Steve Inskeep

When a pro-Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, surprisingly few police stood in the way. Protests had been expected for days, but police appeared unprepared for an actual insurrection and not even prepared to keep all the doors locked. Video showed police calmly talking with attackers after they moved into the building.

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President-elect Joe Biden's choice for White House press secretary says she will restore a tradition. Unlike her immediate predecessors in the Trump administration, Jen Psaki plans to take questions from reporters each day.

Psaki has played similar roles before. She was the spokesperson for the State Department when John Kerry was secretary of state, then President Barack Obama's communications director, and she now speaks for Biden.

Christopher Krebs, the former top cybersecurity official in the U.S., says Russia is to blame for a massive breach that's affected the State Department, the Pentagon, the Treasury Department, the Department of Homeland Security and other departments and agencies.

"I understand it is, in fact, the Russians," Krebs told Steve Inskeep on Morning Edition.

John Kerry is looking to resume climate diplomacy that was disrupted under President Trump.

The former secretary of state is one of several Obama administration officials appointed by President-elect Biden. Their goals include restoring what had been seen as the normal functions of the U.S. government when they were last in it.

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Despite Joe Biden's victory, congressional Democrats are upset.

Bolstered by President Trump's unpopularity and the pandemic, polls had showed Democrats possibly taking control of the Senate, expanding their majority in the House of Representatives and Biden winning convincingly in several swing states.

But Democrats didn't gain a majority in the Senate. They lost a handful of seats in the House. And though Biden won the popular vote, it was a close contest in several battleground states.

Coronavirus cases appear headed for a new surge in the U.S., which could eclipse the explosion of cases in July.

Much of the new surge is driven by cases in the Midwest and Great Plains states.

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, says "it was all sadly somewhat predictable."

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Tanisha Long expects to be busy in the run up to the 2020 election.

For the next six weeks, Long, who founded an unofficial Black Lives Matter chapter for Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania, plans to make get-out-the vote videos, host mail-in voting webinars and work to enfranchise eligible incarcerated people in order to turn out voters she says "no one's talking to anymore."

Updated at 4:37 p.m. ET

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the pace of jobs growth is rising faster than many people expected, but it may take years before the economy has fully recovered.

Update at 4:30 p.m. ET: White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah responded to NPR's request for comment on Elizabeth Neumann's charges that the White House has not addressed the threat of domestic extremism, particularly what Neumann referred to as "right-wing extremism."

In an email, Farah dismissed Neumann's concerns as those of a "disgruntled employee."

Looking for a snapshot of coronavirus outbreaks in U.S. schools? The National Education Association has just launched a tracker of cases in public K-12 schools.

The tracker is broken down by state and shows schools and counties with known cases and suspected cases and deaths, as well as whether those infected were students or staff. It also includes links to the local news reports so users know where the virus data comes from.

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It was during a recent interview on NPR that a postal worker reported a mysterious development. The Postal Service was removing sorting machines from Waterloo, Iowa.

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With less than 100 days until the 2020 presidential election, Ohio's 18 electoral votes are in play.

The state went for President Trump in 2016, and Ashtabula County is one reason why.

A 19-foot-tall statue of Thomas Jefferson stands beneath a dome in Washington, D.C., with his words carved on the walls around him. But the man known for writing much of the Declaration of Independence also infamously kept some-600 people enslaved in his mansion, Monticello. One of his many descendants has a few ideas for how his memorial might be altered to reflect his complex history.

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Once again this weekend, protesters filled the streets in cities nationwide, rallying against police violence and chanting the name of George Floyd.

Jesse Jackson and Josie Johnson have a surprising perspective on those protests. He has been a prominent civil rights leader since 1960, she even longer. Both know the unrest of earlier times; Jackson was an aide to Martin Luther King, whose assassination in 1968 set off riots nationwide. And both know the despair many felt after Floyd's death, which followed the deaths of so many others at the hands of police.

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Last week, we listened to workers who are packing boxes of food at the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, D.C. Radha Muthiah, the food bank president, described volunteers at a conveyor belt.

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How far will China go to keep its hold on Hong Kong?

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Visit almost any grocery store and you'll see how that food chain has been disrupted during the coronavirus pandemic. Even if food is in stores, millions of newly unemployed people may have trouble paying.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has been talking up part of the federal response: a $3 billion plan to distribute food to families, called the Farmers to Family Food Box Program.

Southern California passed a milestone on Wednesday: Los Angeles County reopened its beaches.

The move affects beaches along a stretch of coastline of several cities, although a number of limits remain in effect. Group sports won't be allowed; neither will picnicking or sunbathing. Parking lots, bike paths and boardwalks will likewise be off-limits.

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New cases of the coronavirus are emerging around the country.

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Although the result was never in doubt, you could feel the weight of history as senators cast their votes yesterday.

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As the impeachment inquiry against President Trump has unfolded, one name in particular has surfaced over and over again in both private hearing transcripts and public testimony: the president's personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani.

Congressional testimony has placed Giuliani at the center of the Ukraine affair, with multiple witnesses telling House investigators that he helped spearhead an irregular diplomatic channel between the U.S. and Ukraine.

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Faced with congressional subpoenas, the White House cannot just say no.

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