Politics & Government

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

With the passage of a new law earlier this year, North Dakota has become the first state to legalize law enforcement use of armed drones.

Though the law limits the type of weapons permitted to those of the "less than lethal" variety — weapons such as tear gas, rubber bullets, beanbags, pepper spray and Tasers — the original bill actually aimed to ensure that no weapons at all were allowed on law enforcement drones.

The sponsor of the original bill, Republican state Rep. Rick Becker, said he wasn't happy with how that part of the law turned out.

Late August may be the absolutely worst time to launch a political TV blitz. But a Democratic superPAC, Priorities USA Action, is offering up a minicampaign this week and next, warning Republicans that their heated rhetoric on immigration is captured on videotape and being prepped for prime time later in the race.

A decade after Hurricane Katrina — the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history — President Obama told a crowd in New Orleans that the storm was a "man-made" calamity that had as much to do with economic inequality and the failure of government as it did the forces of nature.

"What started out as a natural disaster became a man-made disaster — a failure of government to look out for its own citizens," the president said in a speech at a newly opened community center in the Lower Ninth Ward, a predominantly black neighborhood that was devastated by Katrina.

The National Portrait Gallery says it has no plans to heed calls by conservatives and anti-abortion activists to remove a bust of Margaret Sanger from an exhibit on civil rights. Sanger, who died in 1966, was an early supporter and activist for the birth control movement and the founder of Planned Parenthood.

NPR's Pam Fessler tells our Newscast unit that "the demands are part of a larger campaign against Planned Parenthood, after its employees were recorded talking about providing fetal tissue to medical researchers."

The images continue to haunt: storm surge from Hurricane Katrina pouring through gaps in failed flood walls, rapidly rising waters, desperate New Orleanians trapped on rooftops.

In a new report and letter sent to congressional leadership, Planned Parenthood contends that controversial videos alleging the organization sells fetal tissue have been "heavily edited in order to significantly change the meaning" of what its staff said.

For Mitt Romney and Donald Trump, their relationship had all the permanence of a Las Vegas wedding.

Perhaps Romney said it best when he took to the podium that fateful day in February of 2012.

"There are some things that you just can't imagine happening in your life. Uh, this is one of them," the eventual Republican nominee said to laughter.

More Americans say they would vote for a Muslim or an atheist for president than they would for a socialist, according to a recent Gallup Poll. Yet "socialist" is now how Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has described himself throughout his career.

Sanders has not run from the term, even as he surges in his race for president.

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Confirming rumors that he is seriously considering jumping into the 2016 presidential race, Vice President Biden acknowledged that he is indeed weighing whether to get into the contest.

But in a closed-conference call with Democratic National Committee officials, he noted that he and his family are trying to decide "whether or not there is the emotional fuel at this time to run." Biden's son Beau died of brain cancer in May.

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Just a few months ago, Bekele Gerba was languishing in a high security Ethiopian jail, hearing the cries of fellow prisoners being beaten and tortured. Now, the 54-year-old foreign language professor is in Washington, D.C., for meetings at the State Department. His message: The Obama administration should pay more attention to the heavy-handed way its ally, Ethiopia, treats political opponents — and should help Ethiopians who are losing their ability to earn a living.

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German chancellor Angela Merkel is being criticized today both for visiting a refugee center and not.

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