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NPR Staff

President Trump said in a letter to U.S. governors on Thursday that his administration is working to publish new guidelines for state and local governments to use when making decisions about "maintaining, increasing or relaxing social distancing and other mitigation measures" for the coronavirus epidemic.

Trump said officials are gathering testing data that will suggest guidelines categorizing counties as "high risk, medium risk or low risk" for the virus. The data will drive "the next phase" of the response, he said.

The challenges that COVID-19 poses for governments around the world are formidable. For Taiwan, there have been additional hurdles.

Experts say the island's response to the novel coronavirus has been remarkably effective so far, despite many serious challenges, starting with its close links to China, and may even hold lessons for others to follow.

Updated at 3:55 p.m. ET

Attorney General William Barr is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee after the Justice Department took the unusual step of intervening in Roger Stone's sentencing recommendation.

President Trump hailed Barr on Wednesday for making the recommendation.

Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal attorney, says the president should not back away from investigating Joe Biden even after Trump's expected acquittal Wednesday by the U.S. Senate.

"Absolutely, 100%," Giuliani told NPR's Steve Inskeep in an interview Tuesday. "I would have no problem with him doing it. In fact, I'd have a problem with him not doing it. I think he would be saying that Joe Biden can get away with selling out the United States, making us a fool in the Ukraine."

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

As jurors in President Trump's impeachment trial, senators have remained silent as House impeachment managers and Trump's defense team make their cases. But now they have their opening.

The trial adjourned on Monday, giving senators their chance to take the floor. That window was still open on Tuesday; senators had up to 10 minutes each to speak.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., spoke first on Tuesday, dismissing the two articles of impeachment against Trump as "constitutionally incoherent."

In Iowa, voters expect candidates to come to them. Homes, churches and schools serve as intimate venues for presidential hopefuls to meet and greet with folks who could have an impact on the momentum of their campaigns.

"We expect to shake their hands, we expect to look them in the eye, we expect to be able to ask them the questions we care about," says Rachel Paine Caufield, a political science professor at Drake University in Des Moines.

The White House released its formal response to the summons sent by the Senate last week, a procedural part of the impeachment process ahead of the trial that begins on Tuesday.

"The articles of impeachment submitted by House Democrats are a dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their president," the White House's response says. "This is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election."

House impeachment managers released their formal response to the summons sent by the Senate last week, a procedural part of the impeachment process ahead of the trial that begins on Tuesday.

"President Trump's conduct is the Framers' worst nightmare," they said in the brief released Saturday.

Read the brief here.

News organizations and journalists' advocates are challenging restrictive new ground rules for reporters assigned to cover the Senate impeachment trial.

Correspondents who submit to an official credentialing process are granted broad access throughout the Capitol complex and usually encounter few restrictions in talking with members of Congress or others.

But now Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger has imposed new requirements for the impeachment trial, negotiated in part with Republican leadership:

We don't have a crystal ball, but as journalists covering global health and development, we have a pretty good nose for emerging trends (with some help from our favorite expert sources).

Some likely trends give cause for optimism — signs of progress in solving the world's problems. Other trends are pessimistic — threats and challenges that are expected to worsen in the year ahead.

Here are 11 trend lines we'll be watching in 2020. First we'll give you the bad news — then the hopeful predictions.

The House Judiciary Committee unveiled its report on President Trump's impeachment late Sunday, one that combines the views of majority Democrats and minority Republicans.

Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said the release of the report summarizing the cases for and against action was "customary" and followed the practices of the committee in the administrations of former Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.

Updated at 11:43 a.m. ET

House Democrats announced Tuesday that they will bring two articles of impeachment against President Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

"President Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States," the resolution reads.

The House Intelligence Committee has released the transcript of the closed-door deposition at the impeachment inquiry into President Trump by a foreign service officer detailed to work in the office of Vice President Pence.

Jennifer Williams was assigned to Pence's team in the spring to work on European and Russian issues. She was the first person from his office to testify in the inquiry into whether Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine while seeking a political favor. Trump denies he made such an offer.

The White House released Friday the rough transcript of the April 21 call between President Trump and Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the then-newly elected Ukrainian leader.

The 16-minute call was conducted from Air Force One and came three months before the July 25 conversation between the two men that prompted the impeachment inquiry into Trump.

In the April 21 call, Trump congratulates Zelenskiy, a political outsider, for the campaign he ran and invites him to the White House at an unspecified date.

Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, who was recalled in the spring amid what she previously described as a "concerted campaign" against her, told lawmakers Friday she did not understand Rudy Giuliani's "motives for attacking me."

Yovanovitch's remarks were part of an opening statement to the House Intelligence Committee in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer, has been named by other witnesses in the inquiry as pressing for Yovanovitch's removal.

A senior State Department official testifying before the open-hearing phase of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump said Rudy Giuliani's "effort to gin up politically motivated investigations were ... infecting U.S. engagement with Ukraine."

Updated at 1:06 p.m. ET

William Taylor, acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, is presenting fresh information in the first public hearing of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, telling lawmakers that Trump had asked Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, about "the investigations" during a phone conversation that was witnessed by an aide to Taylor.

The House has released the testimony of Catherine Croft, a Ukraine specialist with the State Department. The transcript is one of a number released ahead of the first public hearings of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Foreign service officer Christopher Anderson's testimony has been released by Congress, as part of a new, public phase of the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Anderson worked for U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and served as a special adviser for Ukraine negotiations from August 2017 through July 12, leaving days before a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that helped trigger the inquiry.

Updated at 7:10 p.m. ET

The top Pentagon official who oversaw Russia and Eastern Europe told House impeachment investigators that Ukrainian officials had raised the issue of the suspension of security aid as early as August.

House investigators have released the testimony of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a top specialist on Ukraine on the National Security Council.

Vindman is an Army foreign area officer and is believed to have listened in to the July 25 call in which President Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart for the "favor" that would have involved investigations that could help Trump in the 2020 election.

That makes Vindman a key witness in House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

House investigators have released the deposition of Fiona Hill, who until earlier this year served as the top Russia policy specialist on the National Security Council.

Hill was said to have told investigators that she registered concerns about President Trump's policy to pressure the government of Ukraine in exchange for commitments to launch investigations that might help him in the 2020 election.

House investigators have released the deposition by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, who talked behind closed doors about the Ukraine affair.

According to those who heard his testimony, Kent told investigators that the White House picked "three amigos" — diplomats Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry — to run Ukraine policy.

House investigators have released the deposition by William Taylor, who runs the U.S. diplomatic mission in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

Taylor, a career foreign policy specialist in the State Department, has been a central witness in the Ukraine affair. He described the intent by President Trump, as described by another diplomat, to put Ukraine's president "in a public box" committing to investigations that Trump thought might help him in the 2020 elections.

House investigators released the transcript of former senior State Department adviser Michael McKinley's deposition on Monday.

McKinley, who was an aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, stepped down because he said he objected to the practices within the administration in connection with the Ukraine affair.

United Nations via / YouTube

Climate activist Greta Thunberg, 16, addressed the U.N.'s Climate Action Summit in New York City on Monday.

Twenty Democratic presidential candidates will participate in the first primary debate of the 2020 cycle on Wednesday and Thursday night. Ten candidates will participate each night.

NPR News has live analysis and fact checks of the candidates' remarks.

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Zhou Fengsuo was a top university student when the first protests broke out in the heart of the ancient imperial city of Beijing, set off by the death of reformist leader Hu Yaobang in April 1989.

Updated at 9:37 p.m. ET

The Justice Department has released a redacted copy of special counsel Robert Mueller's report into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

» A copy of the document is available here.

On Feb. 14, 2018, a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. In the aftermath, led first by students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, teenagers around the country initiated an unprecedented wave of youth activism for gun control. Teenage voices from all sides of the issue weighed in, and in the months that followed, they helped reinvigorate one of the nation's longest-raging debates.

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