How Schumer Held Democrats Together Through a Health Care Maelstrom : Over the past week, as Senate Republicans feverishly cobbled together their doomed health care bill, Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, made several quiet visits to the private “hideaway” office of John McCain, Republican of Arizona, near the Senate chamber on the Capitol’s first floor. Senator McCain, who recently received a brain cancer diagnosis, was nervous about the bill, which he thought would harm people in his state, and elegiac about members of his storied family, reminiscing about them at some length. During those visits and in several phone calls, Mr. Schumer, who had led Democrats in a moment of prayer for Mr. McCain, assured him that they would have the 80-year-old senator’s back in his quest for bipartisan legislation should the health repeal fail — including making sure Mr. McCain’s beloved defense bill was passed.

North Korea’s Nuclear Arms Sustain Drive for ‘Final Victory’ : Conventional wisdom holds that the North’s weapons are intended to address the country’s two greatest problems — military inferiority and economic weakness — by deterring the United States and extracting concessions. But in practice, the weapons make both problems worse by increasing the risk of war and ensuring continued sanctions. So what is driving the North’s actions?

Going Around Trump, Governors Embark on Their Own Diplomatic Missions : Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington, a Democrat, huddled with the leaders of Mexico and Canada in the space of 48 hours this spring, racing to Mexico City from Seattle for back-to-back discussions on climate change and trade.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, a Republican, toured Europe last month to deliver what he called a “reassuring” message to business leaders, declaring that Americans would not “retreat” from international commerce.

And Gov. Pete Ricketts, Republican of Nebraska, recently announced he would visit Canada this summer with a message of thanks — for the North American Free Trade Agreement, a pact that President Trump has harshly criticized and says he intends to renegotiate.

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