Politics & Government

The number of Americans filing for new state unemployment benefits dipped to 900,000 — down from the previous week but still high by historical standards, signaling the economic challenges facing the Biden administration.

The latest weekly data from the Labor Department was likely distorted somewhat by the ebb and flow of government relief programs, but the overall picture continues to show a struggling U.S. job market as President Biden takes office.

Updated at 10:06 a.m. ET

"I am honored to announce that the United States will remain a member of the World Health Organization," Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday, informing the WHO's executive board that President Biden has reversed former President Donald Trump's move to leave the U.N.'s health agency.

The U.S. will also fulfill its financial obligations to the WHO, Fauci, chief medical adviser to the president, said, as well as cease a drawdown of U.S. staff who work with the organization.

Wednesday's inauguration ushered in new occupants of the White House, as well as a revamped White House website.

Shortly after President Biden and Vice President Harris took office, sharp-eyed Internet users noticed several major changes relating to the inclusivity and accessibility of the executive branch's official site. Among them are a new feature allowing users to include their pronouns when submitting contact forms and a relaunch of the Spanish-language website.

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In his inaugural address, President Joe Biden called for an end to, quote, "this uncivil war."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation, one nation.

President Biden's Agenda

Jan 21, 2021
President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event in Columbus on Tuesday, March 10, 2020.
Paul Vernon / AP

President Joe Biden took sweeping action Wednesday to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, reverse the Muslim ban and establish a national mask mandate, among other orders.

Biden enters office with a host of challenges including, a pandemic, an economic crisis, a deeply divided country and a diminished standing around the world.

President Biden.

That's going to take some getting used to after these past four years.

The new president was sworn in Wednesday and made an inaugural address aimed at unity. Biden didn't sugarcoat, however, the hurdles to bringing Americans together, and he leaned into the challenges the U.S. faces, as he sees it.

Here are six takeaways from Biden's inauguration:

1. A starkly different tone was set.

Updated at 3:36 p.m. ET

President Biden signed a series of orders and directives on his second day in office to take charge of stopping the spread of the coronavirussteps that he and his advisers say will start to boost testing, vaccinations, supplies and treatments.

NICK EVANS, BYLINE: Columbus City Council will look to those ideas as it starts work on its budget next month. The council president says his top priority is finding a new way to respond when residents call 911, a response that may not immediately involve police. For NPR News, I'm Nick Evans in Columbus.

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A memorable phrase of President Biden's inaugural address was his call to end this uncivil war.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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

NOEL KING, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In his inaugural address, President Biden called for an end to, quote, "this uncivil war."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation, one nation.

Copyright 2021 Iowa Public Radio News. To see more, visit Iowa Public Radio News.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

NOEL KING, HOST:

In his inaugural address, President Biden called for an end to, quote, "this uncivil war."

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation - one nation.

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