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Members of Congress return to Washington on Monday after a week-long work sessions in their home districts.

Like some other around the country, St. Louis-area representatives are catching criticism for not using the break to host town hall meetings to hear from constituents.

There was one exception; Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., held a listening session Friday in Hillsboro regarding pension funds.

So where are your representatives, and why aren’t they holding public meetings? Here’s what they said.

Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, Ill.

Illinois Lawmaker Aims To Lift Noise Suppressors Ban

57 minutes ago

An Illinois lawmaker is looking to legalize the possession of noise suppressors in Illinois in order to reduce the risk of hearing damage from firing a gun.

The State Journal-Register reports the bill proposed by Democratic Sen. William Haine of Alton is among dozens of firearm-related bills that have been introduced by Illinois lawmakers this year.

Haine says noise from firearms is a public health concern for hunters and those who shoot for sport.

Members of AFSCME voted overwhelmingly to give the union's bargaining committee the power to strike. The union has been in a contract fight with Gov. Bruce Rauner for more than two years. Rauner has tried to impose his terms, saying they're a fair deal for both workers and taxpayers. Meanwhile, in the week following the governor's budget address, Rauner did little to support or defend his plan.

Tuesday night, President Trump will address a joint session of Congress for the first time. After a chaotic first month, it will be a chance for Trump to reset his relationship with voters, who currently give him historically-low approval ratings.

It will also be a chance for him to reassure congressional Republicans, whose view of the new administration runs the gamut from optimism to unease.

Here are five things to watch for when Trump goes to Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

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We know that in times of heightened stress, human instincts tell us to fight or flee. For some American Muslims, the current political climate has created a need for more Muslims to stand up and fight by seeking political office.

"Muslims didn't ask to be dragged into the spotlight, but now that we're there and we need to push back," said Robert McCaw, director of government affairs at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). "Getting into elected offices is one of the best means."

It's that time of year: We're hiring an intern for NPR Ed! It's a great opportunity to hone your journalism chops and get a taste of what it's like in our newsroom.

Here's the problem: We get tons of applications, and lots of them are ... Well, let's just say they need some work.

If you drink more alcohol than you want to or should, you're not alone. A nationwide survey by the National Institutes of Health found that 28 percent of adults in the U.S. are heavy drinkers or drink more than is recommended.

Yet, most heavy drinkers don't get the help they need.

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There was a time when a whistleblower had to rely on the Postal Service, or a pay phone, or an underground parking garage to leak to the press.

This is a different time.

A renewed interest in leaks since Donald Trump's surprise election victory last fall, and a growth in the use of end-to-end encryption technology, have led news organizations across the country to highlight the multiple high-tech ways you can now send them anonymous tips.

Headstones Vandalized At Jewish Cemetery In Philadelphia

5 hours ago

Philadelphia police say approximately 100 headstones have been damaged at a Jewish cemetery in the northeastern part of the city. The vandalism occurred less than a week after a similar episode in a Jewish cemetery near St. Louis, where more than 150 graves were targeted.

'People's Court' Judge Joseph Wapner Dies At 97

6 hours ago

Retired Los Angeles Judge Joseph Wapner presided over The People's Court from 1981 to 1993 — deciding real small-claims cases.

The judge's son, David Wapner, told The Associated Press that his father died at home in his sleep after being hospitalized a week ago with breathing problems. He had been under home hospice care.

Wapner auditioned for The People's Court shortly after retiring in 1979 from Los Angeles courts, where he had been a judge for more than 20 years.

President Donald Trump's nominee to be secretary of the Navy, Philip Bilden, withdrew from consideration Sunday.

In a statement, Bilden said he supports Trump's agenda:

"However, after an extensive review process, I have determined that I will not be able to satisfy the Office of Government Ethics requirements without undue disruption and materially adverse divestment of my family's private financial interests."

Defense Secretary James Mattis said in a statement:

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Jonathan Rado and Sam France were in eighth grade when they first met and began making music together. Their tastes were simple at first — straight-ahead rock songs banged out on drums and guitars in a garage. But a dramatic shift happened when they decided to take a less linear approach to recording their work.

"I got really into buying cheap, cheap instruments on eBay — lots of xylophones and melodicas and kind of useless junk — and that was kind of everywhere," Rado says. "We'd just kind of play for like 30 minutes, and then chop the best bits down to a three-minute song."

In an era of ever-advancing phone technology, can nostalgia give a boost to a not-so-smartphone?

The Nokia 3310 — a beloved phone model that's been out of date for a decade — has been relaunched as a new, colorful, pared-down phone for sale by HMD Global.

Here's a quick roundup of some of the mini-moments you may have missed on this week's Morning Edition.

C'mon, Texans.

Less than a week after a man opened fire in a crowded Kansas bar, killing one man and injuring two others, thousands of strangers from around the world have opened up their wallets to comfort the victims' families.

Three separate GoFundMe accounts have between them raised more than $1 million in donations, which they pledge to help with the families' medical expenses.

The Indonesian island of Java has long been synonymous with coffee. But it's only in the past decade or so that Indonesians have begun to wake up and smell the coffee — their own, that is.

Big changes are brewing in the country's coffee industry, as demand from a rising middle class fuels entrepreneurship and connoisseurship.

The trend is clear at places like the Anomali Coffee shop in South Jakarta. It roasts its coffee just inside the entrance on the ground floor.

Updated at 12:38 p.m. ET

Bill Paxton, prolific actor and big-screen fixture for decades, has died at the age of 61. In a statement released to media outlets Sunday, a family representative says Paxton died of complications from surgery.

"A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and filmmaker," the statement reads.

The nerve agent smeared onto the face of Kim Jong Nam, estranged half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jon Un, was administered in such a high dose it killed him within 20 minutes, according Malaysia's health minister.

At least 28 people were injured — 21 of whom have been hospitalized — after a man driving a pickup truck plowed into a crowd of spectators Saturday night at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans.

The city's mayor, Mitch Landrieu, said none of the victims had sustained a life-threatening injury in the wreck, which both he and police are calling a drunken-driving incident.

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