Political news

There have been mixed results in the fight against the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS. Iraqi government forces and their Iranian allies are fighting to retake the central city of Tikrit, but it's unclear how much longer this will take.

Meanwhile, ISIS has established a foothold in Libya. They also recently accepted the allegiance of Boko Haram, a Nigerian terrorist organization.

Missouri Capitol
j.stephenconn / Flickr

  Missouri lawmakers passed a bill that will set a limit to awards in medical malpractice lawsuits. The Missouri Senate approved a $400,000 cap in damages for botched medical procedures and a $700,000 cap in catastrophic injuries. They also agreed to raise an existing cap on wrongful death cases from $350,000 to $700,000.

Paying Farmers Not to Farm? Not Exactly

Mar 13, 2015
Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Farmers face plenty of risk, including the unknowns of weather, global markets and the more predictable expenses of taxes and equipment costs.

Federal commodity support programs were created to help farmers during bad years. But under a relatively unknown provision of federal law, farmers don’t have to actually grow a particular crop to get farm bill payments.

That might sound like “paying farmers not to farm,” but it’s actually a complicated way of helping to reduce over-dependence on one crop.

For the latest updates on this developing story, see our live blog.

Two St. Louis-area police officers monitoring protesters at the Ferguson police department were shot shortly after midnight. While the injuries were termed serious, both officers were released from the hospital later in the morning.

Looking toward Thursday night, when at least one group has called for a candlelight vigil at the department, law enforcement officials announced that the County Police Department and the Missouri Highway Patrol would take over security around the headquarters on South Florissant Road.

  Hillary Clinton said she used a personal address while Secretary of State as a manner of convenience, so that she wouldn't need to carry more than one mobile device. It’s an explanation that drew skepticism at Tuesday’s news conference. Also, tech blog Gigaom goes belly up, how you can access HBO without a cable subscription, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Selma march and why a television news reporter decided to thank a public information officer on the air. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

For different reasons, both Missouri Republicans and Democrats have found themselves engaged in some introspection -- even soul-searching -- as they struggle to assess and reconsider their words, actions and policies in the face of some direct challenges from within.

The shakeup of Ferguson’s government continued in earnest on Tuesday with the resignation of city manager John Shaw.

It’s easily the most significant departure yet from a Ferguson city official since a Department of Justice report sharply criticized the city's police department and municipal court system.

via Flickr user Bureau of IIP

Hillary Clinton told reporters Tuesday she chose to use a private email address for her communications while Secretary of State out of convenience.  She maintains she did nothing wrong, but does wish she had done things differently.

Erik Wemple, Washington Post: “With Clinton quip, Kerry expresses his attitude toward open records

Paul Sableman


  A House committee heard four different bills dealing with welfare benefits in Missouri.


The bills include work requirements and a two-year lifetime limit for assistance.


Camdenton Republican Representative Diane Franklin sponsored one of the bills.


“The state is not the end all to helping people move from a point where they need a helping hand to being in the workforce," Franklin said.

401 (K) 2013 / FLICKR

  Three Missouri lawmakers want to put regulations on what some call 'legal loans', or loans issued to help keep people afloat during lawsuits.


Missouri currently does not regulate these lenders. However lobbyist Eric Schueller, who lobbies on behalf of the lenders, testified in favor of one of the bills during yesterday’s hearing of the House Banking Committee.

Republican senators' letter to Iran about ongoing nuclear talks has prompted a lengthy response from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who delivered an overview of international law as he critiqued the letter.

After five days spent driving around Iowa, meeting with political activists, consultants and regular voters, one thing is clear: the 2016 presidential campaign is on — at least on one side.

Nine GOP Men, One Stage, Six Hours

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

President Obama, speaking in Selma, Ala., at an event marking the 50th anniversary of the "Bloody Sunday" civil rights march that witnessed hundreds of demonstrators attacked and beaten by police, said the nation was much closer to racial equality, but that the march is not over yet.

"There are places, and moments in America where this nation's destiny has been decided," the president said at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where Alabama state troopers converged on protesters on March 7, 1965.

How the Media Covered Tom Schweich's Suicide

Mar 6, 2015

Last week Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. What’s the appropriate way for the news media to cover a suicide? Missouri School of Journalism professors Judd Slivka, Mike McKean and Amy Simons discuss the issue on KBIA-FM's media criticism program, "Views of the News."

Just before the incident, Schweich left a voicemail for St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial Page Editor, Tony Messenger.  Messenger later released the audio recording.

Updated as of 10:30 pm., April 22, 2015:

The family of Michael Brown will file a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Ferguson on Thursday, according to a news  release sent Wednesday night.

State of Missouri

An aide to former U.S. Senator John Danforth says she was on the phone with Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich discussing his religion just moments before he killed himself. 

school buses
Twix / Flickr

A Senate bill intended to fix issues with Missouri's student transfer law could cost more than $200 million to implement next fiscal year. 

Instead of fighting like cats and dogs, Congress appears to be coming together for a change, and maybe it's because of our feline and canine friends.

In a rare bipartisan vote, the House Wednesday approved an Amtrak funding bill that will keep the trains running for another four years, and allow some pets to ride along on the intercity passenger rail service.

401 (K) 2013 / FLICKR

A measure that would waive penalties if Missourians agree to pay back taxes has initial approval from the state House. 

j.stephenconn / Flickr

The Missouri House is moving forward with a measure to limit the amount of noneconomic damages that can be awarded to victims of medical malpractice. 

Updated at 1:25 p.m. ET

North Korea is calling an attack on U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert by a knife-wielding political activist "deserved punishment" for America's joint military exercises with Seoul. Meanwhile, Lippert, who has received stitches to his face and undergone surgery on his arm after the assault, says he is "doing well."

  What’s the appropriate way for the news media to cover a suicide? Last week, when Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, it was front-page news. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch released a voicemail Schweich left for Editorial Page Editor Tony Messenger moments before firing the shot. Was publishing a violation of Shweich’s privacy or in the best interest of the public?  Also, Hillary Clinton’s private email address, and update on new allegations against Bill O’Reilly, unmasking ‘Jihadi John’ and how BuzzFeed nearly broke the internet with #TheDress. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Mike McKean and Judd Slivka: Views of the News.

(This post was last updated at 7 p.m. ET.)

Darren Wilson, the former Ferguson, Mo., police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown last August, will not face federal civil rights charges over the killing. That's according to the Justice Department, which has now released its reviews of both the shooting and the local police department.

While Wilson will avoid federal charges, the Justice Department review found that the Ferguson Police Department engages in "a pattern of unconstitutional policing."

State of Missouri

What is the appropriate way for the news media to cover a suicide? Last week, when Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, it was front-page news. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch released a voicemail Schweich left for Editorial Page Editor Tony Messenger moments before firing the shot. Was publishing a violation of Shweich’s privacy or in the best interest of the public? 

missouri auditor tom schweich
State of Missouri

  Former U.S. Sen. John Danforth has suggested that political bullying led Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich (shwyk) to fatally shoot himself.

Danforth delivered the eulogy Tuesday during a memorial service for Schweich that was attended by many of Missouri's top elected officials and hundreds of others.

Danforth was a close friend, co-worker and political mentor to Schweich, who had planned to run for governor.

401 (K) 2013 / FLICKR

  The state budget director says increases in Missouri's revenues are holding steady at close to a 5 percent growth from last year.

Budget Director Linda Luebbering on Tuesday reported 4.9 percent growth in general revenue this fiscal year, close to Gov. Jay Nixon's estimate of 4.6 percent.

Nixon's used that number to guide spending restrictions on hundreds of millions of dollars approved for use by the Legislature last session. Luebbering says about $690 million is still being withheld.

Members of Missouri’s Congressional delegation, dozens of the state’s lawmakers and statewide office holders, plus hundreds of citizens gathered at Fort Leonard Wood Monday to boost the credentials of the Army base and attempt to save it from potential job cuts.

Up to 5,400 civilian and military jobs could be lost by 2020 as part of a broader force reduction plan that would significantly draw down the Army’s personnel. The war-time high of 570,000 could be reduced to as few as 420,000 in five years.

Israel's Prime Minister is expected to deliver a stern warning when he speaks to a joint meeting of Congress Tuesday morning. Benjamin Netanyahu says the nuclear deal that the U.S. and other countries are pursuing with Iran could threaten Israel's survival.

That's not a new message from Netanyahu, but it's drawing extra attention because of the way the speech came about: Republican congressional leaders invited the prime minister with no involvement from the White House.

Take a look at a congressional district map, and it can look like a madman's jigsaw puzzle. The reason is, in part, that the district lines are drawn by state legislators seeking to maximize partisan advantage. It's a process that critics say is responsible for much that's wrong with Washington.

That's why some states have tried setting up independent commissions to draw the map. Arizona voters created such a commission in 2000. But when the commission chair displeased the governor and state Senate, they tried, unsuccessfully, to remove her.

This week's Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC, brought all the expected on and off the main stage in Washington D.C. — speeches by presidential hopefuls, debates and the annual straw poll. But there was one big addition: hundreds attended the conference's first-ever Activism Boot Camp, which trained attendees in the best practices of do-it-yourself campaigning.