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The House of Representatives on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved legislation making it easier for the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire employees for misconduct while better protecting staffers who bring wrongdoing to light.

The bill, dubbed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, cleared the Senate by a voice vote last week and is expected to be signed into law by President Trump soon.

The Food and Drug Administration has delayed the deadline for food companies to adopt a new Nutrition Facts label on food and beverage packages.

A design for the new label was unveiled by Michelle Obama in 2014 at a White House event held on the anniversary of her campaign to fight obesity.

The updated label highlights the calories in packaged food and drinks using a big font with bold lettering. It also labels added sugars.

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We're going to look more closely now at the attorney general's decision not to answer some questions from the Senate intelligence committee. Here's part of what Jeff Sessions said in his opening statement.

Updated at 12:40 p.m. ET

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Tuesday that even if President Trump told him to fire Robert Mueller as special counsel overseeing the Department of Justice investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, he would not follow the order unless he thought there was good cause.

The statement came after Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, asked Rosenstein during an open Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing what he would do if Trump asked him to fire Mueller.

Trump ally Chris Ruddy has caused quite a stir over the past 24 hours.

The CEO of the right-wing website Newsmax, a close friend of Trump's, has been making the media rounds saying President Trump is considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the Department of Justice investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending that the boundaries of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah be shrunk. He also is calling on Congress to give Native American tribes more say in how the new monument is managed.

Updated at 8:19 p.m. ET

President Trump is preparing to announce changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba, possibly tightening restrictions on travel and trade that were loosened under former President Barack Obama.

Trump is expected to announce the changes in Miami on Friday.

The move was confirmed by a congressional source with direct knowledge of the situation.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has been leading the push for a more restrictive policy, along with his fellow Cuban-American, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla.

In name and in aim, it's a bill for our political moment.

Ladies and gentlemen, Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois presents: the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement, or COVFEFE Act.

As Congress has taught us time and again, any legislative priority can be pretzeled into an acronym if you simply toss away the conventions of standard American English.

Dog owners often say the best thing about dogs is their unconditional love.

But new research suggests there's another benefit, too. Dog owners walk more.

In a study published Monday in the journal BMC Public Health, dog owners on average walked 22 minutes more per day compared to people who didn't own a dog.

And they weren't just dawdling.

Jury deliberations resume Tuesday in the sexual assault trial of comedian Bill Cosby, after the prosecution and defense presented their closing arguments on Monday. Jurors deliberated for four hours before stopping for the night.

Monday marks the anniversary of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, when a gunman opened fire at Pulse nightclub in Orlando last year. The shooter killed 49 people and wounded more than 50. Pulse has become an unofficial site of remembrance.

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Yesterday Puerto Rico held a non-binding referendum on whether to become a U.S. state, and 97 percent of people voted yes. But fewer than 1 in 4 Puerto Ricans actually voted. Opposition parties boycotted it.

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Montana's newly elected congressman pleaded guilty today to assaulting a journalist. The judge sentenced Republican Greg Gianforte to community service and anger management counseling. Montana Public Radio's Corin Cates-Carney reports from Bozeman.

Neuroscience isn't on many elementary school lesson plans. But this spring, a second grade class at Fairmont Neighborhood School in the South Bronx is plunging in.

Sarah Wechsler, an instructional coach with wide eyes and a marathoner's energy, asks the students to think about the development and progress that they've made already in their lives.

There's no doubt about it: Zika is on the retreat in the Americas.

In Brazil, cases are down by 95 percent from last year. Across the Caribbean, outbreaks have subsided. And in Florida, the virus seems to have gone into hiding. Health officials haven't investigated a new Zika case for more than 45 days in Miami-Dade County.

"Illicit cohabitation."

"Psychological evils."

"Racial integrity."

It's difficult to imagine how much the country's language around race and interracial marriage has changed in the past half century.

But just 50 years ago, interracial marriage was prohibited in Virginia and 15 other states.

The Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Loving v. Virginia declared unconstitutional a Virginia law prohibiting mixed-race marriage. The ruling also legalized interracial marriage in every state.

D.J. and Angela Ross were not supposed to end up together, according to their families.

"Actually my grandma on both sides used to tell me, 'Boy, you better leave those white girls alone or else we're going to come find you hanging from a tree,' " says D.J., 35, who is black and grew up in southern Virginia.

Angela, 40, who is white and was also raised in Virginia, remembers being warned: "You can have friends with black people, and that's fine. But don't ever marry a black man."

When Maisha Watson heard about baby boxes, her first reaction was: "Why would I want to put my baby in a box?"

She was talking with Marcia Virgil — "Miss Marcia" to her clients — a family support worker with the Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative.

D.C. Equality March Makes Pride Political

Jun 11, 2017

Pride parades are known for glitter, upbeat music and happy people dancing on bright floats, as they make their way through loud, colorful crowds.

This was not a pride parade.

"Stonewall began as a riot," Sian Lewis, a member of the D.C. planning committee for the Equality March, said, as "YMCA" by the Village People blared from large, black speakers behind her.

"We are living the legacy of Stonewall," she said.

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Updated at 5:52 p.m.

Puerto Ricans overwhelmingly voted for U.S. statehood for their island in a nonbinding referendum on Sunday.

The Associated Press reports that only partial results are in but a low turnout and boycott by several opposition parties calls into question the validity of the non-binding vote.

Says the AP:

The opportunity to go to college for free is more available than ever before. States and cities, in the last year especially, have funded programs for students to go to two-year, and in some cases, four-year, schools.

Tennessee has taken the idea one step further. Community college is already free for graduating high school students. Now Tennessee is first state in the country to offer community college — free of charge — to almost any adult.

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And a quick flag for parents, our next story deals with a difficult subject for young ears.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Just as class lets out for the summer across the country, a new one has just been announced.

NASA has chosen 12 people from a pool of more than 18,300 applicants for two years of training before giving them the title of "astronaut."

The space agency received a record number of applicants after announcing an open application in December 2015.

Jasmin Moghbeli, one of the dozen candidates, spoke with NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro from Houston's Johnson Space Center, where she'll undertake the training program starting in August.

Swimsuit Season Gets Complicated

Jun 11, 2017

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