National News

2016 Was The Hottest Year Yet, Scientists Declare

Last year, global warming reached record high temperatures — and if that news feels like déjà vu, you're not going crazy.

The planet has now had three consecutive years of record-breaking heat.

A member of the Secret Service stands guard while President Obama attends a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in August 2016 in College Park, Ga.

Secret Service, Agents Settle Over Racial Discrimination Allegations

A long-running lawsuit accusing the Secret Service of discriminating against black agents appears to be coming to an end without a trial.

The Department of Homeland Security, the Secret Service and more than 100 agents have reached a settlement agreement, the department says. A court still needs to approve the settlement.

Former President George H.W. Bush flipped the coin for the kick off between the Detroit Lions and Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on Oct. 30, 2016, in Houston, Texas.

Former President George H. W. Bush Hospitalized For Shortness Of Breath

Former President George H. W. Bush was hospitalized for shortness of breath over the weekend, his spokesman tells NPR.

Bush was brought to a Houston-area hospital on Saturday and "has responded very well to treatments," Jim McGrath said. "We hope to have him out soon."

Bush, 92, is the oldest living U.S. president. (Jimmy Carter is a little more than three months his junior.)

As The Associated Press notes, Bush "has a form of Parkinson's disease and uses a motorized scooter or a wheelchair for mobility."

In a small room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, mail from children is read, sorted into categories and answered by staff — except for the few that are sent every week to President Obama. The letters are eventually stored at the National Archives and will later find a home in the president's library.

Dear Mr. President: Obama Staff Mobilizes To Answer Kids' Letters

The Obama administration is rushing to tie up loose ends before packing up — protecting the rusty patched bumblebee, ending the Cuba "wet foot, dry foot" immigration policy, settling a fraud case over...

Sen. Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump's nominee for attorney general, endorses Trump for president on Feb. 28, 2016, in Madison, Ala.

Can Trump's Pick For Attorney General Serve Independently From The White House?

Jeff Sessions donned a "Make America Great Again" cap and joined the campaign trail as one of Donald Trump's earliest supporters on Capitol Hill. But the proximity of the Alabama Republican to the president-elect has got some Democrats worried about how he'd preside at the Justice Department.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., meets Jan. 6 with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator-designate Scott Pruitt, right, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Pruitt's confirmation hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

EPA Critic To Get Sharp Questions On Industry Ties As He Vies To Run Agency

A live stream of this confirmation hearing is available via C-SPAN.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has been among the most controversial picks for Donald Trump's cabinet. In part, that's because the Environmental Protection Agency nominee has said things like this:

Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., has said that the Affordable Care Act interferes with physicians' medical decisions.

5 Things To Listen For At The Hearing With Trump's HHS Nominee

On Wednesday, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., goes before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in his first grilling since he was nominated to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. This isn't an official confirmation hearing. That comes Jan. 24, before the Senate Finance Committee. But with outspoken senators such as Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on the HELP committee, Price is certain to face tough questions.

Here are five things to look out for:

Obamacare

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad greets Chinese President Xi Jinping before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in April 2013. The two first met in 1985, during a visit by Xi to Iowa.

An 'Old Friend Of China' Prepares To Bridge Differences At A Fraught Time

Two days before the election, Donald Trump stood before a large crowd in Sioux City, Iowa, and called onstage the longest-serving governor in U.S. history.

"I think there's nobody knows more about trade than him," Trump said of Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. "Boy, you would be our prime candidate to take care of China."

Joe Jiang (left) and Simon Tam of The Slants are in a legal battle at the Supreme Court over their band's name.

In Battle Over Band Name, Supreme Court Considers Free Speech And Trademarks

What do the McDonald's golden arches, the apple on your iPhone, the NBC peacock, the Nike swoosh and the MGM lion have in common?

They are all registered trademarks, and in the last 20 years, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has approved roughly 4 million of them. Now the system is under review at the U.S. Supreme Court, where a rock band called The Slants is challenging the trademark office's refusal to register its name.

Willie McCovey of the San Francisco Giants pictured in April 1966 near the height of his 21 year career. He pleaded guilty to tax evasion in 1995 and was pardoned by President Obama.

Obama Pardons Famous Hotelier and Baseball Star

In a flood of clemency orders before he leaves office, President Obama commuted the sentences of 209 people and pardoned 64 others on Tuesday. The vast majority of offenders had been convicted of drug-related crimes. Two were involved in cases about leaks of government material. And two were cultural stars of past decades who had run afoul of the IRS.

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