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Christian Science Monitor | USA



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Fear of being deported turns immigrant hurricane victims to churches for help

Places of worship and private charities in Texas and Florida are playing a pivotal role in the recovery effort from hurricanes Harvey and Irma because so many storm victims are immigrants in the country illegally – and therefore ineligible for federal disaster aid.

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Faith leaders call on St. Louis protesters to show love instead of hatred

An interfaith service called for peaceful demonstrations instead of violence after the acquittal of a white, former St. Louis officer in the fatal shooting of a black man. 

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Trump's promise to 'totally destroy North Korea' creates confusion throughout Asia

Leaders throughout Asia struggled to interpret President Trump's remarks on North Korea to the UN on Tuesday. Some nations took it as reassurance that the global pressure on North Korea will continue, while others heard it as a promise of war. 

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What's really important about Facebook Russia Ads

Those Russian-bought online spots might be just a hint of a darker, undetected flood of attempts at influence, according to experts in political communication.

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Do Russia's western war games deliver a threat, or just a message?

The week-long war games in Russia and Belarus, dubbed 'Zapad' for 'West,' have nerves on edge in eastern NATO countries that are deeply distrustful of Russian aims. But Moscow knows it is being watched closely.

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Trump's nationalist vision: Does it promote or endanger peace?

The president, addressing the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday, laid out a nationalist basis for international interaction and lashed out at a group of 'rogue nations' led by North Korea and Iran.

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Partisan news outlets: propaganda or real news?

While it is being advertised as a run-of-the mill political news site, The Free Telegraph, operated by Republican governors, has received widespread criticism for aiding the spread of fake news. Defenders say it is just an outlet to share positive news about Republican efforts.

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Can Houston find path to recovery that doesn't leave poor behind?

Inequalities that exist before disasters tend to be exacerbated afterward, research shows. As it rebuilds, Houston – one of the most multicultural cities in the US – has the opportunity to break from this trend in a way that benefits its poor and immigrant communities, experts say.

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Trump visits UN: As a global leader, can the US do more with less?

The president is attending the opening of the General Assembly with roughly half the delegation brought by past administrations. Some might see a shrinking superpower. But Trump officials say the US can be more 'efficient' and still lead.

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Transgender troops can temporarily re-enlist in the military

Pentagon continues its debate over how broadly to enforce a ban on transgender troops' service ordered by President Trump.

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St. Louis faces new wave of protests after police ruling

After the not guilty ruling for former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith peaceful protests turned violent overnight damaging property. Police arrested 80 people after crowds refused to disperse. 

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DACA defense: Dreamers take the Trump administration to court

The move to rescind DACA receives its first lawsuit as six DACA recipients move forward to defend former President Obama's executive action in court on the basis of violation of due process.

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Bridging the racial divide: One step forward or two steps back?

The Senate's only black Republican, Tim Scott, went to the White House this week to discuss the president's post-Charlottesville rhetoric. The next day, Trump doubled down on his remarks casting blame on both sides.

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Amid DACA dilemma, schools strengthen protections toward immigrant students

Colleges and universities around the nation are stepping up their games to help "dreamers."

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Trump signs resolution condemning hate groups

After President Trump's controversial Charlottesville comments stirred up debate on race relations in the US, suggesting there were good people "on many sides" of the protests, Mr. Trump signed a resolution condemning hate groups.

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DeVos sets the stage for debate over campus sexual assault guidelines

Last week a public comment period on Title IX guidelines established during the Obama era was announced by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Her department plans to replace the previous administration's approach. 

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With rebuilding under way, assessing government responses to Irma and Harvey

For FEMA and state and local responders and planners the point is to learn from Harvey and Irma – as they learned from hurricane Katrina and superstorm Sandy – about better methods of prevention and revival.

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US foreign policy: Who is in charge?

Nearly eight months into the Trump administration, and amid a North Korean nuclear crisis, experts talk of a chaotic foreign policy process, and at its core, a mercurial leader without a set vision.

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How to fix US politics? Maybe start by seeing it as an ‘industrial complex.’

America’s political dysfunction stems from a duopoly structure that’s been amplified in recent decades, a new report argues. Some states may already be pointing toward solutions that better serve the public interest.

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Alarming lesson in Florida for future disaster preparedness

After eight people perished in a Florida nursing home in the wake of hurricane Irma, state officials make demands for better procedures to protect vulnerable populations both before and after natural disasters. 

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Colombia partners with locals in order to stop cocaine production, US warns it may not be enough

President Trump suggests he may decertify Colombia unless more is done to stamp out the recent surge in production of cocaine. The Colombian government continues to pursue a new strategy of cooperation with local farmers and former guerrillas in order to correct the trend.

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While UN imposes sanctions, Mattis sends his own message to North Korea

Defense Secretary Mattis's trip to Minot Air Force Base, while it reenforced the presence and strength of the US nuclear arsenal, was not intended to trigger a response from North Korea. But his visit still sent a clear message: An attack on the US is a mistake. 

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California poised to become 'sanctuary' state. But do such policies work?

The California Assembly is expected to pass State Bill 54, which would take statewide 'sanctuary' policies on immigrants who are in the US illegally. As loud as the calls for and against these laws have become, hard data on the impact they've had at the local level is still scarce.

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Community college students say 'oui' to France – and science

A new program, sponsored by the French embassy in the US, aims​ ​to​ ​open​ ​​the​ ​classic​ ​junior​-year​-abroad ​experience​ ​to students who​ ​don't typically​ ​find​ ​the​ ​means or​ ​programs​ ​to​ study ​internationally. 

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Supreme Court upholds Trump travel ban

Though the US Supreme Court justices will hear arguments on President Trump's ban on refugees from six majority Muslim countries in October, the court upheld the Trump administration's order to limit the number of refugees allowed into the country.

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With an eye on tax reform, President Trump courts Democrats

On the heels of last week's deal with Democratic leaders, the president is hosting a dinner party with both Republican and Democratic senators to lay the groundwork for his next legislative target.  

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Hurricanes may be getting bigger, but death toll is shrinking

The relatively low loss of life in both Texas and Florida underscores advances in prediction technology and citizen preparedness. But property destruction is growing, experts say, as the US places more people and more wealth in vulnerable areas.

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On tax reform, Trump looks to avoid the same fate as health care

At a Monitor breakfast with reporters, Trump's liaison to Congress says they've 'learned lessons' from the health care defeat - and are hoping to win some Democratic votes.

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Recovery efforts begin as Florida Keys residents are allowed to return home

Roads and bridges leading to the Upper Florida Keys were declared safe enough for residents to head home. Though hurricane Irma did not hit the region with as much force as was initially predicted, the recovery process is expected to be long and arduous.

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Post-Katrina lessons for Harvey's returning students

As many students in Houston head back to school starting Sept. 11, observers say there is a need for specialized support for both children and teachers. 

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While fears of the worst never materialized, Irma brings flooding as it passes over Florida

As hurricane Irma heads north, it brings with it power outages and floodwaters. Rescue efforts are ramping up as communities across Florida are left to deal with damages and debris left by the record-breaking hurricane.

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Annual 9/11 commemoration service set for Ground Zero memorial plaza

Thousands of visitors are expected today at the site of the former World Trade Center in New York. President Trump and the first lady will be in attendance and Vice President Mike Pence will be speaking at the memorial service held in Shankville, Pa.

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International community pulls together to provide aid for Irma-hit Caribbean

As hurricane Irma passes over Florida and hurricane Jose heads out to sea, various international governments prepare to provide aid for and continue to evacuate citizens from the Caribbean.

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For those fleeing Irma, relief, gratitude, and sometimes guilt

More than 6 million Floridians and Georgians fled hurricane Irma – one of the largest evacuations in US history. Those who can't find a hotel room or place to stay are braving Irma on the highways, bringing whole kennels, horses, the elderly, and babies.

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Residents of US Virgin Islands dig out and help each other after hurricane Irma

St. John and St. Thomas residents recount tales of survival and resilience as the eye of one of the largest Atlantic Ocean hurricanes passed directly overhead.

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With aid deal, Trump creates his own roadmap for handling gridlock

Instead of working behind the scenes to bring players on both sides of the issue together, Trump publicly sided with Democrats, catching his own team off guard. No one on either side is necessarily counting on this trend to last, but it offered a way forward. 

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Venezuela: Do US sanctions seek regime change? Maybe not in the short term ...

To Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro, the harsh economic sanctions, coupled with Trump's threat to use force, sounded like a bid for regime change. But it's a longer and more complex process, say analysts.

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Wildfires threaten much of US West despite a wet winter

Unusual weather patterns and other natural events have caused a record setting fire season across the US West Coast this year. Smoke and ash have spread into Nevada and Colorado raising air quality concerns. Fire crews from a number of states and other government agencies have been working together at full force to combat the blazes. 

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Harvey aid inclusion in the budget garners bi-partisan support

In a deal President Trump struck with Democratic leaders that includes aid for hurricane Harvey heads to the House Friday. Though the deal could lead to continued cooperation across the aisles, some Republicans feel the partnership is short-term.

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Amid Harvey recovery, small businesses roll up sleeves and get back to work

As the nation gears up for another major storm bearing down on Florida, and continues to assess the damage from Harvey, small businesses are helping lead the city’s recovery – providing not only helping hands in the rebuilding effort, but a precious sense of normality.

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DACA decision highlights the allure – and pitfalls – of executive authority

When Congress fails to act, presidents often take matters into their own hands. But there's a catch: Executive actions can be easily overturned by the next president.

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Trump and the Democrats: How day-time drama enraged GOP viewers

Trump’s sudden affinity for deals with Democrats Schumer and Pelosi has aggravated raw divisions in his own party. It may even force a long-building final confrontation between GOP activist and establishment factions.

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Why are we so mad about football?

A year characterized by polarization has thrown the contradictions in America’s biggest sport into even sharper relief. 

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Irma shows its strength as most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane ever

As hurricane Irma moves toward Florida, Governor Scott declared a state of emergency to evacuate parts of the Miami metro area and the Florida Keys. 

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DeVos proposes changes to Obama-era Title IX enforcement

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says current procedures for handling sexual assault complaints on college campuses 'aren't working' and plans to share major revisions on how Title IX policies will be enforced on Thursday.

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Illinois funding law levels the playing field for students

Signed by the governor last week, the legislation changes the funding formula for each district, but also includes a controversial $75 million scholarship tax credit program for private school tuition.

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To teach students who've experienced trauma, first make them feel safe

Julio Alicea uses the poetry of rap music and 'classroom constitutions' to build relationships with the teens he teaches in Rhode Island. Individualized attention and nurturing are key to their growth, he suggests.

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Rush to war? How North Korea sanctions have not been exhausted.

Defying a popular image of North Koreans as scraping by on rice, a new class of moneyed elites drives luxury cars and shops in pricey stores. And that, say some experts, creates a vulnerability to sanctions on imports that could pressure the regime.

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Demographic tables turn as white Christians now minority in US

Though Christians still make up a majority of the US population, the number of white Christians has fallen, says a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute. The survey results reflect changing demographics within the US.

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Houston's small businesses struggle to reopen after Harvey

While larger box stores have the resources to rebuild, family owned businesses face a loss of customers, infrastructure, and funds as they work to get back on their feet. 

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