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The Federal Emergency Management Agency failed to properly prepare for last year's hurricane season and was unable to provide adequate support to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico and other areas, an internal report released by the agency concluded.

A major change that aims to keep more weapons out of the wrong hands is in the works for the FBI's gun background check process.

Examiners will be given access to a large, previously untapped database of more than 400 million records as they determine when gun purchases can go through nationwide. But for the survivors and victims' families of the 2015 church massacre in Charleston, S.C., the change did not come soon enough.

Federal lawmakers are making a move to change the Endangered Species Act.  On Thursday, members of the U.S. House announced legislation they say will “modernize” one of the country’s seminal environmental laws, originally passed in 1973.

Members of the House Western Caucus say the nine pieces of legislation are designed to streamline the administration of the Endangered Species Act, provide more local control and protect property rights.

Seattle police officers observe marchers moving down 4th Avenue during the Black Lives Matter rally in Seattle, Saturday April 15, 2017.
KUOW Photo/Daniel Berman

Seattle is down to the final three contenders for Seattle Police chief. Mayor Jenny Durkan has said she will announce the appointee this month.

Russia's information attack against the United States during the 2016 election cycle sought to take advantage of the greater trust that Americans tend to place in local news.

The information operatives who worked out of the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg did not stop at posing as American social media users or spreading false information from purported news sources, according to new details.

They also created a number of Twitter accounts that posed as sources for Americans' hometown headlines.

The head of the U.S. Census Bureau says the controversy over a new question about U.S. citizenship on the 2020 census is complicating its preparations to conduct a national head count.

For the first time since 1950, the Census Bureau will ask all U.S. households about citizenship status, specifically, "Is this person a citizen of the United States?"

Convicted murderer Scott Dozier has clearly and repeatedly stated that he wants to be executed.

The planned execution, using a three-drug cocktail, had been set for Wednesday evening at Ely State Prison in Nevada. Experts say it would be the first time the opioid fentanyl was used in a U.S. execution.

President Trump is now applauding Pfizer for agreeing to reverse or postpone drug price hikes, a day after he pressured the pharmaceutical giant in a scathing tweet.

He posted a tweet Tuesday evening saying he has spoken with both Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Pfizer Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ian Read about the price increases. Trump praised Pfizer for "rolling back price hikes, so American patients don't pay more," saying he "hopes other companies do the same."

Senator Patty Murray in the KUOW offices, Jan. 2016.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Kim Malcolm talks with U.S. Sen. Patty Murray about her opposition to Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection plans to reduce operating hours at a border crossing between Danville, Washington, and Grand Forks, British Columbia, and residents in Ferry County, Washington aren’t pleased.

By the time Scott Pruitt resigned, his conduct as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency had become the subject of 12 to 18 investigations, audits and inquiries. It's hard to know the precise number, as only some of the cases are public, but Pruitt may have set some kind of ethics-in-government record.

Ethics advocates are asking how he stayed long enough to trigger that many probes.

Over a dozen years as a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., Brett Kavanaugh has weighed in on controversial cases involving guns, abortion, health care and religious liberty.

But after Kavanaugh emerged on President Trump's shortlist for the Supreme Court, a suggestion the judge made in a 2009 law review article swiftly took center stage:

"Provide sitting presidents with a temporary deferral of civil suits and of criminal prosecutions and investigations," Kavanaugh proposed.

Dr. Nick Nelson walks through busy Highland Hospital in Oakland, Calif., to a sixth-floor exam room, where he sees patients from around the world who say they have fled torture and violence.

Nelson, who practices internal medicine, is the medical director of the Highland Human Rights Clinic, part of the Alameda Health System. A few times each week, he and his team conduct medical evaluations of people who are seeking asylum in the United States.

It’s the agony of modern day parents: how to find and afford decent child care. This has become such a problem, the Washington Legislature has created a task force to tackle the issue.

Hands hold a DNA molecule whose bars have been formed into a cage.
Flickr Photo/thierry erhmann (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/4i3QFK

Late last month, a federal judge in San Diego gave the Trump administration two weeks to reunite children under five with their parents, after immigration officials separated them at the border as part of a deterrence policy.

The problem? Records weren't kept, or in some cases had been destroyed. The solution, according to the administration: DNA testing of the children and their purported parents, which has many concerned about the ethical implications.

Panshu Zhao moved to the U.S. from China about eight years ago to study. It was the culmination of a lifelong dream.

Since then, he has completed a graduate degree and is now pursuing a doctorate in geography at Texas A&M University. In describing his life to NPR's Steve Inskeep on Friday, he divided it into two parts: his life in China and his American life.

Flickr Photo/James Nord (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/79M3aL

Now it’s Washington state whiskey distillers who are feeling the sting of the tariff battle.


Updated at 5:25 p.m. ET

With just hours to go before the official announcement, President Trump has made a decision on his pick for the next Supreme Court justice, a source close to the decision-making process tells NPR's Mara Liasson.

But there is still no indication which of the four finalists it will be.

As of Monday morning, Trump was still deciding among Judges Thomas Hardiman, Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge and Amy Coney Barrett.

Ben Rhodes at the Seattle Public Library Central Library
KUOW Photo/John O'Brien

Ben Rhodes was a 24-year-old aspiring writer living in New York on 9/11. What happened that day made him want to be part of the response.  As you’ll hear in this talk, when his visit to an Army recruiter didn’t pan out, he looked for a way to get involved politically. 

The Trump administration said Saturday that it is temporarily halting billions of dollars of payments designed to help insurers meet the Affordable Care Act requirement that they provide coverage regardless of whether a person is healthy or sick.

Deputy Chief Carmen Best smiles during a press conference on Monday, December 4, 2017, at Seattle City Hall. Best will be interim Seattle Police Chief.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Carmen Best, Seattle’s interim police chief, will be considered for the top job, after all.

A text message from state Rep. David Sawyer to a legislative lobbyist.
via (Tacoma) News Tribune

In the aftermath of a recent workplace conduct investigation at the state Capitol, the Democratic lawmaker at the heart of the inquiry and one of his accusers say the process has revealed flaws in how the Legislature handles complaints made against elected officials.

Updated at 8:15 a.m. ET

As the day dawned across the U.S. on Friday, a new economic reality dawned with it: The tariffs long threatened against billions of dollars in Chinese goods took effect just at midnight ET while many Americans were sleeping — but Beijing was ready immediately with a wake-up call of its own.

The internal White House debate over who should replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court reflects the broader political split within the Republican Party — and the mistrust that is nursed by outside-the-Beltway social conservatives about the more establishment and business-oriented wing of the party.

So it is perhaps no surprise that a quintessentially Washingtonian fight has erupted between the supporters of the two leading candidates for the nomination, Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Updated at 6:01 p.m. ET

Scott Pruitt will no longer lead the Environmental Protection Agency, President Trump announced Thursday afternoon via Twitter.

"I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt," Trump tweeted. "Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this," Trump also wrote.

Activists in two separate protests against the Trump administration's immigration policies were arrested at the Statue of Liberty on Wednesday — one group unfurling a banner calling for the abolition of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, while in another act of defiance, a woman climbed the statue's base to protest immigrant family separations.

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