Carrie Johnson

California Gov. Jerry Brown has made some of the state's temporary water restrictions permanent. The executive order, in response to the state's drought, permanently bans wasteful practices like hosing sidewalks and washing cars with hoses that don't have shut-off nozzles.

The speaker of Brazil's lower house of Congress on Monday annulled last month's vote on the impeachment of embattled President Dilma Rousseff. But shortly afterward, the leader of Brazil's Senate announced he will ignore the lower house leader's decision and press on with the impeachment process.

The political seesawing further complicates the already chaotic struggle for political power in Brazil's government.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Bernie Sanders has some of the most ambitious and sweeping policy proposals of all the presidential candidates. His campaign has centered on a promise of "revolution."

When King Salman assumed the throne in Saudi Arabia last year, he was pushing 80, his health was questionable and many thought he would be more a caretaker than a monarch of note.

Yet Salman has unleashed major initiatives and shaken up the kingdom, setting a course for change in a land where the watchwords have long been tradition, stability and continuity.

West Point is investigating whether black female cadets violated any rules by raising their fists in a photo. The 16 women, following school tradition, posed in historical-style uniforms ahead of graduation later this month.

The investigation will look into whether the cadets violated the school honor code or a Department of Defense rule about political activities while in the Armed Forces.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists just released a searchable database with the names of more than 300,000 people and companies included in the so-called "Panama Papers."

The database is barebones, containing the name of the entity and how its connected to an offshore account.

Private Medicare Advantage plans treating the elderly have overbilled the government by billions of dollars, but rarely been forced to repay the money or face other consequences for their actions, according to a congressional audit released Monday.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

Carrie Johnson is a Justice Correspondent for the Washington Desk.

She covers a wide variety of stories about justice issues, law enforcement and legal affairs for NPR's flagship programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as the Newscasts and NPR.org.

While in this role, Johnson has chronicled major challenges to the landmark voting rights law, a botched law enforcement operation targeting gun traffickers along the Southwest border, and the Obama administration's deadly drone program for suspected terrorists overseas.

Prior to coming to NPR in 2010, Johnson worked at the Washington Post for 10 years, where she closely observed the FBI, the Justice Department and criminal trials of the former leaders of Enron, HealthSouth and Tyco. Earlier in her career, she wrote about courts for the weekly publication Legal Times.

Outside of her role at NPR, Johnson regularly moderates or appears on legal panels for the American Bar Association, the American Constitution Society, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and others. She's talked about her work on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, PBS, and other outlets.

Her work has been honored with awards from the Society for Professional Journalists and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. She has been a finalist for the Loeb award for financial journalism and for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news for team coverage of the massacre at Fort Hood, Texas.

Johnson is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Benedictine University in Illinois.

The State Department is preparing to release another batch of Hillary Clinton's email messages Wednesday. It's the latest in what Clinton herself called a process of "drip drip drip" that will extend into early next year.

A bipartisan group of senators on the Judiciary Committee is preparing to unveil a criminal justice overhaul proposal as early as Thursday, two sources familiar with the deal told NPR.

The plan follows months of behind-the-scenes work by the staffs of Sen. Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican who is chairman of the committee, and several other lawmakers representing both political parties.

A federal judge has thrown out four bribery charges against Sen. Robert Menendez and his longtime friend and donor, leaving intact the bulk of the corruption case against them.

Prosecutors indicted Menendez and Salomon Melgen, an eye doctor, in April, after accusing the men of engaging in a quid pro quo bribery scheme in which Melgen financed the lawmaker's lavish trips and political campaigns in exchange for help advancing his own interests with federal agencies.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is partnering with police and fire departments and pharmacies Saturday to relaunch its drug take-back program, which encourages people to rummage through their homes and hand over unused prescriptions.

"Lots and lots of folks have prescription pills that have either expired or they no longer need, and in the wrong hands, those are poison," acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg told NPR in an interview. "So the purpose of the program is to get those out of medicine cabinets. We can dispose of them anonymously and safely."

Nine months after the Senate Intelligence Committee published a scathing report on the U.S. torture of detainees after the Sept. 11 attacks, Amnesty International USA is demanding an investigation into the lackluster and "inconsistent" response by Justice Department officials.

The alleged inaction by federal authorities has allowed interrogators to evade responsibility for the abuse and cloaked the government's failure to punish any wrongdoers, Amnesty said.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

A federal judge has denied a bid to reduce the prison terms of two high-ranking members of a "sweeping cocaine conspiracy" that devastated Washington DC in the late 1980s.

Senior U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth concluded the requests for early release are "unwarranted" based on the threat the men pose to the community and their roles as key players "in one of the largest drug conspiracies in the history of this city."

Accusing the Justice Department of having a "fixation on sex and salacious headlines," lawyers for Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and his wealthy donor reiterated their call for a court to dismiss bribery and fraud charges against them.

The defense teams took aim at a contention by prosecutors and FBI agents that they had uncovered some "corroboration" for claims the men may have consorted with prostitutes at luxury homes in the Dominican Republic.

A tough new report has concluded that the federal government's system for defending poor people needs to change. The nearly two-year study by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers said judges who are supposed to be neutral arbiters too often put their fingers on the scales.

The report said defense lawyers for the poor who work in the federal court system need more resources to do their jobs. That means money, not just for themselves, but to pay for experts and investigators.

The Justice Department says it will beef up legal requirements for using cell-site simulators, an increasingly controversial form of surveillance technology that secretly gathers data about mobile devices.

Under the new policy, federal investigators will be required to get a warrant from a judge demonstrating probable cause, in most domestic criminal probes. Agents will need to explain to judges how the technology is being used. And they'll be directed to destroy volumes of bystanders' data "no less than once daily."

Pages