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Between the name-calling, finger-pointing, and off-color remarks, it's hard to imagine a political contest more uncivil than the 2016 presidential race.

But is civility as a whole in jeopardy? This hour, we take closer look with How Civility Works author Keith J. Bybee. 

Reacting to the recent release of audio of Donald Trump making vulgar comments about women, President Obama called the candidate "insecure" and said he "pumps himself up by putting other people down — not a character trait I would advise for somebody in the Oval Office."


One of the most unique dining experiences can be found at a restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut and the owner and chef will be recognized by the White House for his innovation.

It's been nearly eight months since Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died unexpectedly, leaving the nation's highest court short-handed, and evenly divided on some of the most important legal issues of the day.

While Democrats had expected to exploit GOP stonewalling on a replacement, Republicans have played the issue shrewdly.

Courtesy of Sen. Blumenthal's office

Congress voted to reject President Barack Obama's veto of a bill that would allow the families of September 11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia. 

The Senate voted Wednesday to give families of 9/11 victims the right to sue the Saudi Arabian government, overriding President Obama's veto for the first time.

The vote was lopsided, with 97 Senators voting in favor of the override, well above the two-thirds majority needed to overcome the president's objection. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid cast the lone "no" vote. Senators Tim Kaine, D-Va. and Bernie Sanders, D-Vt. did not vote.

The first presidential debate was a tense affair between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as they clashed over their economic and trade plans, national security and race relations in the U.S.

The Republican nominee came out aggressively against Clinton, often interrupting her and talking over her, but the Democratic nominee didn't pull her punches either and had plenty of zingers ready. And as the night wore on, Trump appeared repeatedly rattled as he was pressed on his past support for the birther movement and controversial comments about women.

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The Democratic and Republican candidates for president debate for the first time on Monday night. Join us for live coverage and analysis. 

The White House

The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford has received the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor for artists bestowed by the U.S. government.

For nearly eight years, President Obama has been putting his stamp on U.S. foreign policy both by what he's done and by what he chosen not to do.

His legacy includes achievements like the international climate agreement.

It also includes festering problems like the Syrian civil war.

Obama is summing up that legacy himself Tuesday, as he addresses the United Nations General Assembly for what's likely to be the last time as president.

During the Our Ocean conference in Washington, D.C., President Obama announced the creation of the first national marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Obama administration wants the U.S. to increase the number of refugees it takes in next year to 110,000.

"Secretary of State John Kerry told lawmakers the administration wants to admit 110,000 international refugees in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1," As NPR's Scott Horsley tells our Newscast unit. "That's up from 85,000 refugees in the current year."

Kerry made the remarks to members of Congress on Tuesday, a senior administration official told NPR.

Recently inaugurated Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is "expressing regret" for his comments at a fiery press conference, in which he called President Obama a "son of a bitch" or "son of a whore" (depending on how you translate the Tagalog) and threatened to swear at him in a planned bilateral meeting.

The White House canceled the meeting shortly after Duterte's comments.

"We ... regret [the remarks] came across as a personal attack on the U.S. president," Duterte's office said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Months after the Obama administration advised school districts that transgender students should be given access to bathrooms based on their gender identity, a federal judge in Texas has blocked the guidance from going into effect — for now.

U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor has granted a preliminary, nationwide injunction in response to a lawsuit filed by Texas and a number of other states.

Miranda Gallagher of Fairfax is a rising fourth-grader at BFA-Fairfax who also happens to have written a recipe, had it published in a cookbook and was a guest of honor at the White House. She was chosen as the 2016 winner from Vermont for the "Healthy Lunchtime Challenge," which invited children ages 8 to 12 to create a recipe that's healthy and made with local ingredients.

"ISIL has not had a major successful offensive operation in either Syria or Iraq in a full year," President Obama said Thursday in comments assessing U.S. efforts against the extremist group.

Two years ago, "to many observers, ISIL looked invincible," he said. But now: "ISIL turns out not to be invincible. They're, in fact, inevitably going to be defeated."

President Obama dismissed GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump's comment this week that the election may be "rigged" this year.

Screenshot / White House

President Barack Obama is assessing what's working and what's not in the fight against the Islamic State group as the U.S. military ramps up its engagement in Libya. 

President Obama has commuted the sentences of 214 federal inmates — "almost all" of whom were serving sentences for nonviolent crimes. According to the White House, it's the "most grants in a single day since at least 1900."

The Pentagon says U.S. warplanes began attacking Islamic State targets in Libya today at the request of the U.N.-backed Libyan government. The airstrikes are in the city of Sirte, which is controlled by ISIS.

American aircraft destroyed a tank and two ISIS vehicles that the Pentagon says posed a threat to Libyan fighters trying to retake the city.

When all was said and done, Team Hillary had to be pretty happy. Their four nights in Philadelphia turned out better than almost anyone expected.

Thursday night featured an orchestrated symphony of praise for Hillary Clinton and a precision-bombing of her opponent, Donald Trump.

Democrats called on Americans to reject what they called the politics of fear and division of the GOP and elect Hillary Clinton during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

President Obama likes to say he has run his last campaign. But he's determined to give Hillary Clinton a running start toward her own November election, mindful that much of his legacy depends on her crossing the finish line into the White House.

"I'm ready to pass the baton," Obama told supporters at a joint rally with Clinton in Charlotte, N.C., earlier this month. "I know she can run that race: the race to create good jobs, and better schools, and safer streets, and a safer world."

Following the death of three law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge, La., on Sunday, President Obama said that "attacks on police are an attack on all of us."

Three officers were killed and three others were wounded in an encounter that began shortly before 9 a.m. Sunday. Louisiana law enforcement said they believe the gunman who shot at officers was killed at the scene. A law enforcement source confirmed to NPR the identity of the shooter as Gavin Eugene Long.

President Obama is challenging Americans to have an honest and open-hearted conversation about race and law enforcement. But even as he sits down at the White House with police and civil rights activists, Obama is mindful of the limits of that approach.

"I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," the president said Tuesday at a memorial service for five law officers killed last week in Dallas. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been."