NATIONAL & WORLD NEWS

Updated: 1:10 a.m. ET on Monday

Dozens of Syrians in Douma have died by suffocation, following reports of a chemical attack. Douma is the last rebel-held enclave in eastern Ghouta, near the capital Damascus. The alleged attack comes amidst days of heavy bombardment by government forces in an effort to assert control over the town.

When he visits rural villages, fans shower him with rose petals. A YouTube user calls him a "rock star activist." It's an unlikely epithet for a 26-year-old from a remote, conservative Pakistani village who sometimes wears a traditional turban.

Updated at 5:26 p.m. ET

China's leaders followed President Trump in taking another step toward a new trade war, announcing a plan to put steep tariffs on $50 billion of U.S. imports. China's proposed 25 percent tariffs would target a wide range of American products, from soybeans and whiskey to airplanes and cars.

"China currently buys about $14 billion worth of American soybeans each year — almost a third of the entire U.S. crop," NPR's Dan Charles reports for our Newscast unit. "Prices for U.S. soybeans tumbled by 3 to 5 percent" on the news, Dan adds.

Special counsel Robert Mueller notified President Trump's lawyers last month that the president is being investigated as part of the Russia probe, but a source familiar with the situation says they were told Trump was not a criminal target at that time.

Fired Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin tells NPR's Morning Edition that political forces in the Trump administration want to privatize the VA — and that he was standing in the way.

"There are many political appointees in the VA that believe that we are moving in the wrong direction or weren't moving fast enough toward privatizing the VA," he said. "I think that it's essential for national security and for the country that we honor our commitment by having a strong VA. I was not against reforming VA, but I was against privatization."

3 Reasons Gun Companies Are Under Pressure

Mar 27, 2018

Remington Arms Co., an American gun company with roots stretching back over 200 years, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Saddled with almost $1 billion in debt and a victim of shifting market trends, Remington, like many other gun companies, faces a constant uphill battle wrought with political pressures and changing sentiments on gun ownership. Here are three reasons why gun companies are now struggling to find profits.

Updated 2:30 a.m. ET Tuesday

The U.S. Commerce Department announced late Monday that it will restore a question about citizenship to the 2020 census questionnaire.

In an eight-page memo Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says the Justice Department has requested that the census ask who is a citizen in order to help determine possible violations of the Voting Rights Act, to help enforce that law.

Updated on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. ET

Hundreds of thousands of students, teachers, parents and victims rallied in Washington, D.C., and across the country on Saturday to demand tougher gun control measures, part of a wave of political activism among students and others impacted by school shootings.

Government health agencies have spent more than two decades shying away from gun violence research, but some say the new spending bill, signed by President Trump on Friday, will change that.

That is because, in agency instructions that accompany the bill, there is a sentence noting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the authority to conduct research on the causes of gun violence.

When President Trump phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his re-election Wednesday, Trump made no mention of one of the latest irritants between Russia and the West — his administration's announcement that Russia successfully hacked the U.S. power grid.

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