Miles Parks

Miles Parks is a reporter and producer on NPR's Washington Desk. He covers election interference and voting infrastructure and reports on breaking news.

Miles joined NPR as the 2014-15 Stone & Holt Weeks Fellow. Since then, he's investigated FEMA's efforts to get money back from Superstorm Sandy victims, profiled budding rock stars, and produced for all three of NPR's weekday news magazines.

A graduate of the University of Tampa, Miles also previously covered crime and local government for The Washington Post and The Ledger in Lakeland, Fla.

In his spare time, Miles likes playing, reading and thinking about basketball. He wrote The Washington Post's obituary of legendary women's basketball coach Pat Summitt.

You can contact Miles at mparks@npr.org.

Heath Hall, who became the Federal Railroad Administration's acting chief in June, resigned Saturday after a Politico report raised questions about whether he was simultaneously working another job.

NPR has confirmed the resignation with the Department of Transportation.

"DOT was unaware of the information that is being reported regarding outside work Heath Hall took on during his time at FRA, but those allegations, if true, are troubling," DOT said in a statement Saturday.

Hillary Clinton responded Tuesday night to revelations that she kept a senior adviser on her campaign staff in 2008, even after the adviser was accused of repeatedly sexually harassing a subordinate colleague.

"The short answer is this: If I had it to do again, I wouldn't," Clinton wrote online, in a seeming nod to the #MeToo movement of the last year.

President Trump's State of the Union speech Tuesday night is intended to outline the priorities of the nation, while guests of the president and of lawmakers reflect the political messages each party wants to highlight.

Trump has invited a list of law enforcement and military heroes, a reinforcement of his intended theme of "building a safe, strong and proud America."

If you thought 2016 was bad, just wait for the sequel.

Russian election interference seeped into nearly every aspect of the political landscape two years ago, but many experts are wondering whether upcoming U.S. elections could be worse.

President Trump's reported order last summer to fire Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller is all about obstruction of justice — whether it happened, and whether it could be proved.

Updated at 8:10 a.m. ET

Hundreds of thousands of federal employees will either be sent home or have been told to not show up to work at all on Monday, as furloughs due to the government shutdown that began Friday night start to affect workers around the country.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., gave a foreboding warning from the Senate floor on Sunday.

"The shutdown is going to get a lot worse tomorrow," he warned. "A lot worse."

John Tunney, the former U.S. senator who looked briefly like the future of the Democratic Party and whose rise inspired the Robert Redford film, The Candidate, has died, his brother confirmed to NPR on Saturday.

Tunney died of prostate cancer Friday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 83.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A strange twist of national security politics in Washington, D.C., has meant the United States isn't responding seriously to the ongoing threat of foreign interference, Senate Democrats charged in a new report.

The study, about Russian leader Vladimir Putin's international crusade against democracy, is expansive, at more than 200 pages. It documents Russian offensive efforts in 19 different countries. But what it doesn't include is any optimism that President Trump might act to push back against the Kremlin's aggression.

The story of Russian election interference started long before 2017, but it took on new urgency after the inauguration of Donald Trump, the candidate the Russian government wanted to win.

Despite President Trump dominating the Top 10 political stories on NPR.org in 2017, he didn't end up atop the perch.

Vice President Pence made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Thursday. It is the first visit to the country by the president or vice president under the Trump administration, and comes four months after Trump unveiled his strategy for the United States' role in the country.

"I bring greetings from your commander in chief," Pence told troops at the Bagram Airfield, north of Kabul. "Before I left the Oval Office yesterday, I asked the president if he had a message for the troops.

"He said, 'Tell them I love them,' " Pence said.

Updated at 7:14 p.m. ET

After a monumental legislative victory on taxes this week, Republicans in Congress have been scrambling to avoid a chaotic government shutdown that could overshadow their signature tax bill before it even gets signed into law.

Pope Francis, in speaking to a group of journalists Saturday, addressed the importance of a free and responsible press while also warning against falling "prey to the sins of communication."

He was speaking to members of the Italian Periodical Press Union and the Italian Federation of Catholic Weeklies and said that in a field "dominated by the anxiety of speed, by the drive for sensationalism," reliable information is at a premium.

Austria finalized a deal late Friday to make 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz Europe's youngest leader and to form a new governing coalition that will include a far-right party with Nazi roots.

Exactly two months after Austrians went to the polls, Kurz struck a deal to join his conservative Austrian People's Party with the right-wing Freedom Party, led by Heinz-Christian Strache.

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