Rose Friedman

It's powwow season — the time of year when across the country, Native American tribes should be getting together to celebrate their culture with food, dancing, singing and drumming. Kay Oxendine is a member of the Haliwa Saponi Tribe in North Carolina.

"Every year we know it's coming; like, the birds sing differently," she told NPR. "It's almost like spring arrives when the powwow does."

If the name of this year's U.S. Poet Laureate sounds familiar, that could be because Joy Harjo was also last year's pick for the job. In a statement announcing the reappointment, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden called Harjo "an inspiring and engaging poet laureate," who would "help the Library showcase Native poets from coast-to-coast."

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that for the first time since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis the number of people in intensive care units has gone down.

The difference was small. Speaking to reporters Friday, Cuomo said that across the state there were 17 fewer ICU patients than the day before. But he said he's cautiously optimistic that the infection rate is slowing, and urged people to continue staying at home.

Another 777 people died, bringing the total so far to 7,844.

In separate press conferences, both the governor of New York and the mayor of New York City said social distancing as well as the restrictions on nonessential businesses are working to flatten the curve of the coronavirus.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, speaking in Albany, pointed to lowering rates in the state of hospitalizations, intubations and people admitted to ICUs, telling reporters, "Our efforts are working. They're working better than anyone projected they would work. That's because people are complying with them."

Publishing house Macmillan is backing off a controversial policy restricting e-book sales to libraries, announcing in a letter to librarians, authors, illustrators and agents on Tuesday that "There are times in life when differences should be put aside."

In November, NPR's Lynn Neary reported on the restrictive policy:

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Harvey Weinstein's defense team has begun presenting its case in New York City. NPR's Rose Friedman has been in that courthouse for the entire trial, and she brought us this. And just a quick warning, this story deals with sex crimes.

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Before we get to this next story, we should let you know that we will be talking about sexual assault, and it might be disturbing to some of you. We are talking about Harvey Weinstein's trial, which continues in Manhattan this week.

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