Politics & Government

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

The education philosophy of Betsy DeVos boils down to one word: choice. The billionaire has used her money to support the expansion of public charter schools and private school vouchers.

For more than three hours on Tuesday, President-elect Donald Trump's pick to run the Education Department handled tough questions on school choice, charters and the future of the nation's schools from the Senate committee that handles education.

In her opening remarks, DeVos made clear she doesn't think traditional public schools are a good fit for every child.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

As the presidency of Barack Obama comes to an end, we're taking stock - and so is he.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

President-elect Donald Trump's pick to lead the Education Department took the hot seat today for her Senate confirmation hearing. Here is billionaire Betsy DeVos making her case to the Senate Committee on Education.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Donald Trump loves superlatives: words like "biggest," "best" and "greatest" pepper many of his statements, whether at a microphone or on Twitter. But a recent poll lends him another, less attractive superlative: the lowest favorability rating of any incoming president in at least 40 years.

For all their differences, when Donald Trump takes the oath of office to succeed Barack Obama on Friday, one small but symbolic similarity will be on display. Trump will place his hand on the Bible that President Lincoln used at his first inauguration, the same one President Obama used at both of his swearing in ceremonies.

The Lincoln Bible was purchased for the 1861 inauguration by Supreme Court Clerk William Thomas Carroll.

In a presidential campaign marked by harsh rhetoric, Donald Trump directed some of his strongest words toward China. He called the Chinese government a currency manipulator, threatened to impose tariffs on goods imported from one of America's leading trade partners and repeatedly vowed to get tough on China.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that the Obama administration is attempting to "undermine the legitimacy" of President-elect Donald Trump.

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that the Russian government, at the direction of Putin, hacked several U.S. targets as part of an "influence campaign" to shape the outcome of the election.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2017 WAMU-FM. To see more, visit WAMU-FM.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Surveys show unease as Inauguration Day approaches. It's common for a president-elect to gain sky-high approval ratings during the transition.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

President-elect Trump spent his final weekend before the inauguration making provocative statements. And NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith has been following along. She's on the line. Hi, Tamara.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Hi.

Copyright 2017 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

The Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Northern Virginia has seen its share of attention. Two of the hijackers in the Sept. 11 attacks prayed there, and jihadi propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki served as an imam at the mosque before heading off to Yemen to join al-Qaida.

Now, with a U.S. president-elect who has suggested he will take a hard line with Muslim-Americans, the worshipers at Dar al-Hijrah again are bracing for scrutiny and looking for reassurance.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

President-elect Donald Trump said he's finishing a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act with a proposal that would provide "insurance for everybody," according to a report by The Washington Post.

The final few days before President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office will be filled with a flurry of congressional activity, as the Senate holds confirmation hearings for eight more of his Cabinet nominees.

Most are expected to be fairly routine, but a few could be hot-button affairs, including hearings for Education Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos and Scott Pruitt, Trump's nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

As President Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice has grappled with with multiple crises — wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the rise of the Islamic State, and cyber attacks blamed on China and Russia.

Rice, who served as Obama's United Nations ambassador during his first term, says there have been many successes over the past eight years. But she says her biggest disappointment has been the failure of the international community to stop Syria's brutal civil war.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right. As Inauguration Day approaches, we are marking the end of an era. It's the era of Charlie Brotman known for 60 years as the president's announcer.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Just days from the end of her tenure, Loretta Lynch took the stage Sunday at a historic Baptist church in Birmingham, Ala., to deliver her final planned speech as U.S. attorney general.

"We can't take progress for granted," Lynch told the congregation. "We have to work. There's no doubt that we still have a way to go — a long way to go."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Pages