Politics & Government

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

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Russia's efforts to interfere with last year's elections will be front and center during two hearings on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson will appear before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence while the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will hear from current U.S. intelligence officials and state election experts.

Here are five questions likely to be on lawmakers' minds as they listen to witnesses and ask questions.

Presidential spokesman Sean Spicer held an on-camera briefing at the White House Tuesday, his first in eight days and possibly his last. At least he refused to say it wasn't.

Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET on June 21

Republican Karen Handel has won the costly and closely watched special congressional election in Georgia's 6th District, a blow to Democratic hopes of pulling off an upset in a district that President Trump only narrowly carried last year.

The former Georgia secretary of state won by almost 4 points, beating Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old documentary filmmaker and former congressional staffer — 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans will release a discussion draft of their version of the health care bill on Thursday, with a vote likely next week.

Private health care talks have been underway in the Senate for weeks. McConnell tapped a 13-member working group last month to hash out senators' differences over the House-passed American Health Care Act. McConnell's office has since taken the lead drafting the Senate version of the party's long-promised legislation to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

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Senate Republicans are still working on their version of a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. And they're doing it behind closed doors, something that has frustrated Democrats and Republicans.

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President Trump has updated his personal financial disclosure report from last year, and here NPR updates our December 2016 analysis of that earlier report.

From “Moana” to “Beauty and the Beast” and “Zootopia,” new Disney films for children are becoming more inclusive, and they’re questioning racial and gender stereotypes.

Between 2016 and 2018, about 24 percent of the studio’s live-action releases will feature ethnic minority leads, Disney says.

The U.S. Supreme Court, forging its way to the end of the current term, unloaded a raft of important decisions Monday, with many more expected in the days to come. At the same time, the court agreed to hear a case next term that will test whether there is a constitutional limit to how much partisanship can be used to draw legislative maps.

Among Monday's decisions were these:

The Florida elections vendor that was targeted in Russian cyberattacks last year has denied a recent report based on a leaked National Security Agency document that the company's computer system was compromised.

In 1980, soon after Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan, Zubair Popal fled the country with his wife, Shamim, two young sons and infant daughter.

"There was no hope for me to stay," he recalls. "I thought about the future of my kids. And in those days when the Soviet Union went to a country and invaded that country, they never left."

The long-awaited special election in Georgia is finally happening.

On Tuesday, people will head to the polls to cast their votes for either Democrat Jon Ossoff or Republican Karen Handel in the sixth congressional district special election in the Atlanta suburbs to replace Republican Tom Price. Price left his seat to become President Trump's health and human services secretary.

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Broken teeth are all too often a punchline in conversations about poor people in rural places. But for Heather Wallace, dental problems are anything but funny.

"Basically it's just like a nerve pain. Your whole body locks up; you have to stop for a second to try to breathe," she said. "And sometimes if it hurts bad enough, you might cry."

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Some U.S. officials are using the word murder to describe the death of an American soon after North Korea released him.

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We're going to bring in another voice now, NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea, who is following the special election in Georgia and just heard that conversation with Jon Ossoff. Hey, Don.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Good morning.

It was supposed to be an easy win for Republicans.

But the more than four-month-long bitter special election fight in Georgia's 6th Congressional District has been anything but simple. Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel are locked in a tight contest that has obliterated spending records, with tens of millions pouring into the critical contest in the northern Atlanta suburbs with major national implications.

President Trump has often accused the news media of not covering terrorist attacks adequately. In a speech in February he said, "Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our homeland as they did on 9/11, as they did from Boston to Orlando to San Bernardino [...] It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported."

The Republican effort to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, has led to a standoff in the Senate.

Senate Democrats on Monday night began using parliamentary maneuvers to slow Senate business as part of a coordinated protest against the GOP push to pass an Obamacare replacement bill. A small group of Republican senators has been working in private for weeks, shielding from public view the bill and the negotiations surrounding it.

Updated at 11:30 a.m. ET

So it seems that it's not only Democrats who have trouble keeping their digital information secure online. An extensive database of information about 198 million Americans collected by a contractor hired by Republican groups was obtained by a security researcher, who found it on an Amazon server, with not even a single password protecting it.

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