NPR

The Biden administration says new federal guidelines released Tuesday will allow far more medical practitioners to prescribe buprenorphine, a drug proven to reduce opioid relapses and overdose deaths.

The change lowers regulatory hurdles that critics believe sharply limit use of the life-saving medication at a time when drug deaths are surging.

"We have made this much easier for physicians but also for other medical practitioners," said Dr. Rachel Levine, assistant secretary of health, speaking with NPR.

President Biden will require federal contractors to pay their employees a minimum wage of $15 an hour starting March 30, 2022, senior administration officials say — a hike that will benefit a few hundred thousand people and underscore the broader Democratic push to raise the federal pay floor to the same level.

Biden plans to sign an executive order on Tuesday that will kick off the rulemaking process for the higher wage, the officials told reporters Monday.

Potentially sensitive information from the Washington, D.C., police department was allegedly breached by a ransomware attack from a group seeking a payout.

A group called Babuk claimed to be behind the attack. On a post made on its website, the group threatened to release information pulled from the department's systems if they were not paid an undisclosed amount.

Congressional Democrats are further expanding the definition of infrastructure with a plan to provide paid leave and family benefits for the vast majority of Americans.

On Wednesday night, President Biden will propose a plan for billions of dollars of new spending for childcare, education and paid leave, and he'll ask Congress to help pay for it by raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans when they sell stocks and other types of investments.

The proposal, which is certain to face resistance from Republicans and even some Democrats, calls for hiking capital gains taxes for those who make more than $1 million a year to fund what the White House is calling the American Families Plan.

Editor's note: Apple and Facebook are among NPR's financial supporters.

Starting Monday, iPhone and iPad users will have a simple but powerful new way to control how their data is used.

With Apple's latest software update, iOS 14.5, iPhone and iPad users will now encounter pop-ups in the apps they use, asking whether the user wants to allow the app "to track your activity across other companies' apps and websites." The user can then select whether or not to allow the app to track them and share their data.

On a recent episode of his livestreamed show, the 22-year-old extremist Nick Fuentes repeated a formula that has won him a following with some of the youngest members of the far right. He went on an extended, violent and misogynistic rant, only to turn to the camera and add with a smirk, "Just joking!"

In this case, from the April 22 edition of Fuentes' show, America First, a viewer wrote in to ask Fuentes for advice on how to "punish" his wife for "getting out of line."

The Justice Department will launch an investigation into the Louisville Metro Police Department to determine if there is a pattern of discrimination or excessive force within its ranks, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Monday.

The investigation marks the launch of the second such "pattern or practice" investigation since Garland took over as attorney general and comes more than a year after the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor by Louisville, Ky., police fueled worldwide protests against police violence and racial injustice.

Updated April 26, 2021 at 4:49 PM ET

Attorneys for Andrew Brown Jr.'s family said Monday they were frustrated only to be shown 20 seconds of body camera footage of sheriff's deputies shooting and killing Brown last week.

But what they did see amounted to an "execution," family attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter told reporters.

Sheriff's deputies shot and killed Brown, a 42-year-old Black man, while carrying out search and arrest warrants at his home Wednesday in Elizabeth City, N.C.

Updated April 26, 2021 at 5:03 PM ET

In a major foray into gun rights, the Supreme Court on Monday agreed to review a case testing how far states may go in regulating whether an individual may carry a gun outside the home.

The political network of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been ordered to suspend its activities pending a court ruling on whether to label it and other affiliated organizations "extremist" — a move that would likely result in them being permanently shuttered.

In a hearing Monday, prosecutors asked the Moscow City Court to stop the groups from organizing protests or publishing anything online, said Leonid Volkov, a Navalny associate.

American tourists who have been fully vaccinated will be allowed to visit the European Union this summer, according to officials in Brussels.

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said she expects all 27 EU member states will accept travelers who've received COVID-19 vaccines that the European Medicines Agency has approved. That would include the three vaccines that have been authorized for use in the United States — Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer-BioNTech.

A major civil rights group says the Justice Department has more a lot more power than it's using to change the behavior of local police departments.

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund wants Attorney General Merrick Garland to suspend grants to local law enforcement until he's sure that no federal taxpayer money is funding police departments that engage in discrimination, according to a letter obtained by NPR.

At the Supreme Court Monday, a case involving rich conservatives and liberals, their anonymous charitable donations, and tax breaks.

At issue is a California law, similar to laws in others states, that requires tax-exempt charities to file with the state a list of their large donors — a copy, in fact, of the list they file annually with the IRS.

First-time gun owners, young and old from across the country, are helping to push record levels of gun sales for what looks like the second year in a row.

"My gun store has had a run like I've never seen before," said Todd Cotta, the owner of Kings Gun Center in Hanford, Calif., in the state's agriculturally rich Central Valley. "It was just an avalanche of new gun buyers for the first time."

Before being elected president, Joe Biden promised he could accomplish a lot of things in his first 100 days in office.

We gathered a number of those priorities here, two days after he was declared the winner of the 2020 election.

The wreckage of a lost Indonesian submarine has been located, according to the country's military. The KRI Nanggala 402 went missing early Wednesday morning during a training exercise near Bali.

The Indonesian navy said Saturday that it believed the ship had sunk and its crew of 53 were dead, an assessment later confirmed with underwater photos of the wreckage.

A suspect in the U.S. Capitol riot was arrested after allegedly bragging about his involvement in the insurrection to his match on a dating app, who promptly reported him to law enforcement.

Court filings say that exactly one week after the Jan. 6 insurrection, Robert Chapman, 50, told another Bumble user, "I did storm the capitol," adding, "I made it all the way into Statuary Hall." The unnamed individual was evidently not impressed.

"We are not a match," the person wrote, to which he replied, "I suppose not."

Honda said on Friday it plans to sell only zero-emissions vehicles across all its major markets by 2040, becoming the latest automaker to set a concrete target date for phasing out gas- and diesel-powered engines.

In North America, the Japanese automaker said it would aim for 40% of its salse to be zero-emissions vehicles by 2030 and plans to increase the proportion to 80% by 2035.

The company also pledged to be carbon neutral in its own operations by 2050.

A special Pentagon panel is recommending a seismic shift in how the U.S. military handles sexual assault cases, saying independent judge advocates, not commanding officers, should decide whether to pursue legal charges in such cases.

Such a shift would run counter to years of military practice. The Pentagon has long resisted the idea of taking sexual assault cases outside of the normal chain of command.

Updated April 23, 2021 at 7:16 PM ET

Use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is allowed again now that a panel of experts has voted to put it back in distribution despite rare blood clotting problems.

The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday after the panel voted that the vaccine is safe and effective at preventing COVID-19, and its benefits outweigh the known risks.

Updated April 23, 2021 at 4:37 PM ET

The U.S. is joining an international search for a missing Indonesian submarine that lost contact with its base earlier this week. Authorities said the KRI Nanggala 402, if still intact, may by now have exhausted its oxygen supply for its crew of 53.

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby announced Thursday evening on Twitter that at Indonesia's request, the U.S. was "sending airborne assets to assist in the search for the missing submarine."

Updated April 23, 2021 at 9:34 AM ET

Russian jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny said Friday he is calling off a more than three-week prison hunger strike that doctors say left him near death.

Updated April 23, 2021 at 10:27 AM ET

Retired Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster says he likes some of what he sees so far in President Biden's approach to China.

Updated April 24, 2021 at 12:37 PM ET

For decades, U.S. presidents have avoided calling the World War I-era mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turkish forces an act of genocide.

President Biden made that declaration on Saturday as Armenians mark the anniversary of the atrocities.

A SpaceX rocket lifted off from Florida early Friday morning on what is becoming a routine mission, carrying four astronauts to the International Space Station.

As of this week, you can buy relatively low-priced COVID-19 rapid tests to take at home. The tests are available through pharmacies and do not require a prescription to buy one.

The potential lasting effects of COVID-19 infection are many — and people with more severe initial infections are at greater risk for long-term complications, according to a study published Thursday in Nature.

The study, thought to be the largest post-acute COVID-19 study to date, sheds more light on the lingering effects of COVID-19 known as "long COVID."

Capping nearly two weeks of talks between Democrats and Republicans, the Senate approved legislation on Thursday to ramp up law enforcement efforts to better protect the Asian American and Pacific Islander community from hate crimes.

The move marks a rare moment of bipartisan unity needed to approve the Senate legislation despite a new political era marked by increasingly bitter party divisions.

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