Politics & Government

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

Violent crime is likely to rise slightly this year in the nation's 30 largest cities, and murders will increase too, mostly because of problems in one place--Chicago — according to a new, preliminary analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice.

The center, a nonpartisan group that monitors developments in law and justice, said only Chicago has endured a year-over-year rise in both violent crime and homicides in 2015 and 2016. Overall, analysts said, violent crime remains near record lows.

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

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

President Obama is laughing off Donald Trump's sudden turn-around on his birth.

"There's an extra spring in my step tonight," Obama said to a dinner hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in Washington, D.C., on Saturday night. "I don't know about you guys, but I am so relieved that the whole birther thing is over. I mean, ISIL, North Korea, poverty, climate change, none of those things weighed on my mind like the validity of my birth certificate."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

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

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

Talking about God is pretty standard for American politicians. But a line that has been popping up often in Donald Trump's recent campaign speeches seems to go further.

At a recent gathering of conservative Christians in Washington, D.C., Trump promised that if he is elected president, "we will be one American nation." The Republican nominee quoted the Bible and spelled out his vision for American unity:

Americans who endured the brutal 2007-2009 recession and slow recovery now are seeing an economic sunrise: Wages are up, jobs are growing and more families are lifting themselves up out of poverty.

And yet, dark clouds are still hanging over millions of Americans.

No set of sunny statistics can help an unemployed coal miner in Kentucky pay the mortgage. Upbeat wage data won't reassure a Michigan factory worker who is nervously watching robots replace his co-workers.

It's a headline you can write every election year:

FLORIDA THE BIG BATTLEGROUND IN THIS YEARS' RACE TO THE WHITE HOUSE

But that banner belies significant changes taking place in rapid fashion.

In fact, if your image of Florida politics is senior citizens peppering candidates with questions about Social Security and Medicare, it's time for an update. Or a new headline.

Perhaps something like this:

MILLENNIALS A RISING FORCE IN FLORIDA ELECTIONS

Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence is in "excellent general and cardiovascular health," according to a letter from his doctor that was released by his campaign, Saturday.

The letter, written by Michael Busk, a physician at St. Vincent Health, Wellness and Preventative Care Institute in Indianapolis, goes on to say that the 57-year-old Pence is "medically able to maintain [his] high level of professional work and [his] physical activity programs without limitations."

Russian officials are working to make sure that Sunday's parliamentary elections aren't a replay of the last such vote, in 2011.

That election triggered protests in which tens of thousands of Russians cried out against allegations of widespread vote-rigging and fraud. It was the biggest challenge to President Vladimir Putin, who has now been either president or prime minister for the past 17 years.

Jordan Weaver was just a kid when Barack Obama was elected eight years ago. But she'll never forget that November night.

"My biggest memory is us in my living room," said Weaver, who grew up in Harrisburg, Penn. "My mom was crying. She was so happy that a president could be African-American and people accepted him. You could just see that everyone was so excited."

Eight years later, Weaver joined thousands of people who turned out to see Obama speak in Philadelphia earlier this week.

Muslims are a tiny fraction of the U.S. population, making up somewhere around one percent, according to the Pew Research Center.

But a lot of Muslims live in key battleground states like Florida, Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, which makes them a small but important group.

That's why Hillary Clinton's campaign is trying to make sure they show up in large numbers on Election Day.

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

A Talk With Trump's Feng Shui Expert

Sep 17, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Now Play Nice, Children

Sep 17, 2016

There was no moderator of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. There was a timekeeper, usually some respected town elder in Alton, Freeport or Galesburg, Ill., who would keep track of how long a candidate could speak, then say something like, "Thank you, Mr. Lincoln. Your turn now, Sen. Douglas," and vice versa.

But there was no moderator. Each candidate spoke in turn. They asked each other questions directly. They could accuse each other of being wrong, or not telling the truth, face to face, and did.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

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/.

Donald Trump hit Hillary Clinton on Second Amendment rights during a Miami rally Friday night, but made a controversial statement while doing so — suggesting her Secret Service detail should stop carrying guns and "see what happens to her."

There will officially be no third-party candidate on the presidential debate stage.

Libertarian Gary Johnson and Jill Stein of the Green Party officially did not make the cut, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced Friday.

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/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

With around 50 days until Election Day, the NPR Politics team is back to discuss the top political news of this week. That includes Clinton's return to the campaign trail after taking a few days off due to pneumonia, Trump's visit to the Dr. Oz show to discuss his health, and the candidates' plans on child care.

On the podcast:

  • Campaign Reporter Sam Sanders
  • Campaign Reporter Asma Khalid
  • Campaign Reporter Sarah McCammon

Donald Trump finally addressed whether he believes the current president was, indeed, born in the United States. "President Obama was born in the United States. Period," he said Friday morning.

Pages