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And we're going to talk right now about some of the most important stories of the day.

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President Trump got bipartisan praise after ordering strikes in Syria last week. There was, though, this undercurrent of criticism. Our co-host Steve Inskeep looks at some of this wrangling in Washington over how to balance war powers.

Updated at 5:35 p.m. ET

President Trump on Wednesday sharply reversed his 2016 campaign stance on NATO. "I said it was obsolete; it's no longer obsolete," Trump declared, after a meeting at the White House with the alliance's secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg.

The Trump administration is lifting a federal hiring freeze as of Wednesday morning.

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney announced the policy change in a briefing to reporters Tuesday.

Cautioning "this does not mean agencies will be free to hire willy-nilly," Mulvaney said the across-the-board hiring freeze the president imposed by executive order three days after taking office in January is being replaced with a "smarter plan, a more strategic plan, a more surgical plan."

In the first special congressional election since President Trump took office, a Republican candidate won a narrower-than-expected victory in a district Trump easily carried less than six months ago.

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It's a cliché that happens to be true: Bears love honey. And in Maryland, lawmakers have passed a bill making it legal to shoot a black bear if it threatens a beekeeper's hive.

In February, state Del. Mike McKay testified before the Environment and Transportation Committee on behalf of the bill. He wore a vest festooned with the image of Winnie the Pooh.

The Trump Organization is shutting down its New York-based modeling agency.

A statement released by the company said it was "choosing to exit the modeling industry."

"While we enjoyed many years of success, we are focussed on our core business in the real estate and golf industries and the rapid expansion of our hospitality division," the statement said.

Started in 1999, Trump Model Management was part of Trump's eclectic array of businesses, though it was never as visible as some of the others and didn't play a major role in the fashion business.

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is on his first official diplomatic visit to Moscow. It comes at a critical time. Both Russia and the White House are talking tough after the U.S. attack on an airbase in Syria last week.

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The White House is a very busy place these days with Syria, health care, the wall. Yet yesterday, some Kansas voters got this message on their phones from President Trump.

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Updated: 6:33 p.m. ET

White House spokesman Sean Spicer warned Russia today that its alliance with Syria is putting it "on the wrong side of history, in a really bad way, really quickly."

The press secretary found himself in the same situation just a moment later, while trying to underscore the horror of Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons.

"You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn't even sink to using chemical weapons," he said, overlooking the millions who were gassed to death in Nazi concentration camps.

The Trump administration has accused former President Barack Obama of "weakness and irresolution" for drawing a red line in Syria then failing to enforce it. In the days before and after last week's cruise missile strike, though, Trump's own team has drawn sometimes blurry and conflicting lines. The administration has sent mixed signals about when and why it will use military force, the future of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and the role it sees for Russia.

1. Use of military force

As congressional and FBI investigators in Washington explore potential ties between President Trump's 2016 campaign and Russian intelligence services' meddling in the election, they're searching for one particular clue: money.

Loans, payments, sweetheart deals or other transactions are a tried and tested way that Russia's spy agencies get access to or control over people who interest them.

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, told NPR that evidence of such entanglements are one thing his panel is looking for.

President Trump is responding to another tough foreign policy crisis with gunboat diplomacy, but the second deployment is likely to look very different from the first.

U.S. Pacific Command has ordered the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and its strike group, which includes a cruiser and two destroyers, to "report on station in the Western Pacific Ocean," instead of sailing for Australia as planned.

U.S. presidents have a tradition of entering office and expressing hope for improved relations with Russia. With near perfect symmetry, this is matched by a tradition of presidents leaving office amid friction with Moscow.

Sometimes it takes years for optimism to turn to disillusionment. In the case of President Trump, there are warning signs after just a few months.

"If we could get along with Russia, that's a positive thing," Trump said shortly after his inauguration. "It would be great."

A special election in Kansas on Tuesday has Republicans sounding worried about an enthusiasm gap in the Trump era.

Trump himself was apparently worried enough that he cut a robo call for Republican state party Treasurer Ron Estes.

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Alabama Governor Robert Bentley insisted he was not resigning right up until the moment that he resigned.

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As the Trump administration considers steps to implement what the president has called extreme vetting of foreigners at the border, one aspect of security screening has already been amped up.

The number of people who have been asked to hand over their cellphones and passwords by Customs and Border Protection agents has increased nearly threefold in recent years. This is happening to American citizens as well as foreign visitors.

In at least 20 state capitols across the country this year, the wireless industry is pushing legislation to streamline local permitting for the next generation of cellular technology.

In Washington state, that's putting the industry on a collision course with cities and towns.

Instead of soaring towers with antennas on top, future cell sites will adorn power poles and streetlights.

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In a statement last week justifying his change of heart on U.S. military intervention in Syria, President Trump spoke about being moved by images of civilians dying in that apparent chemical weapons attack.

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