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One of the agencies affected by the partial government shutdown — now in its third week — is the Internal Revenue Service. While many taxpayers may not feel this is a great loss, they'll still have to pay their taxes — and the shutdown has created a good deal of uncertainty for everyone planning to file their tax returns in the coming months.

But fear not, the White House says; tax refund checks will be sent out, even though the IRS, part of the Treasury Department, is for the most part closed.

President Trump has suggested that he might resort to using "emergency" powers to build his border wall if he is not able to reach agreement on funding with congressional Democrats.

"We are looking at it very strongly," Trump told reporters on Sunday. "We're looking at a national emergency, because we have a national emergency."

The president does have broad powers to act in a crisis situation, but those powers are not unlimited. And critics say Trump should be careful about invoking them in this instance.

The skyrocketing cost of many prescription drugs in the U.S. can be blamed primarily on price increases, not expensive new therapies or improvements in existing medications as drug companies frequently claim, a new study shows.

As President Trump describes it, a steel wall along the Mexican border isn't just about protecting the country from terrorists and drug dealers. It would also be a boon for big steel, an industry he says is essential for American identity.

It had been years since anyone had seen an American military commander walking around the streets of downtown Baghdad.

So when Marine Brig. Gen. Austin Renforth went with his Iraqi counterpart for a tour of the city's most crowded neighborhoods on Friday, it wasn't clear what kind of reception he would get.

Sixteen years after the United States and its coalition partners invaded Iraq, most Iraqis still blame the U.S. for disbanding the Iraqi army and for the security vacuum and devastating civil war that followed.

Almost 10 years ago, journalist Hillary Frank was pregnant and planning to give birth without medication or surgery — but things didn't go according to her plan.

A Venezuelan Supreme Court judge who once supported President Nicolás Maduro has fled to the United States and publicly denounced Maduro's re-election days before the inauguration.

Justice Christian Zerpa left Venezuela with his wife and two daughters, according to Miami broadcaster EVTV. Their destination in the U.S. was unclear.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has granted executive clemency to Cyntoia Brown, who has been serving a life sentence for a murder she committed when she was 16 years old. Brown's cause was championed by a number of celebrities, including Rihanna.

Brown's supporters have said she acted in self-defense when she killed a man who had paid to have sex with her, describing her as a victim of human trafficking who was preyed upon when she was homeless. They also say Brown has remade herself while in prison — and on Monday, Haslam agreed.

Over the last decade and a half there's been a major push by economists to do rigorous research on poverty — basically to run experiments to figure out which solutions actually work.

But putting a halt to those that come up short is easier said than done.

Actor Kevin Spacey appeared in a Massachusetts district court on Monday to face accusations that he sexually assaulted an 18-year-old man in Nantucket — a felony charge that was recently filed over an incident that occurred in 2016.

"A not guilty plea was entered on the defendant's behalf" to the charge of indecent assault and battery, the district attorney's office said.

"Spacey never said a word," member station WBUR's Frederic Thys reports.

Scientists have found a biological clue that could help explain why African-Americans appear to be more vulnerable than white Americans to Alzheimer's disease.

A study of 1,255 people, both black and white, found that cerebrospinal fluid from African-Americans tended to contain lower levels of a substance associated with Alzheimer's, researchers report Monday in the journal JAMA Neurology.

Yet these low levels did not seem to protect black participants from the disease.

Updated at 12:12 p.m. ET

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is not taking part in Monday's oral arguments before the court.

The 85-year old liberal justice underwent surgery for cancer last month and also recently broke several ribs after a fall.

Ginsburg had not missed a day of arguments since she was confirmed to the court in 1993.

Despite not physically being at the court, she will be participating in the cases by reading the briefs and the transcripts of the oral arguments.

Marilynn Leggio, 71, brought her teenage granddaughter with her to an Elizabeth Warren rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa, last Friday evening.

Leggio says she has "no doubt" the Massachusetts senator would do a "good job" as president, but given Hillary Clinton's loss in 2016, she's not sure whether the country will take a chance on another woman in 2020.

"I think there's a lot of men out there that would never vote for a woman," said Leggio. "I hate to say that, but I think that. Especially a woman that's strong, very opinionated. I think a lot of men think she's pushy."

Depending on how you interpreted Gavin Newsom's campaign slogan "Courage For a Change," he either has more courage than Jerry Brown — his campaign says that's not what they meant — or that Newsom has the courage needed to bring about big changes.

For a man who often struggled to win Brown's praise or even his attention, it's an attempt to promise fresh ideas and perhaps a willingness to embrace issues the outgoing governor left for others, such as single-payer health care.

Updated at 10:15 p.m. ET

The White House is planning a media blitz as President Trump pushes for a wall along the Southern border, which congressional Democrats have repeatedly rebuffed. This week's events involving the president come as a partial shutdown of the federal government drags into its third week with no apparent end in sight to the impasse.

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