NPR Staff

Update at 2 p.m. ET: NPR special audio coverage of the inauguration has ended. Watch the livestream below. Follow updates in our liveblog.

Updated at 12:22 p.m. ET

Joe Biden addressed the nation for the first time as its 46th president on Wednesday. Biden spoke at a scaled-down event before a divided nation still reeling from the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and from the coronavirus pandemic that has now killed more than 400,000 Americans.

But his remarks were ones of hope.

Updated at 5:16 p.m. ET

President Trump says an emergency use authorization for Pfizer's promising new COVID-19 vaccine will come "extremely soon," delivering his first public remarks since Joe Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election last Saturday.

"Right away, millions of doses will soon be going out the door" after final approval arrives, Trump said, giving an update on his administration's efforts to accelerate coronavirus vaccine development and distribution.

The Associated Press has called North Carolina for President Trump, with its 15 electoral votes, nearly wrapping its state calls for the 2020 election. Joe Biden has already been called as the winner of the presidential race by the AP and others and has started planning his transition.

Between the call for North Carolina on Friday and AP's call on Wednesday that Trump had won Alaska, Trump now has 232 electoral votes, compared with Biden's 290. A total of 270 electoral votes is required to win the presidency.

A voting season unlike any other is coming to an end, but the timeline for results is up in the air. Follow NPR's live election coverage, including voting updates, race calls and analysis.

"The fact that the Afghans are sitting across the table for the first time in 42 years is a moment of hope and opportunity," U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad tells NPR. "But this moment is not without its own challenges."

Peace talks began in Doha, Qatar, last month between the Afghan government and the Taliban, even as deadly violence in Afghanistan continues.

Cardboard beds. Urban farms. Roving mariachi bands.

These are some of the ways that regular folks are solving problems and spreading happiness during the pandemic.

The solutions aren't perfect — public health experts have some critiques and suggestions. But at the same time, they applaud the ingenuity and positive vibes.

Read the stories of six grassroots change-makers — then nominate your own at the bottom of this story.

Across the country, a national reckoning with race has sparked wide-ranging debates on defunding police, racial profiling, public monuments and systemic racism. This comes as protests continue nationwide, sparked by high-profile deaths of African Americans.

Senators are debating whether to include witnesses in the Trump impeachment trial.

U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts is presiding over the Senate trial, and senators have been sworn in to act as jurors, vowing to render "impartial justice." Senators are not allowed to speak, so they are submitting written questions to Roberts to read.

News organizations and journalists' advocates are challenging restrictive new ground rules for reporters assigned to cover the Senate impeachment trial.

Correspondents who submit to an official credentialing process are granted broad access throughout the Capitol complex and usually encounter few restrictions in talking with members of Congress or others.

But now Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger has imposed new requirements for the impeachment trial, negotiated in part with Republican leadership:

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