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As of this week, you can buy relatively low-priced COVID-19 rapid tests to take at home. The tests are available through pharmacies and do not require a prescription to buy one.

The potential lasting effects of COVID-19 infection are many — and people with more severe initial infections are at greater risk for long-term complications, according to a study published Thursday in Nature.

The study, thought to be the largest post-acute COVID-19 study to date, sheds more light on the lingering effects of COVID-19 known as "long COVID."

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Bit by bit, more good news about where we are in the fight against COVID. As of this week, everyone 16 and over in the U.S. is eligible to get a vaccine. And you can now buy a relatively low-cost rapid test for COVID. You take it at home, no prescription needed. Michael Mina is a Harvard epidemiologist who has been pushing hard for at-home testing. Professor Mina, welcome.

MICHAEL MINA: Well, thanks very much.

Researchers gathered for a conference on addiction this week received a grim update on the growing spread of street drugs laced with deadly synthetic opioids including fentanyl.

The trend contributed to a stark rise in overdoses that left more than 90,000 Americans dead during the 12-month period ending in September 2020, according to the latest data.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Bit by bit, more good news about where we are in the fight against COVID. As of this week, everyone 16 and over in the U.S. is eligible to get a vaccine. And you can now buy a relatively low-cost rapid test for COVID. You take it at home, no prescription needed. Michael Mina is a Harvard epidemiologist who has been pushing hard for at-home testing. Professor Mina, welcome.

MICHAEL MINA: Well, thanks very much.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Bit by bit, more good news about where we are in the fight against COVID. As of this week, everyone 16 and over in the U.S. is eligible to get a vaccine. And you can now buy a relatively low-cost rapid test for COVID. You take it at home, no prescription needed. Michael Mina is a Harvard epidemiologist who has been pushing hard for at-home testing. Professor Mina, welcome.

MICHAEL MINA: Well, thanks very much.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Bit by bit, more good news about where we are in the fight against COVID. As of this week, everyone 16 and over in the U.S. is eligible to get a vaccine. And you can now buy a relatively low-cost rapid test for COVID. You take it at home, no prescription needed. Michael Mina is a Harvard epidemiologist who has been pushing hard for at-home testing. Professor Mina, welcome.

MICHAEL MINA: Well, thanks very much.

LeVar Burton will host a week of Jeopardy! this summer, after nearly 250,000 people signed a petition backing the actor and director's long-held aspiration to try out for the job that was left vacant by Alex Trebek, who died last year.

"I am overjoyed, excited, and eager to be guest-hosting Jeopardy!" Burton said via Twitter, as he thanked the fans and supporters who helped propel him into the small group of guest hosts who are taking turns hosting the venerable game show.

Israel and Bahrain on Thursday reached what Israel calls the world's first bilateral agreement for mutual recognition of COVID-19 vaccine passports for quarantine-free travel between two countries, an Israeli diplomat who helped forge the deal tells NPR.

"This is the most effective way to enable movement of people between countries," says Ilan Fluss, head of the Israeli foreign ministry's economic division. "A lot of countries are looking at testing, but it is not enough."

Russia says it will begin a phased reduction of troops from its border with neighboring Ukraine – apparently ending a deployment that had alarmed Kyiv and Western observers concerned about a possible repeat of Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea.

A new law in Oklahoma increases penalties for demonstrators who block public roadways and grants immunity to motorists who unintentionally kill or injure protesters while attempting to flee. Critics of the bill say it is intended to limit demonstrations and puts the people involved in them at risk.

The chicken made me read it.

It's not often that I can pay tribute to a book in those words, but Nives, a short novel by Italian writer Sacha Naspini newly translated into English, won me over in its opening pages where a freshly widowed older woman living on a remote farm in Tuscany decides to soothe her loneliness by bringing a chicken into the house for company. The hen, called Giacomina, settles into bed with the widow, whose first name, "Nives," also gives this novella its title.

Updated April 22, 2021 at 2:59 PM ET

Mourners gathered Thursday in Minneapolis for the funeral of Daunte Wright, just two days after a jury there convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of the murder of George Floyd.

Updated April 22, 2021 at 2:05 PM ET

Senate Republicans have released a $568 billion infrastructure proposal to counter the more than $2 trillion package unveiled by President Biden early this month.

Editor's note: The fight against disinformation has become a facet of nearly every story NPR international correspondents cover, from vaccine hesitancy to authoritarian governments spreading lies. This and other stories by NPR correspondents around the globe try to tease out how effective certain tactics have been at combating disinformation, and what lessons can be learned from other countries' experiences.

Not even one full day went by after the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for George Floyd's murder before another American Black man was killed by police.

MUMBAI — Sagar Kishore Naharshetivar has been driving a van around southern India with his father lying in the back, hooked up to an oxygen tank. His father has COVID-19 and needs treatment. This past week, they've tried hospitals in three different towns, even crossing state lines from Maharashtra to Telangana.

All the hospitals are full.

The U.S. State Department has vastly expanded its "Do Not Travel list," issuing new Level 4 advisories for more than 115 countries and territories this week. The agency cites "ongoing risks due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

The U.S. Do Not Travel list now includes Canada, Mexico, Germany and the U.K. A Level 3 warning is in place for a smaller group of nations, such as China, Australia and Iceland. Japan is also on the Level 3 list, despite a worrying rise in new coronavirus cases there.

After making the first powered flight on another world, NASA's Mars 2020 mission has managed another key first that could pave the way for future astronauts by making breathable oxygen out of the wispy Martian air.

The U.S. House of Representatives has once again voted on a bill to grant statehood to Washington, D.C., and enfranchise more than 712,000 Americans, a cause that enjoys unprecedented support but still faces an uphill battle in the U.S. Senate.

Mark Gottlieb's life changed in an instant when another driver crashed into his car at an intersection in Hackensack, N.J., damaging four vertebrae in his upper spine and smashing six teeth.

In the months following that January 2019 crash, Gottlieb got the teeth crowned and, for debilitating neck pain, tried injections, chiropractic care and physical therapy. The treatments were all covered by his car insurance.

Signing up for health insurance can be a confusing headache. At the same time, the need for a financial safety net if someone in your family gets sick is incredibly important. With the ongoing pandemic and economic crunch, the stakes are even higher.

Now, during a special enrollment period, the Biden administration is trying to make getting health insurance irresistible — and simpler, too.

Rescuers scouring the Bali Sea for a stricken Indonesian submarine with 53 sailors aboard are hoping the crew could still be alive, but as the hours since the vessel's disappearance tick by, the chances of survival grow increasingly slim.

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Today, President Biden sets a climate goal that he wants to achieve in less than a decade.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Earlier this month, Namibia's president was invited to join the World Health Organization's weekly press briefing to talk about World Health Day. The idea was for him to help explain to the hundreds of reporters from around the world what was happening with COVID-19 immunization efforts in his southern African nation.

In what has become all too common during the pandemic, the video connection was unstable. President Hage Geingob kept freezing on the screen. The audio would become muffled and incomprehensible, or the sound would drop out entirely.

The Illinois Senate advanced several bills to the House Wednesday, including one establishing a housing insecurity liaison for homeless college students and another allowing routine dental care to be provided at schools.

Tristen Hunter was 16 and preparing to leave foster care in Juneau, Alaska, when a social worker mentioned that the state agency responsible for protecting him had been taking his money for years.

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

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President Biden opened a global summit on climate change Thursday morning by announcing that the United States will aim to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half, based on 2005 levels, by the end of the decade.

That aggressive 2030 goal, which the White House is framing as a "50-52 percent reduction," will be formalized in a document called a "nationally determined contribution," or NDC.

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