Politics & Government

Politics, elections, law, military and veteran's affairs

To legally justify its military actions against the Islamic State, the U.S. has relied on a piece of 2001 legislation, written years before the extremist group came into existence.

Now 46 representatives from both parties say in a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan that it's time for Congress to "immediately begin a serious debate" on authorization for the use military force against the Islamic State.

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A week after Sen. Mike Enzi told high school students that a man who wears a tutu to a bar "kind of asks for" a fight, his constituents in Wyoming are wearing tutus to school and work — and, yes, to bars — on Friday. Enzi has apologized for his "poor choice of words."

At the TED Conference in Vancouver this week two TED Fellows talked about putting ideas to work to invigorate marginalized communities from within, while harnessing the collective power, creativity, and good will of residents who want to live in thriving, healthy and safe neighborhoods.

Putting together a march on the National Mall is a demanding task, to put it mildly. And the organizers of the Women's March only had two months to put together an event that quickly grew from a Facebook post to a worldwide phenomenon.

"I think what's really interesting is we didn't necessarily have a lot of time to think about next steps," said activist Carmen Perez.

Millennials are a tough group to pin down — with their lack of landlines, refusal to answer cellphones and reluctance to respond to online surveys.

But one study has managed to capture what 18- to 29-year-olds are thinking about in the current political moment, including their assessment of President Trump's first 100 days in office.

President Trump has ordered the Department of the Interior to review all designations of national monuments greater than 100,000 acres created since 1996.

Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET.

With the clock ticking, Congress on Friday managed to fulfill its basic function — keeping the federal government running.

The House and Senate approved a short-term measure that funds the government for another week. Lawmakers voted hours ahead of a midnight deadline to avoid a partial shutdown of federal agencies.

Friday's extension gives members of Congress more time — until midnight on May 5 — to try to reach a deal on a spending bill that will last through the rest of fiscal year 2017, which ends Sept. 30.

President Trump says that while he would like to resolve the issue of North Korea's nuclear program diplomatically, it will be hard — and there is a potential for a major clash with the Asian nation, Trump said in an interview with Reuters.

"There's a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea, absolutely," the president told the news agency.

"We'd love to solve things diplomatically but it's very difficult," Trump said.

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Shortly before last year's election, presidential candidate Donald Trump made a commitment for how he would start off if elected.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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We're here to give you your first word on the day's news. And Steve, a pretty crowded day in the confrontation over North Korea's nuclear weapons.

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When President Donald Trump selected retired Marine Gen. James Mattis for defense secretary, it was a rare choice. No recently retired general had been selected for the top Pentagon job since George Marshall, some 66 years earlier.

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And as we were listening to the secretary just now, Joel Wit was listening, too. He's a former U.S. diplomat who once negotiated with North Korea. He's on the line from New York. Good morning.

JOEL WIT: Good morning.

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In his first interview with NPR, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has a wide-ranging interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep.

Steve Inskeep: I want to begin with North Korea. We heard when you said, "the era of strategic patience is over," so we know what your policy is not. Is there a word or phrase you can give us to say what your approach to North Korea is?

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson: Yes, our approach to North Korea is to have them change their posture towards any future talks.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET.

President Trump spoke to the National Rifle Association's annual leadership forum on Friday, the first sitting president since Ronald Reagan to do so.

"We have news that you've been waiting for ... a long time," Trump told the crowd in Atlanta. "The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end."

Much of his speech echoed the rhetoric he used on the campaign, and has continued at rallies during his first 100 days in office.

The final member of President Trump's Cabinet — secretary of labor — was confirmed by the Senate Thursday in a bipartisan vote of 60-38.

Alexander Acosta, 48, will be the Cabinet's first Latino member. Acosta is dean of the Florida International University College of Law in Miami.

Acosta was assistant attorney general in the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division under President George W. Bush, who later appointed him U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

Fox News has been under fire in the past year for sexual harassment. First Fox chair Roger Ailes, then the network's favorite pundit, Bill O'Reilly, were forced to leave after multiple women complained of unwanted advances—and the blocked advancement they experienced when they didn't put out.

President Trump signed an executive order Friday that aims to expand offshore drilling for oil and gas, in a move welcomed by the oil and gas industry and greeted with alarm by environmental groups.

"Renewed offshore energy production will reduce the cost of energy, create countless new jobs, and make America more secure and far more energy independent," Trump said before signing the document. He said previous restrictions on exploration and production deprive the U.S. of "potentially thousands and thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in wealth."

Looking back at the 1992 Los Angeles riots, people often remember tensions between African-Americans, white law enforcement officers and Korean small business owners. That story gets even more complicated when you step into Pico-Union — a neighborhood that was, and still is, predominantly Latino.

President Trump still calls the North American Free Trade Agreement "a horrible deal" for the United States. But in opting to renegotiate — rather than cancel — the agreement, Trump acknowledged that backing out of NAFTA would be "a pretty big shock to the system."

After more than two decades, NAFTA is tightly woven into the economies of the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Trade among the three countries is much more robust and supply chains more tightly integrated than was the case in 1994 when NAFTA went into effect.

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