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California Gov. Gavin Newsom says the Trump administration has told states they can't offer unemployment benefits to federal employees who are required to report to work without pay during the government shutdown.

Newsom called a letter sent to states by the U.S. Department of Labor "jaw-dropping and extraordinary" as he met with TSA workers at the Sacramento International Airport Thursday afternoon. "So, the good news is, we're going to do it, and shame on them."

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Former Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke is expected to be sentenced Friday for the 2014 murder of teenager Laquan McDonald, and the judge has a wide range of punishment options.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

On Friday, as they have for decades, anti-abortion rights activists will march through Washington, D.C., to the U.S. Supreme Court – a location that symbolizes the long-held goal of reversing the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized the procedure nationwide in 1973.

In its quest to blunt the effects of the partial government shutdown, the Trump administration is using broad legal interpretations to continue providing certain services.

Critics argue that the administration is stretching — and possibly breaking — the law to help bolster President Trump's position in his fight with Democrats over funding for a border wall.

Even with the creative use of loopholes and existing funds, though, the actions the administration are taking will be hard to sustain if the shutdown continues to drag on.

Joseph Daskalakis' son Oliver was born on New Year's Eve, a little over a week into the current government shutdown, and about 10 weeks before he was expected.

The prematurely born baby ended up in a specialized neonatal intensive care unit, the only one near the family's home in Lakeville, Minn., that could care for him.

State Department Brings Employees Back To Work Despite Shutdown

14 hours ago

The State Department on Thursday ordered employees to return to work next week, despite the partial government shutdown, saying it would figure out how to cover the next paycheck.

In a note posted on its website and emailed to staff, the department said it "is taking steps to make additional funds available to pay employee salaries."

If the shutdown continues beyond the next pay period, State Department officials say they will have to work with Congress to reprogram funds in order to cover salaries.

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Survivors of California's recent wildfires are bracing for the possibility that the utility Pacific Gas and Electric may go into bankruptcy protection by the end of this month. Investigators are looking into whether the company's equipment started the Camp Fire. For victims suing PG&E, a company bankruptcy could impact their compensation. From member station KQED in San Francisco, Lily Jamali has more.

LILY JAMALI, BYLINE: For the last several weeks, California's Butte County has been inundated with TV ads like these.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Survivors of California's recent wildfires are bracing for the possibility that the utility Pacific Gas and Electric may go into bankruptcy protection by the end of this month. Investigators are looking into whether the company's equipment started the Camp Fire. For victims suing PG&E, a company bankruptcy could impact their compensation. From member station KQED in San Francisco, Lily Jamali has more.

LILY JAMALI, BYLINE: For the last several weeks, California's Butte County has been inundated with TV ads like these.

Updated at 9:50 p.m. ET

A special celestial event is on the calendar for this Sunday night and experts are already raving:

"A full 62 luxurious minutes of totality," says Sky and Telescope Magazine.

"The Only Total Lunar Eclipse of 2019," promises NASA.

At least nine people were killed and dozens injured in a car bomb blast at a police academy in Colombia's capital, Bogotá, on Thursday morning, according to officials.

They called it a terrorist act. No group immediately claimed responsibility, but the attack stoked anxiety about a return to the decades when innocent Colombians got caught up in conflicts with rebel groups and drug cartels.

The White House has blocked an emergency effort to finish major U.S.-funded school, water and sewage projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to documents reviewed by NPR.

It is the latest of a series of moves by the Trump administration to shut down U.S. aid to Palestinians, which is scheduled to end Feb 1.

Teachers in Los Angeles are in their fourth day of a strike. Among other things, union leaders are demanding smaller class sizes. But the benefits of reducing class size can be complicated.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Survivors of California's recent wildfires are bracing for the possibility that the utility Pacific Gas and Electric may go into bankruptcy protection by the end of this month. Investigators are looking into whether the company's equipment started the Camp Fire. For victims suing PG&E, a company bankruptcy could impact their compensation. From member station KQED in San Francisco, Lily Jamali has more.

LILY JAMALI, BYLINE: For the last several weeks, California's Butte County has been inundated with TV ads like these.

Copyright 2019 Michigan Radio. To see more, visit Michigan Radio.

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A diver in California has stumbled on an unexpected source of plastic waste in the ocean: golf balls.

As the balls degrade, they can emit toxic chemicals. And there appear to be lots of them in certain places underwater — right next to coastal golf courses.

It turned out to be the little sprout that couldn't.

The vaunted cotton seeds that on Tuesday China said had defied the odds to sprout on the moon — albeit inside a controlled environment — have died.

China's state-run Xinhua News Agency announced the news, simply stating: "The experiment has ended."

A federal judge has struck down controversial restrictions on early voting in Wisconsin that were passed during the state Legislature's lame-duck session last month.

The restrictions limited early voting in Wisconsin to the two weeks before an election. In recent years, cities including the Democratic strongholds of Milwaukee and Madison have offered several weeks of early voting.

The Islamic State has jumped back into the headlines by claiming responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed four Americans and more than a dozen civilians at a restaurant in northern Syria.

Our Song of the Week is "Southern Gothic," the title track from Tyminski's 2017 release. The album is an artistic departure from a new group led by bluegrass mainstay Dan Tyminski, which incorporates drum loops and electronics for a modernized roots sound.

The group debuted new material from the album in Morgantown this past January.

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton says it’s time to marshal the resources of the wider community if the city wants to get serious about blunting the effects of the opioid addiction crisis. 

Lobbyists who train their attention on the executive branch, rather than the legislative, would receive increased scrutiny under a new bill introduced by Senate President Robert Stivers. 

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