waterway that has a history of attacks on shipping blamed on Iran.

Hurricane Forecasts Will Start Earlier In 2021

7 hours ago

The National Hurricane Center says it will begin issuing Tropical Weather Outlooks in May, weeks before the June 1 beginning of hurricane season. The federal agency is also considering moving up the official start date of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Named systems have formed in the Atlantic prior to the official start of the season in each of the last six years. In 2020, there were two named systems before June 1, tropical storms Arthur and Bertha.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

President Biden arrived in Texas on Friday to inspect the damage from a sequence of strong winter storms and intense cold. The system thrust much of Texas into record low temperatures, knocking out power and bursting pipes. Dozens of people died, including several who were reportedly killed by hypothermia in their homes.

The Senate parliamentarian, a critical but often low-profile arbiter of the chamber's procedural actions, is the subject of frustration from some liberals after a crucial blow to Democrats' agenda late Thursday.

Elizabeth MacDonough is the unelected, nonpartisan interpreter of chamber rules, commonly referred to as the Senate referee. She nixed a Democratic push to add a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage increase to President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, dubbed the American Rescue Plan.

The reason?

Though Andra Day plays the jazz legend with conviction, The United States vs. Billie Holiday fictionalizes the particulars of Holiday's life, where the real story is dramatic enough.

The film One Night in Miami imagines a night in 1964 where Cooke, Clay, Malcolm X and Jim Brown meet. We listen back to interviews with biographers Peter Guralnick, Jonathan Eig and Alex Haley.

Updated 2:12 p.m. ET

With coronavirus infections on a steady, six weeks long descent in the U.S., it's clear the worst days of the brutal winter surge have waned. Yet researchers are still not sure how sustainable the decline is. And a small but concerning uptick in cases in the last three days has health officials on edge.

The owner of British Airways is calling for digital health passes for passengers as a step toward getting airlines back in the sky after devastating losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nigerian authorities are searching for hundreds of schoolgirls who were kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in a raid early Friday morning, according to police in the northwestern state of Zamfara.

Shamima Begum, who left London in 2015 to join ISIS, cannot return to Britain while she fights to restore her citizenship, the U.K. Supreme Court ruled on Friday. Begum was 15 when she ran away to Syria with two friends; she's now being held in a detention camp in northern Syria.

North Korea is using forced labor from its network of prison camps to mine coal and other minerals to boost exports and earn foreign currency, using the cash to support its nuclear weapons programs, according to a South Korean human rights group.

A report by the Seoul-based Citizens' Alliance for North Korea Human Rights said an intricate network of government ministries and other entities relies on prison labor and other illicit operations to bring in money to the isolated Asian country.

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We've heard a lot about how hard it's been for restaurants to stay open during the pandemic. But what we often don't hear is that closing can be just as tough.

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How Rhode Island Is Handling Vaccine Rollout

17 hours ago

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Despite a lifelong struggle with panic attacks, Divya Singh made a brave move across the world last fall from her home in Mumbai, India. She enrolled at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., to study physics and explore an interest in stand-up comedy in Manhattan.

Two titans of Silicon Valley, Facebook and Apple, are in a bitter fight that centers on the iPhone data of millions of people and whether companies should be able to track that data as easily as they do now.

Facebook believes the answer is yes. On Wednesday, it even unveiled a video voiced by Grace Jones aimed at currying the public's favor.

Somewhere near his fifty-sixth straight hour of chasing flames, CalFire Captain Matt Newberry and his crew were hitting a wall. They'd been dispatched to the wildfire days earlier in the middle of the night. By the next morning, the fire had already ripped across 11,000 acres of Napa County, tearing even through the night the way fires do now.

Despite everything they'd done, hundreds of homes were in smolders.

Just over a month into President Biden's administration, his cabinet remains sparsely staffed as nearly two dozen of his nominees await Senate confirmation.

Nearly eight years after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act, Democrats in Virginia are poised to enact state-level legislation they say would boost voter protections.

Backers of the Virginia Voting Rights Act say it's the most comprehensive bill of its kind — and the first in the South. The legislation cleared a final vote on Thursday and now goes to Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.

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