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So this has happened before - a news story unfolds that doesn't directly involve President Trump, and then the president lets loose with radioactive comments that re-center the news story around him.

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Weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal courts can't intervene in cases where state lawmakers have aggressively drawn political boundaries to benefit one political party over another, a new front in the nation's redistricting battles opens Monday in a North Carolina courtroom.

President Trump's threatened roundup of undocumented immigrant families this weekend that set migrants in many communities on edge showed few signs of materializing on Sunday, the second time rumors of a large-scale immigration enforcement operation failed to come to fruition.

Instead, in the cities where rumors of mass raids swirled, many immigrants stayed inside their homes, as jitters turned typically vibrant migrant markets and commercial corridors eerily quiet.

Updated July 15 at 8:55 a.m. ET

A group of four minority Democratic congresswomen targeted by President Trump in a series of Sunday morning tweets denounced his racist remarks and accused him of "stoking white nationalism."

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Sunday Politics

Jul 14, 2019

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NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson is with us on the line this morning, and she was listening in.

What strikes you about the political effect of these raids?

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When Robert Mueller gave his only public statement on his report on Russian interference and alleged obstruction of justice, he took special care to emphasize one point.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

On the U.S. Supreme Court, where nine justices often disagree but try to meld their views into majority decisions, one justice stands out.

Clarence Thomas, the longest-serving member of the current court — and its only African American — has views that perhaps can be described only as unique.

Some court watchers, however, use other terms: idiosyncratic, eccentric, provocative, thoughtful and, yes, wacky.

White House Social Media Summit Recap

Jul 13, 2019

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Changes in education policy often emanate from the federal government. But one policy that has spread across the country came not from Washington, D.C., but from Florida. "Mandatory retention" requires that third-graders who do not show sufficient proficiency in reading repeat the grade. It was part of a broader packet of reforms proposed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in 2002.

Week In Politics

Jul 13, 2019

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A week of setbacks for the Trump administration in the cabinet and elsewhere. NPR's White House correspondent Ayesha Rascoe joins us. Thanks for being with us.

AYESHA RASCOE, BYLINE: Thanks for having me.

When Andrea and Leslie Isham got married in December of last year, they had a pretty unique wedding.

"We literally went into the bar, we paid the cover charge," Leslie Isham says. "We walked through the doors and sat down and just waited for the show."

The "show" was a drag show, the backdrop to the couple's wedding at a gay nightclub in Clarksville, Tenn., alongside friends, drag queens, bartenders — and like-minded strangers.

"We didn't have to worry about protesters showing up, or people being like, 'We don't want that here,' " Andrea Isham says.

Years before she would become President Trump's third press secretary, Stephanie Grisham had a photo of the White House hanging on her office wall in Arizona, to remember where she wanted to go.

"She made no secret of the fact that she wanted to be the White House press secretary," said Hank Stephenson, the editor of the Yellow Sheet Report, a daily political tip sheet in Arizona. "She told reporters that. She told friends that."

It was her "dream job."

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

Jul 12, 2019

This week, multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein was charged with federal sex trafficking crimes involving underage girls in New York. Epstein has pleaded not guilty.

Here’s more from The Miami Herald’s Julie Brown:

Judges on a federal appeals court grilled President Trump's lawyer and the counsel for the House of Representatives on Friday over Trump's effort to block a subpoena ordering his accounting firm to turn over financial records.

The Democratic-led House oversight committee requested the information from Trump's longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, in April. The panel's subpoena seeks financial records and other documents related to Trump's personal and business finances dating to 2011.

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Updated at 12:20 p.m. ET

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is being sued by two people who say they criticized her on Twitter and were then blocked from her account, which has more than 4.7 million followers.

Updated at 9:20 p.m. ET

Congress has delayed testimony by former special counsel Robert Mueller one week to permit lawmakers to get more time to question him, committee leaders said on Friday.

Mueller had been scheduled to appear on the morning of July 17 before the House Judiciary Committee and then that afternoon before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

That was put on hold after grumbling by some members of Congress over the rules of procedure for the sessions.

When Labor Secretary Alex Acosta steps down on July 19, his deputy Patrick Pizzella will step in as acting head of the department.

The acting secretary will have some company.

The Defense Department is currently led by acting Secretary Mark Esper, who is expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

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Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET

A House panel heard at times emotional testimony about conditions at facilities run by the Department of Homeland Security.

The hearing of the House oversight committee grew heated as Democrats and Republicans on the panel argued over who bore responsibility for the overcrowded and unsanitary conditions at detention centers on the southern border.

Republican lawmakers who represent border districts and Democratic lawmakers who have recently traveled to the border each testified.

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