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Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

No reasonable filmgoer came away from a screening of Guillermo del Toro's 2013 film Pacific Rim or its 2018 sequel (directed by Steven S. DeKnight) thinking, "You know what that needed? More lore."

A judge sentenced former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II to 14 years in prison Wednesday for rapes and other sexual offenses against several women in Southern California.

San Diego County Superior Court Judge Blaine Bowman, who presided over Winslow's trial, called the former player "a sexual predator," according to news reports.

Updated on Thursday at 12:50 p.m. ET

The House has once again passed a bill aimed at protecting and expanding voting rights and reforming campaign finance laws. The Wednesday-night vote was 220-210. But the measure is not expected to advance in the Senate, where Democrats hold a narrow majority, and Republicans on Capitol Hill argue the proposal is a political effort to federalize elections.

Updated Thursday at 10:40 a.m. ET

House lawmakers on Wednesday passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, a reform bill that would ban chokeholds and alter so-called qualified immunity for law enforcement, which would make it easier to pursue claims of police misconduct.

The 220-212 vote, mostly along party lines, came nine months after Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was killed by Minneapolis police officers last spring.

A leading member of the Proud Boys was ordered to be released Wednesday when federal prosecutors failed to convince a judge he was a danger to the public while he awaits trial in the U.S. Capitol riots on Jan. 6.

The new Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine may offer the best prospect for protecting as many Americans as possible, as quickly as possible, but some U.S. faith leaders say they have moral concerns about its development.

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voiced concern on Wednesday about the recent climb in the number of new cases of the coronavirus, warning that pandemic fatigue and the loosening of restrictions may be setting the stage for yet another surge this spring.

Twenty-eight-year old Alek Minassian was found guilty on 26 charges that include murder and attempted murder Wednesday for purposefully driving a van through a crowd in Toronto nearly three years ago.

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.

How 2 Skiers Conquered Yosemite's Half Dome

Mar 3, 2021

At the end of last month, two skiers achieved an unprecedented feat: descending the summit of Yosemite National Park's iconic Half Dome into the valley below.

In 1865, a report declared that the rock formation — at more than 8,800 feet above sea level — was a path that "never will be trodden by human foot."

Since then, Half Dome has become a popular, but challenging, hike.

But on Feb. 21, Jason Torlano and Zach Milligan made the nearly 5,000-foot trek down on skis.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Dr. Rochelle Walensky has been head of the CDC for just over a month. And for most of that time, she was looking at hopeful signs - a sharp drop in new coronavirus cases, more people getting vaccinated and a third vaccine coming on the market. Now, it's starting to look like a mixed picture. New cases and deaths are creeping up. Texas and Mississippi are dropping statewide mask requirements and fully reopening for business.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Dr. Rochelle Walensky has been head of the CDC for just over a month. And for most of that time, she was looking at hopeful signs - a sharp drop in new coronavirus cases, more people getting vaccinated and a third vaccine coming on the market. Now, it's starting to look like a mixed picture. New cases and deaths are creeping up. Texas and Mississippi are dropping statewide mask requirements and fully reopening for business.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Three hours and 19 minutes - that is how long it took for D.C. National Guard troops to receive authorization to respond to a frantic call for help from the Capitol Police during the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Meanwhile, those guard troops were sitting just minutes away from the building under siege. A joint Senate panel heard testimony today from military and national security officials to try to understand why it took so long for help to arrive. NPR congressional correspondent Susan Davis covered the hearings. She's here now.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Dr. Rochelle Walensky has been head of the CDC for just over a month. And for most of that time, she was looking at hopeful signs - a sharp drop in new coronavirus cases, more people getting vaccinated and a third vaccine coming on the market. Now, it's starting to look like a mixed picture. New cases and deaths are creeping up. Texas and Mississippi are dropping statewide mask requirements and fully reopening for business.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Dr. Rochelle Walensky has been head of the CDC for just over a month. And for most of that time, she was looking at hopeful signs - a sharp drop in new coronavirus cases, more people getting vaccinated and a third vaccine coming on the market. Now, it's starting to look like a mixed picture. New cases and deaths are creeping up. Texas and Mississippi are dropping statewide mask requirements and fully reopening for business.

In Disney’s new film “Raya and the Last Dragon,” Raya is a young warrior in the fantasy land of Kumandra, where humans and dragons have lived together for centuries.

But an evil force known as Druun turned the dragons and many of the humans into stone, with the remaining people split into warring factions. On her mission to restore peace, Raya manages to find the last surviving dragon, Sisu. “Raya and the Last Dragon” opens in theaters and is available on Disney+ beginning Friday.

Air traffic controllers may soon see more planes crossing their radars. Data from the travel analytics firm Cirium shows scheduled weekly airline seats are higher than they were a year ago.

Here & Now transportation analyst Seth Kaplan joins us to discuss what this means for the airline industry as it looks past the pandemic.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

President Biden is asking all states to prioritize vaccinating teachers in order to open more schools for in-person learning. Educators now qualify for the federal pharmacy program.

In California, the LA Unified School District is already taking matters into its own hands by launching a vaccination program this week to get all its teachers and staff inoculated to open schools by mid-April.

How The Pandemic Has Changed Social Media

Mar 3, 2021

The pandemic has prompted many people to stop posting as much on social media, even as they’re scrolling their feeds more while stuck at home. At the same time, some have turned to social media as a refuge from the helplessness many felt in 2020, rediscovering its capacity for connecting people.

Here & Now‘s Tonya Mosley speaks with Rani Molla, senior data reporter for Recode.

Democratic strategist Bill Press and Republican strategist Alice Stewart join Here & Now‘s Callum Borchers to discuss the differences between their political parties on President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, and what’s on and off the table in negotiations.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

The country's rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is picking up speed, with a third new vaccine ramping up production and an accelerated timeline promising enough supply for every American adult by the end of May.

Director Lee Isaac Chung's inspiration for Minari, his semi-autobiographical film about a Korean American father who moves his family to a farm in rural Arkansas, began with a list.

Chung had been struggling to settle on a new project. Inspired by Willa Cather's writing about her Nebraska roots, he decided to look into his own past. So he went to the local library and spent the afternoon writing a list of memories from his own rural upbringing.

One year after a deadly tornado tore through the city, some residents in North Nashville, a historically Black neighborhood, have decided to rebuild their homes despite efforts by developers to entice them to sell and uproot.

WPLN’s Damon Mitchell reports.

At least 10 rockets targeted a military base in western Iraq that hosts U.S.-led coalition troops on Wednesday, according to a U.S. defense official.

It was the first attack since the U.S. struck Iran-aligned militia targets along the Iraq-Syria border last week. After President Biden ordered that attack, some lawmakers say Congress should reassert its authority to use military force.

Here & Now‘s Callum Borchers speaks with Sen. Tim Kaine.

In lieu of travel during the pandemic, some people have been tuning in to Tree.fm, a website that serves up recordings of forests around the world.

The site is the work of Kai Nicolaides, a web developer based in Berlin who gathered recordings from the crowd-sourced “Sounds of the Forest” project in the U.K.

With disinformation spreading on an unprecedented scale, experts in cult deprogramming are turning their skills to those who have fallen down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theories.

NPR’s Tovia Smith reports on the efforts to combat the disinformation that’s gripping Americans.

Students Teach Adults About Vaccines

Mar 3, 2021

If you’ve been on the fence about taking the coronavirus vaccine, there are teenagers who want to talk to you.

At the Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning in Denver, high school students are confronting misconceptions and myths about the vaccine, hoping to encourage adults — even their own relatives — to get the shot.

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