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The 10 Most Popular 'Fresh Air' Interviews Of 2017

Dec 29, 2017

In 2017, Fresh Air marked 30 years as a nationally syndicated, daily radio program by doing what it does best: more in-depth interviews.

Attacks on the press are a hallmark of President Trump's style, and he has avoided much of the media, often preferring Twitter to sit-down interviews with journalists. But a religious TV network has scored interviews with Trump and members of his administration this year, surpassing more prominent networks and news organizations in its access to the administration.

The Big Political Stories Of 2018

Dec 29, 2017

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President Trump is expected to be ringing in the New Year from Florida.

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Seven years ago, Robert Kerley, who makes his living as a truck driver, was loading drywall onto his trailer when a gust of wind knocked him off. He fell 14 feet and hurt his back.

For pain, a series of doctors prescribed him a variety of opioids: Vicodin, Percocet and Oxycontin.

In less than a year, the 45-year-old from Federal Heights, Colo., says he was hooked. "I spent most of my time high, lying on the couch, not doing nothing, sleeping, dozing off, falling asleep everywhere," he says.

A tree known as the Jackson Magnolia has stood on the grounds of the White House for nearly 200 years and stood witness to 39 presidencies.

But Wednesday, it got a significant cutback.

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Suffice it to say, Roy Moore just can't let it go.

More than two weeks after the Alabama Republican Senate nominee lost the state's special election to Democrat Doug Jones by about 20,000 votes, Moore not only has yet to concede but filed a lawsuit alleging voter fraud — just hours before the election was set to be certified.

On Thursday, a judge rejected the lawsuit. The certification of Jones as the winner went on as planned.

Former international soccer star George Weah has won Liberia's presidential runoff, the country's election commission announced Thursday.

Weah won 61.5 percent of the vote, with more than 98 percent of ballots counted. He defeated the current vice president, Joseph Boakai.

Fallout from sexual harassment, former FBI Director James Comey's firing and the ensuing Russia probe by special counsel Robert Mueller are all in strong positions to be the top political stories of 2017.

Will there be an upset Thursday? Voting begins at 8:30 a.m. ET and will close at noon ET, when voting will begin on the final eight. (VOTE HERE!)

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Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

Republican Roy Moore's upset loss to Democrat Doug Jones is now official, after Alabama's State Canvassing Board certified the results of the special election for a seat in the U.S. Senate early Thursday afternoon.

"I am looking forward to going to work for the people of Alabama in the new year," Sen.-elect Jones said in a statement. "As I said on election night, our victory marks a new chapter for our state and the nation."

Reporters and researchers are just starting to comb through the huge, rushed-to-passage tax package to figure out the implications.

One of the changes, according to the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, which advocates for a "fair and sustainable" tax system, allows far more wealthy donors in 10 states to turn a profit through "donations" to private school scholarships.

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And we are watching the death toll rise after a vicious attack this morning in the capital of Afghanistan.

(SOUNDBITE OF PEOPLE GROANING)

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Updated on Dec. 28 at 10:37 a.m. ET

When President Trump was elected, conservatives weren't sure what they were going to get.

Some were worried that he wouldn't reliably adhere to their agenda. Others were turned off by his character, the tweets, the accusations of sexual misconduct. But there were those who pulled the lever for Trump anyway, figuring he would deliver more conservative policies than a President Hillary Clinton.

And deliver he has.

Updated at 11:51 a.m. ET on Jan. 4

A pivotal Virginia legislative race — and control of the entire House of Delegates — came down to the luck of the draw on Thursday.

The Trump administration says it will no longer criminally prosecute companies that accidentally kill migratory birds. The decision reverses a rule made in the last weeks of the Obama administration.

A legal memo from the Department of the Interior posted Friday declares that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act applies only to purposeful actions that kill migratory birds, and not to energy companies and other businesses that kill birds incidentally.

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he has not put any diplomatic wins on the board this year, but he believes his reforms are putting the State Department in a better, more efficient place.

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Updated at 11:02 p.m. ET

When President Trump signed the $1.5 trillion tax cut bill on Friday at the White House, he made a bold claim — that his "legislative approvals" were off the charts. "No. 1 in the history of our country," he said, citing 88 as the number of bills he had signed into law.

The actual number of laws Trump signed this year is 96. His claim of historic achievement isn't accurate, either.

But that didn't stop him from repeating the erroneous claim Wednesday during a visit with firefighters in West Palm Beach, Fla.

The U.K.'s Prince Harry took over editing duties for Wednesday at BBC Radio 4's Today program. And he managed to snag a rather high-profile guest: Barack Obama.

The full audio of the interview is available here for the next six days. The interview was taped in September during the Invictus Games in Toronto, an event created by Harry for wounded, injured or ill servicemen and veterans.

It was a pretty predictable first round of voting in the NPR Top Political Story of the Year Bracket.

The top seeds all advanced easily. The only upset was 10-seeded Anthony Scaramucci's 10 days in the White House breezing past the far-more important New York Truck Attack, which was a 7-seed.

The Virginia State Board of Elections has postponed a drawing that would have broken a tie in the state's recent election, after Democrats asked a court to review the awarding of a single vote that left the tally even rather than wresting the House of Delegates from Republicans' sole control.

"Drawing names is an action of last resort," elections board Chairman James Alcorn said. And with new court procedures underway, he said, other options are still available.

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The story of Russian election interference started long before 2017, but it took on new urgency after the inauguration of Donald Trump, the candidate the Russian government wanted to win.

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