NPR Stories

Zoë Roth was internet famous before many of us knew what that was.

When she was 4, her dad took a picture of her standing in front of a burning house and a firetruck. She's looking back at the camera knowingly, leaving the viewer to suspect she had something to do with this disaster.

But in reality, the fire scene was part of a training exercise for firefighters in Mebane, N.C., near where Zoë and her father, Dave Roth, lived.

President Biden says America is not a racist country, but that Black Americans have been left behind and "we have to deal with it."

In an interview on NBC's Today show that aired Friday, Biden was asked about the remarks Wednesday by Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., who delivered the Republican response to the president's address to a joint session of Congress.

Updated April 30, 2021 at 9:52 AM ET

JERUSALEM — At least 45 people were killed and some 150 more injured in a crush at a religious festival of ultra-Orthodox Jews in northern Israel, where tens of thousands of faithful had convened in one of the country's largest events since the pandemic began.

The chaos at Mount Meron began early Friday at the festival of Lag BaOmer, which features bonfires and dancing around the Galilee tomb of a 2nd century rabbi.

It's been a turbulent time, with a deadly pandemic and a chaotic — sometimes violent — political climate. In the midst of all this, NPR is marking a milestone; on May 3, 2021, the network turns 50 years old.

Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville, Fla., was segregated — whites only — until the 1971-1972 school year. Its school colors are blue and gray, the colors of the Confederacy, and its sports teams are called the Generals.

In Jasmine Williams' family, graduating from the University of Michigan is a rite of passage. Her parents met on the campus, and her older sister graduated from the school a few years ago. She remembers sitting bundled up in the family section for that graduation. "It was overwhelming to feel so many people that proud," she says, "I remember sitting there watching her, and that was probably the first time I was like, 'OK, yeah, I like this. I can't wait to do this.'

As part of a sweeping effort aimed at ending domestic abuse against women, Joe Biden pledged on the campaign trail to restore asylum protections for domestic violence survivors from other countries.

But 100 days into his presidency, that hasn't happened, as President Biden's administration grapples with a humanitarian crisis at the southern border that has overshadowed much of his immigration agenda.

An experimental drug intended for Alzheimer's patients seems to improve both language and learning in adults with Fragile X syndrome.

The drug, called BPN14770, increased cognitive scores by about 10% in 30 adult males after 12 weeks, a team reports in the journal Nature Medicine.

The Biden administration says addressing climate change and health inequities are among its top priorities, and it will need to lean heavily on federal scientists to achieve ambitious goals. But decades of underfunding, political interference and systemic race and gender bias have undercut trust among many government scientists and have led to a disproportionately white, male workforce.

Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase still believes — falsely — that the wrong man is in the White House.

"We want the right president put in office!" Chase told a crowd in Florida last week at a rally headlined by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. "We the people will not shut up."

But there's another election Chase believes has been corrupted, one closer to home: a May 8 Virginia GOP convention to select nominees for statewide offices.

Updated May 6, 2021 at 2:31 PM ET

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law Thursday new election legislation that places restrictions on ballot drop boxes and residents' ability to vote by mail.

The governor said the changes amount to what he thinks are "the strongest election integrity measures in the country."

Brazil surpassed 400,000 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday at the tail-end of the country's deadliest month of the pandemic yet.

At last count, 401,186 people had died in Brazil based on data tracked by Johns Hopkins University, a toll only the U.S. has topped.

More Brazilians have died from the virus in the first four months of this year than in all of 2020, with the death toll having jumped from 300,000 to 400,000 in the past five weeks alone.

And so it goes: Burning Man 2021 is canceled. It's the second year in a row that the popular arts festival won't be held in Nevada's Black Rock Desert due to the pandemic.

Five people have been arrested in connection with the violent kidnapping of Lady Gaga's dogs earlier this year, the Los Angeles Police Department announced on Thursday.

Updated April 29, 2021 at 6:39 PM ET

RAMALLAH, West Bank – It was meant to be a historic and long-overdue vote aimed at ending 15 years of paralyzed and divided leadership. Instead, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday called off next month's parliamentary elections after challengers from his own party threatened to weaken his hold on power.

A North Carolina sheriff has identified the seven deputies who were on the scene of last week's fatal shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. and subsequently placed on administrative leave – four of whom have been cleared to return to duty.

Deputies shot and killed Brown, a 42-year-old Black man, while carrying out search and arrest warrants at his home on Wednesday in Elizabeth City, N.C. The Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office said that Sheriff Tommy Wooten was releasing the names of the deputies on the scene as part of his promise of transparency and accountability.

Germany's highest court has sided with young activists in a landmark climate case, ruling on Thursday that some aspects of the country's climate protection legislation are unconstitutional because they place too much of a burden for reducing greenhouse gas emissions on younger generations.

Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach kicked off a race for state attorney general Thursday, aiming his hardline immigration and voting policy politics at the state's top legal and law enforcement office.

Kobach called the office a last line of defense against policies pushed by President Biden and Democratic leaders in Congress. He raised concerns about limiting gun rights, the federal government setting election laws and immigration policy.

President Biden met with former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter on Thursday in their hometown of Plains, Ga. The trip, which comes on Biden's 100th day in office, is part of an effort to celebrate his early accomplishments in office and make the push for trillions in new spending that would reshape the nation's economy.

Pope Francis on Thursday issued a decree aimed at financial transparency in the church, requiring a strict limit on the value of gifts that cardinals and managers can receive and requiring them to disclose their investments to ensure they are in line with Catholic doctrine.

Barber shop owner Angela Miller always hears about clients' family dysfunctions and financial struggles, but that's especially been the case during the pandemic.

"You hear everything," she says. Lost jobs. Lost family. She says she can very much relate.

"My business had to shut down for about four months, and I wasn't really financially prepared for that," says Miller, who says she normally pays bills ahead of time.

BERLIN — Since 1913, beer from the tap of the Metzer Eck pub has flowed through two World Wars, a flu pandemic and the Soviet occupation of East Berlin, which came and went over mere decades of the establishment's history.

As many times as Joe Biden must have imagined the moment, he never could have imagined it looking like this.

After two failed bids for the White House and a third that began with a series of stumbles, there he finally was on Wednesday, mounting the podium to address a joint session of Congress for the first time as president of the United States.

Yet what he saw before him could not have been as he dreamed.

Looking gaunt after a weeks-long prison hunger strike, a defiant Alexei Navalny appeared by video link in court on Thursday, where he denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "naked, thieving king."

New York City, which one year ago was the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, will "fully reopen" for business on July 1, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday. The announcement marks a stirring rebound for a city that lost more than 10,000 people in just the first month of the pandemic.

"We are ready for stores to open, for businesses to open," de Blasio said on MSNBC's Morning Joe. Offices and theaters, he said, would be able to operate at "full strength."

Supply chain disruptions are taking a bite out of Apple, and it may make it harder to get your hands on that shiny new tablet or laptop.

Apple warns it can't make enough iPads and Macs to keep up with demand, thanks to the global shortage in semiconductors that has already disrupted production at almost every major car company, from Ford to VW.

Luca Maestri, Apple's chief financial officer, said late Wednesday that the lack of supply will cut into sales of both these products and lop off between $3 billion to $4 billion of its revenue in the next three months.

Updated April 29, 2021 at 5:15 PM ET

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it is moving to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, based on the evidence of the addictiveness and harm of the products. Tobacco companies have long targeted African Americans with advertising for menthol cigarettes.

Updated April 29, 2021 at 8:43 AM ET

The U.S. economy expanded at a rapid pace in the first three months of the year, setting the stage for what's expected to be the strongest annual growth in nearly four decades.

The NBA's Houston Rockets were hit by a ransomware attack earlier this month. Now it's the Washington, D.C., police department. The common thread is a ransomware group called Babuk, which was unknown and likely didn't exist until it began posting on the dark web early this year.

The Biden administration is putting the final touches on an executive order aimed at helping the U.S. defend itself against sophisticated cyberattacks like the one Russian hackers recently leveled against Texas software-maker SolarWinds.

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