Emma Bowman

Tech billionaire Elon Musk hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend, in a debut performance that drummed up a lot of reaction before his big night even began.

As the night unfolded, Musk, CEO of electric carmaker Tesla and chief engineer of SpaceX, played a range of characters, including: a doctor at a Gen Z hospital, a priest and self-confessed murderer in a Mare of Easttown parody, an anti-social party guest in a post-pandemic world — and, naturally — himself.

A benefit concert leveraged major star power in a Saturday broadcast to address the latest obstacles to resolving the pandemic: vaccine inequity and vaccine hesitancy.

During Global Citizen's "Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World," politicians, celebrities and musicians pleaded with the public to get vaccinated and discouraged world leaders from stockpiling vaccine supplies, as the world faces stark gaps in access to COVID-19 vaccines.

A California bar owner has been arrested for allegedly selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards in what's believed to be the first thwarted scheme of its kind.

Undercover agents with the state's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control bought the bogus cards for $20 each during multiple visits to the Old Corner Saloon in Clements, a small town in San Joaquin County.

Updated May 8, 2021 at 9:12 AM ET

Weeks of sporadic violence between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem intensified on Friday evening at a sacred religious site for Muslims and Jews, as the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan nears.

Israeli police in riot gear confronted crowds of Muslim worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of Islam's holiest sites. Worshippers threw rocks and chairs at police, who fired rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades.

Pfizer and its vaccine partner BioNTech have started an application to request the Food and Drug Administration's approval for its COVID-19 vaccine.

Two older Asian women were stabbed on Tuesday while waiting for a bus in downtown San Francisco, authorities said. The attack occurred amid a spate of anti-Asian violence in the country since the start of the pandemic.

The women, age 84 and 63, both remain in the hospital and are receiving treatment for multiple stab wounds, the San Francisco Police Department said in a news release on Wednesday. Neither woman is in critical condition.

Updated May 5, 2021 at 6:43 PM ET

President Biden threw his support behind a World Trade Organization proposal on Wednesday to waive intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines, clearing a hurdle for vaccine-strapped countries to manufacture their own vaccines even though the patents are privately held.

Updated May 1, 2021 at 10:03 PM ET

Medina Spirit overcame tough odds to win the 147th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, giving trainer Bob Baffert a record seventh Derby victory.

Medina Spirit, mounted by jockey John Velazquez, broke out of the gate with an early lead and held fast as the race met the final stretch.

After a public outcry, a robotic dog once hailed by the New York Police Department a high-tech crime-fighting sidekick is getting sent back to its owner.

The police canceled a $94,000 contract with the robot's maker Boston Dynamics following a backlash tied to calls to cut the police budget and concerns of police militarization and abuses of force.

The department introduced the public to the "Digidog" in December after acquiring the device in a test program.

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.

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.

Updated April 28, 2021 at 7:39 PM ET

A grand jury has charged three Georgia men with federal hate crimes and attempted kidnapping in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was shot while jogging last year.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee will return this June with a new format designed to crank up the competition and crown one, true champion.

On top of other pandemic-inspired modifications, spellers will now face vocabulary questions and, if needed, a tiebreaker round.

In between the usual oral spelling rounds, "word meaning," the new vocabulary portion, will ask the speller to answer a multiple-choice question during the second round of each competition level all the way to the finals.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced plans to ban hydraulic fracturing by 2024 as part of a longer-term aim to end all oil extraction in the state.

The governor has ordered the state's top oil regulator to implement regulation to stop issuing new fracking permits by 2024. He has also directed the state's air resources agency to look at ways to phase out oil extraction completely by 2045.

Scenes of joy and relief erupted across the country after a jury found Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murder in the death of George Floyd.

The jury found Chauvin guilty on three charges in Floyd's death during an arrest last Memorial Day: second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Facebook decided not to notify over 530 million of its users whose personal data was lifted in a breach sometime before August 2019 and was recently made available in a public database. Facebook also has no plans to do so, a spokesperson said.

Phone numbers, full names, locations, some email addresses, and other details from user profiles were posted to an amateur hacking forum on Saturday, Business Insider reported last week.

Four members of a militia group associated with the extremist "boogaloo" movement have been indicted on obstruction charges related to the killing and an attempted killing of two federal law enforcement officers in California last year, the Department of Justice announced on Friday.

In January, under pressure from Donald Trump to overturn what he baselessly called a fraudulent election, Brad Raffensperger remained steadfast. The Georgia secretary of state insisted that the 2020 election in the state was fair and secure, and that there had been no evidence of foul play to back up the former president's claims.

A recent study of mummified parrots found in a high-altitude desert region in South America suggests to researchers that, as far back as some 900 years ago, people went to arduous lengths to transport the prized birds across vast and complex trade routes.

The remains of more than two dozen scarlet macaws and Amazon parrots were found at five different sites in northern Chile's arid Atacama Desert — far from their home in the Amazon rainforest.

So how did they get there?

This week, a shooting attack at a grocery store in Boulder, Colo., left 10 people dead. Just days earlier, eight people were fatally shot in a rampage targeting spas in the Atlanta area.

As with almost every mass shooter in recorded U.S. history, both of the suspects in the recent attacks are men.

A staggering 98% of these crimes have been committed by men, according to The Violence Project, a nonpartisan research group that tracks U.S. mass shooting data dating back to 1966.

An octogenarian in California has struck gold on TikTok by bringing old tech to a new platform.

Howard Hatch, a volunteer at the Sacramento History Museum, has emerged as the star of the museum's TikTok account for, well, just doing his job.

In the viral videos, he gives demonstrations of historic printing presses while dispensing fast facts and printing puns.

The speed at which his videos travel on the social media app surprises Hatch, whose printing press cranks out some 500 pages an hour.

As more schools open for in-person learning and some organized sports resume, many children — like adults — are returning to the world after having packed on extra body weight.

While data is sparse on whether there's been a rise in children's weight over the pandemic, some health professionals have seen worrisome signs.

Suzannah Stivison, a pediatric nurse practitioner in Kensington, Md., told NPR that some of her patients put on what she calls "the other COVID-19" — as in, 19 pounds.

Ten years ago this week, Syrian government forces opened fire on protesters, setting off a bloody civil war. Since March 2011, the civil war has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced more than 10 million people.

In the early days of the uprising, Bassam Khabieh, then an amateur photographer, picked up his camera — his phone at the time — and began documenting what would be years of urban warfare from his hometown of Douma, a rebel holdout.

Inside the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package President Biden signed on Thursday is a huge, much-needed boost for the child care industry.

Almost $25 billion is going toward child care providers and centers, and an additional $15 billion will go toward helping families get access to child care.

In a crop of viral videos featuring Tom Cruise, it's not the actor's magic trick nor his joke-telling that's deceptive — but the fact that it's not actually Tom Cruise at all.

The videos, uploaded to TikTok in recent weeks by the account @deeptomcruise, have raised new fears over the proliferation of believable deepfakes — the nickname for media generated by artificial intelligence technology showing phony events that often seem realistic enough to dupe an audience.

When Lucas Kwan Peterson set out to rank the beloved assortment of Girl Scout Cookies, he knew he was dipping into controversy.

"People are very opinionated about these cookies," Peterson, a Los Angeles Times food columnist, told NPR's All Things Considered after publishing his "official Girl Scout cookie power rankings" last month.

This weekend marks 56 years since civil rights marchers were attacked by Alabama state troopers on a day now known as "Bloody Sunday." The annual commemoration will be different this year — there's a pandemic, a new president and perhaps most notably, one missing voice.

On March, 7 1965, the late John Lewis and other civil rights leaders led a march from Selma to Montgomery to demonstrate for voting rights. While crossing onto the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the peaceful demonstrators, including Lewis, were brutally beaten by police.

A small, white building has been sitting on the campus of the College of William & Mary for nearly a century. But it was only recently identified as an 18th century schoolhouse where free and enslaved Black children were taught Christianity and literacy.

Researchers believe the Williamsburg Bray School, as it was called, to be the oldest standing building in the U.S. dedicated to the education of Black children.

A new initiative aims to interpret and share the school's complex, pro-slavery history.

Several cities across the country that count obesity as an underlying condition have opened COVID-19 vaccine appointments to people with a body mass index of 30 or higher — the medical benchmark for obesity.

While BMI isn't a foolproof standard by which to assess potential health risk factors, obesity medicine physician Dr. Fatima Stanford told NPR, "overall, it's a good measure" in this case.

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