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Examining Biden's Foreign Policy Plans

9 hours ago

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For a long time, Mazie Hirono thought of herself as one of the quiet ones — hardworking and well-prepared, caring but stoic — formed in the image of the Japanese American women who raised her.

But in recent years, Sen. Hirono, D-Hawaii — the only immigrant serving in the U.S. Senate — has turned heads for her increasingly tough, no-B.S. style and a willingness to challenge not just Republicans but her own Democratic party.

The turning point, she said in an interview with NPR, was catalyzed by the Trump administration and the conduct of the former president himself.

Imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is three weeks into a hunger strike, protesting the lack of medical attention he has received while in prison. Now, his doctor fears his death is imminent.

Physician Yaroslav Ashikhmin said test results that Navalny's family shared with him reveal increased potassium levels, which could lead to cardiac arrest, as well as heightened creatinine levels from deteriorating kidneys.

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For years, she thought of herself as one of the quiet ones, hardworking and well-prepared, caring but stoic and self-contained, formed in the image of the Japanese American women who raised her. But Mazie Hirono will no longer be quiet.

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It was the first welcome of a foreign leader to the Biden White House. The Japanese prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, sat down with President Biden to discuss regional security and threats to that security from one of Japan's neighbors.

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As we approach President Biden's 100th day in office at the end of this month, some observers are flattering him with comparisons to two legendary Democratic presidents of the 20th century — Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson.

Those names reportedly came up when historian Jon Meacham convened a group of his colleagues at the White House in early March for a private session with Biden. And since then, the aptness of comparing this new president to such transformative figures of the past has become a matter of some debate in Washington and beyond.

Fetal tissue is uniquely valuable to medical researchers - useful for developing treatments and better understanding diseases like HIV, Parkinson's, and COVID-19.

But many anti-abortion rights groups oppose it on moral or religious grounds.

Now, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra says he's reversing several restrictions on fetal tissue research put in place during the Trump administration.

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Updated April 16, 2021 at 1:50 PM ET

A heavy metal musician and founding member of the Oath Keepers extremist group pleaded guilty Friday to charges connected to the storming of the U.S. Capitol and agreed to cooperate with investigators — a first in the massive probe into the deadly Jan. 6 assault.

Updated April 16, 2021 at 8:45 PM ET

The White House has walked back its announcement that it will keep this year's historically low refugee ceiling of 15,000 set by the Trump administration, saying its earlier statement Friday, which was panned by fellow Democrats, was meant only to ease restrictions from countries from which refugees are currently banned.

The White House said President Biden would raise the cap by May 15.

The Biden administration will send $1.7 billion to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local and state governments and other research efforts, starting early next month to find and track coronavirus variants lurking in the United States. Already, the more contagious U.K. variant, B.1.1.7, is now the dominant strain in this country, fueling surges in Michigan and the Northeast.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In ordering U.S. troops to prepare to leave Afghanistan, President Biden said their presence no longer makes sense.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Three weeks after it was signed into law, local election officials in Georgia are still trying to understand all the implications of the state's controversial election overhaul.

In a series of interviews, election officials said that while the Republican-led measure has some good provisions, many felt sidelined as the legislation was being debated, and believe that parts of it will make Georgia elections more difficult and expensive.

When President Biden welcomes Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to the White House on Friday, concerns about the competition posed by China will be front and center in the talks.

It is Biden's first in-person visit with a foreign leader at the White House since he took office, and it sends a signal about how Biden plans to work through alliances to counter China.

In at least 30 states nationwide, lawmakers have introduced bills aiming to keep transgender girls and women from participating on girls' and women's sports teams. These type of restrictions have become a major culture war battle, with Republican lawmakers being the loudest proponents of such bills, while Democrats often oppose them.

The Biden administration has been scrambling to care for hundreds of migrant children and teenagers crossing the Southern border alone daily — opening a dozen emergency influx shelters and moving thousands out of jail-like holding cells and tents that have stoked public outrage.

Still, the administration faces big challenges as it deals with the record-breaking surge of unaccompanied minors.

Liberal congressional Democrats unveiled a proposal Thursday to expand the number of seats on the U.S. Supreme Court from nine to 13 — a move Republicans have blasted as "court packing" and which has almost no chance of being voted on after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she has "no plans to bring it to the floor."

The measure, the Judiciary Act of 2021, is being co-sponsored by Reps. Jerrold Nadler, chair of the House Judiciary Committee; Hank Johnson of Georgia; Mondaire Jones of New York; and Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts.

SEOUL — As Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has readied for his trip to Washington — where, on Friday, he will be the first foreign leader to meet face-to-face with President Biden — opposition lawmaker Shiori Yamao has been making preparations of her own.

President Biden and his team have been making a simple case for why Republican elected officials should support his roughly $2 trillion infrastructure plan: Lawmakers might not like it, but their voters do.

"Overwhelmingly, the majority of the American people — Democrats, Republicans and independents — support infrastructure investments that meets the moment," Biden said last week. "So, I urge the Congress: Listen to your constituents and, together, we can lay a foundation for an economy that works for everyone and allows America to remain the world leader."

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