Brakkton Booker | KGOU
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Brakkton Booker

Brakkton Booker is a National Desk reporter based in Washington, DC.

He covers a wide range of topics including issues related to federal social safety net programs and news around the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

His reporting takes him across the country covering natural disasters, like hurricanes and flooding, as well as tracking trends in regional politics and in state governments, particularly on issues of race.

Following the 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, Booker's reporting broadened to include a focus on young activists pushing for changes to federal and state gun laws, including the March For Our Lives rally and national school walkouts.

Prior to joining NPR's national desk, Booker spent five years as a producer/reporter for NPR's political unit. He spent most to the 2016 presidential campaign cycle covering the contest for the GOP nomination and was the lead producer from the Trump campaign headquarters on election night. Booker served in a similar capacity from the Louisville campaign headquarters of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014. During the 2012 presidential campaign, he produced pieces and filed dispatches from the Republican and Democratic National conventions, as well as from President Obama's reelection site in Chicago.

In the summer of 2014, Booker took a break from politics to report on the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

Booker started his career as a show producer working on nearly all of NPR's magazine programs, including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and former news and talk show Tell Me More, where he produced the program's signature Barbershop segment.

He earned a bachelor's degree from Howard University and was a 2015 Kiplinger Fellow. When he's not on the road, Booker enjoys discovering new brands of whiskey and working on his golf game.

The WNBA franchise the Atlanta Dream, which had been co-owned by former U.S. Sen. Kelley Loeffler of Georgia, has been sold, the league announced Friday afternoon.

The three-member investor group which purchased the team includes former Dream player Renee Montgomery, making her the first retired player to become both an owner and a WNBA executive.

The other owners are Larry Gottesdiener and Suzanne Abair, two executives from the Massachusetts-based real estate firm Northland Investment Corp.

The Senate parliamentarian, a critical but often low-profile arbiter of the chamber's procedural actions, is the subject of frustration from some liberals after a crucial blow to Democrats' agenda late Thursday.

Elizabeth MacDonough is the unelected, nonpartisan interpreter of chamber rules, commonly referred to as the Senate referee. She nixed a Democratic push to add a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage increase to President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, dubbed the American Rescue Plan.

The reason?

Updated at 4:44 p.m. ET

A former USA Gymnastics coach charged Thursday morning with two dozen criminal charges died by suicide hours later, Michigan's state attorney general has confirmed.

John Geddert, 63, was accused of human trafficking, forced labor and sexual misconduct, among other crimes.

In a statement Thursday, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said: "My office has been notified that the body of John Geddert was found late this afternoon after taking his own life. This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved."

The traditional prelude to the Olympics, the torch relay, will look – and sound – a bit different this year, as spectators are asked to avoid crowds and dampen their cheers when the torch passes by them.

Members of the Tokyo Organizing Committee announced a series of pandemic measures on Thursday, including leaving the option open for suspending portions of the relay should health officials deem it necessary.

Seeking to correct an injustice from more than a century ago, the Los Angeles Police Commission voted to posthumously reinstate and honor one of LAPD's first Black police officers.

Robert Stewart spent 11 years on the force before he was unjustly fired, the commission said.

The five-member police commission voted unanimously to reinstate Stewart, Richard Tefank, the executive director of the commission, told NPR.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

The mother of Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year-old Black man who was chased and gunned down by a group of white men in Glynn County, Ga., while jogging, has filed a multimillion-dollar civil lawsuit against several people involved in the killing or the subsequent investigation.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against MyPillow and its CEO Mike Lindell on Monday, saying he spread false information that its voting machines rigged the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

Dominion filed a suit in federal court in Washington, D.C., seeking damages in excess of $1.3 billion.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET

Nearly 3 million homes and businesses in Texas remain without power, some for a third consecutive day, as severe winter weather continues to pummel the state, forcing some localities to issue boil-water notices and urge residents to reduce their electricity usage.

Amy Cooper, a white dog owner who was at the center of a controversial encounter with a Black man bird-watching in New York's Central Park last year, had her misdemeanor charge stemming from that incident dropped on Tuesday.

The woman had been facing a charge of falsely reporting an incident to police after she told them Christian Cooper, who is not related to her, threatened her and her dog. He did not.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former two-time Nigerian finance minister, was appointed Monday to the be the next director-general of the World Trade Organization. She is the first African and the first woman to lead the body, which governs trade rules between nations.

"This is a very significant moment for the WTO," David Walker, the WTO's General Council chair, said in a statement.

Former President Donald Trump's historic second impeachment trial ended Saturday with his acquittal by senators, who were acting as jurors in the proceeding.

Seven Republicans joined Democrats in voting to convict Trump, but support from 67 senators — or two-thirds of the chamber — would have been required for a conviction.

Updated at 6:55 p.m. ET

Former President Donald Trump's legal team concluded its defense on Friday, arguing that the impeachment proceedings were "an act of political vengeance" as well as "a politically motivated witch hunt."

Updated at 5:25 p.m. ET

Former President Donald Trump's legal team opened its impeachment defense Friday by characterizing the proceedings as an "unjust and blatantly unconstitutional act of political vengeance."

Attorney Michael van der Veen added it was an abuse of the Constitution that only serves to further divide the nation.

Updated at 4:41 p.m. ET

Impeachment managers Thursday argued that former President Donald Trump not only incited his supporters to lay siege to the Capitol complex last month but also showed no contrition for the destruction and the bloodshed his supporters caused at his direction.

"We saw both during the attack as well as in the days after the attack that this was a president who showed no remorse and took no accountability," Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., told senators.

Stacey Plaskett made history on the Senate floor Wednesday when she became the first nonvoting delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives to serve as an impeachment manager.

Plaskett represents the U.S. Virgin Islands, which as a territory does not have a vote in Congress. She is in the unique position of arguing the case to convict former President Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol but having been barred from voting to impeach him in the chamber she serves.

Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., opened the second day of impeachment proceedings by rejecting the defense's argument that former President Donald Trump's remarks at a rally prior to the Capitol attack are protected speech under the First Amendment.

Raskin said that Trump was not merely a private citizen walking down the street expressing his support for the overthrow of the federal government. The former constitutional law professor said if Trump were, his speech would be protected.

Former President Donald Trump's legal defense team claims the House of Representatives moved to impeach him because the Democrats are afraid of facing Trump in 2024.

"Let's understand why we are really here," attorney Bruce Cantor said on the Senate floor Tuesday. "We are really here because the majority in the House of Representatives does not want to face Donald Trump as a political rival in the future."

As former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial unfolds, a group of nine House Democrats will have the task of prosecuting the case before the Senate whose members will serve as jurors.

When former President Donald Trump's historic second Senate impeachment trial gets underway Tuesday, he'll be relying on a legal trio that was hastily thrust together a little more than a week ago.

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