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President Joe Biden has picked a slate of nearly two dozen acting officials to temporarily lead agencies as he waits for Congress to confirm his Cabinet.

According to a list of officials issued by the White House on Wednesday, most of the temporary leaders are career civil servants.

Updated at 9:37 p.m. ET

Michael Pack resigned Wednesday as the CEO of the federal agency over the Voice of America and other federally funded international broadcasters after a turbulent seven-month tenure. He leaves the U.S. Agency for Global Media with a Trumpian legacy of ideological strife, lawsuits and scandal, his departure effective just two hours after the swearing-in of President Biden, who requested him to leave.

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Well, I don't need to tell you that in this divided nation, there are widely divergent emotions around today's transition of power. NPR's Tovia Smith has been out speaking to voters in Massachusetts. She joins us now.

Hey, Tovia.

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Today, Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States in an inauguration ceremony unlike any other in this country's history.

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President Biden is moving quickly on climate change on his first day in office, saying he plans to sign a sweeping executive order to undo many of the Trump administration's environmental rollbacks.

The traditional inaugural parade was not an option this year, given security fears and the coronavirus pandemic.

So instead, the Biden Inaugural Committee is throwing a "Parade Across America" — a virtual celebration involving dancers, drum lines, singers and athletes from across the United States.

Updated at 5:40 p.m. ET

As President Joe Biden took the oath of office on Jan. 20 with his history-making vice president, Kamala Harris, people across the nation seemed cautiously optimistic.

President Biden traveled from the U.S. Capitol across the Potomac River to Arlington National Cemetery after his inauguration ceremony Wednesday afternoon to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

He was joined by Vice President Harris as well as former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, along with their spouses and members of their families.

Biden and Harris each touched the wreath, and Biden made the sign of the cross before saluting. A military bugler then played taps.

President Biden will issue an executive order asking the Education Department to extend pandemic relief for about 41 million federal student loan borrowers through Sept. 30.

In March 2020, borrowers were granted a reprieve on their loan payments — interest was set to 0% and collections of defaulted federal student loans were paused. Congress initiated this relief in the CARES Act. Both President Donald Trump and, later, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, extended it.

Before Biden's executive order, expected later today, the relief was set to expire on Jan. 31.

The night before their inauguration, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris stood near the Lincoln Memorial and marked more than 400,000 people killed by the coronavirus. On Wednesday, the Biden administration takes responsibility for fighting the pandemic.

As part of his ambitious plan to address climate change, President Biden is revoking a key cross-border presidential permit needed to finish the controversial Keystone XL pipeline

This likely means the end of the $8 billion pipeline, a years-long project that would have carried oil sands crude from Alberta, Canada, to the American Gulf Coast. The pipeline has come to signify the debate over whether fossil fuels should be left in the ground in order to rein in greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the worst damage from climate change.

Updated at 2:15 p.m. ET

The sounds of base drums, cymbals and helicopters all rang out Wednesday morning through a main quad at Washington D.C.'s Howard University, Vice President Harris' alma mater.

Harris' face adorned one of the famous alumni banners at the historically black university on Inauguration Day as some student members of the university's Showtime Marching Band — the drum line and dance and flag squads — prepared to participate in the inaugural parade.

After President Biden and Vice President Harris were sworn into office Wednesday, they inherited two other important titles: @POTUS and @VP.

That's because the transfer of power included the transition of official administration Twitter accounts.

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During the Cold War, the movies we saw from the Eastern bloc were steeped in politics. They critiqued, more or less obliquely, life under communism. More than 30 years later, the Berlin Wall is long gone, but the films from Eastern Europe haven't lost their political edge. These days, they're critical of post-communist societies that remain harsh and oppressive.

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Updated 4:50 p.m. ET

As the United States inaugurated Joe Biden as the 46th president, world leaders, citizens and former officials offered congratulations and expressed hope that the new administration will lead to better relations and reverse some of the policies of his predecessor.

"The United States is back. And Europe stands ready," Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, proclaimed in a tweet hours before the swearing-in Wednesday.

Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET

President Biden gave his first presidential address to Americans on Wednesday in a star-studded Inauguration Day event that went unattended by his predecessor.

In his remarks, Biden promised to help the nation heal, both from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as well as from political rifts that had deepened considerably during the term of former President Donald Trump.

Updated at 3:33 p.m. ET

Militias and mass protests did not appear in Washington, D.C., during President Biden's inauguration Wednesday — a welcome development for security and law enforcement agencies. Some 25,000 National Guard members are in the city, where insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol just two weeks ago.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are about to receive an Indian-style welcome to Washington, D.C.

A group of volunteers are putting together a kolam, a traditional South Indian art form used as a sign of welcome, in the nation's capital in honor of the incoming president and vice president. Using 1,800 pieces submitted from the public, the volunteers are assembling a kolam of over 2,500 square feet.

When Amanda Gorman, a 22-year-old poet from Los Angeles, took to the stage on Wednesday, it was immediately clear why the new president had chosen her as his inaugural poet.

Gorman echoed, in dynamic and propulsive verse, the same themes that Biden has returned to again and again and that he wove throughout his inaugural address: unity, healing, grief and hope, the painful history of American experience and the redemptive power of American ideals.

Updated at 12:10 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden became President Biden at noon Eastern time, after he took the oath of office to become the nation's 46th commander in chief.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts conducted the swearing-in ceremony. Biden placed his hand on a family Bible.

Updated at 1:05 p.m. ET

Andrea Hall, a career firefighter and union leader from Fulton County, Ga., led the Pledge of Allegiance during the inauguration of President-elect Biden.

Hall recited the familiar words of the pledge out loud and in American Sign Language.

Kamala Harris has been sworn in as vice president of the United States, becoming the first woman, first Black person and first Asian American to hold the office. She is also the first graduate of a historically Black college and the first member of a Black sorority to do so.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor administered the oath. Sotomayor, the first woman of color to serve on the Supreme Court, previously administered the vice presidential oath to Biden in 2013.

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On this day two weeks ago, U.S. Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman became a hero, as he bravely directed participants in the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol away from the Senate chamber.

Today, officer Goodman was given the honor of escorting Vice President-elect Kamala Harris through that same building to the inaugural ceremony.

Update at 2 p.m. ET: NPR special audio coverage of the inauguration has ended. Watch the livestream below. Follow updates in our liveblog.

Updated at 9:44 p.m. ET

One of President Biden's first executive actions has reversed former President Donald Trump's unprecedented policy of altering a key census count by excluding unauthorized immigrants. The change ensures that the U.S. continues to follow more than two centuries of precedent in determining representation in Congress and the Electoral College.

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