Politics & Government

Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, having defeated Donald Trump in an acrimonious, divisive election last November.

Biden will be sworn into office alongside Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in an unusual inauguration ceremony, conducted amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis and heightened physical security risks.

Watch special coverage beginning at 11 a.m. ET.

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

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

Before they gather virtually to watch the inauguration, students at YELLS, a non-profit youth empowerment program in Marietta, Ga., will receive some special packages.

Biden's Inaugural Address, Annotated

46 minutes ago

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

Follow NPR's full online coverage in our live blog.

President-elect Joe Biden plans to send a sweeping immigration proposal to Congress after he is sworn into office on Wednesday, a bill that would provide a path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

Updated at 2:30 a.m. ET

President Trump pardoned his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who was indicted for allegedly defrauding hundreds of thousands of people in an online campaign to raise funds for a southern border wall — one of dozens of acts of clemency in the final hours of his administration.

The lengthy list of 73 pardons and 70 commutations landed after midnight. Trump is slated to leave the White House for the last time early Wednesday morning, skipping the inaugural ceremonies of his successor, President-elect Joe Biden.

Updated at 1:45 a.m. ET Wednesday

The months-long investigation into allegations that Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina engaged in insider trading has been closed by the Justice Department and it will not pursue any charges, the GOP senator announced on Tuesday.

"Tonight, the Department of Justice informed me that it has concluded its review of my personal financial transactions conducted early last year. The case is now closed," Burr said in a statement.

President-elect Joe Biden is under pressure to walk away from his pledge to block the Keystone XL oil pipeline. On Tuesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justine Trudeau said completing the project is a key priority for him.

President-elect Joe Biden addressed a grieving nation on Tuesday after the United States had earlier in the day passed 400,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

Speaking at a service to remember Americans killed by the virus, Biden praised medical professionals for their roles in caring for the ill and their families during the pandemic.

Updated at 5:52 p.m. ET

Four-hundred lights around the Lincoln Memorial's reflecting pool were lit Tuesday evening to honor the 400,000 people in the U.S. who have died from COVID-19.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris both spoke.

President Trump on Tuesday released an unrepentant virtual farewell address to the nation, describing himself as the "only true outsider ever to win the presidency," ahead of his reluctant departure from office Wednesday.

As a former international correspondent who covered a dozen wars and revolutions, I know the signs of civil strife. And now, I see the battle lines being drawn up in my own family's text-messaging groups, in heated email exchanges and, more chilling, in the refusal to discuss politics at all just to preserve a common bond.

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

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

When Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was on the campaign trail in 2019, she loved entering events with the energy of a drum line.

(SOUNDBITE OF DRUM LINE DRUMMING)

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

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Pages