National News

Tom Perez (left) and Keith Ellison are two front-runners for DNC chair.

Tight Race For DNC Chair Narrows Ahead Of Weekend Vote

On the eve of the vote for the next chair of the Democratic National Committee, the crowded field is thinning out.

South Carolina Democratic Chair Jaime Harrison dropped out of the race Thursday and endorsed former Labor Secretary Tom Perez. The move comes days after another candidate, New Hampshire Democratic Chair Ray Buckley, exited the race and threw his support to Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota.

During a training, a line of mock immigration officials [right] face down volunteers with signs [left] simulating disrupting an immigration raid.

Plan To Disrupt Immigration Raids Will Enlist Songs And Prayers

In the cavernous basement of St. Thomas Aquinas community center in South Philadelphia, a mock immigration raid is underway.

As one woman yells "Help! Help!" — pretending to be taken by federal immigration officers — volunteers being trained to disrupt a raid begin singing and sit down as one, blocking the officers' path.

TV screens in Seoul, South Korea, show images Wednesday of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Chemical Weapon Found On Body Of North Korean Leader's Half-Brother

Malaysian authorities say initial autopsy results show a chemical weapon — VX nerve agent — was used in the fatal poisoning of Kim Jong Nam, older half-brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.

VX is an odorless substance that can exist as liquid or gas. It can kill within minutes if it's passed through the skin. It is 10 times more toxic than sarin and classified as a weapon of mass destruction.

A demonstrator at a marijuana legalization rally in Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day 2017.

White House Spokesman Predicts More Federal Action Against Marijuana

The Justice Department may step up enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states that have voted to legalize its recreational use, according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

"I do believe think you'll see greater enforcement of it," Spicer said, during his daily press briefing. He added that the Department of Justice will be looking into the issue further.

Bjorn Mustard of Chesapeake, Va., (left) says he felt depressed and uncomfortable before coming out as transgender. Brian Hopkins of Mathews County, Va., (right) says he believes transgender teens are confused and he supports rolling back protections for transgender students.

In Eastern Virginia, Mixed Feelings on Trump's Trans Restroom Guidance

The debate over transgender restrooms is nothing new in Gloucester County, Va. The largely rural county in the eastern part of the state is the home of Gavin Grimm, whose transgender-rights case is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

(Top) Police make arrests as they move through the Oceti Sakowin camp. (Bottom) The police moved steadily and slowly through the camp, accompanied by Humvees and maintaining a perimeter of the cleared area.

PHOTOS: The Final Hours Of A Dakota Access Pipeline Protest Camp

On Thursday morning, law enforcement entered the Oceti Sakowin camp to do a final sweep before officially shutting it down, ending a months-long protest against the completion of the nearby Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Oceti Sakowin camp was the largest of several temporary camps on the northern edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. Protesters have been living on this land for months, in support of members of the Standing Rock Sioux.

Private Prisons Back In Mix For Federal Inmates As Sessions Rescinds Order

New Attorney General Jeff Sessions is rescinding an Obama-era memo that directed the Justice Department to reduce the use of private prisons, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports

Sessions writes in the order that returning to the Bureau of Prisons' earlier approach would provide flexibility.

Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday.

Vice President Pence To CPAC: 'We're In The Promise-Keeping Business'

Vice President Pence is no stranger to the Conservative Political Action Conference, having addressed the annual gathering nine times when he was an Indiana governor and congressman.

But on Thursday night he appeared in his new role to give a vigorous defense of the first month of President Trump's administration and pledge that the priorities their team laid out on the campaign trail would become a reality.

"Our Iraqi and Syrian partners are sacrificing not only for their own countries, but for the region and the rest of the world as well," says Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the American commander as U.S. forces help Iraqi troops in Mosul.

A U.S. Commander Works With Iraqi Forces To Fight 'Brutal Enemy' ISIS

The war against ISIS is entering a tough new phase, as Iraqi fighters with growing U.S. assistance push into western Mosul, warns the senior American commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend.

"ISIS is a brutal, brutal enemy," said Townsend, speaking in Erbil as Iraq's security forces were about to attack Mosul's airport with help from the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition.

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords says lawmakers should "have some courage" and face their constituents at town halls, despite protests.

Former Rep. Giffords: Lawmakers Should 'Have Some Courage,' Hold Town Halls

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has a message for members of Congress who are citing the possibility of protests as a reason not to hold town meetings: "Have some courage."

Giffords, wounded in a 2011 shooting outside a Tucson supermarket where she was meeting with constituents, was responding to a statement by Republican Congressman Louis Gohmert of Texas. Asked why he wasn't holding public meetings, Gohmert said:

Pages