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In this Jan. 4, 2018 photo, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach speaks during an interview in Topeka, Kan. (John Hanna / Associated Press)

Kansas voting rights trial has national implications

A conservative Republican who has supported President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that millions of illegal votes cost Trump the popular vote in 2016 will have to prove Kansas has a problem with voter fraud if he’s to win a legal challenge to voter registration requirements he’s championed.
Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., asks a question of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during a Senate Banking Committee hearing Jan. 30, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

Vulnerable lawmakers answer a noisy gun debate with silence

UPDATED: Sat., March 3, 2018, 12:24 p.m.

In the politics of gun control, even those who say the least have considerable sway. Despite a clamor for action in the wake of the Florida school shooting, a powerful group of vulnerable lawmakers – both Republicans and Democrats – have pointedly avoided the national conversation about guns.

Group calls for steelhead fishing ban to protect Idaho fish

UPDATED: Sat., March 3, 2018, 12:21 p.m.

Fisheries managers should shut down steelhead fishing in the Columbia and Snake river basins to protect a wild run that returns to Idaho’s Clearwater River, according to a conservation group.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks to reporters as he arrives at the office of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who was moderating bipartisan negotiations on immigration Jan. 25, 2018 at the Capitol in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

Trump’s tariff talk provokes rarely seen urgency among GOP

UPDATED: Sat., March 3, 2018, 10:59 a.m.

Republicans in Congress have learned to ignore President Donald Trump’s policy whims, knowing whatever he says one day on guns, immigration or other complicated issues could very well change by the next. But Trump’s decision to seek steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports has provoked rarely seen urgency among Republicans, now scrambling to convince the president that he would spark a trade war that could stall the economy’s recent gains if he doesn’t reverse course.
Eric Siegfried, founder and president of onXmaps, stands in the top floor of the mapping technology company’s new building in Missoula, Mont. By using a mobile phones built-in Global Positioning System that relies on satellites, onXmaps aims to give users a detailed map, including public and private ownership boundaries, of where they are anywhere in the U.S. Thats something not even the largest tech companies like Apple and Google have done, as they’ve focused mainly on urban areas. But there’s a huge market for better GPS-based maps in America’s vast uninhabited public lands. (Tom Bauer / Tom Bauer/The Missoulian)

Missoula company aims to dominate backcountry navigation

How did a small mapping technology company in Missoula with roughly 70 employees manage to attract a Montana record-breaking $20.3 million in venture capital from a host of well-known investment firms from New York to Silicon Valley? After all, an eye-poppingly big number like that is usually reserved for well-known tech startups or fast-rising cyrptocurrency outfits in coastal cities like San Francisco and Seattle, not for a small firm in the middle of the mountains and surrounded by wilderness.

Snowboarder, skier die on Oregon’s Mt. Bachelor

UPDATED: Sat., March 3, 2018, 2:41 p.m.

A snowboarder and skier died on Mt. Bachelor in separate incidents on the same day after each fell into holes at the base of trees and were covered by snow, Central Oregon authorities said.
Family members mourn during a funeral ceremony for Ugur Palanci, 28, in Izmir Turkey, Friday, March 2, 2018.  Palanci was one of eight Turkish soldiers killed Thursday in fighting against Syrian Kurdish militia in Afrin, northwestern Syria. (Emre Tazegul / Associated Press)

Turkey tightens its grip on Syrian Kurdish enclave

UPDATED: Sat., March 3, 2018, 10:58 a.m.

Turkey’s prime minister said Saturday that Turkish troops have captured a strategic village in the Kurdish-held enclave in northwestern Syria, tightening its grip on Kurdish militia in the sixth week of its offensive on the area.

Mead company plans warehouse on Fancher

A nine-unit warehouse with 13,000 square feet of office space is being built in Spokane Valley, according to permits issued by the city.

North Korea rejects U.S. preconditions for holding talks

UPDATED: Sat., March 3, 2018, 8:54 a.m.

North Korea said Saturday it is willing to have talks with the United States, but that it rejects preconditions and Washington’s demands that it must first demonstrate its willingness to denuclearize.
Laborers work in the steel market Aug. 1, 2016 in Yichang in central China's Hubei province. China has expressed grave concern about a U.S. trade policy report that pledges to pressure Beijing but had no immediate response to President Donald Trump’s plan to hike tariffs on steel and aluminum. (Associated Press)

China looks to defuse trade tensions, asks U.S. for talks

President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser told U.S. business leaders in Washington that China hopes the White House will revive high-level dialogue on economic disputes and name a new chief liaison to defuse mounting trade tensions, a person briefed on the matter said.