Kat Lonsdorf

January 6, 2021, was a Wednesday. A joint session of Congress was set to convene in the U.S. Capitol to certify Joe Biden's electoral vote win. Meanwhile, thousands of Donald Trump supporters gathered near the White House to hear him speak at noon ET.

Tensions were high on Capitol Hill. Protesters swarmed lawmakers outside.

Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., was exasperated as protesters surrounded him on the steps of the Russell Senate Office Building at around 11:30 a.m.

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At New York Fashion Week earlier this fall, model Gigi Hadid coolly strutted the runway in shimmery gold lounge pants tucked into blue satin heels with a knotted green sequin button-down on top. Silver and gold chains ringed her wrists, a diamond choker rested around her neck and a bedazzled purse hung at her side.

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Sequins, gemstones, glitter - 'tis the season for sparkle. And while glitz pops up for the holidays every year, this time around, it's a little different. NPR's resident sparkle expert Kat Lonsdorf explains.

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A nearly perfectly intact room that served as a kind of dormitory for enslaved people has been unearthed by archaeologists at the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. The room has three wooden beds, a chamber pot, a wooden chest and several tall Roman jars called amphorae. All of it was covered and preserved in cinerite, a sedimentary rock made mostly of volcanic ash, when Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79.

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While many DC reporters are focused on the White House or Capitol Hill, news of a different stripe has been grabbing attention.

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Five zebras are on the loose in the D.C. suburbs in Prince George's County, Md.

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The U.S. women's soccer team bounced back in a big way Saturday, beating New Zealand 6-1. The win came after a disappointing and surprising loss to Sweden in the Americans' opening match earlier this week.

It's not odd for there to be a little drama when high school yearbooks are released at the end of the year, but at Bartram Trail High School in St. Johns County, Fla., the drama has reached national attention.

That's because 80 of the students' portraits were digitally edited — many of them clumsily — to add more clothing to chests and shoulders.

Updated May 23, 2021 at 7:17 PM ET

Authorities in Belarus ordered a Ryanair flight to make an emergency landing in the capital city of Minsk, after reports that a bomb was on board the aircraft. Officials then boarded the plane and arrested Roman Protasevich, the former editor and founder of an opposition blog and social media channel.

No explosives were found on the plane.

Mount Nyiragongo in Congo erupted suddenly Saturday night, turning the sky a fiery red, sending lava spilling down its sides and threatening the major city of Goma.

After a long, dark year, social muscles have atrophied. In-person gatherings now call for weighty questions about COVID-19 safety. And many people, who during the pandemic found relief in empty calendars, don't want to go back to the world as they knew it.

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