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Sweden asks the U.S. to explain Trump comment

STOCKHOLM - The Swedish embassy in Washington has asked the U.S. State Department for an explanation of a comment made by President Donald Trump that suggested there had been some sort of security incident in Sweden on Friday. The U.S. President was speaking at at a political rally in Florida on Saturday when, in connection with the mention of a need to keep the United States safe, he said: "You look at what's happening in Germany. You look at what's happening last night in Sweden. http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/news/4221116-...

 

Florida middle schooler threw block at Trump motorcade, sheriff says

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida middle school student may face criminal charges after confessing to throwing a wooden block at a vehicle in U.S. President Donald Trump's motorcade as it drove through West Palm Beach on Friday, the local sheriff's office said. Authorities received reports that a vehicle in the motorcade appeared to have been struck by a hard, small object, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said in a news release. The incident occurred while the motorcade was en route from the local airport to Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm...

 

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, state's Democrats want open investigation of Trump Russia ties

WASHINGTON – Sen. Amy Klobuchar is diving into the boiling controversy over Russia and President Donald Trump, vowing to leverage what she said are strong alliances with her Republican colleagues to push for an independent investigation into possible ties between the new administration and America’s global rival. “Why did all of this happen? Why was the Trump campaign so focused on placating Russia and making them happy when they have been ruthless to our allies and ruthless trying to attack us?” Klobuchar said. http...

 

Disconnect between Trump, Pence concerns some allies

BRUSSELS – Diplomats and leaders across Europe had one crucial — if unstated — question for Vice President Mike Pence when he visited Munich and Brussels this weekend: Is he the shadow president, or a mere shadow of the president? And if the mission of Pence's trip abroad was clear — to reassure worried allies this weekend that, yes, despite what his boss may say, the United States remains committed to the security of Europe and to the historic trans-Atlantic partnership — Pence's role was anything but. http://www....

 

Turning Fear into Fight; Peggy Flanagan (Ojibwe) Launches Her Campaign for Congress

Timing is everything in politics — so Minnesota Rep. Peggy Flanagan is wasting no time in her bid for Congress. This week she launched a new web page and her social media links. Flanagan is a member of the White Earth band of Ojibwe and she would be the first Native American woman elected to Congress. (And that’s still a first, as in ever.) To make that happen she will run for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District seat if Representative Keith Ellison is elected the chair of the Democratic National Committee. http://...

 

Senators Tester & Udall Fight Veteran Homelessness in Indian Country

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.), the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, are calling on VA Secretary David Shulkin to prioritize helping Native American veterans obtain access to critical housing resources. Native Americans serve in the military at a higher rate than any other group.  However, they are also at greater risk of homelessness than their veteran peers. http://nativenewsonline.net/curre...

 

National Congress of American Indians Reacts to Trump's Executive Order to Build a Wall on Border

WASHINGTON — During its Winter Executive Session in the nation’s capital this week the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) passed a resolution in opposition of a wall being constructed on the southern border of the United States on tribal lands without consent of the affected tribes. http://nativenewsonline.net/currents/national-congress-american-indians-reacts-trumps-executive-order-build-wall-border/...

 

Area House members sponsor bill to construct veterans homes

ST. PAUL – State Reps. Matt Grossell, R-Clearbrook, and Matt Bliss, R-Pennington, are co-authors of legislation to construct veterans homes in two underserved regions of Minnesota, including Bemidji. The proposal is called the Minnesota Veterans and Quality of Life Act (H.F. 1109). It would allocate a total of $16 million in bonding proceeds to construct two veterans facilities, with $10 million for one in Bemidji and $6 million for another in Montevideo. “This issue is one of my very top priorities this session,” Bliss said. “Bemidji...

 

Bill to give teachers at low-income schools a bonus clears Utah House committee without a vote to spare

It's human nature to look for work environments that are safe and comfortable, Weber State University education professor Forrest Crawford said Wednesday. But in the context of schools, Crawford said, that natural inclination results in many of Utah's best teachers working in affluent and homogeneous classrooms that have fewer academic needs. http://www.sltrib.com/home/4946069-155/teacher-incentive-bill-clears-utah-house...

 

Unanimous NC House votes to raise class-size cap to avoid cuts to PE, arts classes

The N.C. House voted unanimously Thursday morning to soften a class-size reduction that school districts said could force them to cut arts and physical education classes. Legislators had reduced maximum class sizes starting this fall in kindergarten through third grade. Under the current law, maximum individual K-3 class sizes will drop from 24 students to between 19 and 21 students, depending on grade level, and the maximum average class sizes for a school district would be even lower. Read more here: http://www.newsobserve...

 

Mondale, Kelm-Helgen leave U.S. Bank Stadium panel in wake of luxury suite flap

The two highest-profile public officials on the U.S. Bank Stadium oversight commission stepped down Thursday amid growing legislative and public pressure over their use of two luxury suites to host friends, family and political allies at games and concerts. Michele Kelm-Helgen, chairwoman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA), announced her resignation early in the day, saying the decision was her own. By early afternoon, Executive Director Ted Mondale resigned rather than face an impending vote to remove him....

 

Trump raps 'criminal' leaks, 'dishonest' media, 'bad' judges

WASHINGTON — Aggrieved and spoiling for a fight, Donald Trump used a marathon encounter with reporters Thursday to denounce the "criminal" leaks that took down his top national security adviser and revived questions about his own ties to Russia. But he offered only a lawyerly denial that his campaign aides had been in touch with Russian officials before last fall's election. "Nobody that I know" he said in the first full-length news conference of his presidency. http://www.startribune.com/trump-to-hold-white-house-news-con...

 

Navajo Nation school official worried about Trump era cuts

WASHINGTON – The superintendent for Navajo schools said “alarming” calls for the Trump administration to eliminate Head Start funding could leave tribal children without preschool programs or the education resources they desperately need to succeed. Diné Superintendent Tommy Lewis made the comments Wednesday during a wide-ranging interview in Washington that touched on his fears for education changes under President Donald Trump, from funding to school choice to tribal sovereignty. https://www.indianz.com/News/2017/02...

 

Rep. Ruiz Convenes Affordable Care Act Repeal Roundtable with American Indian Leaders

WASHINGTON– Today, Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) hosted a roundtable with Rep. Frank Pallone, Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and more than 30 tribal leaders to discuss the impacts of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the American Indian community. http://nativenewsonline.net/currents/rep-ruiz-convenes-affordable-care-act-repeal-roundtable-american-indian-leaders/...

 

Senate bill: Tribal members living off reservation must register vehicles through state

A bill that would require Yakama tribal members living off the reservation to license their vehicles through the state rather than their tribal government is making its way through the state senate. Six years ago the Yakama Nation embarked on its own auto licensing program issuing its tribal members vehicle registrations and license plates. A sovereign nation under a federal treaty, the Yakamas were the first tribe in the state to launch its own auto licensing program. http://www.yakimaherald.com/news/local/senate-bill-triba...

 

Trump declines ESPN invite to fill out NCAA bracket

Bracketology in the Oval Office is ending under President Donald Trump. The eight-year run of the president filling out an NCAA Tournament bracket on live television will come to a halt after Trump declined an invitation from ESPN to continue the tradition. "We expressed our interest to the White House in continuing the presidential bracket. They have respectfully declined," an ESPN spokesman said in a statement. http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/sports/4218825-trump-declines-espn-invite-fill-out-ncaa-bracket...

 

Puzder withdraws as labor secretary nominee a day before hearing

WASHINGTON -- In a blow to President Donald Trump as he tries to assemble his administration, his nominee for labor secretary, Andrew Puzder, withdrew his name from consideration on Wednesday, Feb. 15, amid concerns that he could not garner enough Senate votes to be confirmed. Puzder's decision to withdraw is yet another setback this week for a White House still grappling with fallout from Monday night's abrupt resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn, after less than a month in the job. http://www.bemidjipione...

 

State auditor, legislators spar over her lawsuit against Minn. counties

State Auditor Rebecca Otto and her Republican adversaries in the Legislature continued their long-standing, frequently hostile dispute Wednesday over the powers of her constitutional office — and its budget. While the hearing stayed civil on the surface, it bubbled with the simmering animus of an ugly divorce mediation. The laughs were few and mirthless, the smiles chilly as DFLer Otto defended a lawsuit she has filed against three Minnesota counties that stems from a 2015 measure to strip some of her authority. “It’s never been...

 

Aging resident dies after Eden Prairie caregiver forgot to plug in heart pump

A distracted aide at an Eden Prairie assisted-living center failed to plug in a resident’s heart pump at bedtime, and the man didn’t live through the night, according to a state investigation released Wednesday. The state Health Department found the facility, Aging Joyfully, at fault in the July 10 death because it had no procedure to ensure the pump would keep operating when switched every night from batteries to electricity from an outlet. http://www.startribune.com/aging-resident-dies-after-eden-prairie-caregiver-forg...

 

35 file for tribal council

The filing period for nine Tribal Council seats ended on Feb. 9 with 35 Cherokee Nation citizens tossing their hats into the ring, according to the Cherokee Nation’s Election Services Office. In Dist. 2, Freddie Ferrell, Johnny Hammer, Leslie Hannah and Claude Stover filed to try and unseat incumbent Joe Byrd. http://www.sequoyahcountytimes.com/news/article_53eab20c-f38b-11e6-9eae-dfa3185295a1.html...

 

New leader of key House panel defends handling of Dakota Access Pipeline

Don't look to the new leader of the legislative committee in charge of Indian issues for any upcoming hearings on the Dakota Access Pipeline. Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-California), the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs, is toeing the Republican party line when it comes to the controversial project. While he said some of the "facts" might be in dispute, he defended the federal government's role in the permitting process for the crude oil pipeline. https://www.indianz.com/News/2017/02/1...

 

Driver liability bill defeated in North Dakota House

BISMARCK—The North Dakota House defeated a bill Monday, Feb. 13, that would have allowed drivers who injured or killed somebody who was intentionally blocking traffic to avoid liability. House Bill 1203 was introduced in reaction to the monthslong protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline. Some of the demonstrations have taken place on roads, and primary bill sponsor Rep. Keith Kempenich, R-Bowman, said the legislation moves responsibility to the "initiating party." http://www.grandforksherald.com/news/4217408-driver-liabil...

 

Cherokee Tribal Council Begins Impeachment Process For Chief

Earlier this month, the Tribal Council of the Eastern Band of Cherokee voted 9-3 to begin the impeachment process for Principal Chief Patrick Lambert. The vote shows the divisions within the tribe. On the same day the vote took place, dozens of agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the Qualla Housing Authority in Cherokee, NC and seized file cabinets and computers filled with records and various documents. http://wcqs.org/post/cherokee-tribal-council-begins-impeachment-process-chief...

 

Do voter identification laws suppress minority voting? Yes. We did the research.

The Justice Department just got a new boss: Jeff Sessions. He is raising alarms in the civil rights community. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is concerned about his “record of hostility” toward the Voting Rights Act and the enforcement of civil rights. The NAACP-Legal Defense Fund lamented that it is “unimaginable that he could be entrusted to serve as the chief law enforcement officer for this nation’s civil rights laws.” No one knows for sure how Sessions will perform as attorney general — the former...

 

Trump administration sued over protection for vanishing bumble bee

An environmental group sued U.S. President Donald Trump's administration on Tuesday for delaying a rule that would designate the rusty patched bumble bee as an endangered species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a branch of the Interior Department, in September proposed bringing the bee under federal safeguards. http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/news/4218114-trump-administration-sued-over-protection-vanishing-bumble-bee...

 

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