Week In Politics: Trump Defends Call To Gold Star Family, Gives Puerto Rico Response An 'A Plus'

This week President Trump and his chief of staff John Kelly defended Trumps call to the widow of a soldier killed in Niger. And Trump gave high marks to his administrations hurricane response in Puerto Rico. MSNBCs José Díaz-Balart  ( @jdbalart ) and NPRs  Domenico Montanaro   ( @DomenicoNPR ) join Here & Now s Jeremy Hobson and Robin Young to review the week in politics. Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Longtime Inland Empire journalist and KVCR contributor Cassie MacDuff and KVCR's Ken Vincent review some of the Inland Empire's top news stories this week, including:

  1. The state and Sen. Dianne Feinstein are fighting a desert water project that recently got a green light from the Trump administration.
  2. Riverside County supervisors voted to impose a contract on sheriff’s deputies
  3. State Assemblyman Jose Medina’s bill to close a loophole in environmental laws was vetoed by Gov. Brown.


More than 140 women this week signed a letter about pervasive sexual harassment in the California Legislature, but only a handful have ever taken their complaints to higher-ups.  They say the Capitol's review policies don't go far enough to protect women, and that accusing elected officials could mean risking their reputations and their jobs.  Capital Public Radio's Sammy Caiola reports on the Legislature's complaint process, and why so few women are using it.


California Republicans gather in Anaheim this weekend for the state party's semi-annual convention - with former White House advisor Steve Bannon headlining the list of speakers.  More from KVCR's Ken Vincent.


Democratic candidate for governor Antonio Villaraigosa has repeatedly claimed Los Angeles saw a nearly 50 percent decline in violent crime during his time as the city's mayor.  Capital Public Radio's PolitiFact reporter Chris Nichols fact-checked the candidate's statement.


Ken Burns and Lynn Novic have produced a new documentary, "The Vietnam War," for PBS.  It's a 16-hour series that will premier tongiht on KVCR-TV at 8 p.m.  KVCR's Lillian Vasquez has produced a local series for 91.9 KVCR, "The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War," in which we'll hear her talk with veterans from our Inland Empire region.  Here's Part 1.

Conservatives mounting a campaign to repeal California's new gas tax are getting a financial boost that could help them qualify for next November's ballot.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler explains.

California is asking a federal judge to immediately reinstate health care payments President Trump halted last week.  That's as a lawsuit by 19 states goes forward challenging the president's actions.  Capital Public Radio's Ben Bradford reports.

Screenshot from KTLA 5 TV, Los Angeles

Two brush fires - burning simultaneously within a few miles of each other - alongside the northbound lanes of State Highway 57 between Brea and Diamond Bar resulted in a partial shutdown of the northbound 57 early this morning, and tied up traffic both directions between the 91 freeway in Fullerton and the 60 freeway in Diamond Bar.  The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reports that the blaze burned about 25 acres of brush along the east side of the 57 freeway north of Bre


As was expected, the Canyon Fire 2 that had been burning in Orange County for the past week was declared 100 percent contained yesterday (Tuesday).  The blaze - which started Oct. 9 - burned 9,217 acres, destroyed 25 structures and damaged anotehr 55 structures over it's 8-day run.  At one point, there were nearly 1,700 personnel fighting the blaze.  4 firefighters were injured.  Crews of firefighters will remain in and around the burn area for the rest of this week, patrolling for hot spots and flare-ups. 

United Way Bay Area

In the wake of devastating wildfires in Northern California, some employers may now be dealing with the after effects of having to close,or employees needing time off.  Capital Public Radio's Sally Schilling reports.


'Our Democracy Is At Stake,' Obama Says Of Virginia Race For Governor

Former President Obama returned to the campaign trail for the first time since leaving office Thursday campaigning for the Democratic candidates for governor in New Jersey and Virginia. He put the Virginia race, where he was campaigning for Ralph Northam, in the starkest terms. "We need you to take this seriously, because our democracy is at stake," Obama told a crowd of 7,500 at a packed convention center, "and it's at stake right here in Virginia." The former president bemoaned the divisive...

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Why It's So Hard To Turn The Lights Back On In Puerto Rico

Nearly a month after Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico, almost 80 percent of the territory is still without power. While nobody expected a quick restoration of Puerto Rico's badly outdated power grid , officials have estimated that it could take at least six months . Puerto Rico's slow restoration is in stark contrast to Florida after Hurricane Irma hit. Within 24 hours, 20 percent of the power that had been knocked out by Hurricane Irma in Florida had been restored. Nearly half had...

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Tokyo Governor Hopes Her New 'Party Of Hope' Will Shake Up Japanese Politics

Japanese voters have just days left to decide who they will support in a snap general election set for Sunday. Japanese politics are usually tame. But this time around, the charismatic governor of Tokyo is adding unexpected elements to the race. Yuriko Koike is keeping a nonstop schedule these days — dashing from one campaign event to another. Last Friday, rain didn't keep her from revving up crowds at rush hour in Shibuya, the Tokyo district renowned for the giant crush of people at its...

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George W. Bush Slams 'Bigotry,' Politics Of Populism That Led To Trump, Sanders

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x01BQe7r5Wg You might say George W. Bush wants to make America great again. In remarks Thursday , he criticized the kind of politics, sentiment and populism that led to President Trump's rise and election — though he never named Trump explicitly. "Bigotry seems emboldened," Bush said in New York at a forum put on by the George W. Bush Institute. "Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication." He slammed a discourse that...

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Politics From NPR

Virginia Statehouse Race Pits 'Bathroom Bill' Author Against Transgender Woman

State legislative races don't usually draw a lot of national attention – but Virginia's House District 13 race is: it pits a Republican incumbent known for unsuccessfully sponsoring a so-called " bathroom bill " against a transgender woman. If she succeeds in unseating Delegate Bob Marshall , Democrat Danica Roem would be the country's first openly transgender state lawmaker. Roem's background may set her apart as a political candidate, but her message to voters in this district, in the outer...

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Science, Technology, And Medicine

Sleep Scientist Warns Against Walking Through Life 'In An Underslept State'

The National Sleep Foundation recommends an average of eight hours of sleep per night for adults, but sleep scientist Matthew Walker says that too many people are falling short of the mark. "Human beings are the only species that deliberately deprive themselves of sleep for no apparent gain," Walker says. "Many people walk through their lives in an underslept state, not realizing it." Walker is the director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He...

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Education From NPR

Switching To Middle School Can Be Hard On Kids, But There Are Ways To Make It Better

"I'll be famous one day, but for now I'm stuck in middle school with a bunch of morons." That's harsh language from the downtrodden sixth-grade narrator of Diary of A Wimpy Kid, a blockbuster series of graphic novels. But it speaks to a broader truth. A large body of research suggests that students who go to middle school or junior high do worse academically, socially and emotionally, compared to the young teenagers who get to be the oldest students at schools with grades K-8. A new paper in...

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Arts, Culture, And Media From NPR

Gabrielle Union Gets Real In 'We're Going To Need More Wine'

Actress Gabrielle Union started off playing teenagers on TV in the 1990s. Now, she stars in the BET show Being Mary Jane , as a powerful cable news anchor who's equally fierce in her personal life. She's also an advocate for rape survivors and an outspoken voice on many issues. And she's just written her first book, a collection of essays called We're Going to Need More Wine . Union says she's always loved regaling her friends about her adventures and misadventures — hence the title of her...

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Food, Nutrition, and Cuisine From NPR

Do You Care If Your Fish Dinner Was Raised Humanely? Animal Advocates Say You Should

At some point or another, we've all cringed at the videos: lame cows struggling to stand; egg-laying hens squeezed into small, stacked cages; hogs confined to gestation crates, unable to walk or turn. Over the past decade, animal advocates have made great strides informing us of some of the problems with how many of our favorite proteins are raised. They've also made progress bringing change to the industry by pressuring large-scale retailers — from Target to McDonald's — to commit to...

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don't miss:

The Day A Texas School Held A Funeral For The Spanish Language

Maggie Marquez and Jessi Silva grew up in the desert town of Marfa, Texas, in the 1950s, when schools were segregated. Latino children were sent to Blackwell Elementary School, and for many of them, Spanish was their first language. Maggie, 73, and Jessi, 69, were students there, and at StoryCorps, they remember the day their school banned students from speaking Spanish — in a ceremony called the "burial of Mr. Spanish." "I walked into the room and the teacher, she said for us to get a piece...

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