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NPR's flagship evening newsmagazine delivers in-depth reporting and transforms the way listeners understand current events and view the world. Every weekday, hosts Audie Cornish, Ari Shapiro, Ailsa Chang and Mary Louise Kelly present two hours of breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special -- sometimes quirky -- features.

In a development that could challenge the Constitution's prohibition of any law "respecting the establishment of religion," the federal government will soon provide money directly to U.S. churches to help them pay pastor salaries and utility bills.

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The $2 trillion economic relief legislation enacted last month is a virtually unprecedented government intervention into the U.S. economy. One especially notable feature - taxpayer dollars will go directly to financially troubled churches and other religious organizations. That provision raises the question of whether the separation of church and state has been weakened.

Well, joining me now is NPR's Tom Gjelten. Hey there, Tom.

TOM GJELTEN, BYLINE: Hi, Mary Louise.

Chelsea Bieker's mother left when she was 9 years old. "Growing up, I was hungry for narratives that were tackling some of the things that I was experiencing and feeling," she recalls. Whenever she found those stories, she says it felt healing, cathartic — a release.

"It didn't feel like I was so isolated — it made my experience feel more universal," she says.

Your Anti-Anxiety Playlist

Apr 5, 2020

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And finally today, another selection from our anti-anxiety playlist. That's where you share the songs that help you stay calm during these stressful times. And we play some of them here. You've been sending us lots of great suggestions, and every week, it's hard to choose which ones to highlight. But today's choice is easy. It's from Twitter user @leahsamuel (ph), and we love it because who does not want to get up and dance when they hear Earth, Wind & Fire?

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SING A SONG")

If there's a silver lining to glean amid a pandemic, Richard Blanco says it's an opportune time for the socially distanced and homebound to immerse in poetry.

"A lot of poetry is about being quiet and being still and observing," the Cuban American poet said. "I think we have that opportunity right now."

And April just so happens to be National Poetry Month.

It's a time when we call on our audience — budding and studied poets alike — to indulge in the art form.

Tips For Homebound Bakers

Apr 5, 2020

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And finally today, another selection from our anti-anxiety playlist. That's where you share the songs that help you stay calm during these stressful times. And we play some of them here. You've been sending us lots of great suggestions, and every week, it's hard to choose which ones to highlight. But today's choice is easy. It's from Twitter user @leahsamuel (ph), and we love it because who does not want to get up and dance when they hear Earth, Wind & Fire?

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SING A SONG")

Stephen Bruner, better known as Thundercat, is one of the music industry's most eclectic and prolific collaborators. Over the past five years, the virtuosic bass player has worked with everyone from Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar to Michael McDonald. His latest album, It Is What It Is, was released on Friday and it features the same expansive range of genres and styles.

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Authorities around the world have issued their own guidelines and rules designed to contain the spread of the coronavirus. And as they've sought to enforce these rules, some efforts have sparked backlash and concerns about privacy.

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Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, made a rare appearance during yesterday's coronavirus briefing. He criticized governors for not having a handle on their supplies of masks and ventilators.

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Many of you do not need the reminder sports leagues around the world are suspended - no NBA, no Olympics, no Wimbledon. We won't get ahead of ourselves and talk about the NFL. But there is something to fill that competitive void.

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