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After Immigration Enforcement, Some Builders See a Slowdown in Construction

An increase in immigration enforcement and proposed policies from President Donald Trump may be taking a toll on businesses that rely on an immigrant workforce. Some in Austin's construction community say undocumented workers don’t feel safe reporting to work.

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The Department of Homeland Security issued new guidelines this week that call for hiring 15,000 additional Border Patrol agents and immigration officers. It also wants to greatly expand the number of unauthorized immigrants who are prioritized for deportation.

Michael Ryan, 45, is a juvenile judge in Cleveland, Ohio. And like many of the kids who end up in his courtroom, he didn't have an easy childhood.

He adored his mother, he tells his son — also named Michael, 19, at StoryCorps in Cleveland, but she was addicted to heroin.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Brazilians like to call their Carnival the world's greatest spectacle. The multi-day festival officially begins today, but the street parties got going much earlier. And you can count on NPR's Philip Reeves, our new Brazil correspondent, not to miss them.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Syrian peace talks got started again in Geneva this week. One Syrian woman hopes to get an issue on the agenda - the fate of hundreds of thousands of people detained. It is a very personal issue for her, as NPR's Alison Meuse reports.

Indiana expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act in 2015, with a few extra conditions that were designed to appeal to the conservative leadership in the state. The Federal government approved the experiment, called the Healthy Indiana Plan, or HIP 2.0, and it is now is up for another three-year renewal.

On the eve of the vote for the next chair of the Democratic National Committee, the crowded field is thinning out.

South Carolina Democratic Chair Jaime Harrison dropped out of the race Thursday and endorsed former Labor Secretary Tom Perez. The move comes days after another candidate, New Hampshire Democratic Chair Ray Buckley, exited the race and threw his support to Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota.

In the cavernous basement of St. Thomas Aquinas community center in South Philadelphia, a mock immigration raid is underway.

As one woman yells "Help! Help!" — pretending to be taken by federal immigration officers — volunteers being trained to disrupt a raid begin singing and sit down as one, blocking the officers' path.

Malaysian authorities say initial autopsy results show a chemical weapon — VX nerve agent — was used in the fatal poisoning of Kim Jong Nam, older half-brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.

VX is an odorless substance that can exist as liquid or gas. It can kill within minutes if it's passed through the skin. It is 10 times more toxic than sarin and classified as a weapon of mass destruction.

The war against ISIS is entering a tough new phase, as Iraqi fighters with growing U.S. assistance push into western Mosul, warns the senior American commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend.

"ISIS is a brutal, brutal enemy," said Townsend, speaking in Erbil as Iraq's security forces were about to attack Mosul's airport with help from the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition.

President Trump has promised to build a wall along the 2,000 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border.

A third of that border already has a barrier, thanks to the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which was signed by then-President George W. Bush. That initiative ran into issues with landowners near the Rio Grande. If the wall goes forward as Trump promises, more lawsuits may be coming.

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Weekly Features

Events: February 24 - March 2

This week there's a score of plays and musicals to keep you entertained, from "Alice in Wonderland Jr." to "Jackie & Me." There's also plenty of music and outdoor events too. Hear about it on this week's Act Locally Waco.

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Saturday at 11am with encores Sunday at 10am and 7pm