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Mattis Travels To Saudi Arabia

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.

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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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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.

With the approval this month of two drugs to treat hepatitis C in children, these often overlooked victims of the opioid epidemic now have a better chance at a cure. Kids may actually have an easier time than adults getting approved for the treatment, according to some health policy specialists.

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.

UPDATE: Jon Ossoff Falls Below Majority Threshold

Apr 18, 2017
John Bazemore / AP Photo

12 a.m.

Democrat Jon Ossoff has dropped below the majority vote he needs to avoid a runoff in Georgia's nationally watched special congressional election.

Late Tuesday, upstart Ossoff fell under the 50 percent threshold required to win the 18-candidate primary outright in Georgia's 6th Congressional District. If he falls short, he'd likely face Republican Karen Handel in a June 20 runoff.

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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President Trump is preparing to overhaul the nation's tax code, and at least some of the coming changes could benefit his own bottom line. Critics say voters should be able to see just how much help the president might get from a revised tax code, so they are stepping up efforts to force him to share his tax returns.

Seeing the returns would reveal some key facts about the president's finances, says Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW.

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Updated at 4:05 p.m. ET

This is what a president can do with the bully pulpit:

It's Tax Day. And that means another reminder of the fact that President Trump has broken with tradition and not released his tax returns.

The "armada" that President Trump said he was sending to deter North Korea still hasn't arrived — and it has thousands more miles to cover if it actually does sail to the Korean Peninsula.

The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and its strike group actually sailed south after U.S. Pacific Command announced April 8 that it was canceling the ships' planned visit to Australia and instead ordering them to "sail north and report on station to the Western Pacific Ocean."

On Tuesday British Prime Minister Theresa May announced plans to hold a snap general election on June 8. Following Britain's decision last summer to exit the European Union she said that, "Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership" ahead Britain of settling its divorce from the EU. This surprise news came as a shock to the political establishment in London.

Former Obama staffer Alyssa Mastromonaco is well acquainted with the privilege — and sleeplessness — of working in the White House: "I basically ran on adrenaline, almost, for six years," she says.

Mastromonaco began as President Obama's director of scheduling and advance, then became his deputy chief of staff for operations. Her responsibilities ran the gamut from overseeing the confirmation process for Cabinet secretaries to managing the president's daily schedule and foreign travel.

Secret Data On Hospital Inspections May Soon Become Public

Apr 18, 2017

The public could soon get a look at confidential reports about errors, mishaps and mix-ups in the nation's hospitals that put patients' health and safety at risk, under a groundbreaking proposal from federal health officials.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services wants to require that private health care accreditors publicly detail problems they find during inspections of hospitals and other medical facilities, as well as the steps being taken to fix them. Nearly nine in 10 hospitals are directly overseen by those accreditors, not the government.

Updated: 2:19 p.m. ET

By all accounts, President Trump did not win the Asian-American vote in 2016. But the size of Hillary Clinton's margin of victory with voters in the fastest-growing racial group in the U.S. depends upon which exit poll you rely.

Trump, GOP Face Referendum In Georgia; Dems Aim For Upset

Apr 18, 2017
Alex Sanz / AP Photo

UPDATE: Steady Pace For Voting In Georgia's 6th District

2:40 p.m.

Georgia voters continue to stream into polling sites in the suburbs north of Atlanta to cast their ballots in the special election to fill the 6th Congressional District seat.

Polls opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday and will stay open until 7 p.m. Local election officials have reported steady turnout all day, and state officials have received few reports of problems.

Republicans are trying to prevent a political tremor from happening Tuesday night just north of Atlanta that would be a blow to President Trump and a boon to the rising Democratic opposition to him.

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As if this year's elections in France and Germany were not enough, Britain is voting, too. Prime Minister Theresa May has the power to call a snap election. And today she did.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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We now have a preview of the 2018 elections when all House seats are up, including some vulnerable Republicans in California. Here's NPR's Scott Detrow.

A nonprofit organization that has orchestrated a wide-reaching campaign against foreign drug imports has deep ties to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, the powerful lobbying group that includes Eli Lilly, Pfizer and Bayer.

The nonprofit, called the Partnership for Safe Medicines, has recently emerged as a leading voice against Senate bills that would allow drugs to be imported from Canada.

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