NPR

The Biden administration is preparing to release $5 billion in new housing vouchers, approved in the latest COVID relief bill. The goal is to help 70,000 low-income families at risk of homelessness due to the pandemic.

But, even in the best of times, it can be hard to use such vouchers, which allow recipients to pay one-third of their income on rent, with the government covering the rest. Many landlords won't accept them and the vouchers are often hard to come by. Some families have to wait years to get one.

Updated May 14, 2021 at 3:59 PM ET

In 2018, then-House Speaker Paul Ryan sat next to his friend and ally Rep. Elise Stefanik and predicted a bright future for the New York Republican.

"This is the future of the Republican Party, the future of our country — people like Elise," Ryan told CBS.

With college classes going online because of COVID-19, Joe Spofforth put his double major in political economies and educational studies on hold to move West and find work. When the pandemic was over, he'd go back.

"You can get real into this stuff," the 21-year-old Ohioan said, grinning at his mountain surroundings as his fellow Montana Conservation Corps crew members saw, chop and lop branches and logs away from a dirt path — trail work.

Standing, unshowered, in the shade of a tall stand of lodgepole pine in northwest Montana, he said it's a bit scary though.

The Food and Drug Administration said Monday that children 12 to 15 years old are now eligible to receive a key COVID-19 vaccine as the agency expanded its emergency use authorization for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Dr. Janet Woodcock, the acting FDA commissioner, said the expansion "brings us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy."

Those collecting unemployment benefits under the American Rescue Plan must accept "suitable" employment when offered, President Biden said Monday, responding to last week's underwhelming April jobs report.

"We're going to make it clear that anyone collecting unemployment, who was offered a suitable job, must take the job or lose their unemployment benefits," Biden said before adding: "We don't see much evidence of that."

Joining the exodus of Hondurans fleeing their benighted homeland, Luis Alberto Enrique and his family search for the unmarked footpath into Guatemala to begin their dangerous, 1,500-mile journey to the Texas border.

As they walk through the border town of Corinto on a humid morning last month, his two young daughters tote pink Disney backpacks and their favorite stuffed animals. Enrique says he heard the United States is no longer turning migrants back.

Updated May 10, 2021 at 8:29 PM ET

A critical pipeline that runs from refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast to terminals as far north as New York was shut down over the weekend after being hit by a massive ransomware attack.

The company announced Monday evening that its Line 4 between Greensboro, N.C., to Woodbine, Md., was operating under manual control, although its main lines were still shut down.

Updated May 11, 2021 at 4:07 AM ET

JERUSALEM — A new round of Israeli-Palestinian violence continued to escalate Monday as Palestinian militants fired rockets from Gaza toward Jerusalem and Israel responded with airstrikes.

Palestinian health officials said 24 people, including nine children, were killed in the strikes. The Israel Defense Forces would not confirm those figures but said three Palestinian militants were killed in a targeted attack.

Updated May 10, 2021 at 2:33 PM ET

Gay and transgender people will be protected from discrimination in health care, the Biden administration announced Monday, effectively reversing a Trump-era rule that went into effect last year.

The top social media sites — Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Twitter — are all "effectively unsafe for LGBTQ users," according to a new report by GLAAD.

"Of special concern, the prevalence and intensity of hate speech and harassment stands out as the most significant problem in urgent need of improvement," the organization focused on ending discrimination against LGBTQ people said in its inaugural social media index report.

There's a sort of time warp going on at The Villages, the enormous retirement community in Florida.

On streets made up to look like small-town Main Streets, it's maybe an idealized, slickly varnished version of the 1950s — albeit with legions of golf carts.

At a hotel ballroom on Friday night, it was something like 2017.

"I just got to check something; I just want to make sure I'm in the right place. Tell me, who is your president?" Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene yelled to a packed ballroom of mostly maskless supporters.

"Donald Trump!" they yelled in response.

Archaeologists discovered the fossilized remains of nine Neanderthals at a prehistoric cave site south of Rome, the Italian Cultural Ministry announced on Saturday.

The oldest of the remains date from between 90,000 and 100,000 years ago, while the other eight are believed to be younger, dating from 50,000 to 68,000 years ago.

Updated May 9, 2021 at 7:24 AM ET

A bombing near a school in Kabul on Saturday killed at least 50 people, many of them young students.

At least 100 people were wounded in the attack, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian, the Associated Press reports. He told the AP that casualties could continue to rise.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Updated May 9, 2021 at 11:07 AM ET

A ransomware attack has shut down one of the largest refined products pipelines in the United States, and a security analyst said it shows that "core elements of our national infrastructure" remain vulnerable to cyberattack.

The cyber attack hit Colonial Pipeline, which carries gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from Texas to New York and moves about 45% of all fuel consumed on the East Coast.

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

The U.S. Capitol Police have close to 2,000 uniformed officers, more than the Atlanta Police Department.

The agency's annual budget is around half a billion dollars, which is larger than the budget for the entire Detroit Police Department.

Updated May 7, 2021 at 12:29 PM ET

The Justice Department has filed federal criminal charges against Derek Chauvin, accusing the former police officer of using excessive force and violating the civil rights of George Floyd. Floyd died after Chauvin pressed on his neck for more than nine minutes on the pavement outside a convenience store last year in Minneapolis.

When I was six years old, I knew that radio was a medium with a purpose. Twice a day, my teacher in a rural school turned on the radio and we listened to the Wisconsin School of the Air and I learned art, music, science and nature studies listening to the radio. This was but one example of the Wisconsin Idea that "the boundaries of the campus are the boundaries of the state."

Updated May 7, 2021 at 1:18 PM ET

Hiring unexpectedly slowed last month as businesses struggled to keep pace with booming demand from newly vaccinated customers.

U.S. employers added just 266,000 jobs in April, according to a monthly snapshot from the Labor Department. It was the weakest month of job growth since January.

Updated May 7, 2021 at 5:30 PM ET

Texas legislators approved new, more restrictive state election rules after a session that lasted from Thursday night into the early hours of Friday. The GOP-backed state Senate bill passed the House at 3 a.m. (4 a.m. ET) after hours of debate over amendments proposed by Democrats.

President Biden rolled out a proposal to overhaul the nation's immigration system on his first day in office.

But on Day 100, he shifted to talk about a more targeted, pragmatic approach.

It left some advocates feeling abandoned.

A new study estimates that the number of people who have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. is more than 900,000, a number 57% higher than official figures.

Worldwide, the study's authors say, the COVID-19 death count is nearing 7 million, more than double the reported number of 3.24 million.

Updated May 6, 2021 at 2:03 PM ET

The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday expressed concerns that a controversial audit and recount of the November election in Arizona's Maricopa County may be out of compliance with federal laws.

Pamela Karlan, the principal deputy assistant attorney general with the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, wrote in a letter that federal officials see two issues with the election review ordered by the Republican-led state Senate.

Updated May 6, 2021 at 10:20 AM ET

India has been setting daily records for positive coronavirus tests — more than 400,000 people on Wednesday alone.

In New Delhi, the Holy Family Hospital is at 140% capacity.

After one of the most destructive and extreme wildfire seasons in modern history last year, a widening drought across California and much of the West has many residents bracing for the possibility this season could be worse.

In a breakthrough for an 8-year-long effort, two senators behind legislation to revamp the way the military handles sexual assault cases and other serious crimes say the bill has the bipartisan votes to gain passage.

Facebook's Oversight Board on Wednesday essentially punted the decision back to the company on whether to eventually allow former President Donald Trump back on Facebook and Instagram. What the social media giant decides in the coming months will likely have major consequences for Trump's political power.

"It could be a make-or-break moment for Trump's political future," said Eric Wilson, a Republican political technologist.

Google is adopting a series of changes to give its employees greater workplace flexibility as the tech giant prepares for an updated, post-pandemic return to normalcy.

Chief Executive Sundar Pichai announced that Google will allow employees to work a hybrid workweek, which would allow some workers to spend three days in the office and two days teleworking. Google is also allowing some workers to request a change of office locations altogether.

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 5, 2021 at 5:52 PM ET

Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, is doubling down on her condemnation of former President Donald Trump over his efforts to undermine the 2020 election and his role in inciting the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot as pressure mounts among top Republicans to remove her from her leadership role.

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