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The longest-serving Republican in the Iowa Legislature announced he is switching to the Democratic Party, citing increasing discomfort with Republicans' stance on many high-profile issues and his unwillingness to support President Trump in the 2020 election.

Rep. Andy McKean said Tuesday that the Capitol is much more partisan than when he was first elected in 1978 and that the Republican Party has changed.

"I think the party has veered very sharply to the right," McKean said. "And that concerns me. It's a bit further than I would care to be."

The National Rifle Association filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging a newly implemented ordinance by the city of Los Angeles that seeks to limit ties between city contractors and the gun rights group.

The lawsuit alleges that the ordinance, which took effect on April 1, violates constitutional protections for free speech and association under the First Amendment and the right to equal protection under the 14th Amendment.

Updated at 6:20 a.m. ET

After months of oscillating speculation, followed by a long ramp up that drew out uncomfortable reassessments of his long public career, former Vice President Joe Biden has announced that he will run for president in 2020.

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NPR's Rachel Martin talks with Joseph Kaplovitz, a pediatrician in Brooklyn's Borough Park, about the spike in measles cases.

A new poll by NPR and Ipsos finds a third of Americans have been touched directly by the deadly opioid epidemic that still kills more than 100 people every day. "One in three have been personally affected in some way, either by knowing someone who has overdosed or by knowing someone with an opioid addiction," said Mallory Newell, lead Ipsos researcher on the survey.

New Hampshire's Lawmakers Have Conflicts Of Interest

2 hours ago

Lawmakers in New Hampshire rarely recuse themselves from voting on legislation even when that poses a serious conflict of interest.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report 695 measles cases in 22 states.

"This is the greatest number of cases reported in the United States since measles was eliminated from this country in 2000," according to a CDC statement issued late Wednesday.

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It's the stuff of a Hollywood blockbuster: Five hundred years ago, a son of Christopher Columbus assembled one of the greatest libraries the world has ever known. The volumes inside were mostly lost to history. Now, a precious book summarizing the contents of the library has turned up in a manuscript collection in Denmark.

Facebook expects to pay a fine of up to $5 billion in a settlement with federal regulators. The tech giant disclosed that figure in its first-quarter 2019 financial results.

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In Northern California, many survivors of the wildfire that destroyed the town of Paradise are now struggling with the psychological scars from everything they endured. Stephanie O'Neill has more.

STEPHANIE O'NEILL, BYLINE: For Carol Holcomb, last November 8 started as just another beautiful fall day in Paradise, Calif. And then she heard what sounded like raindrops hitting her roof, so she stepped outside to investigate.

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In Northern California, many survivors of the wildfire that destroyed the town of Paradise are now struggling with the psychological scars from everything they endured. Stephanie O'Neill has more.

STEPHANIE O'NEILL, BYLINE: For Carol Holcomb, last November 8 started as just another beautiful fall day in Paradise, Calif. And then she heard what sounded like raindrops hitting her roof, so she stepped outside to investigate.

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Relly Brown's ground-floor apartment near Los Angeles' Koreatown neighborhood still resembles the hotel room it once was: four walls, no kitchen and a mattress that takes up half the floor. A shade is drawn over the only window, keeping it dim and reasonably cool on a warm spring afternoon.

"I'm living in a box," said Brown, 26, who was placed here in December through a program called rapid rehousing, which provides short-term rental vouchers to use on the private market. Typically, the subsidies cover security deposits and the first three to six months of rent.

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Updated at 6:05 p.m. ET

Eight Democratic presidential candidates faced the same basic question today in Houston: Why should women of color vote for them?

The first-ever She The People Presidential Forum — organized by and centered on questions from women of color — served as a repeated reminder of the key role that minority women play in Democratic politics.

With Meghna Chakrabarti

What do Democratic primary voters really want? New polling finds that a candidate’s race and gender are taking a back seat to “electability.” But what does that really mean?

Buy something on Amazon and want to send it back? Kohl's will take it off your hands for you. The department store chain announced Wednesday that starting in July, it will accept Amazon returns at all of its 1,150 stores.

Many years ago, I worked as an academic day laborer on Philadelphia's Main Line. For those unfamiliar with it, the Main Line — developed in the late 19th century along a railroad route west of the city — was, for decades, a quietly grand stretch of lavish estates, private schools, and cricket and golf clubs catering to Philadelphia's old money. The classic 1940 romantic comedy, The Philadelphia Story, starring Katharine Hepburn as a snooty socialite, was set on the Main Line.

Time was when the word "socialism" had a firm footing in the American political lexicon, with as many meanings as it has collected in all the other nations where it has taken root — as mixed or pure, as planned or market, as democratic or authoritarian, as a dogma or simply an aspiration — "the name of our desire," as the critic Irving Howe (and Lewis Coser) famously defined it.

Scientists have found a way to transform brain signals into spoken words and sentences.

The approach could someday help people who have lost the ability to speak or gesture, a team from the University of California, San Francisco reported Wednesday in the journal Nature.

The federal government is expanding an investigation into malfunctioning air bags to include an additional 12.3 million vehicles with air bags that could fail to inflate in a crash.

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