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Christian Science Monitor | USA



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Even with worker shortages, GOP and Democrats focus on more jobs

White House economist Kevin Hassett says Congress should stay focused on countering the decline in the share of Americans in the workforce. Many Democrats agree.

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Jury finds Bill Cosby guilty in sexual assault retrial

In the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era, Bill Cosby was convicted of drugging and molesting a woman in 2004. Five other women testified during the retrial that Cosby had assaulted them as well, a fraction of the more than 60 who have accused the former TV star.

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Real ID: what Americans should expect

If you don't have a passport, you'll soon need a Real ID in order to fly. Preparations are under way for broad enforcement beginning in 2020. Here's what you need to know.

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Federal court blocks overhaul of Florida system restoring voting rights

A federal appeals court blocked a lower court ruling that mandated Florida create a new process for restoring voting rights to former prisoners. The lower court ruled in February that the state's current system is unconstitutional and arbitrary.

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Migrant children in critical need of welfare policies, US Senate finds

The removal of a number of policies safeguarding minors who cross the United States-Mexico border has endangered hundreds of children, according to a Senate subcommittee. To prevent further harm, officials are calling on a return to these protections.

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Arizona bands together to care for students during teacher strike

Communities in Arizona are preparing for a historic teacher walkout that will leave thousands of students out of school. 'Everybody is banding together and helping each other,' says one Arizona working mom. 

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Native Youth Olympics celebrates indigenous culture through sports

The games opened Thursday in Anchorage, Alaska and include challenges like the Seal Hop and the Scissor Broad Jump, which play to the skills needed in subsistence hunting. For contestants from across the state, the event is an opportunity to connect through culture. 

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Life of first-time candidate: 16-hour days, piles of paperwork – and enthusiasm

Jessica Morse, running in California's Fourth District, is one of hundreds of first-time candidates, mostly Democrats, hoping to win US House seats this cycle. Many face long odds – but experts say this could be a year that favors newcomers.

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In a New Orleans school, improving outcomes one student at a time

Both the Orleans Parish School Board and the Louisiana Department of Education describe The NET as one of the state’s best alternative schools. Caring for the whole student is key to the model, the principal says.

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Narrow win in Arizona House race unsettles GOP

The GOP held onto an Arizona House seat that previously was seen as an entirely secure seat. The narrow victory signaled to Republicans that even some of the reddest districts may be in play come November. 

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US has cut inflow of refugees to a trickle, dousing hopes upstream

Before President Trump took office, as part of a program with bipartisan support, the US had been the largest taker of refugees living in Jordan. In 2016, the US took in 23,657; last year, 3,686. This year's target is 3,000, but UN officials say privately the real number could be closer to zero.

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As Supreme Court hears travel ban, questions of presidential authority also on docket

The principal legal debates over the travel ban have focused on two questions: whether the Trump administration has exceeded its lawful authority; and whether, by excluding nationals from five Muslim-majority countries, the executive order violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

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Trump-Macron: True partners, or just friends?

Amid the fanfare of a state visit, what President Macron may be about to learn is whether his winning shows of strength translate into concrete results on matters of concern to France, especially when dealing with the 'America First' president.

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Can Trump counter Mueller by handing out pardons?

Presidential pardon power is so broad, some legal scholars say, it even allows for pardons issued with 'corrupt intent.' Now, Democrats are moving to head off any potential efforts by President Trump to wield the power in ways that might undercut federal investigations. 

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Mississippi's pretrial jail terms among the longest in the nation

More than one-third of defendants jailed before trial in Mississippi spend 90 or more days incarcerated, according to a recent survey by the MacArthur Justice Center at the University of Mississippi. Inability to pay for bail or hire lawyers are some reasons for the delays.

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Urban Democrats see new opportunities in midterm elections

While President Trump still has a strong following in rural regions, his support in urban areas is less certain. From Dallas to Cincinnati, Democrats are counting on changing demographics to help flip increasingly purple urban districts. 

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A principal's receptionist gathers up troublemakers with 'Queens in Pearls' mentoring group

Angelica Solomon saw girls go in and out of the principal's office daily in her North Carolina middle school. So she founded a mentoring group to correct what she saw as discipline without follow through. 

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Voter redistricting: US Supreme Court to hear third key case of term

In a year marked by several potentially landmark decisions, the most significant could be in the trio of gerrymandering cases the high court has reviewed – the last of which is being argued Tuesday.

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Americans support raises for teachers, poll finds

As teacher strikes crop up across the country, a poll finds that many Americans support more money for teachers, and half would pay higher taxes to do so, according to The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

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Girls receive warm welcome in introduction to Cub Scouts

An 'early adopter' program in New Hampshire has begun to bring girls into the Cub Scouts – the organization that feeds into the Boy Scouts – in advance of a broader national movement. So far, both Scouts and troop leaders have heralded the change. 

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At college decision time, conservatives face tough choices

Amid a growing feeling on the right that academia is shutting out conservative perspectives, new institutions are cropping up around the country to provide alternatives. But some students find that engaging with liberal ideas hones their own viewpoints.

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Bob Corker’s relationship with President Trump: It’s complicated

Senator Corker told reporters at a Monitor Breakfast that he has a ‘very warm relationship’ with the president, but questions his colleagues who aren’t conflicted over the Trump presidency. 

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Denver Post hopes for help from wealthy locals to stay afloat

The Denver Post recently published an editorial criticizing its owner, Digital First Media, and asking to be purchased by local investors. The piece kickstarted a chorus of other voices from publications around the country who have successfully found private backers. 

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Memorial addresses history of lynching in the US

A new memorial for thousands of victims of lynching built by the Equal Justice Initiative is set to open in Montgomery, Ala. The memorial aims to commemorate the lives of victims and encourage discussion regarding the history of lynching in the United States.

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As its beaches recede, Florida shores up private ownership

A new law passed in March sets limits on public access to private beaches. Some conservatives say private beaches should be sacrosanct, pitting them against advocates for customary-use access along Florida's coastline. 

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UW-Madison announces plan to address history of racism

The plan comes out of a working group formed in response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., and aims to acknowledge the university's history and find ways to move forward and increase inclusivity of underrepresented groups.

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Former NFL player Chris Borland helps athletes and veterans adjust to retirement

The former 49er walked away from a promising football career after one year because of concerns over head injuries. Now he helps military veterans and other football players deal with the challenges they share reintegrating into society. 

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Churches struggle with their #MeToo moment

The #MeToo movement has forced Hollywood, Washington, and Wall Street to grapple honestly with patterns of sexual harassment and abuse. Many churches are still struggling to embrace such introspection and the disruption it brings.  

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Diversity on display at tech conference minus 'tech bros'

An alternative cybersecurity conference held this week in San Francisco was notable for its representation of women and minorities who are often absent at such events. Only one in ten cybersecurity workers are women. 

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On 19th anniversary, Columbine asks other schools to remember, not politicize

As students around the nation plan walkouts, Columbine will continue its tradition of commemorating the anniversary of the shooting with a day of service. 

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#MeToo's next challenge: domestic gun violence

The #MeToo movement has empowered thousands of women to tell their stories of harassment and abuse throughout America's workplaces. But advocates say women abused at home often face a more dangerous path.

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Promise of outdoor activities pulls new residents to rural areas

Rural communities with large recreation industries have seen a dramatic rise in population. The trend is part of what drove the overall slight growth of the rural population in the US from 2016 to 2017, even though many rural counties have been shrinking for years. 

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Senate to allow infants into the chamber

The tradition-bound institution voted to allow newborns of senators into the chamber. Though the rules change passed without issue, some senators voiced private concerns about allowing infants inside the chamber.

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Some male sexual assault victims feel left out by #MeToo

In response to the female-dominated #MeToo movement, male sexual assault victims have started tweeting with a #MenToo hashtag. Because of social stigma and feelings of shame, many men don't speak up about their abuse, say experts.

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Teachers engage in online activism in fight for funding

Tired of low wages and a lack of state funding, teachers began sharing their stories online. Their Facebook groups have drawn tens of thousands of members and played a key role in helping to organize demonstrations.

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Even at Starbucks? A conversation grows about hidden racial bias.

Two black men were waiting for a friend, but not making a purchase, in one of the most overtly progressive corporations in the nation. Their arrest, shared widely on social media, puts fresh focus on the challenge of latent racism.

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Why Bob Corker is bucking GOP tribalism, in a Tennessee tradition

At a Monitor breakfast, Tennessee’s retiring US senator sang the praises of the Democrat who hopes to succeed him, former Gov. Phil Bredesen. Their bipartisan collaborations go way back.

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Pompeo for State: Meeting Kim may help sell him as a diplomatic repairman

Pompeo's confirmation as secretary of State is uncertain, but Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, appearing at a Monitor Breakfast, called reports Pompeo met secretly with Kim Jong-un 'a plus.'

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'A real rock:' The one-of-a-kind warmth and steel of Barbara Bush

Mrs. Bush, who died yesterday, was one of the most popular first ladies in US history. She straddled a time when wives of presidents were evolving from a helpmeet model of the past to a more engaged, issue-oriented spouse.

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Laws limiting LGBT rights stall in US legislatures

Only two of the 120 laws being tracked by LGBT activists this year remain under serious consideration, in part due to moderate GOP lawmakers and business leaders' fears of economic backlash. 

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Former first lady Barbara Bush remembered for wit, supportiveness

Barbara Bush, the former first lady and mother of a president, brought an honest, grandmotherly style to Washington as first lady. She described her time in the White House as 'the best job in America.'

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On-campus food pantries help struggling students succeed in school

Across the United States, a growing number of colleges and universities are establishing free food pantries to help students who regularly experience food insecurity make ends meet. 

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Starbucks to close 8,000 US stores for several hours for racial bias training

In response to a racially charged incident inside a Philadelphia Starbucks, the coffee giant will temporarily close all United States company-owned stores on May 29 to conduct training for nearly 175,000 workers. 

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Maple syrup inc.: Vermont’s maple syrup tradition goes high tech, high finance

In the past decade, the Vermont maple syrup industry has boomed, bringing outside investors, private equity firms, and a host of new challenges and opportunities to the Green Mountain State.

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In Puerto Rico, the public pushes for more say in school reform

The government recently announced the closure of 283 schools and a new pilot plan for charter schools and vouchers. Meanwhile, education nonprofits, parent-teacher associations, and teachers’ union members are seeking solutions of their own.

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Nepalese woman prepares for 9th Everest summit

As a young girl, Lhakpa Sherpa would bring gear to Everest base camps, despite women being discouraged from climbing. 'I wanted to show that a woman can do men's jobs.... I climb for all women,' she says. 

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Some California communities say no to 'sanctuary state'

After the Justice Department sued California over its so-called 'sanctuary state' laws that seek to protect undocumented immigrants, some Republican pockets in the otherwise Democratic state are siding with the federal government.

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Mudslide survivors reconnected with treasured personal belongings months later

A Facebook page is helping to connect hundreds of lost items with their owners months after the disastrous Montecito mudslides. Finding personal items can be an important part of recovery in the wake of a traumatic event, say psychology experts.

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Legal question swirls around Trump: What constitutes obstruction of justice?

In a new book, former FBI Director James Comey blasts President Trump over obsession with personal loyalty and possible obstruction of justice. But some scholars say presidents have wide authority over things like investigations and firing officials.

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Forget prom king – they're running for governor

In Kansas, a lack of a minimum age requirement for gubernatorial candidates has led at least six teenagers to throw their hats in the ring – another example of the surging youth movement in politics today.

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