NPR Staff

Update at 2 p.m. ET: NPR special audio coverage of the inauguration has ended. Watch the livestream below. Follow updates in our liveblog.

Updated at 12:22 p.m. ET

Joe Biden addressed the nation for the first time as its 46th president on Wednesday. Biden spoke at a scaled-down event before a divided nation still reeling from the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and from the coronavirus pandemic that has now killed more than 400,000 Americans.

But his remarks were ones of hope.

Updated at 12:37 p.m. ET

National security adviser Robert O'Brien promised a "professional transition" with the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden, partly diverging from the mode in use by President Trump, who says he contests the election.

"If the Biden-Harris ticket is determined to be the winner — and, obviously, things look that way now — we'll have a very professional transition with the National Security Council, no doubt about it," O'Brien said.

The Associated Press has called North Carolina for President Trump, with its 15 electoral votes, nearly wrapping its state calls for the 2020 election. Joe Biden has already been called as the winner of the presidential race by the AP and others and has started planning his transition.

Between the call for North Carolina on Friday and AP's call on Wednesday that Trump had won Alaska, Trump now has 232 electoral votes, compared with Biden's 290. A total of 270 electoral votes is required to win the presidency.

The 2020 election is going to be different from any election in American history. Experts are anticipating record-high levels of people choosing to cast their ballots by mail because of concerns over the coronavirus.

President Trump's medical team held a briefing with reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center again on Sunday.

The doctors said that since testing positive for the coronavirus, Trump has had two episodes of a drop in oxygen — one Friday morning before he went to the hospital and again on Saturday — and began a steroid treatment for that specifically.

Editor's note: President Trump's doctors gave a briefing Saturday morning outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and answered questions from reporters.

In a statement later, Dr. Sean Conley said he misspoke during his news conference. He said he incorrectly used 72 hours instead of "Day 3" for the president's diagnosis. He also said a reference to 48 hours ago should have been "Day 2" for administering Regeneron.

"The fact that the Afghans are sitting across the table for the first time in 42 years is a moment of hope and opportunity," U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad tells NPR. "But this moment is not without its own challenges."

Peace talks began in Doha, Qatar, last month between the Afghan government and the Taliban, even as deadly violence in Afghanistan continues.

President Trump on Tuesday said he had expanded a ban on racial sensitivity training to federal contractors.

His administration had instructed federal agencies to end such training earlier this month.

Nearly two weeks after an Aug. 9 election kept Belarus' authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko in power amid accusations of vote-rigging, massive protests against Lukashenko continue and neither side is backing down.

"New fair, free and transparent elections must be held," Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, Lukashenko's main challenger, told reporters in Lithuania on Friday. She fled there under pressure from Belarusian authorities last week. "People of Belarus have woken up and they do not want to live in fear and lies anymore."

Steve Bannon, a former adviser to President Trump, was indicted along with three others on Thursday in connection to an online fundraising campaign called "We Build the Wall." The campaign was advertised as an effort to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico, and according to federal prosecutors in New York, "hundreds of thousands of donors" were allegedly defrauded in the scheme. Read the indictment below:

Last month, we asked our audience: What are some of the inventive ways that people are addressing COVID-19 challenges in their community?

What TV are you bingeing these days?

It's a question you've probably been asked a lot — and asked others — five months into the pandemic. Movies are shut. Theater is on hold. So there's not much else to do. I myself can't stop watching Korean dramas (just finished Crash Landing On You) and reruns of Gossip Girl on Netflix.

Cardboard beds. Urban farms. Roving mariachi bands.

These are some of the ways that regular folks are solving problems and spreading happiness during the pandemic.

The solutions aren't perfect — public health experts have some critiques and suggestions. But at the same time, they applaud the ingenuity and positive vibes.

Read the stories of six grassroots change-makers — then nominate your own at the bottom of this story.

Our blog covers the globe. And as we in the U.S. mourn the citizens who died of novel coronavirus, we also wanted to pay tribute to lives lost around the world. Since the start of the pandemic, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of nearly 500,000 people worldwide.

It has been five months since the novel coronavirus started infecting Americans. Since then, the U.S. has lost more than 120,000 people to the sickness it causes — COVID-19.

So many have been touched by the deaths of family and friends. Here we remember just a few of those who continued working during the pandemic because their jobs called for it and who, ultimately, lost their lives.

Senate Republicans are unveiling their proposal on Wednesday to reform law enforcement in the United States in response to the national protest movement that followed the death of George Floyd.

Floyd, a Minneapolis man, was one of a number of black Americans who died at the hands of police in recent weeks and sparked a wave of demonstrations and debate about law enforcement and race.

President Trump unveiled an executive order on Tuesday as part of what he called an administration commitment to address the national protests over policing in black communities.

Trump and members of Congress have vowed to change federal practices — and, potentially, federal law — following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police.

Across the country, a national reckoning with race has sparked wide-ranging debates on defunding police, racial profiling, public monuments and systemic racism. This comes as protests continue nationwide, sparked by high-profile deaths of African Americans.

Updated at 10:30 p.m. ET

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., is stepping aside temporarily as chairman of the Intelligence Committee amid a Justice Department investigation of his stock trades, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Thursday.

The White House released guidance on coronavirus testing on Monday, which reiterates the administration's work on testing and includes recommendations for states to further develop and implement their own testing plans.

President Trump said in a letter to U.S. governors on Thursday that his administration is working to publish new guidelines for state and local governments to use when making decisions about "maintaining, increasing or relaxing social distancing and other mitigation measures" for the coronavirus epidemic.

Trump said officials are gathering testing data that will suggest guidelines categorizing counties as "high risk, medium risk or low risk" for the virus. The data will drive "the next phase" of the response, he said.

The challenges that COVID-19 poses for governments around the world are formidable. For Taiwan, there have been additional hurdles.

Experts say the island's response to the novel coronavirus has been remarkably effective so far, despite many serious challenges, starting with its close links to China, and may even hold lessons for others to follow.

Updated at 3:55 p.m. ET

Attorney General William Barr is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee after the Justice Department took the unusual step of intervening in Roger Stone's sentencing recommendation.

President Trump hailed Barr on Wednesday for making the recommendation.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivered the English language Democratic response to President Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday night. She spoke speaking from her daughters' school — East Lansing High School.

In brief remarks, she focused on Democrats' plans to improve infrastructure, education and health care coverage.

President Trump delivered his third State of the Union address Tuesday night, the day before his Senate impeachment trial is scheduled to wrap.

President Trump is delivering his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, on the eve of his likely acquittal of impeachment charges. The speech begins at 9 p.m. ET.

Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal attorney, says the president should not back away from investigating Joe Biden even after Trump's expected acquittal Wednesday by the U.S. Senate.

"Absolutely, 100%," Giuliani told NPR's Steve Inskeep in an interview Tuesday. "I would have no problem with him doing it. In fact, I'd have a problem with him not doing it. I think he would be saying that Joe Biden can get away with selling out the United States, making us a fool in the Ukraine."

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

As jurors in President Trump's impeachment trial, senators have remained silent as House impeachment managers and Trump's defense team make their cases. But now they have their opening.

The trial adjourned on Monday, giving senators their chance to take the floor. That window was still open on Tuesday; senators had up to 10 minutes each to speak.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., spoke first on Tuesday, dismissing the two articles of impeachment against Trump as "constitutionally incoherent."

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