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There's widespread agreement that it's important to help older adults and people with disabilities remain independent as long as possible. But are we prepared to do what's necessary, as a nation, to make this possible?

That's the challenge President Biden has put forward with his bold proposal to spend $400 billion over eight years on home and community-based services — a major part of his $2 trillion infrastructure plan.

Updated April 9, 2021 at 1:27 PM ET

A volcano on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent has experienced an "explosive eruption," according to officials there, hours after increased activity at the mountain triggered a mandatory evacuation of nearby residents.

A federal grand jury in Washington indicted a Florida man for taking his skateboard to the head of a Metropolitan Police officer during the U.S. Capitol insurrection Jan. 6.

Grady Douglas Owens, 21, was initially arrested on April 1 in Florida. He faces several charges including assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers or employees; obstruction; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

SAO PAULO (AP) — A Brazilian Supreme Court justice ordered the Senate on Thursday to investigate the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis and the full court ruled that churches can be barred from reopening during the pandemic, threatening to further strain tensions between President Jair Bolsonaro and the judiciary.

The order by Justice Luis Roberto Barroso for a Senate probe came only minutes after the whole court upheld the power of local authorities to prevent churches and other houses of worship from opening.

The Oregon Health Authority reported a small number of cases Thursday where Oregonians who had received their full vaccinations later contracted COVID-19.

The state defined the “breakthrough” cases as instances where a person had received their final dose of vaccine and then contracted COVID-19 at least 14 days later.

Of the more than 700,000 Oregonians who are now fully vaccinated, health officials identified only 168 breakthrough cases as of April 2. That is equivalent to roughly 0.024% of that fully vaccinated group. Three of those 168 died.

Oregon’s oldest public university, Western Oregon, in the small Willamette Valley city of Monmouth, will be cutting multiple programs and the equivalent of more than a dozen full-time faculty, hoping to get ahead of falling enrollment that’s only been worsened during the pandemic.

Racism is a scourge in American society. It's also a serious public health threat, according to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a statement released Thursday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky pointed to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color, as seen in case numbers, deaths and social consequence.

A year ago, when people were losing jobs left and right, millions called their local unemployment agency. Like many states, Texas struggled to deal with the volume of people applying for unemployment — which meant busy signals and long hold times. When you're dealing with the soul-crushing inefficiency of a government bureaucracy pushed beyond its purposely limited limits, sometimes you have to make the best of it.

Vaccine "passports" are making headlines and eliciting emergency measures by governors in a handful of states.

So what are these credentials, exactly, and what are they used for?

What is a vaccine passport?

It's a credential that can be used to show that a person has been vaccinated. The same technology can be used to show a person's coronavirus test results. It's a way to demonstrate a person's health status, generally through a smartphone app or a QR code that has been printed.

This isn't the first time the world has been engaged in a conversation about "vaccine passports." And there even is a version of a passport currently in use – the World Health Organization-approved yellow card, which since 1969 has been a document for travelers to certain countries to show proof of vaccination for yellow fever and other shots. Without which they can't visit those countries.

NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with sex therapist Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus about her upbringing, career, and advice from her new book Sex Points.

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Far more Asian American students are learning remotely than members of any other racial or ethnic group in the U.S., according to the latest federal data. NPR's Anya Kamenetz reports that the reasons are complex, and the consequences may be damaging.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Just two months ago, airlines were warning about furloughing thousands of pilots. Now they're putting up help-wanted signs. As NPR's David Schaper reports, that's because air travel seems to be recovering more quickly than expected.

Updated April 8, 2021 at 4:00 PM ET

Declaring U.S. gun violence an "epidemic" and "an international embarrassment," President Biden outlined actions to regulate certain firearms and to try to prevent gun violence after a spate of mass shootings in recent weeks and pressure from advocates.

"This is an epidemic, for God's sake, and it has to stop," Biden said.

Neither the pandemic nor age can keep legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp from her work. During the height of the COVID-19 lockdown, Tharp, now 79, choreographed several dances through through Zoom. One was with four dancers — each of whom was in a different time zone.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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The long-awaited lifeline for live venues impacted by the coronavirus shut downs is finally here. Owners of small music venues, independent movie theaters and some museums can now apply for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant — a $16 billion grant program set up and run by the Small Business Administration.

The government of Northern Ireland is holding an emergency meeting on Thursday following days of unrest reminiscent of "The Troubles" that plagued the region for decades.

The latest violence in Belfast has erupted amid anger from Protestant unionists concerned they're being isolated from the United Kingdom and pushed into a union with the republic of Ireland due to post-Brexit trade rules.

A former Northeastern University track and field coach was arrested this week for a scheme in which he allegedly used sham social media accounts to solicit nude photographs from female student athletes. He is also accused of cyberstalking at least one female student athlete.

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Richard Bush (@RichardBushIII) retired from the Brookings Institution in 2020, after 18 years as a senior fellow and serving as director of its Center for East Asia Policy Studies. Bonnie Glaser (@BonnieGlaser) is director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Ryan Hass (@ryanl_hass), a former foreign service officer, served on the National Security Council in the Obama administration and is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Updated April 8, 2021 at 3:35 PM ET

The results of the 2021 election that everyone has been awaiting with bated breath are taking a while.

Blame it on mail-in votes. Yes, this one, too.

For eight years, the civil rights organization Muslim Advocates has reported scores of examples of bigotry and hate promoted across Facebook. It has published reports and met privately with CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his number two, Sheryl Sandberg, about its concerns.

Regina Spektor On Mountain Stage

Apr 8, 2021

Regina Spektor is a name synonymous with the melting pot of music that rose out of New York in the early 2000s. This Russian-Jewish-American, punk-rocked, classically-popped songwriting prodigy has the Bronx Walk of Fame sign to prove it. The music phenom even had her own "Regina Spektor Day," proclaimed by Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2019.

European countries can legally require childhood vaccinations, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday. The decision covers preschool vaccinations for children, but it could also have an impact on the EU's battle to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

Compulsory vaccines can be seen as "necessary in a democratic society," the Strasbourg-based court said in its ruling, which came on a 16-1 vote.

Updated April 8, 2021 at 4:56 PM ET

President Biden will nominate David Chipman, adviser to a major gun control group, to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, an agency that plays a key role in gun regulations.

The number of migrants encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border in March was the most in at least 15 years, as agents for U.S. Customs and Border Protection apprehended nearly 172,000 people, according to Biden administration officials.

This included nearly 19,000 children and teenagers traveling without a parent — double the levels from February and the most ever in a single month.

SEOUL — South Korea's ruling Democratic Party suffered a devastating defeat in Wednesday's mayoral by-elections, widely considered a bellwether for next year's presidential race.

President Moon Jae-in's party lost both by large margins in the capital Seoul and the country's second biggest city, Busan, to the conservative opposition People Power Party (PPP).

A mass vaccination site in Commerce City, Colo., suspended operations Wednesday after almost a dozen people reported adverse reactions after getting their COVID-19 shots.

At least 11 people who received a Johnson & Johnson injection at the city's Dick's Sporting Goods Park said they experienced nausea and dizziness minutes after their jabs.

Medical staff determined that two people needed additional observation and were taken to nearby hospitals for further aid. The nine others who became sick were given juice and water before being cleared to go home.

While creative industries, like everything else, are stilled by a global pandemic, it's reassuring to know that the stream of tradition and creativity is ever flowing and therefore always being replenished. We take a listen to what musicians have been up to in the way of new music to brighten our days. This week's episode features Kris Drever, the Kate McNally Trio and Antoni O'Breskey.

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