Politics & Government

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'Today In 1968' Replays A Historic Year — On Twitter

Feb 21, 2018

There's no question that 1968 was a pivotal year in civil rights history. In 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated as he stood on the balcony of a hotel in Memphis; the Fair Housing Act was passed; two U.S. athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, took a stand and raised their fists in a monumental salute at the 1968 Summer Olympics; and Star Trek aired the first intergalactic and interracial on-screen kiss. All this, while the U.S. was embroiled in the Vietnam War.

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A rite of passage for many American students is the school trip to Washington or to the state capital. Students from Parkland, Fla., made their trip to the state capital with much higher stakes.

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Morning News Brief

Feb 21, 2018

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One week after the school shooting in Florida, the renewed push for gun law changes is getting mixed results.

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A meeting that was to have taken place between Vice President Pence and representatives of North Korea during the Winter Olympic Games fell apart when Pyongyang suddenly backed out, the State Department says.

The meeting, between Pence and Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's nominal head of state, was to have taken place on Feb. 10 during the vice president's three-day visit to the Olympic venue.

The school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that took 17 lives followed one in rural western Kentucky by three weeks. The Kentucky shooter killed two high school sophomores and injured 18 other people.

In the wake of the tragedy at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky's Republican governor and legislature say they won't consider any gun-control proposals. Instead, a measure allowing teachers or staff to carry guns on campus has gained traction.

Republican state Sen. Steve West admits his bill isn't going to stop all school shootings, but he hopes it'll help.

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Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

Following the deadly school shooting in Florida on Feb. 14, President Trump is directing the Department of Justice to develop regulations to ban bump stocks.

"Just a few moments ago I signed a memorandum directing the AG to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns. I expect that these critical regulations will be finalized, Jeff, very soon," Trump said, referring to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

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The number of new HIV cases reported in the Philippines has surged over the last few years, according the country's health agency. In 2007, fewer than 400 new cases were reported; in 2017, more than 11,000 new cases were identified.

The Columbine Generation

Feb 20, 2018

In April 1999, two students killed 12 classmates, one teacher and themselves at Columbine High School in Colorado. Nineteen years later, a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

After a national outcry over gun violence in Florida last week, there are the early signs of compromise in Washington: President Donald Trump has endorsed a bipartisan proposal to strengthen gun background checks.

But what is this legislation, and could it have helped prevent last week’s bloodshed?

GUESTS

The lengthy feature article on the front page of Monday's Washington Post was a profile of Rachel Crooks, one of more than a dozen women who have accused President Trump of sexual misconduct. After going public with her story in the fall of 2016 on the eve of the election, she is now running for the state Legislature in Ohio as a Democrat.

Kyle Frenette, longtime manager of Bon Iver and a co-founder of Middle West Management, "an artist management firm founded on the acute quiet of Midwestern work ethic," is planning a pivot to politics. The Wisconsin native will formally announce his campaign to represent the 7th Congressional District of his state this Thursday, his campaign manager Christian Duffy confirmed to NPR Music.

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President Trump has endorsed Mitt Romney's campaign for U.S. Senate in Utah. It is surprising because of how they've spoken of each other in the past.

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MITT ROMNEY: Dishonesty is Donald Trump's hallmark.

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Morning News Brief

Feb 20, 2018

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There have been a lot of calls for new gun control in the wake of the massacre in Florida. But are these calls actually influencing lawmakers?

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It was Saturday afternoon, and Abigail Spanberger was in a busy hallway at the Chesterfield County Public Library in Midlothian, Va., minutes away from training a room of about 40 campaign volunteers. She seemed ready for a quick interview, but then abruptly called out to her campaign manager.

"Hey Dana, Eileen Davis is about to come through. Can you head her off at the pass so she doesn't interrupt the — "

She cut herself off and turned to me.

"That's my mother," Spanberger said, laughing.

Her mom is volunteering for her campaign?

"Evidently."

The strained — and often strange — relationship between President Trump and Mitt Romney just added another layer of complexity: In a tweet on Monday, the president endorsed Romney to fill the U.S. Senate seat left open by the retirement of Utah's Orrin Hatch.

Trump said Romney "will make a great Senator and worthy successor to [Orrin Hatch], and has my full support and endorsement!"

Romney's response (also on Twitter): "Thank you Mr. President for the support. I hope that over the course of the campaign I also earn the support and endorsement of the people of Utah."

Editor's note: This story was updated on Feb. 2o at 9:50 a.m. ET with an image of the state Supreme Court's map.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has enacted a new congressional district map that may be much more favorable to Democrats, replacing the one it overturned and deemed an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander last month.

A group of teenagers who say they are desperate for some action on gun control staged a silent "lie-in" outside the White House Monday, in the wake of the deadly Florida school shooting last week.

Why The AR-15?

Feb 19, 2018

After nearly every mass shooting, a few words are repeated over and over: Thoughts. Prayers. AR-15.

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Students from a Florida high school spent the weekend demanding action after last week's mass shooting. They've been contacting reporters, and one, Emma Gonzalez, delivered a speech advocating gun control.

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Morning News Brief

Feb 19, 2018

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When a grand jury indicted 13 Russians for interfering in the presidential election, President Trump at first seemed to celebrate. He pointed out that the indictment did not name him. But over the weekend, the president's tone darkened, and he now faces criticism for his latest swipe at the FBI.

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