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Every weekday, join the hosts as they present two hours of breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special -- sometimes quirky -- features.

On the weekends, listen in as Michel Martin hosts the show that keeps listeners informed on breaking news and business updates by intelligently combining hard news and cultural commentary from across America and around the world.

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As the blackouts in Texas dragged on, millions of residents quickly realized they had more to worry about than trying to light and heat their homes. The water coming out their faucets was no longer safe to drink.

Like falling dominos, infrastructure around Texas, dependent on electricity, began failing in the extreme cold. In Austin, the Ullrich Water Treatment Plant shut down due to an electrical failure. That, combined with low water pressure from broken pipes, meant residents had to boil their water.

Congress approved $25 billion in emergency rental assistance to keep people housed during the pandemic. States are struggling to get the money out to those who need it.

Researchers in England are deliberately exposing volunteers to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The goal is to speed up the development of new vaccines and treatments.

But exposing people to a potentially fatal disease with no particularly effective therapy strikes some as unnecessary, if not unethical.

A Denver city councilmember who supports defunding police weighs new success of replacing cops with mental health teams. Six months in, the team has responded to almost 750 calls, without one arrest.

The trial started Monday for the Des Moines Register reporter, Andrea Sahouri, who was arrested while covering a protest after George Floyd's death even though she identified herself as media.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Finally today, so you might not be surprised that a record titled "Preacher's Kid" by a musician whose father was a pastor would take the top spot on the iTunes Christian album chart. That happened last month with the new album by Grace Semler Baldrige, who performs as Semler. But the lyrics on that album tell a different story than the one you might be expecting.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JESUS FROM TEXAS")

SEMLER: (Singing) My mom turned 18 in the 1960s, and she doesn't remember Stonewall.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Finally today, so you might not be surprised that a record titled "Preacher's Kid" by a musician whose father was a pastor would take the top spot on the iTunes Christian album chart. That happened last month with the new album by Grace Semler Baldrige, who performs as Semler. But the lyrics on that album tell a different story than the one you might be expecting.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JESUS FROM TEXAS")

SEMLER: (Singing) My mom turned 18 in the 1960s, and she doesn't remember Stonewall.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Finally today, so you might not be surprised that a record titled "Preacher's Kid" by a musician whose father was a pastor would take the top spot on the iTunes Christian album chart. That happened last month with the new album by Grace Semler Baldrige, who performs as Semler. But the lyrics on that album tell a different story than the one you might be expecting.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JESUS FROM TEXAS")

SEMLER: (Singing) My mom turned 18 in the 1960s, and she doesn't remember Stonewall.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Finally today, so you might not be surprised that a record titled "Preacher's Kid" by a musician whose father was a pastor would take the top spot on the iTunes Christian album chart. That happened last month with the new album by Grace Semler Baldrige, who performs as Semler. But the lyrics on that album tell a different story than the one you might be expecting.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JESUS FROM TEXAS")

SEMLER: (Singing) My mom turned 18 in the 1960s, and she doesn't remember Stonewall.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

This weekend marks 56 years since civil rights marchers were attacked by Alabama state troopers on a day now known as "Bloody Sunday." The annual commemoration will be different this year — there's a pandemic, a new president and perhaps most notably, one missing voice.

On March, 7 1965, the late John Lewis and other civil rights leaders led a march from Selma to Montgomery to demonstrate for voting rights. While crossing onto the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the peaceful demonstrators, including Lewis, were brutally beaten by police.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The commemoration of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Ala., will be different this year. The pandemic means there won't be marching crowds this weekend. The church service will be virtual.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

And notably, a voice will be missing.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOHN LEWIS: We're marching today to dramatize to the nation, dramatize to the world, the hundreds and thousands of Negro citizens of Alabama, but particularly here in the Black Belt area, denied the right to vote.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The commemoration of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Ala., will be different this year. The pandemic means there won't be marching crowds this weekend. The church service will be virtual.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

And notably, a voice will be missing.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOHN LEWIS: We're marching today to dramatize to the nation, dramatize to the world, the hundreds and thousands of Negro citizens of Alabama, but particularly here in the Black Belt area, denied the right to vote.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The commemoration of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Ala., will be different this year. The pandemic means there won't be marching crowds this weekend. The church service will be virtual.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

And notably, a voice will be missing.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOHN LEWIS: We're marching today to dramatize to the nation, dramatize to the world, the hundreds and thousands of Negro citizens of Alabama, but particularly here in the Black Belt area, denied the right to vote.

The number of refugees has soared over the past four years, with more than 26 million refugees worldwide as of mid-2020, according to the United Nations refugee agency.

As the world approaches a year since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the appeal of virtual happy hours and other ways of staying connected via screens has faded for many people.

Enter Canada Post, which is providing an alternate way for people to connect with those they're missing — one postcard at a time.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Two trend lines have moved in opposite directions over the last four years. One is the number of refugees worldwide. It has been soaring - 26.3 million as of mid-2020. The other is the number of refugees resettled in the U.S. It has plummeted from 85,000 a year at the start of the Trump administration to about 12,000 last year. President Biden wants to reverse that second trend. And here to talk about what that means is the U.N. Refugee Agency's deputy high commissioner, Kelly Clements.

Hi there.

KELLY CLEMENTS: Hi, Ari.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Two trend lines have moved in opposite directions over the last four years. One is the number of refugees worldwide. It has been soaring - 26.3 million as of mid-2020. The other is the number of refugees resettled in the U.S. It has plummeted from 85,000 a year at the start of the Trump administration to about 12,000 last year. President Biden wants to reverse that second trend. And here to talk about what that means is the U.N. Refugee Agency's deputy high commissioner, Kelly Clements.

Hi there.

KELLY CLEMENTS: Hi, Ari.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Two trend lines have moved in opposite directions over the last four years. One is the number of refugees worldwide. It has been soaring - 26.3 million as of mid-2020. The other is the number of refugees resettled in the U.S. It has plummeted from 85,000 a year at the start of the Trump administration to about 12,000 last year. President Biden wants to reverse that second trend. And here to talk about what that means is the U.N. Refugee Agency's deputy high commissioner, Kelly Clements.

Hi there.

KELLY CLEMENTS: Hi, Ari.

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voiced concern on Wednesday about the recent climb in the number of new cases of the coronavirus, warning that pandemic fatigue and the loosening of restrictions may be setting the stage for yet another surge this spring.

How 2 Skiers Conquered Yosemite's Half Dome

Mar 3, 2021

At the end of last month, two skiers achieved an unprecedented feat: descending the summit of Yosemite National Park's iconic Half Dome into the valley below.

In 1865, a report declared that the rock formation — at more than 8,800 feet above sea level — was a path that "never will be trodden by human foot."

Since then, Half Dome has become a popular, but challenging, hike.

But on Feb. 21, Jason Torlano and Zach Milligan made the nearly 5,000-foot trek down on skis.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Dr. Rochelle Walensky has been head of the CDC for just over a month. And for most of that time, she was looking at hopeful signs - a sharp drop in new coronavirus cases, more people getting vaccinated and a third vaccine coming on the market. Now, it's starting to look like a mixed picture. New cases and deaths are creeping up. Texas and Mississippi are dropping statewide mask requirements and fully reopening for business.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Dr. Rochelle Walensky has been head of the CDC for just over a month. And for most of that time, she was looking at hopeful signs - a sharp drop in new coronavirus cases, more people getting vaccinated and a third vaccine coming on the market. Now, it's starting to look like a mixed picture. New cases and deaths are creeping up. Texas and Mississippi are dropping statewide mask requirements and fully reopening for business.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Dr. Rochelle Walensky has been head of the CDC for just over a month. And for most of that time, she was looking at hopeful signs - a sharp drop in new coronavirus cases, more people getting vaccinated and a third vaccine coming on the market. Now, it's starting to look like a mixed picture. New cases and deaths are creeping up. Texas and Mississippi are dropping statewide mask requirements and fully reopening for business.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Neera Tanden has withdrawn her name as President Biden's nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget. Her nomination has been controversial, mostly because of disparaging comments she's made in the past about Republican lawmakers. White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez is with us now for more.

Hi, Franco.

FRANCO ORDOÑEZ, BYLINE: Hi, Ari.

SHAPIRO: What did the White House and Tanden say this evening?

For the first time in nearly three decades, the state of Georgia voted to put a Democrat in the White House. Then it added two U.S. senators from the Democratic Party. And one person central to turning Georgia blue is the voting rights activist and former state legislator Stacey Abrams.

Abrams tells All Things Considered that the Democratic swing was "extraordinary," but "not wholly surprising," adding that the "numbers had been moving in our favor" in recent years.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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