NPR Staff

COVID-19 is keeping most of us inside, isolated from others, for days on end.

For kids (and parents!), school work can only extend so far into the day. Earlier, the NPR Arts team offered some of our favorite distractions when we are feeling worried. Now we have some heart-felt recommendations for how to enjoy the rest of the time you have in close-quarters with your family.

Adventure Time

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.

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.

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."

The complete list of winners of the 62nd annual Grammy Awards, presented on Jan. 26, 2020, is below.

News organizations and journalists' advocates are challenging restrictive new ground rules for reporters assigned to cover the Senate impeachment trial.

Correspondents who submit to an official credentialing process are granted broad access throughout the Capitol complex and usually encounter few restrictions in talking with members of Congress or others.

But now Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger has imposed new requirements for the impeachment trial, negotiated in part with Republican leadership:

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Seven candidates are onstage Thursday night for the sixth Democratic presidential debate. It is the smallest and least diverse group yet.

PBS NewsHour and Politico are hosting the debate in Los Angeles, beginning at 8 p.m. ET. It is expected to last about three hours.

House Republicans have released their report on the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

The release of the report from Republicans on the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees comes after more than a dozen witnesses testified both behind closed doors and in public hearings over nearly two months. The panel's Democratic majority has not yet released its own report on the inquiry.

On Monday evening, House committees released the transcript of a State Department official who testified in the impeachment inquiry Nov. 15 that he overheard the president tell the U.S. envoy to the European Union that he was seeking political investigations from Ukraine's president.

Updated at 7:10 p.m. ET

The top Pentagon official who oversaw Russia and Eastern Europe told House impeachment investigators that Ukrainian officials had raised the issue of the suspension of security aid as early as August.

Foreign service officer Christopher Anderson's testimony has been released by Congress, as part of a new, public phase of the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Anderson worked for U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and served as a special adviser for Ukraine negotiations from August 2017 through July 12, leaving days before a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that helped trigger the inquiry.

The House has released the testimony of Catherine Croft, a Ukraine specialist with the State Department. The transcript is one of a number released ahead of the first public hearings of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

It's Round 2 of the first Democratic primary debate in Miami. The stage is headliner-heavy with former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, California Sen. Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.

Updated at 9:37 p.m. ET

The Justice Department has released a redacted copy of special counsel Robert Mueller's report into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

» A copy of the document is available here.

Christine Blasey Ford has accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school in the early 1980s. On Thursday the psychology professor is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Read her opening statement below.

On Monday, authorities in Yemen declared a state of emergency due to a sharp rise in cholera deaths.

Yemen has been at war for more than two years — a Saudi-led coalition has been battling Shiite Houthi rebels aligned with Iran — leaving a reported 10,000 dead. The fighting has decimated much of the country's infrastructure, including its medical facilities. The World Health Organization said in April that fewer than half of Yemen's medical centers were functioning to capacity.

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President Trump will address a joint session of Congress for the first time on Tuesday evening at the Capitol, around 9:00 PM Eastern Time. The address comes a day after Trump gave an outline of his budget plan for Congress, which would increase defense spending and make cuts to domestic programs. Following tradition, House Speaker Paul Ryan invited the president to make the speech to lay out his agenda in the early days of his new administration.

It's become an annual tradition for NPR to host a live band in our studios for a full day. This year, we upped the ante and invited around 70 musicians from Washington, D.C.'s National Symphony Orchestra to play the musical interludes between stories on All Things Considered.

It's been five years since the death of Trayvon Martin — and the outrage that sparked the Black Lives Matter movement.

Martin — 17 years old, black and unarmed — was shot by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla.

Jonathan Rado and Sam France were in eighth grade when they first met and began making music together. Their tastes were simple at first — straight-ahead rock songs banged out on drums and guitars in a garage. But a dramatic shift happened when they decided to take a less linear approach to recording their work.

"I got really into buying cheap, cheap instruments on eBay — lots of xylophones and melodicas and kind of useless junk — and that was kind of everywhere," Rado says. "We'd just kind of play for like 30 minutes, and then chop the best bits down to a three-minute song."

A young woman meets a prince and falls in love. That sounds like the start of an old fashioned fairy tale, but in the movie A United Kingdom it's the start of a diplomatic firestorm. The film tells the story of Ruth Williams and Seretse Khama, who married in 1948. Williams was a typist in London; Khama was heir to the throne of Bechuanaland, or modern-day Botswana.

In America, there is a rare echelon of pop stars so big they only need one name: Madonna, Cher, Prince. In Italy, that name is Zucchero.

At the Oscars this weekend, one spotlight will shine on African-American women in the space race, thanks to the movie Hidden Figures, which is nominated for three Academy Awards, including best picture.

Mae Jemison made history in this field as the first African-American woman in space, as part of the crew on Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1992.

Beth Hart just released her ninth album, Fire On The Floor. It exemplifies her signature, raw, bluesy storytelling about women down and out, surviving and taking control. But Hart, 45, says that when she was younger, she herself wasn't in control. She started drinking and doing drugs as a preteen; that exploded into full-blown addiction after she launched her career from the Los Angeles rock scene in the '90s.

The human species is about to change dramatically. That's the argument Yuval Noah Harari makes in his new book, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow.

Harari is a history professor at Hebrew University in Israel. He tells NPR's Ari Shapiro that he expects we will soon engineer our bodies and minds in the same way we now design products.


Interview Highlights

On how we will begin to engineer bodies

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