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 Congress Today
House - meets at 8:00 p.m. on Monday, April 27, 2015.
Senate - meets at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, April 27, 2015.
 Breaking News
From washingtonpost.com:
WashingtonPost.com  
Comcast to drop mega-merger with Time Warner Cable
Comcast on Friday dropped its $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable after Washington regulators raised concerns that the combined giant would hold too much sway over the rapidly evolving television and entertainment industries, according to people familiar with the matter.
Federal Eye: Federally-run Indian schools are in rough shape because of a broken bureaucracy
The U.S. Bureau of Indian Education spends nearly 56 percent more money than American public schools on each student, but many Native Americans learn in facilities that are languishing in poor condition, according to federal auditors.
Obama's statement on Armenia avoids 'genocide'
As he has for the last six years, President Obama on Thursday marked the day set aside to commemorate the mass killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire without using the word "genocide."In a statement issued by the White House on the eve of the 100th anniversary of what he called the Meds Yeghern, Armenian for "great calamity," Obama referred to it as a "massacre," a "terrible carnage," "horrific violence" and a "dark chapter of history."
Clinton takes shots at GOP on deportation and Loretta Lynch
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton took thinly veiled partisan shots at Republicans in Congress and among her would-be presidential opponents Thursday over immigration policy."There are those who offer themselves as leaders who would deport mothers working to give their children a better life, rather than risk the ire of talk radio," Clinton said at a women's policy conference.
Obama defends free trade push to supporters: This isn't NAFTA
President Obama rallied his staunchest allies Thursday to support his free trade push in the face of stout Democratic opposition, arguing that his critics are wrong to say the deal will harm the middle class.
Drone strike victim Giovanni Lo Porto worked in aid projects across the globe
Giovanni Lo Porto, a 39-year-old Italian aid worker who had studied in Britain, was abducted in Pakistan while working for the German charity Welthungerhilfe. He had joined the group in October 2011, heading up a water sanitation project in the province of Punjab, which along with others parts of the country, had been badly affected by floods the previous year. He was kidnapped in January 2012 from a guesthouse in the city of Multan.
The Fix: Comparing the Bush, Clinton and Kennedy dynasties, in 3 family trees
A bit of otherwise unnoticed news this week brought some context to the in-vogue discussion of the Clintons and Bushes as political dynasties. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (R) is considering running to fill the Maryland Senate seat that will be vacated by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) in 2017. Townsend, you might be aware, is not the first member of the Kennedy family to have run for office.
How Marco Rubio misjudged himself on immigration reform
Marco Rubio had changed his mind.It was December 2012. The Senate gym. Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) was making the ask. "You ought to be a part of this," Durbin told Rubio (R-Fla.), as Rubio rode a stationary bike. Durbin and six other senators wanted to rewrite U.S. immigration laws. In the process, they wanted to give illegal immigrants a way to become legal residents and - eventually - citizens.
Federal Eye: Good news about feds doing important work, saving money
Bad news often makes the news, no question about it.When I check my list of recent columns, I find news about the 1995 Oklahoma City federal building bombing; federal agents taking prostitutes, money, even an AK-47 assault rifle from drug cartels; and government whistleblowers being hammered by management.
Can Jeb Bush win the GOP nomination . . . by praising President Obama?
Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush supports President Obama's trade deal, praises his management of the National Security Agency and agrees that Congress should have moved faster to hold a vote on new attorney general Loretta Lynch.
In the Loop: At least the Senate's antiquated campaign filing creates jobs here ... and abroad
Each year,  the six commissioners of the Federal Election Commission unanimously agree on one thing: It's long past time for the Senate to enter the 21st century.But last week, only 19 senators filed their campaign finance reports electronically. The rest delivered their forms on paper, leaving it up to the FEC to upload thousands of scanned documents to its Web site and then send them to an outside contractor to manually enter all the data to make it searchable.
Fact Checker: Why you should be wary of statistics on 'modern slavery' and 'trafficking'
"This report estimates that, based on the information governments have provided, only around 40,000 victims have been identified in the last year. In contrast, social scientists estimate that as many as 27 million men, women, and children are trafficking victims at any given time."
The Fix: Of the Benghazi committee's 136 questions to Clinton, 8 are directly about Benghazi
In a 10-page letter, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, posed more than 130 new questions that he would like former secretary of state Hillary Clinton to answer. Of that number, eight relate directly to or mention Benghazi.
The Fix: Obama zings Patriots and Belichick on DeflateGate
The Patriots were at the White House on Thursday afternoon celebrating their Super Bowl win, and President Obama welcomed them with an unfriendly reminder of the controversy that marred their win.From the pool report:
The Fix: Obama zings Patriots and Belichick on DeflateGate
The Patriots were at the White House on Thursday afternoon celebrating their Super Bowl win, and President Obama welcomed them with an unfriendly reminder of the controversy that marred their win.From the pool report:
WorldViews: Why Israel does not recognize the Armenian genocide
Here's one instance where Israel is on the same side as many other countries in the Middle East.On Friday, April 24, Armenians around the world will mark the centennial of what they call the "Great Catastrophe," when an unraveling Ottoman Empire ordered the forced deportation of ethnic Armenians. Estimates vary, but between 300,000 and 1.5 million Armenians perished in 1915 and 1916 -- victims of hideous abuse and systematic slaughters that WorldViews detailed here.
Chinese woman gets reprieve after murdering violent husband
BEIJING - A Chinese woman who murdered her abusive husband won a reprieve from a death sentence Friday in a landmark case that marks the country's gradual recognition of domestic violence. Li Yan was originally sentenced to death for murdering her husband in 2011, but after a long legal battle was granted a two-year reprieve Friday. Unless she commits a crime during that time, her sentence will be automatically commuted to life imprisonment, with a possibility of parole.
Israel's Iranian Jews worry about the nuclear deal
TEL AVIV - Few nations have watched the talks over Iran's nuclear program more closely than Israel, which views the Islamic republic as an existential threat. And within Israel, among those especially unsettled by the idea of a final agreement are Iranian Jews.
Farmer's public suicide in India opens debate over compassion and climate
NEW DELHI - Farmer Gajendra Singh Rajput had spent his last few days fruitlessly trying to convince government officials that his family was due compensation for the loss their wheat crop, ruined by devastating and unseasonable rain, his family said.
Smitten with Cuba? Better call the love detective before you commit.
HAVANA - As they begin to visit this long-forbidden island in greater and greater numbers, it is only natural that some American travelers will fall in love with Cuba. Others, with Cubans.And when they do, a few may return home anguished by doubts about their budding Cuban romances. Are they real? Or just scams to get off the island?
Europe will boost maritime patrols, but experts say response is inadequate
LONDON - European leaders meeting at an emergency summit Thursday agreed to sharply expand maritime patrols in the Mediterranean amid a growing and increasingly deadly exodus of migrants seeking to reach the continent.
For Italy, no end to flood of migrants desperate for refuge
CATANIA, Sicily - The tragic scenes unfolding here have become depressingly familiar.Hundreds of bedraggled migrants shuffling ashore yet again at a port in southern Italy. Desperate asylum-seekers fleeing chaos, poverty and Islamist militants in their countries. Overcrowded, rickety boats that Italian maritime authorities often barely reach in time - if the boats do not capsize and drown their passengers first.
WorldViews: Why Britain's anti-immigration candidate prefers Indians to Eastern Europeans
In the run-up to Britain's parliamentary elections, Nigel Farage, leader of the anti-immigrant U.K. Independence Party, has been something of a bogeyman. UKIP's ultranationalist, Euroskeptic agenda surged into the British conversation last year, culminating in a surprise victory in European elections. Farage's appeal to right-wing, working-class voters forced Britain's established parties to take notice and readjust their platforms accordingly.
And it's official: Comcast has announced the Time Warner Cable deal is no more
Comcast has officially called off its $45 billion proposed merger with Time Warner Cable."Today, we move on," said Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts in a statement. "I couldn't be more proud of this company and I am truly excited for what's next."
Congratulations, America. You've finally worked long enough to pay your taxes for the year
The deadline for paying taxes was more than a week ago. But Americans haven't actually put in enough hours to afford all of the taxes they owe until now.Friday is Tax Freedom Day, the day after which taxpayers would no longer owe taxes if they started the year by paying every dollar they owe to Uncle Sam, according to the Tax Foundation, a tax policy research organization.
The rise of Amazon Web Services
Nearly a decade after it started as an internal project for a group of engineers, Amazon.com's cloud services unit has turned into the online retailer's fastest-growing business. The company gave a rare glimpse into the growth of Amazon Web Services on Thursday, saying that during the first quarter, it had reached $1.57 billion in revenue, up nearly 50 percent from the same period last year. It had operating income of $265 million, up from $245 million last year. It was the first time Amazon has released such details about what many investors consider the most lucrative part of the retailing giant.
Has Apple botched the launch of the Watch?
Friday is the official launch date of the Apple Watch, marking the first day that the devices should show up on doorsteps and non-celebrity wrists -- though not in any Apple Store.Apple's entire stock of watches sold out in less than six hours, and all the company's models now carry shipping estimates of June or beyond. But even if you were among the Apple faithful who woke up (or stayed awake) in the wee hours of the morning to pre-order the watch within its first 10 or 15 minutes of sale, there's no guarantee that you'll be sporting a new accessory Friday.
 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
    Governing.com
    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.
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