Jessica Taylor | KUNC

Jessica Taylor

Since entering the race for president, Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders has been on the rise against Hillary Clinton, staking out a position as a liberal alternative to the Democratic front-runner.

In the wake of last week's Charleston, S.C., church shootings, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders explained his competing concerns between gun rights and gun safety.

"I think guns and gun control is an issue that needs to be discussed," Sanders told NPR's David Greene in an interview airing on Thursday's Morning Edition. "Let me add to that, I think that urban America has got to respect what rural America is about, where 99 percent of the people in my state who hunt are law abiding people."

This story was updated at 12:45 p.m. ET

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Wednesday he is running for president, becoming the 13th major Republican candidate to enter the race.

Last week's tragic shooting at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., that killed nine black parishioners gathered for a Bible study has renewed the debate over one of the most controversial Southern symbols — the Confederate flag.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz blew away another gathering of religious conservative leaders this week, preaching about threats to religious freedom to a receptive and hungry crowd.

"I will never, ever, ever shy away from standing up and defending the religious liberty of every American," the GOP White House hopeful thundered at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's "Road to Majority" conference in Washington.

"Religious liberty has never been more threatened in America than right now today," Cruz added.

A once important political event, which has seen its influence diminished by pay-to-play allegations, breathed its last breath Friday morning.

State Republicans voted to kill the Iowa Straw Poll in a unanimous vote — reversing themselves from a unanimous vote in January to continue it. Amid defections by key 2016 presidential candidates and despite pledged reforms, it was no longer able to survive.

Hillary Clinton's campaign kickoff will draw inspiration from her late mother as she seeks to lay out her vision for America.

By detailing the struggles her mother, Dorothy Rodham, went through, the Democratic presidential hopeful will detail Saturday in New York why she's seeking out reforms and priorities for families, telling everyday Americans, "It is your time."

It's the kind of rhetoric that helped elect President Obama twice. He made the focus of his campaigns, especially his reelection, income inequality, which Republicans derided as "class warfare."

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush begins a six-day trip to Europe on Tuesday, hoping to avoid the mistakes that have haunted his likely GOP presidential rivals.

The sojourn abroad is a time-tested ritual for those who want to inhabit the Oval Office. For governors, especially, it's a way to burnish their national-security credentials on an international stage. Senators have more frequent delegation trips abroad and congressional hearings that help bolster their foreign-policy resumes.

Click the above link to hear Joel Rose's Morning Edition report.

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