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Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is leaving an Obama-era policy on transgender military service members largely intact, saying he needs input from an expert panel to determine the best way to implement President Trump's ban that would keep transgender people from serving in the U.S. military.

Trump barred transgender would-be recruits from signing up, but he gave Mattis discretion to decide the status of transgender people who are already serving.

Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press via AP

The fight over safe drug-injection sites is underway in King County.

Earlier this year, county leaders moved to open two of them as part of a larger plan to deal with the opioid crisis.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

After the violence that rocked Charlottesville, Virginia, almost two weeks ago, Black Lives Matter activists are planning a march in Seattle on Saturday. 

Critics of a new Oregon law that would make it easier to get guns out of the hands of people suffering from mental health crises are gathering signatures to overturn it.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

President Trump is addressing the nation Monday night, beginning at 9:00 PM ET, on U.S. engagement and "the path forward" in Afghanistan and South Asia. Senior U.S. officials tell NPR that the president is expected to order about 4,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. The decision follows months of deliberation within the Trump Administration, involving top military commanders, political advisers and even enlisted veterans of the nearly 16-year war. NPR journalists from across the newsroom are offering context and analysis about President Trump's remarks.

On Saturday August 12, a woman was killed at the "Unite the Right Rally" in Charlottesville, Virginia where Confederate flags flew, racist and anti-Semitic insults were chanted and KKK robes were donned. After President Donald Trump's initial statement blamed "both sides," Republicans across the country were scrutinized for what they said, what they didn't and when. We collected some online statements of Northwest Republicans in the week after Charlottesville.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has signed into law a bill to require health insurance policies to cover the cost of abortions.

Four Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife employees were fired this month after an investigation found an “extremely sexualized culture” at a fish hatchery on the Columbia River.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers hosted her first town hall of the year Thursday night in Spokane. According to the Town Hall Project, which tracks these events across the nation, she’s the first Republican member of Congress from Washington or Oregon to hold a town hall event in 2017.

Elaine Thompson / AP

The City of Seattle is once again considering how to help people living in their cars and motor homes.

To find out more about the debate over the city's latest moves, The Seattle Times City Hall reporter Dan Beekman asked his colleague Vernal Coleman, who covers homelessness issues, to break it down.  They spoke for "The Overcast", The Seattle Times weekly politics podcast recorded at KNKX.


Large crowds are expected to flock to Goldendale Observatory State Park to watch the August 21 eclipse. But as visitors look to the skies, they may not realize a renovation of that south central Washington observatory is on hold for very earthly reasons.

Lawmakers in Washington state had a fight so bad last month, they got together in a basement conference room Wednesday.

Erin Hennessey / KNKX

Results continue to come in for this year's primary election.  

Last updated at 4:40 p.m. on Wednesday, August, 2, 2017.

KNKX is keeping an eye on several races around the Puget Sound region. We'll be updating this page as results become available. Given the state's vote-by-mail process, outcomes may change over the next few days. 

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

Anthony Scaramucci is leaving his position as White House communications director — less than two weeks after being named for the job.

Scaramucci's departure followed the Monday-morning swearing in of the new White House chief of staff, retired Gen. John F. Kelly. Scaramucci had negotiated an unusual deal to report directly to the president rather than the chief of staff (Reince Priebus at the time).

Political strategists, take note: For the first time, millennials and Gen Xers outvoted their elders in 2016, according to data from the Pew Research Center.

Fully 69.6 million millennials (defined as people who were 18 to 35 in 2016) and members of Generation X (ages 36 to 51) cast votes in 2016, according to a Pew analysis of data from the Census Bureau. By comparison, 67.9 million baby boomers and members of older generations voted.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

With primary ballots due Tuesday, Seattle voters are still trying to make sense of a crowded mayor's race.

For the latest episode of "The Overcast," Seattle Times political reporter Jim Brunner and City Hall reporter Dan Beekman hit the pavement to find out what voters care about and which names come up out the 21 candidates vying to lead the state's largest city.  

Updated at 8:15 p.m. ET

The Republican's seven year quest to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act descended into chaos Thursday night as the Senate prepared for an unwieldy, all-night session.

Senate Republicans have at least narrowed the options on what comes next for the Affordable Care Act — casting two separate votes since Tuesday that knocked out a "repeal-only" proposal and rejected a plan for replacement.

So, as lawmakers resume debate on Thursday, they will be staring at basically one possibility: a so-called "skinny repeal" that would surgically remove some key provisions from Obamacare, while leaving the rest intact — at least for now.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

President Trump has announced that the government will not allow transgender people to serve in the U.S. military, a year after the Pentagon lifted its ban on transgender service members.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday morning, he wrote:

Democratic U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Seattle raised strong objections Tuesday at a Congressional hearing in Washington, D.C., about e-commerce taxation.

The Senate voted Tuesday to begin debating a replacement for the Affordable Care Act. It remains uncertain as to what that replacement might look like. No formal legislation has been drafted. But senators moved to take the procedural first step, known as a "motion to proceed." The vote was 51-50, with Vice President Pence casting the tiebreaking vote.

Debate will now begin, most likely on a measure to fully repeal the law, also known as Obamacare.

President Trump's son and former campaign chairman are both expected to meet with the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, but in a move that's irritated some Democrats, they will reportedly not be put under oath to answer the panel's questions.

Updated at 10:24 p.m. ET

The White House communications operation underwent a dramatic shake-up Friday. Sean Spicer resigned as press secretary after President Trump appointed Anthony Scaramucci, a wealthy New York financier, as his communications director. Appearing on camera before the White House press corps at a televised press briefing, Scaramucci then announced Sarah Sanders, Spicer's deputy, as the new press secretary.

In statements Friday night, Trump praised Scaramucci and Sanders.

The sewage system is crumbling in Carbonado, Washington, near Mt. Rainier. And if Washington lawmakers fail to pass a capital construction budget before they adjourn Thursday, a plan to replace it—and many other projects around the state—will be put on hold.

Seattle Channel

Ballots have been mailed out across the region for the Aug. 1 primary.

In Seattle, it’s a two-sided ballot that includes 21 candidates for mayor. And ahead of the election, two government TV channels have put together a video voters’ guide.

The video messages cover every race for Seattle and countywide offices. Candidates get two minutes to make a statement.

All the candidates are recorded in a studio in front of the same backdrop.

President Trump has summoned all Senate Republicans to the White House on Wednesday for a debrief on the state of health care legislation effort in their chamber. Based on the week so far, the meeting may be more like a post mortem.

The debate over whether the president of the United States can be charged with a crime is as old as the country itself.

Early evidence comes from the diary of a Pennsylvania senator, who recorded "a heated debate on this very issue" in September 1789, said Hofstra University Law School professor Eric Freedman.

"For those who believe in original intent, we have pretty good evidence of original intent," Freedman said. "The founders just disagreed on the very question."

Will James / KNKX

Environmental activists are the most vocal group in Tacoma politics today.

That's a new development in a city known as a hub of heavy industry. But growing concerns about fossil fuels and pollution are already shaping the race for the next mayor.

First it was Georgia. Then Montana. Now the national political spotlight is falling on Washington state and a special election later this year. But unlike those earlier contests, this one isn’t to fill a seat in Congress.

It’s for the state legislature.

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