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Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the U.S. doesn't want to take military action against North Korea, but "all of the options are on the table" if a serious threat arises. Tillerson made his frank remarks in a visit to South Korea on Friday, a day after saying diplomatic efforts "have failed" to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear program.

Tillerson's Asia tour began in Japan and will end in China. The top American diplomat is traveling without a press contingent.

Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET

The House has approved legislation that would make it harder to keep veterans who are "mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent" or prone to blackouts from buying guns. Critics of the bill say it could raise the suicide rate among veterans — a rate that has risen in the past decade.

At least a dozen Democrats joined Republicans to support the bill, which was approved by a 240-175 vote.

Courtesy of Scott Baerst

In a recent double bill, journalist Matt Taibbi joined author and anti-poverty advocate Joel Berg to discuss what happened in our recent presidential election and what’s next. Their talks and conversation cover ample ground, from the realities of the campaign trail and our political system, to our tendency to blame politicians instead of taking personal responsibility.

Updated: 5:08 p.m. ET

The Trump administration's new budget blueprint aims to quantify the president's nationalistic agenda in dollars and cents. The plan, released Thursday morning, calls for significant increases in military and border-security spending, along with corresponding cuts in many other parts of the government.

From Texas Standard:

With flights to Washington D.C. canceled because of a blizzard, Beto O’Rourke and Will Hurd – both members of Congress from Texas – needed a way to get back to the nation’s capital. So they rented a car and set out, taking Facebook viewers along for the ride.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is calling the Republican healthcare plan in Congress “a disaster.” Inslee made his comments Wednesday as new projections on the impact to the state were released.

Donald Trump and his wife Melania earned about $150 million in 2005 and paid federal taxes of about $38 million, the White House said tonight.

The Trump administration made the revelation after copies of the tax returns anonymously were put in the mailbox of journalist David Cay Johnston.

The numbers have not been independently verified by NPR.

During a public hearing Tuesday, businesses said on a proposed carbon tax in Washington state would cost jobs and hurt the state’s economy.

Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.
Flickr Photo/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/cVEJJh

Bill Radke talks to Mary Agnes Carey, senior correspondent for Kaiser Health News, about the American Health Care Act and how it will affect the way people are insured. 

When it comes to facing the reality of climate change, the Republican Party, now led by the Trump Administration, has been slipping ever farther from its roots as a champion of American science.

Last week brought further evidence of this disconnect — but it also held out a glimmer of hope that the party's turn away from the U.S. effort in science is not universal.

A new report finds that the Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion over a decade but would also leave 24 million more Americans uninsured during that same period.

Six times in recent days, Marco Antonio Cabachuela, his wife, Irma, and their 3-year-old, Valerie, walked up to federal immigration officers at the Hidalgo, Texas, port of entry and asked for asylum.

And every night, they returned to an immigrant shelter in Reynosa, Mexico, where men and women sit listlessly in a shady courtyard.

"They rejected it," he says. "They said there was no room for us."

As President Trump promises major investment in infrastructure, people across the country are hoping that includes spending on water pipes for drinking.

Flint, Mich., was a high-profile example of the many communities — like one in Eastern Kentucky — where people just can't trust their water.

The Office of Government Ethics has informed the Trump administration that the White House has an "incorrect" view of ethics laws.

In a Thursday letter, OGE director Walter Shaub contradicted what he called the White House's "extraordinary assertion," made in a recent letter, that "many regulations promulgated by the Office of Government Ethics ('OGE') do not apply to employees of the Executive Office of the President."

Shaub was having no part of that: "The assertion is incorrect, and the letter cites no legal basis for it."

microphone podium
Flickr Photo/Tom Woodward (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/6LG5Lf

The term "gaslighting" comes from the 1944 film "Gaslight," about an abusive husband who secretly manipulates the lighting in his house in order to drive his wife mad. It has been used more recently to refer to a political phenomenon involving the dissemination of untruths to an extent that causes the public to doubt truth from falsehood.

The Department of Homeland Security released new data late Wednesday showing that illegal southern border crossings diminished in the opening weeks of the new Trump administration.

The new figures indicate "an unprecedented decline in traffic" in the month of February, according to a statement issued by Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

Courtesy of Washington State Legislature

Bill Radke speaks with U.S. Representative Denny Heck (Wash.-Dist. 10) about his former colleague in the state legislature Helen Sommers, who died Tuesday at the age of 84. Sommers spent 36 years in the state legislature representing Queen Anne and Magnolia.

A broad coalition of groups across the nation is encouraging women to participate in Wednesday's strike, called "A Day Without A Woman."

The organized protest comes on International Women's Day and follows the successful Women's March in January.

Tea Party protesters demostrating in the streets.
FLICKR PHOTO/Valerie Hinojosa(CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/7MvT2Y

What can President Trump's opponents learn from the Tea party? Bill Radke speaks with Ezra Levin, executive director of Indivisible, a group on the political left that's been organizing protests at the town hall meetings that members of Congress hold, and Taylor Budowich, executive director of the Tea Party Express, about lessons that political groups on the left have learned from the early days of the Tea Party. 

House Republicans unveiled their long-awaited replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act Monday night. They're calling it the American Health Care Act.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in a letter to Congress, said his remarks about not having contact with Russian officials during last year's presidential campaign were "correct," even though he's had to acknowledge that he twice met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

President Trump has signed a new executive order that temporarily blocks visas from being issued to citizens of six majority-Muslim countries, revoking and replacing a controversial, now-suspended executive order known as the travel ban.

AP trump
AP Photo

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Trump has signed revised executive order on temporary travel ban.

The revised order will temporarily halt entry to the U.S. for people from six Muslim-majority nations who are seeking new visas, though allowing those with current visas to travel freely, according to a fact sheet obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

Vice President Pence used a private AOL account to conduct official business in his former position as the governor of Indiana, according to public records. And at one point, the account was hacked and used to send fraudulent emails seeking money from his contacts.

For years, parents have been warning their college-age children to be careful what they post on social media.

Now, one young candidate is learning this important lesson the hard way — everything you post can and will be used against you in politics.

A handful of top Republicans are calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from a federal investigation into whether Russia interfered with last year's presidential election, as top Democrats call on Sessions to resign.

KUOW Photo/John O'Brien

Hundreds of transgender people, their families and allies gathered at the University of Washington Tacoma Saturday Feb. 25.

The occasion was a rally against Washington State Initiative 1552. The measure would “override state and local prohibitions against gender-identity discrimination in certain public-accommodation facilities, require that public schools restrict access to some facilities based on sex at birth, and allow related lawsuits against schools.”

Updated at 11:43 p.m. ET

President Trump took a hard-line stance on illegal immigration during his first address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday, restating his promise to build a wall along the Southern border and speaking of the government's ongoing deportation efforts, saying that "as we speak, we are removing gang members, drug dealers, and criminals who threaten our communities."

Last fall, the Washington Supreme Court made a decision many home builders and landowners call harmful. The ruling, known as the Hirst decision, requires counties to ensure adequate water supply before granting a permit to build.

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