Ari Shapiro

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When archaeologists in Saudi Arabia excavated an ancient tomb, they were expecting to find the remains of a man. They weren't expecting to find man's best friend - bone fragments of a dog laid to rest with humans.

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Earlier this week, the white police officer involved in the killing of an unarmed Black man was convicted in a Minneapolis courtroom.

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Nearly every prominent elected official who has spoken about the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict has used words of beginning. President Biden called it a chance to change the trajectory in this country.

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In Morgan Jerkins' new novel Caul Baby, a family of Black women has a gift; they're born with a caul, a layer over their skin that protects them from harm. They can share the caul with others — and sell it "to the highest bidder" — which brings trouble. After all, "aren't all gifts double edged swords?" says Jerkins.

The family lives in Harlem, with a history stretching back to Louisiana. Although the story has fantastical elements, Jerkins used building blocks from her own family history to imagine these women into being.

Updated April 1, 2021 at 6:30 PM ET

Dozens of states are considering Republican-led bills that advocates say are harmful to transgender people. The recent spate of bills are "really challenging to see," says Dr. Rachel Levine, the nation's newly confirmed assistant secretary for health.

Updated March 31, 2021 at 9:09 AM ET

The U.K. aims to keep its relationship with the U.S. front and center in the coming years, according to the U.K. government's new foreign policy overview called "Global Britain in a competitive age."

Conversations about the State Department's discrimination against Asian American diplomats have reignited amid a nationwide reckoning with the country's deep-seated history of anti-Asian racism.

Over the weekend, Rep. Andy Kim, a Democrat from New Jersey, spoke out on Twitter about being discriminated against for his ethnicity during his time as an adviser in the State Department.

The novel Abundance begins with a birthday celebration: Henry's son, Junior, is turning eight. So Henry splurges on a dinner at McDonalds.

While Junior runs around the PlayPlace, Henry stuffs ketchup packets into his pockets for when he gets hungry later. That first chapter is titled, $89.34 — which is all the money Henry has. Each chapter title is a different dollar amount, Henry's cash in hand.

Updated March 11, 2021 at 5:07 PM ET

In Birmingham, Ala., Alabama Regional Medical Services — a health clinic that primarily serves a lower-income, Black neighborhood — has not administered a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. That is scheduled to begin Saturday.

Meanwhile, the first doses in the state went to nearby Mountain Brook, an affluent white suburb of Birmingham, says Sheila Tyson, a commissioner for Jefferson County, where Birmingham is located.

Early predictions were wrong.

The continent of Africa has seen fewer deaths from COVID-19 in the last year than people initially projected, thanks to its early response to the pandemic.

The continent of 1.2 billion people has had roughly 4 million cases and 106,000 deaths, far below Europe, the Americas or Asia.

The song "Strange Fruit" was written by a man named Abel Meeropol in the 1930s — but it will forever be associated with Billie Holiday. The lyrics vividly describe a lynching, and this haunting protest song is central to the new movie The United States Vs. Billie Holiday. The Grammy-nominated singer Andra Day plays the title character. The role is Day's acting debut, but she has already won a Golden Globe for her performance.

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.

More than 2 million Black men who pursued a higher education never finished their degree, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The reasons range from college affordability to family responsibilities to military service.

Morehouse College wants to help them reach the finish line.

Starting this August, the historically Black men's college in Atlanta is offering an online program with reduced tuition for men who already have some college credits.

Two COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed in the U.S. right now, and this week an FDA advisory committee will vote on whether a third should join them.

If granted emergency use authorization, Johnson & Johnson's one-dose vaccine would become available in the U.S., along with those from Pfizer and Moderna.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit last year, big parts of the U.S. economy just turned off. Voluntary social distancing and lockdowns, like those during the first wave in March, were necessary to help "flatten the curve" of COVID-19's spread throughout the country, but these lockdowns had ripple effects on the economy.

For novelist Chang-rae Lee, a new book is often a response to the last one. His previous novel, On Such A Full Sea, was a dystopian parable. It was concise, controlled.

"One of the metaphors of that last book is an aquarium," he says. "That the world and our souls are aquariums. In this one I just wanted to break out of the glass, and just let everything flow and maybe spill."

This new novel, My Year Abroad, does overflow with characters and scenes. It's a travelogue and a coming-of-age tale — and a mafia thriller that also skewers global capitalism.

Slightly more than 6% of American adults have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine — but a disproportionately small number of them are Black and Hispanic people.

Aid groups who help resettle refugees in the U.S. are hopeful about what President Biden's actions will mean for people fleeing persecution.

The equation for COVID-19 hot spots has been clear since the earliest days of the pandemic: Take facilities where people live in close quarters, then add conditions that make it hard to take preventive measures such as wearing personal protective equipment or keeping socially distant.

Major outbreaks in nursing homes this spring shocked the nation. Now, residents of those facilities are among the first in line for the vaccine.

Updated at 7:11 p.m. ET

The director Christopher Nolan has spent a lot of time exploring the concept of time.

In 2000, his breakthrough movie, the thriller Memento, told the story — from end to beginning — of a man who'd lost his short-term memory.

As Nolan's films got bigger and more ambitious, he found different ways to manipulate time, in movies like Inception, Interstellar and Dunkirk.

The Food and Drug Administration looks set to allow emergency authorization of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine shortly. With that, vaccinations will likely begin soon for health care workers and people in nursing homes.

The pandemic has made 2020 a crazy year for the movie industry. And Warner Bros. made a recent announcement that guarantees next year will be just as upside-down.

Hanukkah is here, which means eight nights of eating latkes, spinning dreidels and lighting the menorah. Well, a new picture book makes a radical suggestion — a ninth night.

In Erica Perl's new children's book The Ninth Night of Hanukkah, Rachel and Max move into a new apartment with their parents. It's Hanukkah and they can't find the box that contains the family's menorah, dreidel and other supplies.

For 78 years, the Advertising Council has been helping Americans face national challenges. From Smokey Bear's "remember, only you can prevent forest fires," to "loose lips sink ships" during World War II and the 1990s campaign friends don't let friends drive drunk.

More recently, during the coronavirus pandemic, the nonprofit advertising group launched a #MaskUpAmerica campaign.

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