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The Trump administration is appealing a federal judge's ruling that blocks plans to add a controversial citizenship question to the 2020 census.

The State Department on Thursday ordered employees to return to work next week, despite the partial government shutdown, saying it would figure out how to cover the next paycheck.

In a note posted on its website and emailed to staff, the department said it "is taking steps to make additional funds available to pay employee salaries."

If the shutdown continues beyond the next pay period, State Department officials say they will have to work with Congress to reprogram funds in order to cover salaries.

The Trump administration is interpreting the somewhat vague law governing shutdowns broadly so it can ease the pain this shutdown causes. But some critics say they're not adhering to the law.

One More Thing The Shutdown Took: Panda Cams

1 hour ago

The partial government shutdown has its long arms in many aspects of people's daily lives. Here is yet another: animal live cams.

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Freshman Democrats won back control of the House for their party campaigning to break the gridlock in Washington, but the ongoing government shutdown is testing how they can deliver on that promise.

NPR's Mary Louise Kelly talks with former National Security Council official Michael Green about President Trump's new missile defense strategy that says North Korea is still a threat.

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A federal judge has struck down controversial restrictions on early voting in Wisconsin that were passed during the state Legislature's lame-duck session last month.

The restrictions limited early voting in Wisconsin to the two weeks before an election. In recent years, cities including the Democratic strongholds of Milwaukee and Madison have offered several weeks of early voting.

The Islamic State has jumped back into the headlines by claiming responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed four Americans and more than a dozen civilians at a restaurant in northern Syria.

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Updated at 6:57 p.m. ET

President Trump appears to be retaliating against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for suggesting he postpone his State of the Union address amid the ongoing partial government shutdown by postponing at the last minute her planned trip to Afghanistan.

Jilmar Ramos-Gomez served in the Marines and saw combat in Afghanistan. Born in Grand Rapids, Mich., he is a U.S. citizen.

But last month, federal immigration authorities took him into custody to face possible deportation.

Attorneys and immigration advocates in West Michigan are now demanding to know why, and how, that happened.

President Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen acknowledged on Thursday that he schemed to rig online polls that sought to make Trump seem like a more plausible presidential candidate.

The story was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. In a tweet following the report, Cohen said he sought to help Trump's political aspirations, having been directed by the candidate.

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Adam Schiff wants to know who Donald Trump Jr. telephoned as he was organizing the meeting at which he was promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.

The chairman of the House intelligence committee told NPR he intends to use his power to convene hearings, call witnesses and get information to answer the question about whether Trump Jr., in setting up the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower, spoke to his father, then-candidate Donald Trump.

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President Trump famously said he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any voters.

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While the longest government shutdown in U.S. history continues, President Trump's approval rating is down, and there are cracks showing with his base.

A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds Trump's approval rating down and his disapproval rating up from a month ago. He currently stands at 39 percent approve, 53 percent disapprove — a 7-point net change from December when his rating was 42 percent approve, 49 percent disapprove.

Angie Beem used to be a woman who, at most, would read the voter pamphlet before Election Day, cast a vote, and consider her duty done. She didn't pay attention to politics much because she didn't think it affected her life.

But that all changed ahead of the 2016 presidential election when she noticed Facebook posts that deeply troubled her.

"My family were starting to be racist and saying horrible things," said Beem. "I didn't recognize them."

Two portraits of William Barr emerged during the second day of his confirmation hearing to lead the Justice Department as President Trump's choice as attorney general.

One was of a brilliant and moral man who oversaw the resolution of a hostage crisis at a federal prison without any casualties and another was of an early 1990s attorney general who held views on race and policing that now seem antiquated and unacceptable to many in law enforcement.

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Updated at 8:59 p.m. ET

Officials leasing the Old Post Office Building for the Trump International Hotel in Washington improperly ignored the Constitution's anti-corruption clauses when they continued to lease the government property to President Trump even after he won the White House, according to an internal federal government watchdog.

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Though Houston and Harris County make up one of the most ethnically and racially diverse metro areas in the country, that hasn't always been reflected in its judges. But the region recently took a big step towards representation when it elected a record 19 African-American women to the bench.

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