NPR

Monday, the South Dakota state Senate passed a bill that restricts transgender women athletes from competing on high school and college girls' and women's teams. The measure now goes to Republican Gov. Kristi Noem who has said she is excited to sign the bill into law.

"This is a very simple bill. It's a bill to protect women's sports," says Republican State Sen. Maggie Sutton, one of the primary sponsors of the legislation. "It's not against transgenders," Sutton says.

On his flight home from Iraq, Pope Francis admitted he's happy to have left the Vatican for several days after feeling "imprisoned" during COVID-19 lockdowns. The pope also said he's not afraid of critics that don't support his decision to open Christian-Muslim dialogue.

Before embarking on his journey, Francis was warned about contracting the coronavirus or contributing to the spread, especially with cases on the rise in Iraq. To mitigate these concerns, the pope and his travel entourage were vaccinated before making the trip.

Republicans in the Georgia Senate have narrowly approved an omnibus voting bill that would end no-excuse absentee voting 16 years after Republicans first enacted it.

The legislation, SB 241, would make a number of sweeping changes to Georgia's election code, most notably cracking down on who is eligible to vote by mail.

Researchers in England are deliberately exposing volunteers to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The goal is to speed up the development of new vaccines and treatments.

But exposing people to a potentially fatal disease with no particularly effective therapy strikes some as unnecessary, if not unethical.

After spending 589 consecutive days picking up litter at one of Los Angeles County's most popular hiking spots, 20-year-old Edgar McGregor says the park is clean of municipal waste. But his job is far from over.

The climate activist, who says he has autism, made the trip to Eaton Canyon — part of the Angeles National Forest in southern California — throughout the pandemic and in extreme weather, picking up litter left behind by visitors and posting his progress on social media.

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The Biden administration said Monday that it will allow many Venezuelans who are already in the country illegally to remain because of the humanitarian and economic crisis in the socialist South American nation that is an adversary of the U.S.

Carrying out a promise President Biden made on the campaign trail, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas granted Temporary Protected Status to an estimated 320,000 Venezuelans.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

For the first time in his nearly 16 years on the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts has filed a solo dissent. In it, he bluntly accused his colleagues of a "radical expansion" of the court's jurisdiction.

At issue was a case brought by two college students at Georgia Gwinnett College who were repeatedly blocked from making religious speeches and distributing religious literature on campus. They sued the college, claiming a violation of their First Amendment free speech rights.

BERLIN — Hungary's Klubradio station broadcast its news program on Feb. 14 as it had for more than two decades. The next day it was pulled off the air.

Some 3.5 million people in the capital of Budapest, more than a third of the country's population, tuned in for the show, according to the station's head of news, Mihaly Hardy. Now devoted listeners stream it online only.

"We have lost 60 to 70% of our usual audience," Hardy says.

The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are the first vaccines to be activated by mRNA — and would not have been possible without the invention of the gene editing technology known as CRISPR.

An Iowa newspaper reporter arrested as she covered a Black Lives Matter protest last spring goes on trial Monday in a case that has drawn international concern over press freedom.

The Des Moines Register reporter, Andrea Sahouri, was arrested on May 31 as protesters clashed with police during a demonstration near a shopping mall in the Iowa capital.

The new team President Biden has picked to run the Justice Department will come into focus this week, as Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland awaits a confirmation vote and two more presumptive leaders prepare to face questioning in the Senate.

Lisa Monaco, a national security expert, and Vanita Gupta, a longtime civil rights advocate, will appear before the Judiciary Committee Tuesday in their bids to serve as deputy attorney general and associate attorney general, the department's second and third in command.

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The Jan. 6 insurrection exposed major Capitol security failures, and a review by a task force led by retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré is urging Congress to revamp its security apparatus by adding hundreds of new police officers, creating a quick reaction force and installing a new fencing system.

Honoré and other members of the task force hosted three bipartisan briefing sessions for lawmakers on Monday at the Capitol to discuss their findings and draft recommendations.

Updated at 3:35 p.m. ET

Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill postponed the start of Derek Chauvin's trial in the killing of George Floyd on Monday, after an appeals court ordered him to reconsider his original decision to dismiss a third-degree murder charge against the former Minneapolis police officer. The decision came as a pool of potential jurors waited to start the selection process.

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt has announced he will not seek another term next year, making him the latest in a string of long-serving Senate Republicans to decline a reelection bid.

"There's still a lot to do and I look forward to every day this year and next year as I continue to work for you in the Senate," Blunt said in a video he shared on Twitter on Monday.

Bobby is a sixth grader at North Brookfield Elementary School in western Massachusetts. He's crazy about the Loch Ness monster. He's into math and Minecraft. And he likes online learning.

"It's a lot easier to focus," he says. "I can be in my room and be a lot more comfortable doing stuff."

President Biden has said that his goal is to have the majority of K-8 schools operating in-person by the end of his first 100 days in office.

SEOUL — The U.S. and South Korea struck a preliminary deal to share defense costs, as the Biden administration moves to quickly reassure allies and mend rifts opened by the Trump administration.

The U.S. agreement in principle follows a one-year deal recently struck with Japan, where the U.S. has some 55,000 military personnel. Both deals come less than two months into the new U.S. administration.

In mid-February — barely a month into his term — President Biden gathered 10 union leaders in the Oval Office. The meeting lasted two hours.

"Every once in a while as president you get to invite close friends into the Oval," Biden said, laughing. He added: "These are the folks that brung me to the dance."

House Democrats are expected to pass the final version of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Tuesday, thus delivering on Democrats' campaign promises and cementing a major legislative victory for the Biden administration.

President Biden will mark International Women's Day on Monday by signing two executive orders geared toward promoting gender equity, both in the United States and around the world.

According to an administration official speaking on background, the goal of the orders is "restoring America as a champion for gender equity and equality."

The first executive order will establish a Gender Policy Council within the White House, reformulating an office from the Obama administration that was later disbanded by the Trump administration, and giving it more clout.

When Britain's Prince Harry got married in May 2018 to American actress Meghan Markle — who had found success as a regular on the basic-cable series Suits — they became the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. For a short time, they lived their lives as royals. They did events, they were affiliated with charities, and they were — she was, in particular — unceasingly, often brutally, covered by the British press. Her clothes, the way she sat, the personality she supposedly had, and her general suitability were under constant scrutiny.

Swiss voters approved a proposition Sunday banning facial coverings in public. Niqabs and burqas, worn by almost no one even among the country's Muslim population, will be banned outside of religious institutions. The new law doesn't apply to facial coverings for health reasons.

The top Democratic lawmaker in New York called for the resignation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo Sunday amidst allegations of sexual harassment and an ongoing investigation around botched counts of COVID-19 deaths in the state's nursing homes.

New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins became the highest-ranking state lawmaker and most prominent state Democrat to request Cuomo quit.

More than a month after the military orchestrated a coup against the country's democratically elected leader, Myanmar police are continuing to use violence against peaceful protesters. The death toll is continuing to rise — and it now includes a local official from the deposed leader's political party.

On Jan. 27, 1986, Allan McDonald stood on the cusp of history.

Pope Francis is spending the third day of his visit to Iraq in the north of the country, where an ancient Christian population is dwindling after the city of Mosul and the Nineveh Plains were shattered by militants from ISIS.

The pope led prayers in a Christian area of Mosul, where participants sang, prayed and held olive branches in a square still ruined by the devastating battles that unfolded in the country's second-largest city.

By being able to wait for better food, cuttlefish — the squishy sea creatures similar to octopuses and squids — showed self-control that's linked to the higher intelligence of primates.

It was part of an experiment by Alex Schnell from the University of Cambridge and colleagues.

"What surprised me the most was that the level of self-control shown by our cuttlefish was quite advanced," she tells Lulu Garcia-Navarro on Weekend Edition.

Vaccination programs work best when as many people as possible get vaccinated, but Latinos in the United States are getting inoculated at lower rates.

In Florida, for example, Latinos are 27% of the population but they've made up only about 17% of COVID-19 vaccinations so far, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

As Republicans in statehouses across the country introduce hundreds of bills raising barriers to vote, President Biden is issuing a new executive order signaling his administration's commitment to expanding, not shrinking, voting access and rights.

Kareem Hawari, 24, was born and raised in a district of Anaheim, Calif., informally known as Little Arabia.

That's where he and his sisters own and operate Kareem's Falafel, a small restaurant he took over full-time in 2014, after his father died in 2012. Hawari, who was born mere months after the opening of Kareem's, is named after the restaurant and grew up learning how to cook there.

"You would just be sitting down inside the kitchen and we would all just watch our parents cook," Hawari says.

On a leafy uphill road in Mumbai's Bandra suburb, a fire burns at a Catholic shrine. Garlands adorn a cross and idols of saints below it as pedestrians walk by wearing masks. A nondescript sign at the back of the shrine tells visitors that the cross was erected in 1897 when the city was battling another pandemic.

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