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National News from NPR

Human fetal tissue (stock photo)
Fri, 04/16/2021 - 17:15

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is reversing restrictions on the use of fetal tissue in medical research implemented under former President Trump.

Michael Carvajal, the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, speaking to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
Fri, 04/16/2021 - 16:56

A third of people held in federal prisons have received the vaccine already. But federal inmates make up just 10% of people incarcerated in the U.S. For others, vaccine timing is uncertain.

Jerry Falwell Jr., pictured at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, is the subject of a new lawsuit by Liberty University, his former employer.
Fri, 04/16/2021 - 16:38

In the civil suit, Liberty University accuses its former president of breach of contract and fiduciary duty as well as statutory conspiracy. Falwell called it "full of lies and half truths."

You can do a lot of things with minimal risk after being vaccinated. Although our public health expert says that maybe it's not quite time for a rave or other tightly packed events. Above: Fans take photographs of Megan Thee Stallion at a London show in 2019.
Fri, 04/16/2021 - 14:41

No vaccine is 100% effective. Though so-called "breakthrough" COVID cases are rare, the virus is circulating widely. What's a vaccinated person to do? And ... not do?

Billy McFarland, pictured leaving federal court in March 2018, was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud charges related to the failed Fyre Festival. Ticket holders and event organizers reached a settlement in a class-action suit this week.
Fri, 04/16/2021 - 14:15

A class-action settlement will award 277 ticket holders more than $7,000 each, pending a judge's approval in May. The final sum could be reduced depending on ongoing bankruptcy proceedings.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov addresses the media Friday in Moscow. Lavrov announced that Russia will expel 10 U.S. diplomats. The move comes after the Biden administration ordered 10 Russian diplomats to leave the U.S. a day earlier.
Fri, 04/16/2021 - 13:39

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced new sanctions Friday. The U.S. imposed its new sanctions on Russia on Thursday in response to the SolarWinds cyberattack and interference in elections.

In a letter to the White House, 24 senators said the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba "has damaged America's reputation, fueled anti-Muslim bigotry, and weakened the United States' ability to counter terrorism and fight for human rights and the rule of law around the world."
Fri, 04/16/2021 - 13:04

Two dozen U.S. senators sent a letter to the White House outlining steps to shutter the crumbling military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where many men have been held uncharged for nearly 20 years.

Raúl Castro, first secretary of the Cuban Communist Party and the country's former president, clasps hands with Cuban President Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez during the closing session at the National Assembly of Popular Power in 2019 in Havana.
Fri, 04/16/2021 - 13:00

A generation of Cuban revolutionaries who seized power six decades ago is set to exit the stage, with Raúl Castro saying he will step down as head of the Cuban Communist Party.

Georgetown Law School professor Paul Butler testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on policing practices and law enforcement accountability in June 2020. In an NPR interview, Butler says police in Brooklyn Center, Minn., didn't need to pursue Daunte Wright over an outstanding warrant.
Fri, 04/16/2021 - 12:52

Those who don't immediately stop for police are committing "contempt of cop. And bad officers will make you pay for that," law professor Paul Butler argues.

Rioters clash with law enforcement as they attempt to enter the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Fri, 04/16/2021 - 12:12

Jon Schaffer pleaded guilty to two charges — obstructing an official proceeding and entering restricted grounds with a dangerous weapon. He has agreed to cooperate fully with investigators.

Reps. Ilhan Omar (from left), Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley, seen here at a news conference last month outside the U.S. Capitol, are among those calling on the Biden administration to lift the cap on refugees.
Fri, 04/16/2021 - 10:42

Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said President Biden would raise the refugee cap by May 15. Earlier, the White House said it would keep the number of refugees capped at 15,000 for the fiscal year.

Protesters gathered at a memorial a Louisville, Ky. park on March 13, 2021, the anniversary of Breonna Taylor's killing. Jonathan Mattingly, one of the officers involved in the fatal raid, is facing widespread criticism for planning to publish a book about it.
Fri, 04/16/2021 - 10:21

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly is writing a book about the botched raid, during which he shot into Taylor's apartment after being wounded. Post Hill Press says it will move forward with its plans to publish.

Lab assistant Tammy Brown dons personal protective equipment in a lab at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. She works on preparing positive coronavirus tests for sequencing to discern variants rapidly spreading throughout the country.
Fri, 04/16/2021 - 10:13

With a more contagious variant now dominant in the U.S., the country's genomic surveillance capacity is getting a major boost.

Fri, 04/16/2021 - 09:56

Drugs that can help keep COVID-19 patients out of the hospital are playing only a small role in Michigan, where the pandemic is accelerating. Logistical challenges are to blame.

An NPR investigation into the SolarWinds attack reveals a hack unlike any other, launched by a sophisticated adversary intent on exploiting the soft underbelly of our digital lives.
Fri, 04/16/2021 - 09:05

Russian hackers exploited gaps in U.S. defenses and spent months in government and corporate networks in one of the most effective cyber-espionage campaigns of all time. This is how they did it.

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