National/International

Updated at 7 p.m. EST

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has been confirmed as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, by a 58-41 Senate vote.

Six Democrats and one Independent joined with the Republicans to approve the nomination — mostly Democrats who are up for re-election next year and represent states that voted for President Trump, NPR's Arnie Seipel reports.

"Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who received blowback from liberals for voting for Carson in committee, voted against his nomination today," Arnie says.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is now the 14th U.S. Secretary of Energy, despite having once pledged to eliminate the Department of Energy.

Or at least, he tried to pledge to eliminate the department — including once when he couldn't think of its name.

Perry was confirmed Thursday by the Senate in a 62-37 vote.

Prescribed narcotic painkillers continue to fuel a nationwide opioid epidemic—nearly half of fatal overdoses in the United States involve opioids prescribed by a doctor.

Updated at 4:56 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will recuse himself from any investigations into possible Russian involvement in the 2016 elections.

"Let me be clear: I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign," Sessions reiterated during an afternoon news conference in response to reports that he had met twice with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. last year.

"I should not be involved in investigating a campaign I had a role in," Sessions said.

Why the fight over how immigrants are characterized is so important

Mar 1, 2017

For anyone who watched President Donald Trump’s address to Congress on Tuesday, the irony of who was in the audience on either side of the aisle was clear.

Area lawmakers react to Trump speech to Congress

Mar 1, 2017
U.S Capitol

Here are statements from some New York lawmakers to President Trump's address to Congress.

From U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) :

Following President Trump's address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night, the Democratic Party gave its response. Party leaders chose former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear to do the honors this year.

President Trump pushed the reset button after a rocky first month in office, delivering an on-message joint address to Congress that outlined his vision for America.

"I am here tonight to deliver a message of unity and strength, and it is a message deeply delivered from my heart," Trump said at the outset, declaring that "the torch of truth, liberty and justice ... is now in our hands. And we will use it to light up the world."

President Trump will address a joint session of Congress for the first time on Tuesday evening at the Capitol, around 9:00 PM Eastern Time. The address comes a day after Trump gave an outline of his budget plan for Congress, which would increase defense spending and make cuts to domestic programs. Following tradition, House Speaker Paul Ryan invited the president to make the speech to lay out his agenda in the early days of his new administration.

The White House on Friday barred reporters from numerous major media outlets from participating in a regularly scheduled press briefing, triggering charges of retaliation from news executives.

New Attorney General Jeff Sessions is rescinding an Obama-era memo that directed the Justice Department to reduce the use of private prisons, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports

Sessions writes in the order that returning to the Bureau of Prisons' earlier approach would provide flexibility.

The Trump administration is rescinding protections for transgender students in public schools.

The move by the Justice and Education departments reverses guidance the Obama administration publicized in May 2016, which said a federal law known as Title IX protects the right of transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identities.

No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, health care under the Affordable Care Act is going to change in the next few years. The Republican-led Congress has vowed to "repeal and replace" the health law known as Obamacare.

That has left many people anxious and confused about what will happen and when. So NPR's Morning Edition asked listeners to post questions on Twitter and Facebook, and we will be answering some of them here and on the radio in the weeks ahead.

No group is more affected by Trump’s immigration ban than Iranians. Over 35,000 Iranians come to the US each year with temporary visas — more than any other nationality on the seven-country list.

Meanwhile, in Europe, many are struggling for recognition alongside unprecedented numbers of refugees.

Most of the asylum-seekers in Europe now are fleeing violence in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, but in 2015 more than 25,000 Iranians also sought asylum in Europe.

Updated 5:25 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is releasing more on its plans to crack down on illegal immigration, enforcing the executive orders President Trump issued in late January. Those orders called for increased border security and stricter enforcement of immigration laws.

The Department of Homeland Security issued the new rules on Tuesday, laid out in two documents signed by Secretary John Kelly.

With 200 museums in greater Paris, newcomers face tough competition.

The privately run Phono Museum, which opened in 2014, guides visitors through the history of recorded sound. But it has struggled to overcome financial problems, despite a collection full of old and sometimes bizarre artifacts of audio history.

Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET

President Trump has announced that Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster will be his new national security adviser. McMaster will replace retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign after revelations that he had misled top White House officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

Donald Trump's pick for ambassador to Israel began his confirmation process in the Senate on Thursday. And the first thing David Friedman did was express regret for what he called his "inflammatory" language during the election campaign.

He didn't specify what that language was, but it probably included the word “kapo,” a German word with connotations that are highly insulting to Jews.

Russian state media ordered to scale back positive coverage of Donald Trump

Feb 17, 2017

The Kremlin ordered Russian state media on Thursday to stop praising Donald Trump. It was a big change, and an indication that the Putin-Trump "bromance" could be on the rocks.

Updated 9:05 p.m. ET with 9th Circuit appeals court delay

President Trump says his administration will continue to fight for his existing travel ban in the court system, and that he will also issue a new, "very comprehensive order" next week.

Trump provided no details on what that new order would entail, but said it would "comprehensively protect our country." The president made the remarks during a news conference Thursday at the White House.

The thing about my friend Hassan Iftin is that when things are really bad, his first reaction is to laugh. And to be honest, the past two weeks have been pretty bad if you’re a Somali Muslim refugee, like Hassan, hoping to start a new life in the United States.

When I called him up at his home in Nairobi, Kenya, a few days after the Trump immigration restrictions were announced, he was chuckling. "This is funny. It's really very funny," he told me, just so I knew it wasn’t. "[Trump] is going to do much worse than this. He thinks all that havoc and chaos is working. Ha. Ha. Ha.”

Updated at 9:59 a.m. ET Feb. 14

President Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned late Monday night amid allegations he inappropriately talked about U.S. sanctions with a Russian official, and later allegedly misled then-Vice President-elect Pence about the conversations. Flynn spoke with the Russian ambassador in December, before Trump was inaugurated.

Tuesday was a busy day for education policy.

Betsy DeVos, you may have heard, was confirmed as secretary of education with an unprecedented tiebreaker vote.

The Senate confirmed Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., early Friday as the new secretary of Health and Human Services.

He was approved by a party-line vote of 52-47. Democrats were concerned that the conservative congressman wants to pare down government health programs. They were also troubled by lingering ethics questions over Price's investments.

Appeals Court Rejects Bid To Reinstate Trump's Travel Ban

Feb 9, 2017

Updated at 7:50 p.m. ET

A federal appeals court has unanimously rejected a Trump administration request to allow its travel ban to take effect.

The three-judge appeals panel declined to overturn a lower court's order suspending the president's ban against entry into the United States by refugees and travelers from seven majority-Muslim nations.

Two lawyers, three judges, thousands of ordinary Americans: On Tuesday night, oral arguments in Washington v. Trump attracted an unusually large audience for audio-only legal proceedings.

The case centers on President Trump's controversial executive order that would temporarily bar all new refugees from entering the U.S., as well as visa holders from seven majority-Muslim countries.

The Senate has confirmed President Trump's nominee Jeff Sessions to be the next attorney general, bringing an end to a bitter confirmation fight that has dredged up past accusations of racism against the Alabama senator.

The vote was largely along party lines, 52-47, with only centrist Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia voting yes. Sessions himself voted "present" on his own nomination.

Some areas of the Northeast have been enjoying a mostly snow-free winter, but that's about to change.

Residents have been warned about an approaching powerful, fast-moving storm that could deliver more than a foot of snow in some areas.

The change in weather follows a spring-like day when much of the Northeast was enjoying 60 degree temperatures.

The words were those of Coretta Scott King, widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

But they resulted in a rarely invoked Senate rule being used to formally silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

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