Politics

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And we turn now to George Katrougalos, a minister in the Greek government. His assignment is administrative reform, and despite the hard line from Germany, he says he's hopeful a compromise can be reached.

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This week, NPR examines public corruption in South Texas. The FBI has launched a task force to clean up entrenched wrongdoing by public servants in the Rio Grande Valley. In the final part of this series, we examine vote-stealing and election fraud.

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By a 37-3 tally, the South Carolina Senate has given more support to moving a Confederate battle flag from its spot flying on the State House grounds to the Confederate Relic Room. The Senate will need to approve the bill one more time before it can go on to the House.

Monday afternoon's vote was on the the bill's second reading; the Senate will hold another vote Tuesday on its third reading, around 10 a.m. ET. That means the House won't begin to consider the bill until at least Wednesday.

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Nguyen Phu Trong — the head of Vietnam's communist party and one of most powerful figures in the Southeast Asian nation — will meet with President Obama on Tuesday for a historic meeting aimed at strengthening ties between the two nations.

The 71-year-old party secretary said Friday that he hopes to build trust between Washington and Hanoi 20 years after President Bill Clinton normalized diplomatic ties and four decades after the end of the Vietnam War.

Republicans have been talking about reforming their party since President Obama's re-election in 2012. The recent Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage and Obamacare and the reversal of several Southern Republican governors on the Confederate battle flag gave the GOP a new chance. But change can be hard.

In presidential years, the party has a math problem, according to GOP strategist Steve Schmidt. He points out that while Democrats are attracting growing segments of the population, like Latinos and Asians, Republicans are relying on their traditional base of white voters.

It was a historic term, a surprisingly liberal term — and a nasty term.

That's the essence of the tea-leaf reading about the U.S. Supreme Court term that just concluded. Astonishingly — though the court is dominated by conservative justices — the liberal minority, disciplined and united, drove the direction in a startling number of cases, while the conservatives splintered into multiple factions.

The Greek word for no is oxi, and across Athens and the Greek Islands on Sunday, it was everywhere: on posters, spray-painted on walls and old cars.

And it was also on ballots: Greek voters voted oxi Sunday in a historic referendum over the country's economic future.

Secretary of State John Kerry says the United States is ready to walk away from the negotiating table if Tehran is unwilling to make the "hard choices" necessary to achieve a deal with the West on limiting its nuclear program.

However, Kerry also said that he and his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, were making "genuine progress" on "several of the most difficult issues" that remain to be resolved.

When Secretary of State John Kerry goes to Havana to raise a flag over the soon to be reopened embassy this summer, it won't be just an important symbolic moment.

The administration says the U.S. will be able to station more American personnel in Cuba, and that should be a big help in practical terms as more Americans travel to and trade with the Cold War-era foe.

In just over 18 months, Barack Obama will join the ranks of ex-presidents. He'll be 55 when he leaves office, among the youngest to become a former president, alongside Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

President Carter remains a model of what an active, productive life can look like after leaving the White House. He looks back on that life in his new memoir, A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety, beginning with growing up with black friends in the Jim Crow South.

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Donald Trump is doubling down on his negative comments about Mexicans and illegal immigration. To recap, here's what he said last month when he announced his presidential run.

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So will 2016 be a very good year for Donald Trump? That's my first question to our regular political commentators, David Brooks of The New York Times and E J Dionne of the Washington Post, here to talk about the week in politics. Welcome to you both.

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers throughout our newsroom share pieces that have kept them reading. They share tidbits using the #NPRreads hashtag — and on Fridays, we highlight some of the best stories.

This week, we bring you five reads.

From Ina Jaffe, NPR's Los Angeles-based correspondent:

This story is part of NPR's series Journey Home. We're going to the places presidential candidates call home and finding out what those places tell us about how they see the world.

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