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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

A few weeks ago, fishermen off the coast of Norway encountered a beluga whale - not just any beluga. This one was wearing a harness. And stamped onto that harness were the words, equipment of St. Petersburg. That's prompted all kinds of questions, including whether the beluga was a Russian spy.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

A few weeks ago, fishermen off the coast of Norway encountered a beluga whale - not just any beluga. This one was wearing a harness. And stamped onto that harness were the words, equipment of St. Petersburg. That's prompted all kinds of questions, including whether the beluga was a Russian spy.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

A few weeks ago, fishermen off the coast of Norway encountered a beluga whale - not just any beluga. This one was wearing a harness. And stamped onto that harness were the words, equipment of St. Petersburg. That's prompted all kinds of questions, including whether the beluga was a Russian spy.

Remember the planned redesign of the $20 bill that was going to include the first African American woman to appear on U.S. currency?

Well, don't expect to see Harriett Tubman on your $20 any time soon.

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Copyright 2019 New Hampshire Public Radio. To see more, visit New Hampshire Public Radio.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We're going to turn now to James Clyburn. He's a Democrat from South Carolina and part of the Democratic House leadership. Welcome to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.

JAMES CLYBURN: Thank you so much for having me.

An investigation into a racist photo on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's medical school yearbook page revealed that the school's top officials were aware of the photo years before it publicly surfaced in February. Campus leaders, including the current and former president, decided not to release the photo, worrying that would create the appearance of trying to influence the election or Gov. Northam.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he has "not yet" reviewed a confidential draft Internal Revenue Service memo, which reportedly says the agency must turn over a president's tax returns to Congress unless the president asserts executive privilege.

Appearing before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, Mnuchin said he looked at the memo for the first time "literally on the way up here."

Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET

Negotiations over a potential infrastructure program fizzled on Wednesday as a White House meeting between President Trump and Democrats escalated into blame-trading and political threats — including impeachment.

The president was the first to appear after the session in a Rose Garden availability that he used to renew his call for Democrats to abandon investigations into him if they want to negotiate over improving the nation's roads and bridges or other legislation.

Updated at 8:10 p.m. ET

President Trump came into office criticizing the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and promised he would try to avoid foreign military engagements. Yet this month the White House has been talking as if conflict with Iran is suddenly on the table. Trump tweeted over the weekend, "If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran."

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

President Hillary Clinton?

That would have been the result of the 2016 presidential election — if the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact were in effect.

With a state Senate vote Tuesday, Nevada is close to becoming the latest state to sidestep the Electoral College when it comes to electing presidents.

The history of the U.S. census asking about people's citizenship status is complicated.

Many of the stops and starts have been unearthed as part of the legal battle over the decision by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

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This week marks the 100th anniversary of a big moment in voting rights. The House of Representatives passed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote.

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NOEL KING, HOST:

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Today House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meets her fellow Democrats. That includes some who are ready for impeachment proceedings, which Pelosi is not.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Rep. Liz Cheney does not mince words, but when it comes to her own political ambitions, the Wyoming Republican has nothing to say right now.

"I don't have any announcements to make about that," a tight-lipped Cheney told reporters at a recent press conference dominated by questions about her political future.

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The New York Assembly passed a bill on Tuesday that closes the "double jeopardy" loophole, permitting state authorities to prosecute someone who receives a pardon from the president. The vote was 90-52.

Top Democrats in the state framed the change as a way to stand up to President Trump by removing a shield that had protected defendants from being prosecuted twice for similar crimes and could have benefited those receiving pardons.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Another story now - across the country today, supporters of abortion rights are demonstrating.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Abortion-rights advocates are holding rallies across the country Tuesday, protesting a wave of laws passed by states in recent weeks to severely restrict access to abortions.

Organizers include the ACLU, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and NARAL Pro-Choice America. More than 400 events were planned for a national day of action outside statehouses and courts, united under the #StopTheBans moniker.

Your Questions Answered About Abortion

May 21, 2019

What is an abortion? Who can get one? When does life begin?

These questions took on new resonance after the passage of restrictive abortion laws in Alabama and Missouri.

Abortion is still legal in all 50 states. But in some states, there are waiting periods, or only one or two clinics available to get one, creating barriers to the process.

But people have been talking about how abortion, and access to it, have affected their lives for a long time.

Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada, a Republican, said on Tuesday he plans to step down from his position after lewd and racist text messages between him and his former chief of staff were leaked to the media.

Casada's decision comes hours after the House Republican Caucus cast an unprecedented 45-24 no-confidence vote for the speaker.

"When I return to town on June 3, I will meet with caucus leadership to determine the best date for me to resign as speaker," Casada said Tuesday.

Updated at 4:19 p.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will convene a meeting Wednesday morning to hear from Democrats on whether to move forward with impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

Pelosi, a public skeptic of impeachment, is confronting a rising tide of support for it among rank-and-file House Democrats and members of her own leadership team. Democrats are outraged by the Trump administration's ongoing effort to stymie congressional oversight into the president, his administration, and the findings in special counsel Robert Mueller's report.

In December, 33-year old Ryan Rust was found dead in his solitary cell at Alabama's Holman prison, a belt around his neck with one end tied to a bar in the cell window.

"He's my little brother," says Harmony Rust-Bodke. She keeps his ashes in a gilded red urn in honor of his favorite college football team. "That's the crimson color cause he is an Alabama fan," she says.

The U.S. Department of Justice has put the state of Alabama on notice to fix dangerous and deadly prison conditions or face a lawsuit that could result in a federal takeover of the prison system.

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