Politics & Government

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

Marie da Silva is among the 25 percent of voters who are undecided ahead of Sunday's first round of voting in France's crucial presidential election.

The 52-year-old building manager and mother has soured on the men in the race, finding them too weak, unrealistic or communist.

Though she identifies as conservative, da Silva had never voted for the far-right party, National Front.

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And I'm Steve Inskeep with a guide to this day's news. David, where do we start?

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Officials at the University of California, Berkeley reversed an earlier decision to cancel the scheduled appearance of conservative commentator Ann Coulter on April 27. They proposed an alternate May 2 date after Coulter vowed to show up on campus anyway.

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A clear majority of justices at the U.S. Supreme Court seemed troubled Wednesday by a Missouri grant program that bars state money from going to religious schools for playground improvement.

Thirty-nine states have state constitutional provisions that bar taxpayer funds from going to religious schools — provisions that have been a major obstacle for the school choice movement. The Missouri case is an attempt to lower that wall separating church and state.

China's Foreign Ministry is defending a decision to grant Ivanka Trump new trademark rights for her line of handbags, jewelry and spa services. The three new trademarks were approved April 6 while the president's daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner, sat next to Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife at dinner at President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, according to The Associated Press.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET

A group of liberal lawyers is suing the Justice Department and FBI over President Trump's tweeted allegation of wiretapping ordered by then-President Barack Obama.

American Oversight is demanding records that support or disprove Trump's March 4 tweet, "Just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower."

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The U.S. Justice Department is sending a message to state and local governments: Failure to comply with federal laws could have big consequences.

This year, most of the conversation has focused on whether sanctuary cities that limit their cooperation with federal immigration authorities will be able to keep grant money for their police departments. But veterans of the Justice Department said that's only a piece of what could be at stake.

An inauguration is an expensive party to throw, and President Trump got plenty of help putting his on. Financial Election Commission disclosures released on Wednesday show that some uberwealthy donors helped Trump defray the cost: Million-dollar givers included investment firm founder Charles Schwab, mining entrepreneur Christopher Cline and Bank of America. Investor and casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson spent $5 million.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

Fox News is parting ways with Bill O'Reilly, who for years stood as one of cable news' most popular hosts. The network's parent company, 21st Century Fox, announced the move in a statement Wednesday.

"After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O'Reilly have agreed that Bill O'Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel," the statement read.

If you thought it was odd that a special election in the Atlanta suburbs got so much national attention, you haven't seen anything yet.

So far, much of the focus has been on Democrat Jon Ossoff — and with good reason. The Democratic base rallied around him and made the election a referendum on President Trump.

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, announced that he will not run for re-election in 2018 and will not seek any public office next year.

Last week, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos appointed Candice Jackson as the acting assistant secretary of the Office for Civil Rights. Jackson will oversee a staff of hundreds charged with responding to thousands of civil rights complaints every year, including some from students who feel discriminated against based on race, color, national origin, sex, ability, and age.

A piece from New York Magazine's Andrew Sullivan over the weekend ended with an old, well-worn trope: Asian-Americans, with their "solid two-parent family structures," are a shining example of how to overcome discrimination. An essay that began by imagining why Democrats feel sorry for Hillary Clinton — and then detoured to President Trump's policies — drifted to this troubling ending:

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The U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments Wednesday in a Missouri case with the potential to open grant programs to parochial schools.

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In 2011, U.S. Marine Lieutenant Colonel Aaron O'Connell finished a tour of duty in Afghanistan. He's had a lot of time since then, year after year, to think about why that war continues.

Cokie Roberts Answers Your Tax Questions

Apr 19, 2017

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Up first, this day marks the anniversary of the start of Venezuela's struggle for independence in 1810. We normally wouldn't mention that here this morning but many Venezuelans plan to spend this day protesting their government.

Mattis Travels To Saudi Arabia

Apr 19, 2017

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Updated at 10:05 a.m. ET

President Trump is set to host the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots at the White House on Wednesday, an event that brings together some of the most polarizing figures in both sports and politics.

The Patriots are well-acquainted with this championship ritual, having won five Super Bowls in the last sixteen years. But their come-from-behind win over the Atlanta Falcons — after being down 25 points — was every bit as unlikely as Trump's own upset victory three months earlier.

Former President George H.W. Bush is in Methodist Hospital in Houston following treatment for a recurrence of a case of pneumonia.

Bush, who is 92, has been there since Friday for observation, spokesman Jim McGrath says.

McGrath issued a brief statement:

"President George H. W. Bush was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital on Friday for observation due to a persistent cough that prevented him from getting proper rest.

"It was subsequently determined he had a mild case of pneumonia, which was treated and has been resolved.

Updated at 2:08 a.m.

Republicans escaped a potentially brutal loss on Tuesday night — for now — by forcing a runoff in a closely watched Georgia special congressional election.

Democrat Jon Ossoff would fall just short of the 50 percent needed to win outright in the crowded 18-way all-party primary, the Associated Press projected early Wednesday. Ossoff, a 30-year-old documentary filmmaker and former congressional staffer, instead will face off against Republican and former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel on June 20.

Last November, exit pollsters asked almost 14,000 Asian-American voters for the first time, "Do you think that police departments treat racial and ethnic groups equally?"

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been at the forefront of progressive politics over the last year.

She has sparred with President Trump on Twitter, and she was reprimanded by Republicans on the Senate floor earlier this year. Now she has written a new book, This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle To Save America's Middle Class.

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