Ari Shapiro

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For more than a year, we have shared stories about people who have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. Today, the story of an Ohio couple who were childhood sweethearts.

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Many a young love story has started in a car, but teenage pop star Olivia Rodrigo's song "Driver's License" is about the end of a relationship.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DRIVER'S LICENSE")

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A fragile cease-fire is still in place in the Middle East. After 11 days of explosive conflict between Israel and Hamas, President Joe Biden yesterday made his first major remarks about the fighting.

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After a long, dark year, social muscles have atrophied. In-person gatherings now call for weighty questions about COVID-19 safety. And many people, who during the pandemic found relief in empty calendars, don't want to go back to the world as they knew it.

On the last episode of Play It Forward, our series in which artists tell us about their own music and the musicians who inspire them, All Things Considered spoke with Angel Bat Dawid, the improvisational musician from Chicago. She told us about her connection to the pioneer of funk: George Clinton.

The first time sociologist Mary de Young heard about QAnon, she thought: "Here we go again."

De Young spent her career studying moral panics — specifically, what became known as the "Satanic Panic" of the 1980s, when false accusations of the abuse of children in satanic rituals spread across the United States.

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Dawn Richard grew up in New Orleans. Her father sang in a funk band called Chocolate Milk. He still does.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FRICTION")

CHOCOLATE MILK: (Singing) Friction, baby.

SHAPIRO: As a kid, she was kind of alternative.

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Look. I wouldn't know what to do if a duck started nesting in a planter on my ninth floor balcony, but Steve Stuttard, an avid bird lover and retired Royal Navy specialist, was just the man for the job.

President Biden is pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% from 2005 levels by 2030.

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The hip-hop artist Shock G, leader of the group Digital Underground, has died. He was 57 years old. He was born Greg Jacobs, though you may know him better by an alter ego.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE HUMPTY DANCE")

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Earlier this week, the white police officer involved in the killing of an unarmed Black man was convicted in a Minneapolis courtroom.

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When archaeologists in Saudi Arabia excavated an ancient tomb, they were expecting to find the remains of a man. They weren't expecting to find man's best friend - bone fragments of a dog laid to rest with humans.

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Nearly every prominent elected official who has spoken about the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict has used words of beginning. President Biden called it a chance to change the trajectory in this country.

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In Morgan Jerkins' new novel Caul Baby, a family of Black women has a gift; they're born with a caul, a layer over their skin that protects them from harm. They can share the caul with others — and sell it "to the highest bidder" — which brings trouble. After all, "aren't all gifts double edged swords?" says Jerkins.

The family lives in Harlem, with a history stretching back to Louisiana. Although the story has fantastical elements, Jerkins used building blocks from her own family history to imagine these women into being.

On the last edition of Play It Forward, All Things Considered's chain of musical gratitude, Devonté Hynes – the English singer-songwriter, producer, director and genre-spanning creative force behind Blood Orange – spoke about experimental jazz artist Angel Bat Dawid's atmospheric track "London."

This last year has been dark. For millions of people, Leslie Jordan's voice has been a ray of light. An Emmy winning actor before the pandemic, his quarantine video diaries have shot him to another level of fame.

He has almost six million Instagram followers and, now, he also has branded merchandise, a book on the way and a gospel album: Company's Comin'. The album has duets with some of the biggest names in country music: Dolly Parton, Chris Stapleton, Tanya Tucker, Brandi Carlisle and more.

Updated April 1, 2021 at 6:30 PM ET

Dozens of states are considering Republican-led bills that advocates say are harmful to transgender people. The recent spate of bills are "really challenging to see," says Dr. Rachel Levine, the nation's newly confirmed assistant secretary for health.

Updated March 31, 2021 at 9:09 AM ET

The U.K. aims to keep its relationship with the U.S. front and center in the coming years, according to the U.K. government's new foreign policy overview called "Global Britain in a competitive age."

How do traditional arts organizations respond to turbulent times?

Conversations about the State Department's discrimination against Asian American diplomats have reignited amid a nationwide reckoning with the country's deep-seated history of anti-Asian racism.

Over the weekend, Rep. Andy Kim, a Democrat from New Jersey, spoke out on Twitter about being discriminated against for his ethnicity during his time as an adviser in the State Department.

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