Donald Trump

Pablo Martinez / AP

President Trump's pick for the Supreme Court is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. It is Day 2 of what is expected to be three days of hearings on Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination. If confirmed, Gorsuch would fill the high court seat left vacant in February 2016, after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The NPR Two-Way blog will provide live coverage of the House Intelligence Committee’s public hearing on the investigations into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. 

Evan Vucci / AP

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program.

Each week reporters, editors and bloggers join veteran journalist and host Kevin Gavin to take an in-depth look at the stories important to the Pittsburgh region.

This week's topics include how President Donald Trump's budget could impact the commonwealth. NPR political editor Domenico Montanaro joins us in studio for a wide-ranging conversation about covering elections and the role of journalists of holding people in power accountable. And, as enrollments and the number of high school graduates in Pennsylvania decline, we'll discuss how the state universities are coping with these challenges. 

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

President Donald Trump's budget plan, released Thursday morning, clarifies his spending priorities and calls for cuts in several departments, which local and state leaders said will negatively impact residents.  

Renee Rosensteel

NPR political editor Domenico Montanaro wasn’t always in the news business. Though, he pursued journalism in college and worked for a newspaper after graduation, he also spent three years as a high school English teacher. 

He stopped by 90.5 WESA and spoke to Larkin Page-Jacobs about his work as a broadcast journalist and how it’s similar to teaching students.

Their conversation has been edited for length and clarity. 

Mexican Consulate Offers Legal Assistance For Concerned Immigrants

Mar 15, 2017
Gregory Bull / AP

The Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia has traditionally been the place to go for Mexican immigrants to receive assistance with things like securing passports, birth certificates, visas, and how to send money to loved ones in Mexico.

What Will Trump's Infrastructure Plan Mean For PA's Public Transit Systems?

Mar 14, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

Each year, the American Society of Civil Engineers releases an "infrastructure report card." This year, the nation's public transportation systems earned a D-, the lowest grade of any form of infrastructure in the country. 

Federal Cuts At EPA Will Trickle Down To Pennsylvania

Mar 9, 2017
Tom Whitten / Flickr

As a candidate, Donald Trump promised to drastically reduce the size and scope of the Environmental Protection Agency. A memo by the White House Office of Management and Budget indicates that’s still the plan. The memo outlines a proposed 25 percent cut to EPA’s $8-billion budget, including reductions in state grants for clean air and water programs.

Evan Vucci / AP

President Trump has signed a revised executive order, barring travel to the United States from six majority-Muslim countries and suspending the U.S. refugee program. It's similar to the president's January order that was blocked by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. But this latest order leaves Iraq off the list of barred countries. The White House cites more cooperation with the Iraqi government in vetting people who apply for U.S. visas. The latest order also specifically states that it does not apply to legal permanent U.S. residents or current visa holders.

The Office of Governor Tom Wolf / flickr

Pittsburgh's neediest families won't benefit from the proposed reforms to President Donald Trump's affordable child care system, according to some local advocates. 

In his address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, Trump said he wanted to "work with members of both parties to make child care accessible and affordable." 

Trump's Immigration Talk Hits Home In Hazleton

Mar 3, 2017
Eleanor Klibanoff / Keystone Crossroads

Over a decade ago, Hazleton tried to stem the tide of immigrants flooding the city by prohibiting residents from employing, housing or selling anything to unauthorized immigrants. The ban never went into effect and was eventually struck down by the courts, costing the city $1.4 million in legal settlement fees. And it didn't stop Latino immigrants from settling in Hazleton: the city is now over 50 percent Latino. 

The Viral T-Shirts Of The Trump Resistance Are Made Right Here In Pittsburgh

Mar 2, 2017
Reid Frazier / Allegheny Front

Inside a sprawling industrial building below a Pittsburgh police station, Jay Fanelli stands next to a big wheel-like structure stamping a red-white-and-blue pattern on grey t-shirts.

Evan Vucci / AP

President Trump will address a joint session of Congress for the first time on Tuesday evening at the Capitol, around 9 p.m. Eastern Time. The address comes a day after Trump gave an outline of his budget plan for Congress, which would increase defense spending and make cuts to domestic programs. Following tradition, House Speaker Paul Ryan invited the president to make the speech to lay out his agenda in the early days of his new administration.

Matt Slocum / AP

After a series of bomb threats against Jewish schools and day centers Monday, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said President Donald Trump told a group of attorneys general from across the country that "the reverse can be true, meaning someone is doing it to make others look bad."

Shapiro said that's how Trump responded when asked how federal, state and local agencies can work to prevent further incidents while on a conference call with reporters on Tuesday. The day school two of Shapiro's children attend was one of the locations threatened and evacuated.

Elaine Thomson / AP

A federal judge on Monday ruled that three transgender students at a Pennsylvania high school, including the sister of a singer who performed at President Donald Trump's inauguration, can use bathrooms that correspond to their stated gender identities while their lawsuit challenging the school district's policy continues.

Shortly after the president concludes, Former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear will deliver the Democratic Response to President Trump’s address. Beshear was chosen by Democratic Party leaders for his record, expanding affordable health care. NPR will have a transcript of Beshear’s remarks and journalists across the NPR newsroom will also be annotating his remarks.

Loading...

Jacqueline Larma / AP

Jewish centers in York and Harrisburg were among those affected by a wave of bomb threats in at least 11 states Monday. This came the day after more than 100 headstones were knocked over at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia.

Pittsburgh International Airport / Flickr

U.S. Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey is calling on the White House to increase funding for Customs and Border Patrol agents at Pittsburgh International Airport.

In a letter sent to President Donald Trump this month, the Democrat argued current customs staffing at the airport is insufficient and it will only get worse in the coming months.

The number of passengers arriving in Pittsburgh on international flights grew by 30 percent in 2016 and airport spokesman Bob Kerlik said the trend is expected to continue.

Headstones Vandalized At Jewish Cemetery In Philadelphia

Feb 27, 2017

Philadelphia police say approximately 100 headstones have been damaged at a Jewish cemetery in the northeastern part of the city. The vandalism occurred less than a week after a similar episode in a Jewish cemetery near St. Louis, where more than 150 graves were targeted.

Chelsea Beck / NPR

President Trump will address the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, on Friday at 10:20 a.m. ET, just outside of Washington, D.C. The conference is billed by its organizers as “the birthplace of modern conservatism.” As a candidate, Trump did not attend the annual gathering of conservative activists. Now, he will speak as the leader of a Republican-controlled government. NPR’s Politics team will be annotating a transcript of his remarks as he makes them.

Loading...

Andrew Harnik / AP

President Trump held a news conference in the East Room of the White House on Thursday. In an event arranged the same morning, he first announced his new pick for Labor Secretary, Alexander Acosta, a law school dean and former US Attorney. He made an extended opening statement in defense of his administration, trumpeting accomplishments and blasting his critics and the news media. He then opened the floor for questions, which lasted more than an hour.

Matt Rourke / AP

After weeks of constituents demanding more access, Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey held an over-the-phone town hall from Washington D.C. on Thursday afternoon.

Kobi Gideon, GPO via AP

President Trump is the latest in a succession of U.S. presidents pledging unbreakable support for Israel. Last year, for instance, the US signed a $38 billion military aid package with the Israelis even as Washington pressed Israel to make peace with the Palestinians. 

How Climate Change Skeptic Myron Ebell Is Shaping Trump's EPA

Feb 9, 2017
NASA

President Trump has been making good on a variety of campaign promises, from his executive order on immigration to his pick to fill the current vacancy on the Supreme Court.

Bradley C. Bower / AP

A Pennsylvania state senator has used a profanity-laced tweet to defend a fellow state lawmaker in Texas after President Donald Trump joked about destroying the unnamed lawmaker's career.

Trump told a Texas sheriff during a meeting at the White House on Tuesday that they could "destroy" the career of a Texas lawmaker who is trying to reform asset-forfeiture laws that critics say police abuse as a funding source. The comment was met with laughs in the room.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

*UPDATED: Feb. 3, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. 

Protesters plan to demonstrate outside of Uber’s Pittsburgh offices in the Strip District Saturday. This will mark the third weekend in a row that local residents have gathered for a protest related to the Trump administration.

Cliff Owen / AP

President Donald Trump said on Twitter that he will announce a nominee to the Supreme Court Tuesday evening at 8 p.m.

Among those names on the short list is Pittsburgher Thomas Hardiman, 51, a federal judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which covers Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Hardiman was appointed to the post in 2007 by President George W. Bush.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

President Donald Trump spent more than a year of his campaign promising to build a wall along the Mexican border to stop the flow of Hispanic immigrants from coming into the U.S.

Rosamaria Cristello, site director of the Latino Family Center in Hazelwood, says that rhetoric -- now from the White House, not a lone candidate -- is breeding fear among Pittsburgh’s growing Latino community.

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

Protesters have gathered at Philadelphia International Airport to protest President Donald Trump's travel ban.

The protesters began waving signs and chanting "Let them in!" and other slogans Sunday afternoon. 

Emily Cohen / NewsWorks

At 5:30 in the morning of November 9, 2016, Natasha Taylor-Smith crept into her 13-year-old daughter's bedroom. 

She picked up her daughter's smartphone, typed "CNN.com" into the browser and saw a large picture of now-President Donald Trump.

Taylor-Smith put down the phone and woke her daughter up.

"As soon as she opened her eyes, she says, 'Did Hillary win?' and I said, 'No,'" Taylor-Smith recalled. 

Her daughter gave her a confused look. 

"'Donald Trump's going to be our president?" she asked.

"Yes," Taylor-Smith replied.

Pages