Politics & Government

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

Researchers at Stanford University this week published a study that may bolster the argument that policies aimed at encouraging immigrants to come out of the shadows actually improve public safety. They found that a 2013 California law granting driver's licenses to immigrants in the country illegally reduced hit-and-run accidents by 7 to 10 percent in 2015, meaning roughly 4,000 fewer hit-and-runs. In that same year, 600,000 people got driver's licenses under the law.

President Trump has donated his salary from his first few months in office to the National Park Service, making good on a campaign pledge to forego a presidential paycheck.

His gift represents a small fraction, however, of the money the Park Service stands to lose if Trump's budget were adopted.

Instead of collecting a salary of $400,000 a year, Trump has volunteered to donate that money to charity. He chose the Park Service as the beneficiary of his first installment, $78,333, which covers the first ten weeks Trump was in office.

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Today we begin writing the latest draft of history.

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The leader of the U.S. Justice Department has ordered federal authorities to emphasize building partnerships with local law enforcement over hard-nosed investigations of them, asking a federal judge in Baltimore to delay a hearing this week on a deal to overhaul the city's troubled police force and casting a cloud over a host of other federal consent decrees that target unconstitutional law enforcement practices.

With an oversized check for $78,333, written to the National Park Service, White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday took the first step in fulfilling President Trump's pledge to give away his presidential salary.

Spicer said that the sum equaled Trump's salary for the first quarter of 2017, and that similar charitable contributions will be made each quarter.

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Senate Democrats on Monday secured the votes needed to filibuster Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. This sets up a political fight that will substantially change the way the Senate considers future high court nominees.

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When he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week, former FBI agent Clint Watts described how Russians used armies of Twitter bots to spread fake news using accounts that seem to be Midwestern swing-voter Republicans.

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The Egyptian president is 1 of 3 world leaders meeting with President Trump this week. The king of Jordan visits the White House on Wednesday, and China's president will be a guest at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida at the end of the week.

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It is perhaps no surprise that first lady Melania Trump's first official portrait is a glamour shot. The former model's bio page on the White House website goes into great detail about her career in the field.

The White House released the photo on Monday, with a simple press release stating that the photo was taken in the residence at the White House.

"I am honored to serve in the role of First Lady, and look forward to working on behalf of the American people over the coming years," Trump says in the announcement.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET.

Forty-one Democratic senators have now publicly announced that they will vote against ending debate this week on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. That means Republicans cannot at this time clear the 60-vote threshold needed to proceed to an up-or-down vote on the nomination. It also sets up an historic vote to end the Senate's filibuster rule for Supreme Court nominees.

Jared Kushner "is on the ground" in Iraq, visiting the embattled nation along with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford, White House press secretary Sean Spicer says. Kushner is both a senior adviser to President Trump and his son-in-law.

Spicer confirmed Kushner's visit to NPR's Tamara Keith early Monday. According to Reuters, which has a reporter traveling with Kushner and Dunford, the U.S. group arrived on Monday, not over the weekend as some news outlets reported on Sunday.

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As Donald Trump regularly spotlights violent crimes committed by immigrants who are in the country illegally, outrage is increasingly bubbling up in communities across the country.

In San Antonio last month, authorities charged 35-year-old Armando Rodrigo Garcia-Ramires, a Mexican national, with double capital murder in the shooting death of a 15-year-old girl, who was nine months pregnant with his child. The fetus died, too.

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The U.S. Senate could make history this week, but no one is feeling particularly good about it.

"It is depressing; I'm very depressed," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. "We're all arguing against it, but we don't know any other option."

The nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and the GOP blockade against Merrick Garland before him are forcing another showdown over whether to invoke the "nuclear option" and change the rules of the Senate to make it easier for a president to get all of his nominations approved.

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For comedians, skewering presidents is a time-honored tradition. President Trump, with his outsized personality and early morning tweets, is proving to be a rich source of material - and not just for comedians.

Here's NPR's Elizabeth Blair.

An Update On Russia Investigations

Apr 2, 2017

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Since the Republican health care bill died recently, President Trump has been looking to shift blame for the early failure in his administration. Last week, he found an easy scapegoat — the conservative House Freedom Caucus, that had voiced reservations about the Affordable Care Act replacement plan from the outset.

In a series of tweets, the president raised the specter of even backing primary challengers against some of the caucus's members, and later began calling out the group's leaders by name.

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