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Even before they can talk, young babies know that two people must have a close relationship if they're willing to do to anything that involves swapping saliva.

Kissing on the mouth, sharing a spoon, taking licks off of someone's ice-cream cone — all of these activities generally only happen when people have an especially intimate relationship, and this fact appears to be obvious to infants who are only 8 to 10 months old, according to a new study in the journal Science.

Updated January 20, 2022 at 8:57 PM ET

The Georgia district attorney investigating whether former President Donald Trump and his allies committed crimes when they tried to overturn the 2020 election there has asked a judge for a special grand jury for the probe.

Each year in late January, activists from around the country who want abortion to be illegal come to Washington, D.C., to march, often in bracingly cold temperatures, to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Organizers of this year's March for Life hope it will be the final year before the Court reverses itself, and overturns decades of precedent on abortion rights.

Copyright 2022 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


As Tonga comes back online following the eruption of its massive Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai volcano on Saturday, we're learning more about the toll it took on the environment and its people.

Updated January 20, 2022 at 4:08 PM ET

The Democratic-led House select committee looking into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol is seeking Ivanka Trump's voluntary cooperation with its investigation.

Updated January 20, 2022 at 10:32 PM ET

A jury was seated Thursday in the federal trial of three former Minneapolis police officers who were on the scene when fellow officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes and ultimately killed him.

A pool reporter in the courtroom said of the 10 women and eight men chosen for the jury, 16 appeared to be white and two appeared to be Asian.

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A proposal to overhaul New Mexico's social studies standards has stirred debate over how race should be taught in schools, with thousands of parents and teachers weighing in on changes that would dramatically increase instruction related to racial and social identity beginning in kindergarten.

The revisions in the state are ambitious. New Mexico officials say they hope their standards can be a model for the country of social studies teaching that is culturally responsive, as student populations grow increasingly diverse.

In just 37 seconds, Democrat Gary Chambers lit up Louisiana's race for the U.S. Senate.

On Tuesday, Chambers released a now-viral campaign video. In it, the candidate lights a blunt — while advocating for the legalization of marijuana.

The longtime community activist from Baton Rouge is running to replace U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, the Republican incumbent, as the junior senator from Louisiana.

A German law firm investigating the Catholic Church's handling of child sexual abuse cases says former Pope Benedict XVI failed to take action in four instances — including two that resulted in legal charges — while he was the archbishop of Munich and Freising.

A CIA investigation has not found evidence that a foreign country was responsible for mysterious ailments suffered by hundreds of U.S. diplomats and intelligence officials in multiple countries in recent years.

Most of the illnesses appear related to previously undiagnosed medical conditions or stress, according to an interim report by the spy agency.

However, the CIA emphasized that it is still investigating around two dozen cases that cannot be explained, and which were first reported by officials at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, in 2016.

As the United States' strategic rivalry with China intensifies, one part of the world, Southeast Asia — where the U.S. has ceded much influence over the past two decades to China — is witnessing renewed U.S. interest under President Biden.

Biden administration officials have made repeated trips to the region in the past year and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN, is looking with both hope and trepidation as Washington deepens competition with China over technology, investment, infrastructure and security.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit


Updated January 20, 2022 at 9:47 AM ET

"I had a parent tell me to f*** off last week," Cori Berg said. She directs the Hope Day School, a church-affiliated early childhood program in Dallas.

The unhappy mother took her two children out of Berg's center after each of their classrooms were closed for quarantines, saying she'd hire a nanny. Wanting to return, she emailed, called and finally showed up in the middle of the day. Just as Berg had warned her, her spots were taken.

A group of researchers has launched the first-ever archaeological study of humans in space, observing the lives of the crew living on the International Space Station.

The experiment, which will analyze and document the unique "microsociety in a miniworld," began this week with associate professors Alice Gorman from Flinders University in Australia and Justin Walsh of Chapman University in California leading the effort.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit


Just after graduating from medical school, Carl Erik Fisher was on top of the world. He was winning awards and working day and night. But a lot of that frantic activity was really covering up his problems with addiction.

Fisher – who says he comes from a family with a history of addiction – descended into an alcohol and Adderall binge during residency. A manic episode led to his admission to the Bellevue Hospital Psychiatry ward in New York, where just years ago, he'd interviewed for residency.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit


In Washington state, the governor has called on National Guard to help ease the pandemic's strain on medical workers and ordered hospitals to halt non-urgent procedures. NPR's Will Stone reports from Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Updated January 20, 2022 at 11:12 AM ET

The first aid flights to arrive since a massive volcano hit the Pacific island nation of Tonga last week landed in the capital Thursday, bringing bottled water, shelters, generators and communications equipment.

Several counties in Texas have reported rejecting hundreds of vote-by-mail applications in the past week because of confusion over new ID requirements created by a Republican-backed law that went into effect last month.

President Biden entered office a year ago in the thick of a deadly pandemic and with Washington still reeling from an attack on the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.

On the anniversary of Biden's inauguration, the United States is facing yet another massive wave of COVID-19 cases, and the country remains deeply polarized.

While the central crises have remained constant, Biden has pushed ahead on his priorities — from ramping up vaccine distribution to addressing climate change — with varying degrees of success.

LONDON — Some Conservative lawmakers in Britain are talking about ousting their leader, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has been tarnished by allegations that he and his staff held lockdown-breaching parties during the coronavirus pandemic.

If Johnson does not heed calls to resign — and he insists he won't — he could be toppled through a no-confidence vote.

Here's how the Conservative Party goes about challenging and changing leaders.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand is among the few remaining countries to have avoided any outbreaks of the omicron variant — but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Thursday an outbreak was inevitable and the nation would tighten restrictions as soon as one was detected.

But she also said that New Zealand would not impose the lockdowns that it has used previously, including for the delta variant.

With the 2022 Winter Olympics taking place in Beijing in less than two weeks, NBC Sports announced Wednesday that it will not be sending any announcing teams to this year's Games — citing "COVID concerns."

"The announce teams for these Olympics, including figure skating, will be calling events from our Stamford (Connecticut) facility due to COVID concerns," an NBC Sports spokesperson said in an email to NPR.

Three Supreme Court justices issued statements Wednesday addressing an NPR story about relations among the justices. On Tuesday, NPR reported that Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a longtime diabetic, had indicated to Chief Justice John Roberts that because of the omicron surge, she did not feel safe being in a room with people who are unmasked, and that the chief justice "in some form asked the other justices to mask up."

Starbucks is no longer requiring its U.S. workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, reversing a plan it announced earlier this month.

In a memo sent Tuesday to employees, the Seattle coffee giant said it was responding to last week's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. In a 6-3 vote, the court rejected the Biden administration's plan to require vaccines or regular COVID testing at companies with more than 100 workers.

NEW YORK — Cardi B has offered to pay the burial costs for all 17 people killed in a fire that ripped through a New York City high-rise.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced Wednesday that the Grammy-winning rapper had offered the financial relief for victims of the fire in the Bronx, where she grew up.