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President Biden's new Education Secretary, Miguel Cardona, hit the ground running Wednesday. Just one day after being sworn in, Cardona traveled to his hometown of Meriden, Conn. with first lady Dr. Jill Biden, on a tour of schools meant to push for the return of in-person learning and to send a clear message to the American people — that the Biden Administration is doing all it can to get children back in classrooms.

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President Biden said on Tuesday that a key milestone in the fight against COVID-19 could be reached two months faster than earlier projected. By the end of May, there should be enough vaccine doses for every adult in America, he said — a dramatic improvement to his initial timetable for late July.

A turning point in speeding up that pledge came a few weeks ago, on a Sunday afternoon in early February, during a phone call with Johnson & Johnson executives that had been planned for 15 minutes but stretched for longer than an hour, two senior administration officials told NPR.

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A 73-year-old widow from New Hampshire got stranded in New Zealand when the pandemic hit last year. Where she's living now is handling COVID-19 very differently than the United States.

Dolly Parton wants people to get vaccinated. To that end, she re-imagined one of her greatest hits. Parton sang an adaptation of "Jolene" in a social media post before getting the Moderna shot.

Kat Edmonson started live-streaming a weekly variety show out of her living room during the pandemic – a surprising but necessary adjustment after the singer-songwriter's touring life was locked down, leaving Edmonson with little to no work. It was a blow at first, but she's come to really embrace the format.

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Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI, is testifying before Congress about the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. He's taking questions from a committee chaired by Democrat Dick Durbin.

(SOUNDBITE OF HEARING)

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NPR's Steve Inskeep talks to Trita Parsi of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft about the next steps the U.S. should take to get Iran back to the negotiating table.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

College students in Montana will soon be able to carry concealed firearms on campus without a permit. Yellowstone Public Radio's Kevin Trevellyan reports.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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While conspiracy theories aren't new, experts say their reach is spreading — accelerated by social media, encouraged by former President Donald Trump and weaponized in a way that is unprecedented.

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