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Updated 10:45 a.m. ET

In an unusually divisive speech for a president on the Fourth of July holiday weekend, President Trump on Friday decried a "growing danger that threatens every blessing our ancestors fought so hard for."

What is it? Terrorism? Polarization? A lack of trust in institutions?

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President Trump, in a speech Friday at Mount Rushmore that lasted more than 40 minutes, focused on statues and "cancel culture" and accused his political opponents of fascism. But he spared just a few words for the pandemic that has killed 130,000 Americans, thanking "the doctors, nurses and scientists working tirelessly to kill the virus." And that was it.

In a Fourth of July speech aimed at commemorating the military on Saturday, President Trump hit on familiar divisive themes, condemning the "radical left" and the media, which he accused of "slander."

During the second annual Salute to America event held on the South Lawn of the White House, the president drew a comparison between historical American wartime victories and stopping the "radical left."

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Two new laws went into effect in Idaho this week that target transgender residents. The enactment comes on the heels of a major U.S. Supreme Court decision in June, which greatly expanded LGBTQ rights.

One of the laws bans transgender people from changing the sex on their birth certificates while the other bars transgender girls and women from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity.

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(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.

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President Trump has said he was not told about a suspected Russian bounty program to pay the Taliban to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

The progressive wing of the Democratic Party couldn't break through in the presidential race, but in congressional races, younger, more diverse, progressive candidates are enjoying a recent surge in support.

"The logic of COVID-19 as well as the logic and the righteousness of the movement for Black lives, I think, is forcing all of us to re-imagine both what is necessary and what is possible, and I think it's having an impact on our politics," said Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party, a New York-based minor political party.

Updated at 7:43 a.m. ET

On the eve of Independence Day, President Trump celebrated at the foot of Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, S.D., with a fireworks display and an impassioned speech against what he called a "new far-left fascism."

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The U.S. Supreme Court in an emergency ruling Thursday evening temporarily blocked a lower court's decision that, citing the COVID-19 pandemic, would have made it easier for residents of three Alabama counties to vote by absentee ballot in July 14 primary runoff elections.

People once wished each other well on Independence Day by saying: "Have a glorious Fourth!"

A bit antique, perhaps, in the best of times, but a phrase you still heard. Until now.

Can you imagine well-wishers offering that sentiment this weekend, without a trace of irony or a wistful look?

Not likely, not in the summer of 2020, the summer of resurgent COVID-19 cases, of restaurants and beaches that had reopened only to close again — of workers recently returned to work who have been laid off again.

When Timothy Berry decided to attend the U.S. Military Academy West Point, patriotism was one of his driving factors. He describes it as an active verb, not merely "a flag waving."

"I have always had a profound appreciation for what this country has said its ideals are," Berry said. "But being a Black American, in particular, one that served in uniform, I've quickly realized that there were just a lot of contradictions in there."

Teams in the National Basketball Association, the American pro sports league long most vocal on social justice issues, are stepping up their civic participation, as three have now volunteered their facilities to serve as voting sites amid the pandemic.

The development comes as local election officials, especially those in major metropolitan areas, frantically search for places that are centrally located and big enough to allow voters to social distance while waiting in line and casting their ballots.

An abnormal stall in an otherwise routine promotion of an Army officer who testified last year in the House hearings on the impeachment of President Trump could result in a highly unusual Senate hold blocking the pending promotions of more than 1,000 other Army officers.

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The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Thursday to hear arguments this fall in a case that pits the Trump administration against the House Judiciary Committee and its efforts to see redacted portions of report on Russian interference prepared by special prosecutor Robert Mueller. The decision is a significant blow to House Democrats' efforts to see the material before the November election.

Updated at 11:49 a.m. ET

The spiritual adviser to a federal inmate facing death this month has sued the U.S. attorney general and prison officials seeking a delay to his execution.

The Rev. Seigen Hartkemeyer, 68, is a Buddhist priest with lung troubles. He's worried that traveling to the federal death chamber in Terre Haute, Ind., could put him in the middle of a COVID-19 "super-spreader" environment.

Updated July 7 at 2:11 p.m. ET

With around four out of 10 homes in the U.S. yet to be tallied for the national head count, the Census Bureau has announced the first six places in the U.S. where unresponsive households will get in-person visits starting later this month.

When Christian Picciolini was a neo-Nazi, he heard the term "white power" all the time. It was the term neo-Nazis used as a greeting, as a pejorative, to instill fear, even to sign off letters in lieu of "sincerely."

"It was also a proclamation that distilled what we believed in into two words," Picciolini — who is now an author and founder of the Free Radicals Project, a group that works to prevent extremism — told NPR's Morning Edition.

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What do rising COVID-19 cases mean for workers?

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With a boost from the Republican-led Senate, President Trump has now confirmed 200 federal judges. Each one has a life term, representing a legacy that could extend for a generation.

The president often trumpets the achievement in speeches and on Twitter. But the credit belongs as much to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who took a victory lap last week.

One of a series of reports looking at Joe Biden's potential running mates


Many progressives are loudly calling for Joe Biden to pick Elizabeth Warren as his running mate. They insist the liberal senator, who's long been a darling of the left, would help the presumptive Democratic nominee win over skeptical young voters.

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