Politics & Government

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

Among his campaign promises, President-elect Donald Trump vowed to increase domestic energy production and roll back President Obama's efforts to combat climate change . A lengthy questionnaire recently sent to the Department of Energy suggests that effort may dig deep. Among the transition's inquiries, NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports: "It wants to know who at the Department of Energy attended domestic and international climate talks. It wants emails about those conferences. It also asks about...

Senate Democrats dropped their objections Friday night to a short-term-funding bill to keep the government running, and the bill passed less than an hour before the midnight deadline. It's become a familiar year-end act for Congress: passing a short-term-funding bill that will keep the government running for a few more months. This funding measure, which passed 63-36, runs out in April. Despite overwhelming support in the House on Thursday, the spending package hit a roadblock in the Senate,...

With three weeks left, the reality of the past year is starting to sink in. Racial conflict showed up in all corners of the news the past week. Electoral racism The election may be over, but the trauma lives on. Asma Khalid has been covering the presidential campaign since Marco Rubio's boots were scandalworthy . Along the way, she heard emotional stories from America's heartland about voters' aspirations and fears. She was also routinely questioned, threatened and berated for being a Muslim...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Even before he is sworn in as president, Donald Trump is putting his own stamp on the role of chief executive. NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson reports. MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Donald Trump is shaping up to be more than just an activist president. With one tweet, he can drive down the stock price of a major American company. With another, he can unleash a flood of death threats against a local...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: When the new season of the reality TV show "Celebrity Apprentice" premieres January 2 on NBC, a familiar name will be in the credits. Donald Trump will be listed as executive producer. It's another conflict of interest for the president-elect, and NPR's TV critic Eric Deggans says it could be a problem for NBC, too. ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: When Donald Trump first announced he was running for president back in June...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Next we go to North Dakota where it is bitterly cold. Opponents to the Dakota Access Pipeline have been camped out there and protesting for months. Now organizers are trying to get people to stop coming and those who are there to go home and wait for the next legal battle to play out. Minnesota Public Radio's Tim Nelson reports. TIM NELSON, BYLINE: It's a single degree above zero as Rachel Masquat sits at a fire...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Donald Trump's supporters have some tough words for voters who are unhappy with the election results. Get over it. They are excited to see what Trump will do as president. NPR's Sarah McCammon spoke with some enthusiastic Trump fans in Des Moines, Iowa, last night. It was one of the stops on the president-elect's thank you tour of battleground states. SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: The look and feel of Trump's thank-you...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: We are 41 days out from inauguration, and Donald Trump has wrapped up another week of Cabinet picks, from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Labor Department. And as the Trump transition looks forward, the Obama administration is also looking back. President Obama has ordered a full review of hacking during the election. We're going to talk about all of this with our regular political commentators, David...

South Korean lawmakers have voted overwhelmingly to impeach their president, Park Geun-hye, who is mired in a corruption scandal and facing a criminal investigation. But the celebration of the impeachment vote may be temporary, as a panel of justices will ultimately decide her fate. "A lot of attention and focus of the national media and public will be on the constitutional court," says James Kim of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies , a Seoul-based think tank. That court has 180 days to...

Even after he becomes president, Donald Trump will hold another title dear to his heart: executive producer. The next head of the U.S. government is to retain a stake and a credit for the NBC reality series Celebrity Apprentice, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks tells NPR. The story was first reported in the Hollywood trade publication Variety . "Mr. Trump has a big stake in the show and conceived of it with Mark Burnett," Hicks told NPR. The show, for which Trump served as host and an executive...

Everyone called this a "change election," and with the fiercely anti-establishment Donald Trump, Americans certainly got change. But they are still uncertain about what they think of their new Change President. Forty-one percent of Americans say they approve of how well he has explained his "policies and plans for the future to the American people," according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center . That's lower than any incoming president since at least George H.W. Bush, in 1989....

President Obama has ordered the intelligence community to conduct a "full review" of "malicious cyber activity" timed to U.S. elections, the White House said Friday. The review will go all the way back to the 2008 campaign when China was found to have hacked both the Obama and McCain campaigns , White House spokesman Eric Schultz said at a Friday press briefing. In the 2016 election, U.S. intelligence officials charged that Russia had interfered. In early October, they released a strongly...

In a photo for GQ earlier this year, Melania Trump sat in a white dress at a white table posed with a fork and spoon, twirling a thick platinum rope necklace in a bowl like a piece of bucatini. While we know the future first lady subsists on more than precious metals, we know little about her food preferences – except that she eats seven pieces of fruit a day. Given this, it's impossible to discern how or if she will affect the culinary tone of the White House and the country at large—a role...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised to roll back government regulations, and two of his Cabinet picks announced this week underscore his intention to do just that. Trump plans to nominate fast food executive Andrew Puzder to head the Labor Department and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA. If confirmed, the two men would signal a sharp break from the policies of the Obama...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: The next secretary of Homeland Security will face a tough job. He'll oversee a vast agency, keep track of security threats and also oversee the execution of some high-profile campaign promises by President-elect Trump. He talked about building a wall on the Mexican border and deporting millions of undocumented immigrants. He seems to have scaled back both promises. But Trump's actual approach remains unclear. It...

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke about the dangers of the promulgation of fake news on Thursday after conspiracy stories involving her campaign spurred violence recently. "The epidemic of malicious fake news and fake propaganda that flooded social media over the past year, it's now clear that so-called fake news can have real-world consequences," Clinton said. She was referring to the "Pizzagate" incident in D.C. this weekend, which came to a terrifying head. A...

With Donald Trump's choices for secretaries of transportation and of housing and urban development — Elaine Chao and Dr. Ben Carson, respectively — there may be hints about the urban agenda Trump's administration may be shaping. Some big-city mayors say they're worried about potential cuts in federal funding that candidate Trump warned about on the stump, and they are reaching out to the president-elect. They say they have plenty of ideas they want to share about the country's cities. Chicago...

It's been nearly a year since Mayor Karen Weaver declared a state of emergency in Flint, Mich. Before she became mayor, the city switched its water supply to the Flint River in a cost-cutting measure. The water wasn't properly treated, which caused corrosion in old pipes — leaching lead and other toxins into the city's tap water. People were afraid to drink or even bathe in the water. Since then, a lot has happened. Charges were brought against several Michigan state officials and one Flint...

Without congressional intervention, about 16,000 retired miners in seven states will lose their health care coverage by the end of the year. A proposal to temporarily extend the benefits is working its way through Congress. But two Senate Democrats, who are advocates for a more comprehensive plan, say the temporary provision isn't enough. They are threatening to hold up a spending bill that needs to pass by Friday night to keep the government running. Coal mining is dangerous work. For many...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Under President Obama, the U.S. Justice Department has focused on civil rights. For the past eight years, its lawyers have made investigating discrimination in police departments and advancing protections for LGBT people top priorities. Once Donald Trump becomes president in January, the Justice Department's agenda could be very different. Here's NPR's Carrie Johnson. CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: Transitions between...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Donald Trump often lets loose on Twitter, and last night, his target was a union official in Indianapolis - Chuck Jones, president of Steelworkers Local 1999. Jones had called Trump a liar for overstating how many jobs would be saved in a deal with the Carrier company. Indiana Public Broadcasting's Annie Ropeik reports. ANNIE ROPEIK, BYLINE: Chuck Jones does not use Twitter. He's been dealing with fallout from...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: John Glenn, the former NASA astronaut and U.S. senator, has died. In 1959, NASA picked Glenn to join Project Mercury in the first group of American astronauts. Three years later in 1962, Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, rocketed into space on the Friendship 7. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Liftoff. JOHN GLENN: Roger. The clock is operating. We're on our way. SHAPIRO: John...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is retiring, and today he gave his farewell address to the Senate. Reid's legacy is often a matter of debate. Republicans argue that he was an angry partisan who polarized the Senate. Democrats say he was a steady hand in the face of unprecedented obstruction. NPR congressional correspondent Susan Davis reports from Capitol Hill. SUSAN DAVIS, BYLINE: If there's one thing everyone...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: This week, Donald Trump announced Dr. Ben Carson as his choice to be the secretary of housing and urban development, or HUD. We're going to look now at what that might mean for one community with lots of public housing. Richie Torres is a New York City Council member representing the Bronx. He leads the Committee on Public Housing, and he grew up in a housing project himself. Mr. Torres, thanks for joining us....

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: President-elect Donald Trump has chosen a wealthy fast food executive to be his labor secretary. Andrew Puzder heads the company that runs Hardee's and Carl's Jr. restaurants. The hamburger chains employ tens of thousands of mostly low-wage workers. NPR's Scott Horsley joins us to talk about this latest Cabinet pick. Hi, Scott. SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Hi, Ari. SHAPIRO: What can you tell us about Andrew Puzder?...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Jewish and Muslim groups have sometimes been on opposite sides of debates. Now they've joined together to fight common enemies. The Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council is a new bipartisan group designed to fight Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. I'm joined now by two of the group's leaders. Farooq Kathwari is Muslim. He's the CEO of Ethan Allen and one of the co-chairs of this new council. Bob Silverman comes from the...

In a recent essay in the New York Times, Columbia professor and historian Mark Lilla issued a warning to liberals left stunned by President-elect Donald Trump's victory: Knock it off with the "identity politics" or be doomed to repeat this failure. "American liberalism," he wrote , "has slipped into a kind of moral panic about racial, gender, and sexual identity that has distorted liberalism's message and prevented it from becoming a unifying force capable of governing." This admonition has...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . DAVE DAVIES, BYLINE: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross who has a bad cold. Yesterday just before she lost her voice, she recorded the interview we're about to hear with The New York Times' executive editor Dean Baquet about the challenges facing The New York Times and its coverage of President-elect Donald Trump. Trump's had a contentious relationship with the press, or the dishonest press, as he sometimes refers to...

For the first Somali-American lawmaker in the U.S., it was meant to be a day to remember: a visit to the White House for policy meetings before she takes office in Minnesota. But as she left the seat of U.S. power, Ilhan Omar says, she was subjected to a hateful and threatening verbal attack in a cab. "I pray for his humanity and for all those who harbor hate in their hearts," Omar, a Muslim who wears a head scarf, wrote of the cab driver who she says assailed her. In a Facebook post , she...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: We're now going to get an update on President-elect Donald Trump's transition and how he's been messaging to the public throughout that transition. We've got Sean Spicer on the line. He's the communications director for the RNC. Sean, thanks so much for being with us. SEAN SPICER: Good morning, Rachel. Thanks for having me. MARTIN: You are someone who thinks a lot about messaging and communications. And as such,...

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