The 'Barbie' and 'Star Wars' universes are entertaining, but they also unexpectedly can help people understand why revolutions happen

Politics / Political News /

Barbie dolls and “Star Wars” movies and toys have entertained generations of American children – in many cases, well into adulthood. But these brands’ influence stretches beyond a penchant for hot pink and lightsaber battles.

In particular, both the “Barbie” movie, released in July 2023, and a “Star Wars” franchise ...Read more

US Supreme Court refuses to hear Alabama’s request to keep separate and unequal political districts

Politics / Political News /

For the second time in three months, the U.S. Supreme Court has rebuffed Alabama’s attempts to advance its legislature’s congressional maps that federal courts have ruled harm Black voters.

The court had first rejected the maps in its stunning June 8, 2023, decision that upheld the Voting Rights Act of 1965. But in an act of ...Read more

AI disinformation is a threat to elections − learning to spot Russian, Chinese and Iranian meddling in other countries can help the US prepare for 2024

Politics / Political News /

Elections around the world are facing an evolving threat from foreign actors, one that involves artificial intelligence.

Countries trying to influence each other’s elections entered a new era in 2016, when the Russians launched a series of social media disinformation campaigns targeting the U.S. presidential election. Over the next ...Read more

Mandel Ngan/Pool/Getty Images North America/TNS

Lawmakers look at data privacy in post-Dobbs world

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON — Latice Fisher of Mississippi experienced a stillbirth and was charged with second-degree murder when investigators unearthed online searches on how to buy misoprostol, an abortion drug.

Celeste Burgess, a Nebraska teen, now has a felony charge on her record for disposal of a fetus after an abortion. Facebook messages between ...Read more

Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America/TNS

Editorial: Supreme Court to tackle a variety of subjects in latest term

Politics / Political News /

As the first Monday of October nears, the U.S. Supreme Court prepares for another term. On the docket in coming months are cases touching on a variety of important subjects, including the First Amendment, the separation of powers, immigration, gun rights and the reach of the federal bureaucracy.

The justices have thus far agreed to hear 21 ...Read more

Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America/TNS

Commentary: What's at stake in the new Supreme Court term

Politics / Political News /

The last two Supreme Court terms were a shock to the system. First came the Dobbs ruling that overturned the fundamental constitutional right to abortion care when it struck down Roe v. Wade.

Then last year, the Supreme Court gutted affirmative action in college admissions, struck down the Biden administration’s student loan reforms, and gave...Read more


Editorial: DeSantis did much better this time, didn't he? But Trump is still way, way ahead

Politics / Political News /

Most of the Republican presidential candidates came out swinging Wednesday night — at each other.

But former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie threw the first punch at ex-President Donald Trump, who again did not deign to show up at the second GOP debate: “He should be here!” Christie said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis followed up: “Donald ...Read more

Samuel Corum/Getty Images North America/TNS

Commentary: Urge to pin the blame on the other party won't fix immigration issues

Politics / Political News /

In recent years, the approach by Congress to immigration seems to be a never-ending game of "Pin the Blame on the Other Party." At face value, the faults of the immigration system are not mutually obvious, and the solutions are not agreeably attainable. One party’s approach to immigration may be criticized as idealistic. The other’s tactic ...Read more

Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America/TNS

Trump, Biden special counsels to keep working through a shutdown

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON — The three federal prosecutors overseeing investigations into former President Donald Trump, President Joe Biden and the president’s son Hunter Biden will keep working — and continue to get paid — even if the U.S. government shutters in the coming days.

Millions of federal workers are bracing to be sent home or work without ...Read more

Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Trump sues former British spy over infamous dossier, report says

Politics / Political News /

Donald Trump is reportedly suing British investigator Christopher Steele, whose infamous dossier alleged embarrassing — and sometimes uncorroborated — allegations about the ex-president and his ties to Russia.

Trump filed his data protection claim against the former spy and his company, Orbis Business Intelligence, in the United Kingdom, ...Read more

Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times/TNS

As GOP presidential candidates debate, Democrats unleash a top attack dog: Gov. Gavin Newsom

Politics / Political News /

Gov. Gavin Newsom has largely served as a cheerleader on the sidelines of President Joe Biden’s reelection bid this year, fawning over his record in the White House to Democratic donors and slapping down criticism about the president’s age on the national news.

On Wednesday, Newsom graduated to the starting lineup. The Biden campaign ...Read more

Katy Kildee/The Detroit News/TNS

Trump loses last-ditch attempt to delay NYC fraud trial as Attorney General Letitia James plans to put him on the stand

Politics / Political News /

NEW YORK — Donald Trump on Thursday lost his last-ditch attempt to delay his mammoth fraud trial, as New York Attorney General Letitia James informed the court she plans to put him on the witness stand.

A midlevel state appeals court lifted a temporary order pausing the trial scheduled to start next week in the suit accusing Trump, his sons, ...Read more

Rebecca Noble/Getty Images North America/TNS

Biden denounces Trump MAGA following as an 'extremist movement'

Politics / Political News /

President Joe Biden warned Thursday that Donald Trump leads an “extremist movement” that would undermine the nation’s institutions, as he touts efforts to protect democracy as a centerpiece of his reelection campaign.

The former president represents a group that “does not share the basic beliefs of our democracy,” and is a risk to the...Read more

Shutdowns are a uniquely American drama − in the UK, it's just not Parliament's cup of tea

Politics / Political News /

When it comes to shutdowns, the U.S. is very much an exception rather than the rule.

Save for a last-minute spending deal in Congress on Oct. 1, 2023, hundreds of thousands of federal employees will be furloughed and the business of government will grind to a halt. By some accounts, it would be the 22nd time since 1976 that the U.S. ...Read more

Arvin Temkar/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

Georgia state senator who called for Fulton County DA probe suspended from GOP caucus

Politics / Political News /

ATLANTA — The state Senate Republican Caucus has suspended a north Georgia lawmaker who recently called to defund the Fulton County district attorney in response to her indictment of President Donald Trump and berated his colleagues for not following suit.

The announcement came shortly after state Sen. Colton Moore, R-Trenton, issued a press ...Read more

Katy Kildee/The Detroit News/TNS

Trump loses last-ditch attempt to delay NYC fraud trial, Attorney General Letitia James plans to put him on the stand

Politics / Political News /

NEW YORK — Donald Trump on Thursday lost his last-ditch attempt to delay his mammoth fraud trial, as New York Attorney General Letitia James informed the court she plans to put him on the witness stand.

A midlevel state appeals court, in a brief order, lifted a temporary pause of the trial scheduled to start next week in the suit accusing ...Read more

YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Privacy board recommends changes to Section 702 surveillance authority

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON — An independent U.S. government board on Thursday recommended that Congress make changes to a controversial foreign surveillance authority, concluding that the program is highly valuable in protecting national security but also creates “serious privacy and civil liberties risks.”

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board...Read more

Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America/TNS

Biden impeachment hearing heavy on politics, light on substance

Politics / Political News /

WASHINGTON — House Republicans opened their impeachment inquiry against Joe Biden Thursday with accusations that his son’s overseas business activities amounted to influence-peddling while still digging for evidence the president was involved.

House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, a Kentucky Republican, focused on interactions Biden ...Read more

Héctor Amezcua/The Sacramento Bee/TNS

Gavin Newsom, working the spin room for Joe Biden, calls Republican debate 'a clown show'

Politics / Political News /

California Gov. Gavin Newsom didn’t wait for the start of Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate before trashing the field of contenders, writing them off as “the JV team.”

“Donald Trump is running away with this,” the governor said in an interview with CBS. “This is the XFL, and it’s entertainment I guess.”

Newsom,...Read more

Alex Wong/Getty Images North America/TNS

Pentagon can't afford to replace $5 billion of arms it can send Ukraine

Politics / Political News /

A government shutdown would slow the pace of replacing weapons stockpiles sent to Ukraine, the Defense Department’s comptroller said, especially if new money for the war against Russia is left out of the ultimate spending package.

Without additional Ukraine funding, the Pentagon has congressional authority to send Ukraine $5 billion more in ...Read more