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Syrian President Bashar Assad and his wife, Asma, have tested positive for the coronavirus after experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms, his office said Monday.

The couple received PCR tests after experiencing minor symptoms consistent with the virus, according to an official statement from the presidential office, as reported by the state-controlled SANA news agency. Both are in "good health and in a stable condition," the statement said.

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Copyright 2021 Troy Public Radio. To see more, visit Troy Public Radio.

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

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

In 2017 two brothers from Scotland released a toy pirate ship which was lost at sea. They tried again with Adventure II — attaching a GPS so they could track its movements and share on social media.

Bobby is a sixth grader at North Brookfield Elementary School in western Massachusetts. He's crazy about the Loch Ness monster. He's into math and Minecraft. And he likes online learning.

"It's a lot easier to focus," he says. "I can be in my room and be a lot more comfortable doing stuff."

President Biden has said that his goal is to have the majority of K-8 schools operating in-person by the end of his first 100 days in office.

SEOUL — The U.S. and South Korea struck a preliminary deal to share defense costs, as the Biden administration moves to quickly reassure allies and mend rifts opened by the Trump administration.

The U.S. agreement in principle follows a one-year deal recently struck with Japan, where the U.S. has some 55,000 military personnel. Both deals come less than two months into the new U.S. administration.

In mid-February — barely a month into his term — President Biden gathered 10 union leaders in the Oval Office. The meeting lasted two hours.

"Every once in a while as president you get to invite close friends into the Oval," Biden said, laughing. He added: "These are the folks that brung me to the dance."

President Biden will mark International Women's Day on Monday by signing two executive orders geared toward promoting gender equity, both in the United States and around the world.

According to an administration official speaking on background, the goal of the orders is "restoring America as a champion for gender equity and equality."

The first executive order will establish a Gender Policy Council within the White House, reformulating an office from the Obama administration that was later disbanded by former President Donald Trump, and giving it more clout.

House Democrats are expected to pass the final version of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Tuesday, thus delivering on Democrats' campaign promises and cementing a major legislative victory for the Biden administration.

When Britain's Prince Harry got married in May 2018 to American actress Meghan Markle — who had found success as a regular on the basic-cable series Suits — they became the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. For a short time, they lived their lives as royals. They did events, they were affiliated with charities, and they were — she was, in particular — unceasingly, often brutally, covered by the British press. Her clothes, the way she sat, the personality she supposedly had, and her general suitability were under constant scrutiny.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

More than a month after the military orchestrated a coup against the country's democratically elected leader, Myanmar police are continuing to use violence against peaceful protesters. The death toll is continuing to rise — and it now includes a local official from the deposed leader's political party.

On Jan. 27, 1986, Allan McDonald stood on the cusp of history.

In remarks after a divided Senate approved his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan, President Biden praised lawmakers for securing the additional round of aid and thanked the American people for making it possible through their "overwhelming bipartisan support."

Pope Francis is spending the third day of his visit to Iraq in the north of the country, where an ancient Christian population is dwindling after the city of Mosul and the Nineveh Plains were shattered by militants from ISIS.

The pope led prayers in a Christian area of Mosul, where participants sang, prayed and held olive branches in a square still ruined by the devastating battles that unfolded in the country's second-largest city.

Vaccination programs work best when as many people as possible get vaccinated, but Latinos in the United States are getting inoculated at lower rates.

In Florida, for example, Latinos are 27% of the population but they've made up only about 17% of COVID-19 vaccinations so far, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

By being able to wait for better food, cuttlefish — the squishy sea creatures similar to octopuses and squids — showed self-control that's linked to the higher intelligence of primates.

It was part of an experiment by Alex Schnell from the University of Cambridge and colleagues.

"What surprised me the most was that the level of self-control shown by our cuttlefish was quite advanced," she tells Lulu Garcia-Navarro on Weekend Edition.

Kareem Hawari, 24, was born and raised in a district of Anaheim, Calif., informally known as Little Arabia.

That's where he and his sisters own and operate Kareem's Falafel, a small restaurant he took over full-time in 2014, after his father died in 2012. Hawari, who was born mere months after the opening of Kareem's, is named after the restaurant and grew up learning how to cook there.

"You would just be sitting down inside the kitchen and we would all just watch our parents cook," Hawari says.

On a leafy uphill road in Mumbai's Bandra suburb, a fire burns at a Catholic shrine. Garlands adorn a cross and idols of saints below it as pedestrians walk by wearing masks. A nondescript sign at the back of the shrine tells visitors that the cross was erected in 1897 when the city was battling another pandemic.

The Iditarod kicks off Sunday and, like most events in a pandemic, the 2021 sled dog race will be a little different.

Even with an abbreviated course this year, it's a brutal test of tenacity and stamina, typically traversing about 1,000 miles of a remote and rugged landscape during an unforgiving Alaskan winter. Founded in 1973 by two preservationists lamenting the disappearance of sled dog culture, the Iditarod calls itself "The Last Great Race."

As Republicans in statehouses across the country introduce hundreds of bills raising barriers to vote, President Biden is issuing a new executive order signaling his administration's commitment to expanding, not shrinking, voting access and rights.

Janitor Gloria Espinoza still vividly remembers the moment she was laid off last year.

A supervisor gathered her and her colleagues at a parking lot of the office where she worked in San Francisco and then broke the news.

"I thought, 'God, why us?'," Espinoza said. "It was like receiving a bucket of cold water."

Months later, Espinoza is still unemployed and part of a worrying economic statistic: While the labor market is showing signs of recovery, millions who lost jobs at the beginning of the pandemic a year ago are still out of the labor force.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Finally today, so you might not be surprised that a record titled "Preacher's Kid" by a musician whose father was a pastor would take the top spot on the iTunes Christian album chart. That happened last month with the new album by Grace Semler Baldrige, who performs as Semler. But the lyrics on that album tell a different story than the one you might be expecting.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JESUS FROM TEXAS")

SEMLER: (Singing) My mom turned 18 in the 1960s, and she doesn't remember Stonewall.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Finally today, so you might not be surprised that a record titled "Preacher's Kid" by a musician whose father was a pastor would take the top spot on the iTunes Christian album chart. That happened last month with the new album by Grace Semler Baldrige, who performs as Semler. But the lyrics on that album tell a different story than the one you might be expecting.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JESUS FROM TEXAS")

SEMLER: (Singing) My mom turned 18 in the 1960s, and she doesn't remember Stonewall.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Finally today, so you might not be surprised that a record titled "Preacher's Kid" by a musician whose father was a pastor would take the top spot on the iTunes Christian album chart. That happened last month with the new album by Grace Semler Baldrige, who performs as Semler. But the lyrics on that album tell a different story than the one you might be expecting.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JESUS FROM TEXAS")

SEMLER: (Singing) My mom turned 18 in the 1960s, and she doesn't remember Stonewall.

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