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President Biden said on Tuesday that a key milestone in the fight against COVID-19 could be reached two months faster than earlier projected. By the end of May, there should be enough vaccine doses for every adult in America, he said — a dramatic improvement to his initial timetable for late July.

A turning point in speeding up that pledge came a few weeks ago, on a Sunday afternoon in early February, during a phone call with Johnson & Johnson executives that had been planned for 15 minutes but stretched for longer than an hour, two senior administration officials told NPR.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

President Trump's effort to overturn a democratic election failed, but the departure from reality at the heart of that effort persists. A favorite conspiracy theory of the president's allies involved voting machines changing votes. The evidence-free claim was disproven in places like Georgia that recounted ballots on paper. But the false tale about Dominion voting machines persists, affecting politics in a county in Ohio. Here's Nick Castele of our member station WCPN Ideastream.

For Americans factories, business is good these days. Almost too good.

Unexpectedly strong demand for furniture, appliances and other manufactured goods is providing a windfall to many of the country's industries.

But as factory gears spin faster to meet the surging demand, a big headache is emerging: Supply chains are getting stretched more than ever, and critical components are proving a lot harder to procure.

Take the word of Drew Greenblatt, the president of Marlin Steel in Baltimore.

"The economy is snapping back in a big way," Greenblatt said.

Around the corner from where I live in small-town Virginia is a Kroger's grocery store. According to its website, the store sells 20 flavors of Lay's potato chips: classic, wavy, wavy ranch, baked, barbecue, sour cream and onion, salt and vinegar, lightly salted, cheddar and sour cream, limon-flavored, honey barbecue, sweet southern heat, dill pickle, flamin' hot, flamin' hot and dill pickle, cheddar jalapeno, jalapeno ranch, lime and jalapeno, kettle-cooked, and kettle-cooked mesquite barbecue.

For the first time since a late fall spike of COVID-19 infections, San Francisco will allow indoor dining and, gyms, movie theaters and museums to open to the public Wednesday morning.

Mayor London Breed and Grant Colfax, San Francisco Director of Health, announced the easing of coronavirus restrictions Tuesday. The changes will allow many businesses that were forced to shut last fall to reopen at some capacity, a news release said.

The power struggle that led to conservative social media site Parler abruptly firing its founder and CEO John Matze last month became so acrimonious that when Matze was sacked, he was also involuntarily stripped of his entire stake in the company, according to people familiar with Matze's exit.

The Trump administration was all about loosening rules for businesses. But Gary Gensler, President Biden's nominee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, has a very different mantra.

"When there are clear rules of the road and a cop on the beat to enforce them—our economy grows and our nation prospers," Gensler told members of the Senate Banking Committee.

The need for a tough cop on the beat during the pandemic is clear to Rohit Chopra - Biden's pick to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Can gambling profits support the newspaper business? The company that owns the Toronto Star is betting on it.

Torstar Corporation announced Tuesday that it would launch an online casino brand later this year, pending approval by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

Updated at 2:58 p.m. ET

The Senate confirmed Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo on Tuesday as the next secretary of the U.S. Commerce Department.

Pharmaceutical giant Merck will help manufacture Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced, calling it "an unprecedented historic step," considering that the two companies are normally competitors.

Merck will produce the drug substance at the heart of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine as well as work on filling vaccine vials and getting them ready for distribution.

Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET

An American father and son who allegedly helped former Nissan Motors Chairman Carlos Ghosn flee Japan have been extradited to Tokyo, where they face up to three years in prison if convicted.

If you think America's politics are polarizing, consider Bitcoin. The price of a single Bitcoin today hovers around $50,000. Ten years ago, in its infancy, it was around a buck. The digital currency's meteoric rise has minted millionaires and energized true believers around the world. That's only convinced skeptics that Bitcoin is the mother of all bubbles.

Storage facilities are packed to capacity. But with the impact of the pandemic, a lot of people are failing to make payments. Every month, hundreds of them have their stored items auctioned.

FBI's director will testify before Senate panel about the insurrection. Georgia House passes bill that would limit absentee and early voting. House panel investigates health care provider One Medical.

The consequences are deepening for concierge health care provider One Medical following an NPR investigation that found the company administered COVID-19 vaccinations to those with connections to leadership, as well as ineligible patients.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing Griddy, saying the electricity provider passed along massive increases during winter storms, leaving some customers to face up to $5,000 in power bills. Paxton's lawsuit says Griddy deceived customers when it promised low "wholesale" energy prices.

The state says it received more than 400 complaints about Griddy in less than two weeks.

Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama voting to unionize won the backing of an important executive.

Without naming the massive e-commerce company specifically, President Biden said in a video posted late Sunday that he supports the organizing drive in Bessemer, Ala.

The largest power cooperative in Texas filed for bankruptcy protection Monday, citing a massive bill from the state's electricity grid operator following last month's winter storm that left millions of residents without power for days.

Brazos Electric Power Cooperative filed for Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, according to court documents reviewed by NPR.

The House early Saturday passed President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. Now the measure heads to the Senate.

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For Texas, it's looking like a daunting power bill.

The Lone Star State racked up tens of billions of dollars in electricity expenses, as a free-wheeling market design sent prices skyrocketing. It tallied tens of billions more in damage and economic losses from blackouts.

The state could spend years paying down those costs — costs that many experts say were avoidable had Texas taken pre-emptive steps to leave its independent, isolated power system better prepared for this month's winter storms.

House lawmakers on Friday approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, advancing the legislation to the Senate.

The vote came days after the United States surpassed 500,000 deaths from COVID-19.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

All this week, we are remembering some of the more than 500,000 people in the U.S. who've died of COVID-19 through the music that gave their lives meaning. We're calling our tribute Songs of Remembrance. Deb Kalish wanted to remember her partner, Paul Kleinheider of Chatham, N.J. He was hospitalized early in the pandemic, and once the hospital figured out how patients could connect to the outside world on Zoom, Deb called Paul that way several times a day and played him the songs he loved, especially "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel.

Newly confirmed Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm seized on the bruising winter weather that left millions of Texans without heat and electricity last week to press for reform of the state's power systems, arguing that pivoting to a clean energy economy can ensure a dependable grid and help create jobs.

The owner of British Airways is calling for digital health passes for passengers as a step toward getting airlines back in the sky after devastating losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We've heard a lot about how hard it's been for restaurants to stay open during the pandemic. But what we often don't hear is that closing can be just as tough.

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

Two titans of Silicon Valley, Facebook and Apple, are in a bitter fight that centers on the iPhone data of millions of people and whether companies should be able to track that data as easily as they do now.

Facebook believes the answer is yes. On Wednesday, it even unveiled a video voiced by Grace Jones aimed at currying the public's favor.

Despite a lifelong struggle with panic attacks, Divya Singh made a brave move across the world last fall from her home in Mumbai, India. She enrolled at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., to study physics and explore an interest in stand-up comedy in Manhattan.

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