NPR News

Updated at 7:02 p.m. ET

The White House pursued a "months-long effort" involving top officials to extract concessions from Ukraine's government aimed at helping President Trump's reelection in 2020, House Democrats charged in a new report.

When Pete Buttigieg arrived in England, he was a curious, bookish 23-year-old known to his friends as Peter.

The year was 2005. The Iraq War, unpopular among Buttigieg's college peers, was raging with no end in sight. John Kerry, the Democratic nominee for president, had lost the 2004 election to an increasingly unpopular Republican president.

And Democrats, like Buttigieg, were soul-searching.

With fewer than 100 days left before the 2020 census is fully underway, rural communities caught in the digital divide are bracing for a potential undercount that could make it harder for them to advocate for resources over the next decade.

The one thing we know about health care in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary race is that it's a top issue for voters.

The latest Tracking Poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation in late November found 24% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said they want to hear the candidates discuss health care. That's twice the total for the next top issue, climate change, and four times the total for immigration, the No. 3 issue.

One of classical music's most beloved conductors has died: Latvian-born Mariss Jansons, who was age 76 at his death on Saturday in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Jansons had long had a heart condition, which first became known when he collapsed on the podium while conducting in Norway more than 20 years ago.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp plans to appoint Kelly Loeffler on Wednesday as the state's next U.S. senator, effective Jan. 1, according to two sources with knowledge of Kemp's decision. The businesswoman and Republican donor will fill the seat held by Sen. Johnny Isakson, who plans to retire Dec. 31 for health reasons.

Updated at 4:49 p.m. ET

Prosecutors could bring more charges in the case of two Soviet-born associates of Rudy Giuliani — although it wasn't precisely clear when, what or who else might be involved after a conference in New York City on Monday.

Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman face charges of conspiracy, false statements and falsification of records in connection with two alleged schemes to violate U.S. election laws. But it's their work helping Giuliani dig up dirt in Ukraine that has put the pair under intense public scrutiny.

The Pacific island nation of Samoa will shut down government services for two days so that civil servants can focus on a nationwide immunization drive as the country struggles to end a measles outbreak that has claimed more than 50 lives, most of them children.

In a reversal, embattled Rep. Duncan Hunter is now set to plead guilty to misusing campaign donations, likely ending the California Republican's political career.

Hunter told local TV station KUSI in an interview that he has struck a deal to plead guilty to one count of illegal use of campaign funds. He's due in federal court on Tuesday.

"It's important not to have a public trial for three reasons, and those three reasons are my kids," Hunter said.

Columnist and author Meghan Daum takes on political correctness in the new book, “The Problem with Everything.” She joins us.

Guest

Meghan Daum, author and essayist. Her new book is “The Problem with Everything: My Journey Through the New Culture Wars.” (@meghan_daum)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping launched a new China-Russia natural gas pipeline on Monday, connecting a Siberian gas field to a city in northeastern China.

The initial phase of the pipeline was built in just five years, after the China National Petroleum Corp signed a deal worth $400 billion with Russian energy giant Gazprom in May 2014.

The United Nations climate change conference began with a bracing warning: We are running late, and that is going to make this harder.

"Millions throughout the world, especially young people, are calling on leaders from all sectors to do more, much more to address the climate emergency we face," U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday.

"Do we really want to be remembered as the generation that buried its head in the sand? That fiddled while the planet burned?" he said.

As the impeachment trial looms, we talk with Republicans about the risk and rewards of standing with Trump.

Guests

Lisa Desjardins, correspondent for PBS NewsHour. (@LisaDNews)

Flight cancellations and delays continued Monday as the winter storm that tore across the United States reached the Northeast, bringing several inches of snow and coastal floods. Travel disruptions are likely, with the National Weather Service warning of hazardous driving conditions.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has bowed to mounting popular pressure and announced his plans to resign in the new year.

President Trump is abruptly reimposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Brazil and Argentina.

Trump announced the move in a pair of tweets Monday, saying he was acting in response to "massive devaluation" of the two countries' currencies. Brazil and Argentina had been exempted from Trump's 25% tariff on imported steel and his 10% tariff on imported aluminum since May of last year.

China is barring U.S. Navy port calls and American military aircraft from visiting Hong Kong in retaliation for Washington's recent adoption of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act — legislation that supports pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

Every day, 20 to 30 trucks roll into a factory in Minnesota. They're filled with quartz — some of it like a powder, and some of it like sparkling little pebbles, in big white sacks.

Bernadette Demientieff hails from a region marked by pristine panoramas, droves of Arctic wildlife and decades of controversy. For millennia, her people, the native Gwich'in Nation, have guarded the precious swath of Alaskan land today known by many as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Updated at 10:27 a.m. ET

The Misco speaker company in St. Paul, Minn., is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. But the company's future is uncertain — a result of the trade war between the U.S. and China.

Dan Digre's dad started Misco after serving in World War II.

"He was a B-17 radio operator and came back to the United States and married a woman with a bad radio," Digre says. "Turned out the radio wasn't bad but the speaker was bad, so he started his own speaker repair business."

Guns: when and how to regulate them. It's one of the biggest issues across the country. But the U.S. Supreme Court has rarely weighed in on the issue. In modern times, it has ruled decisively just twice. Now it's on the brink of doing so again.

With the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, there now are five conservative justices who may be willing to shut down many attempts at regulation, just as the NRA's lock on state legislatures may be waning.

Over the past decade there has been a surge of interest in a novel approach to helping the world's poor: Instead of giving them goods like food or services like job training, just hand out cash — with no strings attached. Now a major new study suggests that people who get the aid aren't the only ones who benefit.

President Trump leaves Washington on Monday to meet foreign leaders at a NATO summit. But if history is any guide, Trump won't be able to leave behind the impeachment inquiry that looms over his White House.

At one time, lawmakers would refrain from criticizing a president traveling overseas, abiding by the adage that "politics stops at the water's edge." But even in 1998, when then-President Bill Clinton was traveling in Ireland and the Middle East during the impeachment hearing process, he could not escape questions about what was happening in Washington.

House Democrats are moving closer to impeaching President Trump with two big developments this week — the release of the House Intelligence Committee's report summarizing their investigation and the Judiciary Committee holding its first hearing.

Updated at 8:01 p.m. ET

As the House impeachment inquiry moves this week from the fact-gathering stage in the Intelligence Committee to considerations of law in the Judiciary Committee, the White House says President Trump does not intend to participate in a Wednesday hearing.

Updated at 4:34 p.m. ET

As weary travelers make their post-Thanksgiving trek back home — and back to work — two winter storms continue to disrupt travel plans throughout the nation. Heavy snow and ice accumulation is expected to continue battering regions across the United States on Sunday, the first day of meteorological winter, delaying or cancelling flights of thousands of customers.

Updated at 2:17 p.m. ET

Ten people were shot on Canal Street near New Orleans' French Quarter early Sunday morning, according to police. NPR affiliate WWNO reports that shooting victims were taken to University Medical Center New Orleans and Tulane hospital and that two victims are in critical condition.

The resignation of Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi is now official, following a session of Parliament on Sunday. Abdul-Mahdi and his government will stay on in a caretaker capacity until the parliament forms a new government.

Pages