Politics & Government

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

The Republican National Committee delegates and the three presidential campaigns jockeying for their votes huddled here in Hollywood, Fla., for its last formal party meeting ahead of the July convention in Cleveland.

While Donald Trump's convincing New York primary win boosts his chances at winning the nomination outright, the potential for an open, contested convention lingers.

Donald Trump's enduring appeal in the Republican presidential contest has the GOP in a quandary, as it's forced to contend with voters fed up with party politics.

Some 50 years ago, another vociferous candidate put the scare in traditional power brokers. George Wallace fired up crowds with a similar anti-establishment message, and drew protests as passionate as are being seen at Trump's rallies today. Wallace also became a face of racial tension in America as the leading symbol for segregation in the 1960s.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This story is part of "The View From," an election-year project focused on how voters' needs of government are shaped by where they live. The series started in Illinois and this week, NPR took a road trip across three Appalachian states.

In coming weeks, the White House is expected to finalize key new rules on overtime pay that could benefit an estimated 6 million lower-paid salaried workers. Workers' advocates say it's a long-awaited change. Most employer groups vocally oppose the new rules, because they might have to raise their minimum salaries, pay overtime — or limit their workers' hours.

Much of the debate has pitted workers against employers.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

"Who still supports Andrew Jackson?"

An NPR colleague posed that question Thursday morning after news broke that Jackson, or at least his image, will share the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman. Tubman, in fact, would be the one on the front of the bill; Jackson would ride in back. News items described this Treasury Department decision in a way that made Jackson seem impossible to support: A slave-owning president was being shoved aside in favor of a heroic escaped slave.

Donald Trump wants the Republicans to alter the party platform on a fundamental issue for many conservative activists — abortion.

The GOP platform, which is formally adopted at the Republican National Convention, has included language every election year since 1984 with support for a human life amendment to the Constitution and a call for "legislation to make it clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children."

(The 14th Amendment says no state shall "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.")

You might have noticed something different about Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump lately.

John Reinhart and Frank Vento have been hanging out — and making music — for decades. The childhood friends are huge Donald Trump fans, and they've written an ode to their fellow New Yorker.

Reinhart and Vento and their wives live on Staten Island.

That is the borough where many of New York City's working-class Republican voters live. Donald Trump carried Staten Island with 82 percent of the vote — his best county on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced that former slave and abolitionist Harriet Tubman would grace a new version of the $20 bill. The news came after a prolonged effort to get women's faces on U.S. currency, with Tubman's name mentioned for several months. On the surface, the Tubman 20 announcement could be seen as an overwhelmingly acceptable development. A feel good story. A chance to celebrate.

This story is part of an occasional Code Switch series we're calling "The Obama Effect." The series explores how conversations about race and identity have evolved over the course of the Obama presidency. You can read more about the series here.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says he is deciding whether to sign legislation that would allow therapists to refuse service based on religious objections.

In an interview with NPR's Morning Edition, he said he is "talking to a lot of folks to get some input" on the bill and that he had boiled his thinking down to this central question: whether therapists could truly leave their values out of their work.

You'd be excused if you tuned out in previous years when the actual nominating part of a political convention occurred. Usually it's a pro forma exercise with little suspense, as each state ticks off its vote for the eventual nominee. And that nominee has been known well in advance — at least for the last 40 years, anyway.

But this year a contested convention actually seems possible, if not probable, on the Republican side. It's the stuff of journalists' dreams and political consultants' nightmares.

The U.S. is ranked 41 out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders' World Press Freedom Index, which measures the "level of freedom of information in 180 countries."

According to the organization, the U.S. moved from 49 in 2015 to 41 this year, though it warned that the "relative improvement by comparison hides overall negative trends."

Public opinion on marijuana has risen dramatically over the last couple of decades. In the mid-1990s, only around 25 percent of Americans thought pot should be legal, according to Gallup.

Today, it's around 58 percent.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It certainly looks suspicious that more than 125,000 Democrats were dropped from Brooklyn's voter rolls between last November and Tuesday's primary. New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said that the Board of Elections confirmed the voters were removed and that his office would conduct an audit to see if anything improper was done.

At the New York primary elections on Tuesday night, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton won big. Ted Cruz, who was lambasted by Brooklynites for his campaign comments about "New York values," was crushed.

Meanwhile, Brooklyn was plagued by polling issues — from long lines to voters dropped from the rolls. Bernie Sanders supporters were outraged, and Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Clinton supporter, also expressed concern.

Here are five headlines that break down the night's biggest stories:

It has been a year since Freddie Gray died from injuries sustained as Baltimore police transported him to a station. The 25-year-old was arrested after running from police; officers later found a small knife in Gray's possession. Cellphone video of the arrest showed Gray being dragged, moaning in pain, to the police van while at least one onlooker shouted that Gray needed medical care.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

China has gotten very good at making steel. And making it and making it and making it.

In fact, that "excess" production is causing such a crisis for the global steel industry that the United States is joining an international push to try to cut the glut.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A powerful wind swept across the 2016 presidential race Tuesday night as the political pendulum came swinging back with a vengeance.

Routed in Wisconsin just two weeks ago, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton stormed back to take the high-stakes primary in their home state of New York in convincing fashion. Each won about three-fifths of the vote and widened their already imposing leads among pledged delegates.

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