NPR News

Shortly before Donald Trump takes the oath of office on Friday, Mike Pence will put his hand on Ronald Reagan's Bible and be sworn in as vice president. It's a job that has varied in influence from administration to administration. So how will Pence cut his path?

President-elect Donald Trump takes office on Friday having largely failed to address concerns about the many conflicts of interest posed by his business interests.

Although Trump has settled a few of the outstanding legal and regulatory disputes hanging over him, he remains in the unusual position of presiding over countless policy decisions that will affect his own businesses.

Barack Obama took to the podium in the press briefing room on Wednesday, the second-to-last day of the first black presidency, and after eight years of that becoming increasingly normal, the moment made it all start to seem strange again. So this whole black leader-of-the-free-world thing really happened, huh?

Just over 10 weeks after the idea was first proposed in a Facebook post, tens of thousands of protesters are heading to the nation's capital for the Women's March on Washington on Saturday.

Similar marches are planned in more than 600 other cities and towns around the world. But the largest is expected to take place in Washington, D.C., less than 24 hours into the presidency of Donald Trump.

Standing on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon, Simon Tam, the bassist and frontman of the Asian-American rock group The Slants, was fired up. He'd just watched as most of the eight justices questioned whether the government should back his right to use his band's name, which is a racial slur.

"If the government really truly cared about fighting racist messages they would have canceled the registrations for numerous white supremacist groups before they even approached our case," he told a crowd of reporters.

Why A Small Texas Town Wants Oregon’s Nuclear Waste

21 hours ago

Communities from Oregon to New York may be clamoring to get nuclear waste out of their backyards, but one small town in west Texas is actively vying to store the nation’s spent nuclear fuel — at least for the next century or so.

“We don’t see it as some big, you know, dangerous, terrible, ominous figure," said Julia Wallace, executive director of the Andrews Chamber of Commerce. "It’s just another day’s work.”

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In the final three months of 2016, railroads hauled 618 million gallons of oil through Washington. That means more than 1,500 rail cars every week hauling flammable crude through the state.

Those numbers come from new reports from the Washington Department of Ecology, which for the first time detail what kinds of oil are moving through which communities in the state, and in what amounts.

Operators of the biggest dam in the Northwest will now have to reduce oil spills that pollute the Columbia River. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation settled a lawsuit Thursday with the environmental group Columbia Riverkeeper.

Even Rick Perry changes his mind.

At his confirmation hearing as President-elect Donald Trump's pick for Secretary of Energy, the former Texas governor said he no longer wants to do away with the department he once said should be eliminated.

Or, at least, that was something he tried to say.

In 2011, during one of his presidential campaign debates, Perry could only remember the names of two of the three agencies he wanted get rid of. The third agency is the very one he was chosen by Trump to head.

Pages