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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

OK, be honest. When I say craft beer, what comes to mind? A hoppy IPA? Sure. But maybe also, as James Bennett II writes in the digital magazine Eater, a, quote, "white guy swilling beer in specialty stemware in an authentic bar riddled with fugazi bullets in a gentrified neighborhood," unquote. And maybe we'll throw in some plaid shirts and beards along with that.

One day after the House advanced President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, Vice President Harris championed the proposed round of aid as much needed help for Black Americans, calling the pandemic an "accelerator" for "the fissures and the failures, the defects, the flaws in our system."

By releasing intelligence tying Saudi Arabia's crown prince to the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Biden is toughening U.S. posture toward the kingdom.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

All this month, we've been spotlighting community organizations across the country that are shaping Black history for the future. And we end this series with a look at the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, BAJI for short, a nonprofit group that tries to advocate for the millions of Black migrant families who live in the United States and many more in Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America who seek sanctuary here. Nana Gyamfi is executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration and joins us now. Ms. Gyamfi, thanks so much for being here.

The Saudi crown prince may escape punishment for his order to kill a columnist. A pandemic relief package is moving through Congress. Donald Trump remains popular with conservative activists.

NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Larry Wilmore about his new Netflix docu-series, Amend: The Fight for America," about the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

House lawmakers on Friday approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, advancing the legislation to the Senate.

The vote came days after the United States surpassed 500,000 deaths from COVID-19.

Updated on Feb. 27 at 9:15 a.m. ET

The FBI has singled out an individual seen on a video of the Jan. 6 insurrection spraying law enforcement officers, including a Capitol Police officer who died from injuries sustained while defending the building, according to a law enforcement official.

Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick was injured while fending off the mob of Trump supporters who attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. He died the following evening from his injuries.

The Justice Department opened a federal murder investigation into his death.

Updated at 5:42 p.m. ET

Some Democratic lawmakers on Friday sought justification from the Biden administration for Thursday's airstrikes in Syria, marking the first significant test of President Biden's military approach.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

All this week, we are remembering some of the more than 500,000 people in the U.S. who've died of COVID-19 through the music that gave their lives meaning. We're calling our tribute Songs of Remembrance. Deb Kalish wanted to remember her partner, Paul Kleinheider of Chatham, N.J. He was hospitalized early in the pandemic, and once the hospital figured out how patients could connect to the outside world on Zoom, Deb called Paul that way several times a day and played him the songs he loved, especially "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel.

The House is on track to pass a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, which includes another stimulus check to millions of Americans, additional unemployment benefits, and new child tax credits.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Just because the impeachment trial is done, it doesn't mean the story of what happened on January 6 in the nation's capital is over. This week in both House and Senate hearings, police officials who were at the Capitol that day were questioned about it.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

YOGANANDA PITTMAN: We know that the insurrectionists that attacked the Capitol weren't only interested in attacking members of Congress and officers.

CORNISH: Here's Yogananda Pittman, acting chief of the U.S. Capitol Police.

The WNBA franchise the Atlanta Dream, which had been co-owned by former U.S. Sen. Kelley Loeffler of Georgia, has been sold, the league announced Friday afternoon.

The three-member investor group which purchased the team includes former Dream player Renee Montgomery, making her the first retired player to become both an owner and a WNBA executive.

The other owners are Larry Gottesdiener and Suzanne Abair, two executives from the Massachusetts-based real estate firm Northland Investment Corp.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

President Biden arrived in Texas on Friday to inspect the damage from a sequence of strong winter storms and intense cold. The system thrust much of Texas into record low temperatures, knocking out power and bursting pipes. Dozens of people died, including several who were reportedly killed by hypothermia in their homes.

The Senate parliamentarian, a critical but often low-profile arbiter of the chamber's procedural actions, is the subject of frustration from some liberals after a crucial blow to Democrats' agenda late Thursday.

Elizabeth MacDonough is the unelected, nonpartisan interpreter of chamber rules, commonly referred to as the Senate referee. She nixed a Democratic push to add a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage increase to President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, dubbed the American Rescue Plan.

The reason?

Black History Month Playlist

Feb 26, 2021

About the Playlist

February is Black History Month — a time to remember more than 400 years of Black heritage. To celebrate the achievements of the community, we created a playlist of our favorite conversations.

Featured Speakers

LaToya Ruby Frazier: What Is The Human Cost Of Toxic Water And Environmental Racism?

Just over a month into President Biden's administration, his cabinet remains sparsely staffed as nearly two dozen of his nominees await Senate confirmation.

For President Biden, it's a $1.9 trillion gamble.

If successful, his "American Rescue Plan" will help struggling families and businesses weather an unprecedented pandemic and provide a boost to a badly dented economy. It's also broadly popular with voters.

Critics, however, worry it will be end up being a poorly targeted plan that squanders trillions in borrowed money in ways that will do little to improve the nation's long-term economic outlook.

One of the key aims of President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill is to send money to people who were already at risk of falling behind on bills or slipping into poverty.

Democrats say the relief bill set to pass the House Friday includes several new programs intended to create a new social safety net that some in the party are comparing to a new, smaller version of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal.

Updated at 9:27 p.m. ET

Senate Democrats will not be forced to confront an internal political battle over increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 following a decision by the primary keeper of Senate rules.

The Senate parliamentarian ruled that a plan to gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 does not fit the complicated rules that govern budget bills in the Senate. House Democrats included the measure in a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill that is expected to be the first major legislative act for President Biden.

North Dakota has lots of coal. It also has strong and consistent winds. It might be the perfect spot to showcase the long-awaited "energy transition" from climate-warming fossil fuels to climate-saving renewables.

The White House is continuing to defend itself against criticism from the left and right for reopening Trump-era shelters used to house unaccompanied teenagers crossing the border from Mexico.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that the administration was forced to make the "tough choice" of reopening the facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, due to the number of unaccompanied minors arriving at the border, which she explained meant taking responsibility for their care.

Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman, testifying remotely through a video link, told a House committee that her agency head had requested military backup about a half-dozen times in the first hour after the Capitol complex was breached on Jan. 6, the day of the insurrection.

Pittman based her assessment on phone records her agency obtained for then-Chief Steven Sund showing he reached out to the Capitol's top security officials starting shortly before 1 p.m. in the first of six calls requesting the National Guard to respond.

A former adviser to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has shared details of alleged sexual harassment by the governor, including an unwanted kiss and touching. A spokeswoman for Cuomo denied the allegations.

In a post on Medium published Wednesday, Lindsey Boylan describes troubling behavior from the time she first met the governor in January 2016. Boylan served as an economic advisor in the Cuomo administration from 2015 to 2018.

Updated at 2:15 p.m. ET

The Manhattan district attorney's office is in possession of Donald Trump's tax returns, following a years-long effort by the former president to shield his finances and business affairs from scrutiny.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Some of the most viewed, most remarkable and revealing video of the January 6 Capitol riot was shot inside the Senate chamber by my guest, Luke Mogelson. Some of his video was used as evidence by House managers prosecuting Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial.

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Our next guest has some issues with the Biden administration relief package. Congresswoman Nancy Mace is a freshman Republican from South Carolina. And she's on the line with us. Congresswoman, thanks so much for being here.

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

Newly disclosed documents from inside the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan capture a sense of panic and dread among prosecutors and their supervisors as one of their cases collapsed last year amid allegations of government misconduct.

CDC launches tool for people to find where to get vaccinated. Biden administration is expected to release a report on the killing of a Saudi journalist. House panel presses postmaster on mail delays.

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