NPR News

Updated April 8, 2021 at 12:11 PM ET

President Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan isn't just about roads, bridges and affordable housing but also about dealing with climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency's new leader says.

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

OK. So, Steve, this star athlete is turning out to be the new host of "Jeopardy!"

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

New host star - I've got it. Who is Peter Sagal?

MARTIN: Alas, no.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "JEOPARDY!")

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

When the Rolling Stones released "Gimme Shelter" in 1969, everyone recognized Mick Jagger. But at the time, no one knew who that voice – you know the one – belonged to.

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The global production of electric vehicles is likely to increase at an astonishing pace. That means automakers need a lot more batteries, and all that demand could mean a bottleneck. NPR's Camila Domonoske reports.

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Later this month, Bahareh Shargi will mark an anniversary: It will be three years that her husband has been stuck in Iran.

Iranian authorities first imprisoned Emad Shargi, a U.S. citizen, on April 23, 2018. Though they eventually released him on bail, they did not allow him to leave the country and later returned him to Tehran's Evin prison. Now his family hopes that speaking out may help him.

Tiny Desk Meets SXSW: Clipping

Apr 8, 2021

Every year, NPR Music participates in the SXSW music festival, whether it's curating a stage or simply attending hundreds of shows at the annual event in Austin, Texas. Last year, the festival was canceled due to the pandemic, but it returned this March as an online festival. We programmed a 'stage' of Tiny Desk (home) concerts and presented them on the final day of the festival. Now, we present to you Tiny Desk Meets SXSW: four videos filmed in various locations, all of them full of surprises.

President Biden's infrastructure train is leaving the station.

In remarks Wednesday pushing for his sweeping $2.3 trillion plan, Biden said he wants to meet with Republicans about it and hopes to negotiate in "good faith" — a political tenet that hasn't been practiced much in Washington, D.C., in recent years.

But Biden is not waiting around.

"We will not be open to doing nothing," the president said. "Inaction, simply, is not an option."

Translation: Get on board or step aside.

Missouri Legislature Tries To Back Out Of Voter-Approved Medicaid Expansion

Apr 8, 2021

It is hard to qualify for Medicaid as an adult in Missouri. Childless adults aren't eligible for coverage through the state's program — dubbed MO HealthNet — at all, and parents can't make more than 21% of the federal poverty level: $5,400 in 2021 for a family of three.

That was all set to change on July 1 because of a constitutional amendment voters approved last summer that made Missouri the 38th state to expand Medicaid coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Childless adults would be covered if they made under around $17,770.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has about a hundred trailers set aside for wildfire survivors from Jackson County.

It originally had those trailers staged at the Jackson County Fairgrounds, known as the Expo, as officials looked for potential housing sites nearby. But they recently had to relocate them three hours away to an old mill in Gardiner, which is on the coast north of Reedsport.

Since then, FEMA officials say they’ve been fielding phone calls from locals concerned about the trailers’ sudden appearance.

Washington apple growers are shipping about 20 percent less fruit abroad now compared with this time last year.

The result is a drop to export levels not seen since 2003-2004, according to Washington Apple Commission president Todd Fryhover.  

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

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Senior Special Agent James Reyerson of Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is testifying in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, in last May's death of George Floyd.

The BCA routinely investigates police use-of-force incidents in Minnesota. Chauvin is facing charges of second- and third-degree murder as well as manslaughter. Video footage from the scene showed Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd's neck area for more than nine minutes.

Updated April 8, 2021 at 9:57 AM ET

President Biden on Thursday will announce initial steps his administration plans to take on firearm safety, along with the nomination of a prominent gun safety advocate to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The moves, which were previewed Wednesday evening by a senior administration official, come after recent high-profile mass shootings put added pressure on Biden to act on gun violence.

U.S. Department of Education officials sent a letter to the Oregon Department of Education Tuesday, approving the state’s amended waiver request on standardized testing this year.

“We are thankful for the U.S. Department of Education’s swift response to our amended waiver request,” said Gill in a statement to OPB. “We now have the certainty to plan a course forward.”

Virginia's Democratic-controlled Legislature passed a bill legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana on Wednesday, making it the 16th state to take the step.

Under Virginia's new law, adults ages 21 and over can possess an ounce or less of marijuana beginning on July 1, rather than Jan. 1, 2024. Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, proposed moving up the date, arguing it would be a mistake to continue to penalize people for possessing a drug that would soon be legal.

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

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Copyright 2021 KCRW. To see more, visit KCRW.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Biological fathers will soon be required to pay half of a woman's pregnancy-related medical costs under a new Utah law that advocates believe to be the first of its kind in the United States.

Saks Fifth Avenue is going fur-free, becoming the latest fashion seller to take animal-fur clothes and accessories off its shelves.

Updated April 7, 2021 at 2:51 PM ET

Tiger Woods crashed in February because he was driving at an unsafe speed and was unable to negotiate a curve on the road, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday.

The legendary golfer sustained a compound fracture to one leg in addition to other injuries in the single-vehicle crash Feb. 23 in the Los Angeles area.

Growing up in East Jerusalem, Palestinian cookbook author Reem Kassis never expected to enter the food industry. For her, the kitchen represented a "life sentence" for women.

Instead, Kassis moved to the U.S. when she was 17, first studying business at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and then at the London School of Economics. It wasn't until she had a child that she began to see the kitchen as a "powerful place" where she could share important stories about food and culture with her daughter.

A more easily spread coronavirus variant first identified in England last year has now become the dominant strain in the U.S., the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

The variant, known as B.1.1.7, spread quickly across the United Kingdom and Ireland beginning last fall, with the more infectious version of the coronavirus thwarting restrictions and lockdowns that had earlier helped keep the original strain in check.

Voters in Greenland have given an opposition party its first-ever chance to form a government after a campaign that sought to define the limits of development on the Arctic island.

The Inuit Ataqatigiit party won 37% of the vote, compared with 29% for the ruling social-democratic Siumut party, according to official results reported by Reuters. The vote totals should allow Inuit Ataqatigiit to grab 12 seats in the 31-member unicameral legislature, known as the Inatsisartut, meaning it will likely need to form a coalition with support from one of the smaller parties.

Researchers are reporting some progress in their search for drugs that tamp down the overwhelming immune reaction that can kill a patient with COVID-19.

These reactions are triggered by coronavirus infections and can veer out of control in some people. It's this reaction, rather than the virus itself, that is the real peril for people seriously ill with COVID-19.

Updated April 7, 2021 at 11:52 AM ET

The European Union's drug regulator said Wednesday that the benefits of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine outweigh its risks, but that rare blood clotting events should be listed as a possible side effect.

Joyce Ann Kraner is eager for the pandemic to end and for life to get back to normal. Kraner, 49, wants to be able to hug her mother, who lives in a nursing home.

But she says she has no plans to get the vaccine, even though it's widely available in her community of Murfreesboro, Tenn. "I feel like I'm healthy," she says.

Pages