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 Congress Today
House - meets at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, September 15, 2014.
Senate - meets at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, September 15, 2014.
 Breaking News
From washingtonpost.com:
The emergence of arm-and-train approach one measure of Islamic State's rapid rise
For more than two years, President Obama and his top aides argued that providing U.S. arms and equipment to the moderate Syrian rebels was an undesirable, high-risk approach with the potential to further destabilize an already chaotic region.
Hoyer: War resolution debate should be held after November elections
House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said Thursday there is growing momentum for Congress to hold an expansive war debate after the Nov. 4 elections to give a greater legislative imprint on President Obama's conduct of attacks against the Islamic State.
Kansas Supreme Court will hear Chad Taylor ballot case on Tuesday
The Kansas Supreme Court said Thursday that it will hear the case of Democrat Chad Taylor, a former Senate candidate who has filed a lawsuit seeking to be removed from the ballot. The outcome of the case could carry substantial implications in the battle for the Senate majority.
U.S. expands aid funding for refu­gee crisis in Syria
ANKARA, Turkey - The United States pledged nearly $500 million in additional humanitarian aid for refugees and other victims of the Syrian civil war Friday, marking a significant boost in American relief funding in the region.
Ukrainian government and pro-Russian rebels exchange more prisoners
DONETSK, Ukraine - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko repeated Friday there could be no military solution to the crisis engulfing eastern Ukraine and said new sanctions against Russia imposed by the United States and the European Union show the solidarity his country enjoys.
Obama's strategy on Islamic State revives tensions over Syria
BEIRUT - The prospect of deeper American involvement in Syria is reopening the stark global divide that fueled the escalation of the conflict three years ago, underscoring the challenges confronting President Obama in his first real foray into the morass of Syria's war.
Judge: Oscar Pistorius 'negligent,' but not guilty of premeditated murder
PRETORIA, South Africa - During his trial, Oscar Pistorius sometimes retched and sobbed. The double-amputee Olympian sobbed again Thursday, this time in apparent relief as a judge said the evidence did not support a murder conviction in the killing of Pistorius's girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
GovBeat: Voters are turning on two of this fall's most costly ballot measures
California voters cooled to a pair of controversial ballot measures over the summer.
Federal Eye: U.S. border agency 'vastly overpaid' to build homes for agents, audit says
U.S. Customs and Border Protection "vastly overpaid" for an employee housing project near one of its checkpoints in rural Arizona, spending nearly eight times the average price of homes in the area to build each of the units, according to a federal audit.
In the Loop: Was former CIA Director Leon Panetta allowed to bring Bravo to work?
We noted earlier this week that former CIA Director Leon Panetta's official portrait at the agency, unveiled last week, included a lovely likeness of his golden retriever, Bravo, at his side. It may well be the only official portrait of an federal agency head's dog. Panetta often brought the dog with him to the office, we wrote.
The Fix: President Obama promised to unite the country. It hasn't worked.
The most troubling number for President Obama in the new Washington Post-ABC News poll is this one: Americans say 55 percent to 38 percent that he is more of a divider than a uniter.
The Fix: Senators elected to oppose war in 2008 try to strike the right tone on the Islamic State - with reelection looming
Many Democratic Senate candidates who won in 2008 were bolstered by their opposition to the Iraq War -- along with the coattails of the presidential candidate who had taken on the mantle of war-opposer-in-chief. Six years later, many of these folks face difficult reelection campaigns, and they've again been asked to have opinions about war and/or U.S. involvement in the Middle East.
The Fix: President Obama met Superman today. Kind of.
President Obama spoke at the Pentagon on Thursday morning, in remembrance of the fact that 13 years have passed since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The ceremony was held at the site's 9/11 memorial, built for the 108 people who were killed in Arlington that day.
China sentences three to death, one to life in jail, for knife attack that left 31 dead
BEIJING - A Chinese court sentenced three men to death and a woman to life imprisonment for organizing or carrying out a knife attack in March that left 31 dead at a train station in the southwestern city of Kunming.
WorldViews: Could using gay dating app Grindr get you arrested in Egypt?
Dating apps with location technology add a certain excitement to nightlife in many of the world's thrumming metropolises. But in some places, they could get you arrested.
WorldViews: Why Scotland's independence leader Alex Salmond inspires so much anger
For a time, Scottish nationalist leader Alex Salmond was treated like an eccentric yet harmless radical, his dreams of an independent Scotland just another far-fetched part of his complex, at times conflicting persona: He was a Scottish nationalist with a remarkable, even odd, affection for the queen, a man said to have only joined the Scottish Nationalist Party after an argument with his girlfriend at St. Andrews College, and a Scot who broke his own pledge to never wear a kilt until Scotland was truly independent.
Westerners fighting in Syria disillusioned with Islamic State but can't go home
LONDON - The London-accented militant who delivered blood-curdling threats to the West before apparently beheading two American journalists has become, for most Britons, the masked face of foreign fighters in Syria.
WorldViews: Yemen and Somalia are examples of U.S. mission creep, not success
In his speech Wednesday night, President Obama laid out in somewhat unclear terms the planned U.S. campaign to combat the Islamic State, a murderous terrorist organization that has gained strength in the midst of political chaos in Iraq and Syria. U.S. action in Iraq will involve sustained targeted air strikes combined with ground offensives by the Iraqi army and Kurdish militias already fighting the Islamic State. In Syria, the challenge is thornier, with the United States leaning on a constellation of Sunni Arab allies to help reverse the Islamic State's gains.
'Location, location, location.' How where you live influences how you shop online.
In the digital era, there's no doubt consumers are more connected to each other and to global retail brands than ever before.
U.S. threatened massive fine to force Yahoo to release data
The U.S. government threatened to fine Yahoo $250,000 a day in 2008 if it failed to comply with a broad demand to hand over user communications - a request the company believed was unconstitutional - according to court documents unsealed Thursday that illuminate how federal officials forced American tech companies to participate in the National Security Agency's controversial PRISM program.
Sloan: Another reason Main Street shouldn't trust Wall Street
Whenever Wall Street comes up with a hot new product, Main Street gets stuck with a bill. That happened with the dot-com mania that inflated and then destroyed stock prices, and with the junk mortgages that inflated and then helped tank the economy. And it's starting to happen with Wall Street's newest favorite product: corporate inversions.
What's really driving cyberattacks against retailers
Security researchers say they'veuncovered links to commentary that accuses the United States of fomenting unrest around the world in the code of the malware believed to have been used in a string of data breaches at U.S. retail stores over the past year, including a potentially massive breach at Home Depot.
 stateline.org - State and Local Issues

Latest state and local issue stories and analyses from stateline.org and the Pew Center on the States.

States move slowly toward digital textbooks
Despite enthusiasm for digital textbooks at the national level, states have been slow to get on board. But the movement is gaining strength.
Indiana gov squashes vp speculation
TODAY'S TAKE: Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is the latest GOP governor who says he's not interested in becoming Mitt Romney's running mate.
Note to readers: A new Stateline is coming soon
Stateline and the Pew Center on the States are launching a new website at Pewstates.org
AZ: Arizona's immigration law gets its day in U.S. Supreme Court
When Paul Clement walks into the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday he's going to try to convince at least five justices that Arizona has an inherent right to enforce federal immigration laws.
NC: North Carolina judge vacates death penalty under racial justice law
In a landmark ruling, a North Carolina judge on Friday vacated the death penalty of a black man convicted of murder, saying prosecutors across the state had engaged in deliberate and systematic racial discrimination when striking black potential jurors in death penalty cases.
NJ: New Jersey drops out of lawsuit against EPA over ozone
New Jersey has dropped out of a lawsuit challenging the White House decision to bypass strict ozone standards that the EPA had recommended as necessary to protect human health.
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  •  Governing.com - State and Local News
    The Way We Tax: A 50-State Report
    The vast majority of state tax systems are inadequate for the task of funding a 21st-century government. Most of those tax systems are also unfair. They break the golden rule of tax equity: collect the lowest possible rates on the widest possible base of taxpayers.
    Governing February Issue
  • Assessments: Alan Ehrenhalt on living with "lifestyle centers"
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