National & World News

Coverage of national and world news from New England Public Radio, NPR, and other NPR stations.

Updated at 8:17 p.m. ET

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detained upon his arrival in Moscow on Sunday after spending nearly five months in Germany while recovering from being poisoned.

Shortly before his arrest, Navalny made a statement saying the cases against him are all fabricated. He added that the European Court of Human Rights had ruled in his favor in the case where he's been threatened with imprisonment. That is "why I'm not afraid of anything," he said.

After a lifetime of membership in exclusive clubs, President Trump is about to join one against his will.

It is the club of one-term presidents.

There is surely no dishonor in serving a single term in the nation's highest office. Trump will bring to 23 the number of presidents who had the job for just four years or fewer, so the club includes about half of all those who have taken the oath. Five presidents died while in their first term (two by assassination). Several who stepped in for one of these fallen presidents completed the remainder of that term and left.

Updated at 2:52 p.m. ET

Legendary music producer Phil Spector — who was convicted in 2009 of murdering actress Lana Clarkson — died Saturday at age 81. His death was announced Sunday by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which said that he had died of natural causes. His official cause of death is yet to be determined.

Loews Hotels says it will no longer allow a fundraiser for Sen. Josh Hawley scheduled for February to be held at one of its hotels. The move is the latest fallout from the Missouri Republican's widely criticized decision to object to Electoral College results during Congress' certification of President-elect Joe Biden's win.

While the taco long ago conquered America, some aficionados believe this ancient, handheld food reaches its pinnacle in the Texas-Mexico borderlands.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will step down from her California Senate seat Monday before taking up a more high-profile position in the chamber two days later, transition officials have announced.

Updated at 9:40 a.m. ET

When Joe Biden gives his inaugural address this week, he will do so from a place that will illustrate the magnitude of the challenge he faces as the 46th U.S. president — and will test his ability to find the right words to begin to unite a divided nation.

In the days before the insurrection attempt on the Capitol, alternative social media site Gab was lighting up about it.

Some of the discussion on the social media, which is popular among Trump diehards, veered into a level of specificity that caused alarm among outside observers.

"There were directions provided on Gab for which streets to take to avoid the police," said Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League. "And which tools to use to help pry open the doors."

Last spring, the pandemic stole Maddie Harvey's job on campus in the Dean of Students office. She was finishing up her senior year at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., and without the income from her job, she wasn't going to have enough money to pay her upcoming tuition bill.

"It was definitely a very vulnerable situation that I was in," says Harvey, "it's not easy to talk about when you're struggling, especially knowing that so many people were struggling at one time."

Authorities are locking down all federal prisons as the country braces for potential violence leading into Wednesday's swearing-in of President-elect Joe Biden.

The lockdown was announced early Saturday morning. A statement from the Bureau of Prisons does not specify the length of the lockdown but says the agency was securing all of its facilities as a precautionary measure brought on by "current events occurring around the country."

U.S. Capitol Police say they arrested the driver of a truck who presented unauthorized inauguration credentials at a security checkpoint near the Capitol and was in possession of a loaded handgun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Police said Wesley Allen Beeler was arrested shortly after 6:30 p.m. Friday night after stopping at a checkpoint.

Authorities said one officer noticed several firearms-related decals on Beeler's truck, including one that said, "If they come for your guns Give 'Em your bullets first."

For more than a year and a half, President-elect Joe Biden campaigned promising to undo several Trump administration policies on Day 1 of his presidency, and now his team is filling in the details of that and more as he prepares to take office.

Biden's incoming chief of staff, Ron Klain, on Saturday laid out in a memo the executive orders the new president will issue on Jan. 20 and in the early days of the new administration.

The U.S. House of Representatives has opened an investigation into this month's attack on the U.S. Capitol. In a letter to the heads of America's leading intelligence and law enforcement agencies, House lawmakers asked for any information that could help them understand whether warning signs were missed.

Next week's swearing-in of President-elect Joe Biden will see the biggest security presence of any inauguration in U.S. history. For days, thousands of National Guard troops have been pouring into the capital, and by Wednesday's ceremony, up to 25,000 troops will be in place to guard against security threats.

Governors across the nation are fortifying statehouses amid fears of possibly violent protests in the lead-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday.

Updated at 9:41 a.m. ET

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has won a sixth term in office, fighting off a challenge by former singer Bobi Wine — who was just a child when Museveni came into power back in 1986. Wine's run drew many young Ugandans to pay attention to politics.

Last Wednesday, just before a mob of pro-Trump extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol in an insurrection that left five dead, the president stood before a huge crowd gathered in front of the White House for a so-called "Save America" rally.

Trump whipped up his supporters, repeating a false claim that he has made over and over in the weeks since Nov. 3: "We won this election, and we won it by a landslide," he insisted. "This was not a close election!"

Cheers erupted in hospital wards across India on Saturday as a first group of nurses and sanitation workers rolled up their sleeves and got vaccinated against COVID-19, at the start of what's likely to become the biggest national vaccination campaign in history.

India aims to vaccinate 300 million people by July, though it could take an additional two or more years to inoculate all nearly 1.4 billion Indians. The shots are voluntary. Hospitals and clinics have been setting up and rehearsing for weeks.

I have interviewed some truly hateful people. It's part of what we have to do in the news business.

On April 12, 1955, a wave of public relief resonated across the United States as news arrived of a vaccine that could successfully prevent polio — one of the most feared diseases in the U.S. at the time, causing "more than 15,000 cases of paralysis a year," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a matter of hours on Jan. 6, the Republican Party went from shrugging off its loss of the White House to a party in crisis.

It was becoming clear just before the violent insurrection at the Capitol that the party had lost two Senate runoff elections in Georgia, making President Trump the first president since Herbert Hoover whose party lost the White House, the House and the Senate in one term. And plenty of Republicans blamed Trump for the Democrats' success in Georgia.

It's mid-January, and maybe you've resolved to lose 20 pounds this year, exercise every day, or quit drinking. And — so far — you have failed. So you give up. Sound familiar?

Every new year, we are bombarded with messages like "new year, new you," but for many of us, just living through the last several months has been a major accomplishment.

The U.S. government has executed Dustin Higgs, the last prisoner to be executed during the Trump administration, and the 13th in the span of six months.

The Supreme Court declined to stop the execution, although some justices dissented, noting that before the first of the 13, it had been 17 years since a federal execution had been carried out.

The FBI continues to investigate last week's mob attack on the Capitol and make arrests that include current and former military service members. Now NPR has learned the domestic extremism problem within the ranks may be more serious than officials realized.

A senior defense official who was not authorized to speak publicly tells NPR that there were 143 notifications of investigations by the FBI last year of former and current military members.

The National Rifle Association filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Texas on Friday as its current home, New York, pursues a fraud case against the organization.

The NRA was founded in New York in 1871 and has since presented itself as a defender of Second Amendment rights. The NRA attributes the move to Texas to a "corrupt political and regulatory environment" in New York.

Parler calls itself a "conservative microblogging alternative" to Twitter and "the world's premier free speech platform."

But it's been offline for five days, and possibly forever, after Amazon kicked Parler off of its Web hosting service.

Civil rights officials at the Department of Health and Human Services issued a series of actions to protect people with disabilities from health care discrimination by medical providers during the pandemic.

The actions, by the Office of Civil Rights, or OCR, at the Department of Health and Human Services, specifically address discrimination related to the denial of treatment for people with disabilities who have COVID-19 or the symptoms of COVID-19. They include:

As nations around the world scramble to start vaccinating against COVID-19, many countries are finding it difficult if not impossible to get the vaccines they want.

Case in point — Argentina. President Alberto Fernández promised to start vaccination campaigns in the South American nation before the end of 2020.

Updated at 5:12 p.m. ET

The National Mall, where millions of people have gathered to mark historic events in Washington, D.C., was closed to the public late Friday morning, as officials announced a string of security measures meant to foil any attempts to derail next week's inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Keeping a physical distance from other humans is more critical than ever in the pandemic, with COVID-19 cases surging and more contagious variants spreading. Yet humans are not very good at it.

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