KTEP - El Paso, Texas

U.S. News

Shortly after 1 p.m. Friday, the temperature in Buffalo, N.Y., hit 71 degrees, according to the National Weather Service, in the latest sign of the mild, even warm, winter that much of the eastern U.S. is experiencing.

By midday, Boston had also hit 71 — also a record. Both temperatures equal or set new benchmarks for record highs in the month of February.

Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has been tapped to give the Democratic response to President Trump's address to Congress next Tuesday night.

The announcement was made by the party's top congressional officials, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

They said the 72-year-old Beshear was chosen for his record extending access to affordable health care and for lowering the state's uninsured rate from over 20 percent to 7.5 percent, "one of the biggest improvements in the nation."

President Trump signed an executive action on Friday aimed at reducing red tape. It directs each federal agency to set up a task force to identify costly regulations that could be scaled back.

"Every regulation should have to pass a simple test," Trump said. "Does it make life better or safer for American workers or consumers? If the answer is no, we will be getting rid of it — and getting rid of it quickly."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

President Trump addressed the conservative conference known as CPAC this morning.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Great to be back at CPAC.

(CHEERING)

TRUMP: It's a place I have really...

UNIDENTIFIED SUPPORTER: We love you.

Waymo, the company that began as Google's self-driving-car project, is suing Uber — alleging that when Uber bought a startup founded by Waymo veterans, it also bought thousands of design files that had been inappropriately downloaded from its servers.

In its lawsuit, Waymo cites forensic evidence as well as a vendor's email that it received by mistake.

From humble origins as the daughter of Eastern European immigrants, raised in the Bronx in the depths of the Great Depression, Mildred Dresselhaus scaled to great heights in the scientific community and attained the status of royalty — even if only in nickname.

Many studies designed to try out new drugs simply languish. They don't attract enough patients, and they aren't completed. That slows medical progress.

But here's a story of one study that has bucked that trend — in fact, it is so popular, scientists had to put the brakes on it for a while.

The White House is admitting that it discussed with the FBI media reports that Trump campaign officials were in contact with Russian intelligence agents, and that Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asked the FBI to publicly knock down the story.

FBI Director James Comey refused.

In the Wilmington neighborhood of Los Angeles, residential streets dead end at oil refineries. Diesel trucks crawl through, carrying containers from nearby ports. Longtime resident Magali Sanchez Hall says the pollution from all that has taken a toll, right on the street where she lives.

"The people that live here, the mother died of cancer," she says, pointing to a modest one-story home. "The people that live here, three people died of cancer."

The Department of Homeland Security issued new guidelines this week that call for hiring 15,000 additional Border Patrol agents and immigration officers. It also wants to greatly expand the number of unauthorized immigrants who are prioritized for deportation.

Copyright 2017 KCUR-FM. To see more, visit KCUR-FM.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

A shooting in a Kansas sports bar has left one man dead and two recovering in a local hospital from gunshot wounds. Laura Ziegler from member station KCUR reports that this incident has shaken the local South Asian community.

Earlier this month, House Republican Oversight Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz, a Republican from Utah, was booed at a town hall meeting by voters who wanted him to investigate President Trump.

Indiana expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act in 2015, with a few extra conditions that were designed to appeal to the conservative leadership in the state. The Federal government approved the experiment, called the Healthy Indiana Plan, or HIP 2.0, and it is now is up for another three-year renewal.

The Justice Department may step up enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states that have voted to legalize its recreational use, according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

"I do believe think you'll see greater enforcement of it," Spicer said, during his daily press briefing. He added that the Department of Justice will be looking into the issue further.

The debate over transgender restrooms is nothing new in Gloucester County, Va. The largely rural county in the eastern part of the state is the home of Gavin Grimm, whose transgender-rights case is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Vice President Pence is no stranger to the Conservative Political Action Conference, having addressed the annual gathering nine times when he was an Indiana governor and congressman.

On Thursday morning, law enforcement entered the Oceti Sakowin camp to do a final sweep before officially shutting it down, ending a months-long protest against the completion of the nearby Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Oceti Sakowin camp was the largest of several temporary camps on the northern edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. Protesters have been living on this land for months, in support of members of the Standing Rock Sioux.

New Attorney General Jeff Sessions is rescinding an Obama-era memo that directed the Justice Department to reduce the use of private prisons, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports

Sessions writes in the order that returning to the Bureau of Prisons' earlier approach would provide flexibility.

Some students, principals, parents and attorneys have condemned the Trump administration's decision to remove some federal protections for transgender students.

Those protections had been issued by President Barack Obama, who cited the federal Title IX law, and instructed public schools last year to allow transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identities.

President Trump has promised to build a wall along the 2,000 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border.

A third of that border already has a barrier, thanks to the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which was signed by then-President George W. Bush. That initiative ran into issues with landowners near the Rio Grande. If the wall goes forward as Trump promises, more lawsuits may be coming.

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has a message for members of Congress who are citing the possibility of protests as a reason not to hold town meetings: "Have some courage."

Giffords, wounded in a 2011 shooting outside a Tucson supermarket where she was meeting with constituents, was responding to a statement by Republican Congressman Louis Gohmert of Texas. Asked why he wasn't holding public meetings, Gohmert said:

In baseball, if a pitcher wants to intentionally walk a batter, he has to actually lob the four pitches outside the strike zone. It's a technique often used to bypass a particularly strong batter, or to set up a double play.

But that rule now appears poised to change.

The Major League Baseball commissioner's office has proposed a rule change to have the pitcher forgo actually throwing four balls — instead, the bench would simply signal to the umpire that the batter will be intentionally walked.

At a joint news conference in Mexico City on Thursday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson acknowledged the tension between the U.S. and Mexico. After talks with his Mexican counterpart, Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, Tillerson said that "in a relationship filled with vibrant colors, two strong sovereign countries, from time to time, will have differences."

Murders are on the rise in the United States.

The national murder rate jumped dramatically in 2015, and early indications are that it rose again in 2016, though official numbers aren't available yet.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

On Wednesday, the Trump administration made big news regarding the rights of transgender students. But what exactly changed?

Top White House advisers Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference to make the case that despite seeming like a political odd couple, the two represent the successful marriage of disparate wings of the Republican Party, united under President Trump.

To Test Zika Vaccines, Scientists Need A New Outbreak

Feb 23, 2017

Researchers are eager to test promising vaccines against Zika, the virus that sparked a global health emergency last year.

But uncertainty over whether the Zika epidemic will continue affects researchers' ability to finish testing vaccines. They need locations with an active viral outbreak to conduct large-scale human trials and make sure the vaccine actually protects against disease.

About 1 out of every 10 public school students in the United States right now is learning to speak English. They're called ELLs, for "English Language Learners."

There are nearly 5 million of them, and educating them — in English and all the other subjects and skills they'll need — is one of the biggest challenges in U.S. public education today.

Pages