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Preview: Christian Science Monitor | USA

Christian Science Monitor | USA



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Trump's plan to end health care subsidy could yield unintended consequence

Policy experts suggest that shutting down a major 'Obamacare' health insurance subsidy could mean free basic coverage would be available to more people. 

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'Casting couch' or 'crime scene'? Hollywood's culture of sexual harassment

The words society chooses to use to describe sexual harassment and assault can tint the lens the public uses to assign judgment, belief, or blame, experts say. They can help foster a culture of silence and compliance – or they can empower the vulnerable.

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Trump and the nuclear button: Does presidential authority need curbs?

The president’s behavior, including comments such as readiness to rain ‘fire and fury’ on North Korea, have prompted some public officials to voice concerns about the risk inherent in a single individual being able to order a strike. 

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Letter from Las Vegas: a first-timer's view of the gun range

For reasons personal and professional, I wanted to shoot a gun for the first time – and join the 72 percent of US adults who already have.

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Hawaii judge blocks travel ban for the third time

United States District Judge Derrick Watson blocked the third travel ban issued by President Trump hours before it took full effect.

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How Amazon's boom brought growing pains to Seattle

As Amazon looks for a new city to host its second headquarters, Seattle provides a cautionary tale. Issues such as housing prices and traffic have forced many lower- and middle-income families outside the city limits.

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Trump rescinds support for bipartisan Senate health care deal

President Trump reverses remarks he made earlier in the week and backs off support for a bipartisan health care deal, putting passage of the legislation in jeopardy.

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How Stockton, Calif., has resisted political polarization

Stockton – and the San Joaquin Valley in general – provide a window on an increasingly rare phenomenon: what happens when people with a broad range of histories, ethnicities, and ideologies rely on one another.

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Countering US-Russian acrimony, one dialogue at a time

US-Russia ties may be at their worst in decades. But a meeting of ‘citizen diplomats’ from both countries highlighted the value of face-to-face conversations – and listening.

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Grit and the gridiron rescue a town

Residents of Refugio, Texas, defying a hurricane’s destruction, rallied around a football team and each other.

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Las Vegas community creates a garden to mourn and heal

A plot of land slated to be a dog park has now been turned into a community garden, thanks to more than 1,000 volunteers who wanted to create a place where their Las Vegas community could honor and remember those who lost their lives in the mass shooting.

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Trump's travel ban in court (again), but with a difference

The administration's latest effort to block immigration from six majority-Muslim nations has no expiration date. So the legal review promises to resolve a hot controversy over alleged discrimination.

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Women join forces against sexual assault with 'me too' social media campaign

Actress Alyssa Milano asked her social media followers to tweet 'me too,' if they have ever suffered sexual harassment or assault as claims against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein continue to come forward.

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Moderate Republicans push for restoring health care subsidy

Sen. Susan Collins (R) of Maine, among other moderate Republicans, search for a bipartisan path forward on health care after President Trump abruptly halted federal payments to insurers.

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Maine's Susan Collins: Duty, bipartisan outlook drove decision to stay in Senate

The Republican senator is not running for governor because of the enormity of the issues facing the US and her role as a bridge builder, she told the Monitor in an exclusive interview.

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Trump's move on Iran deal? At its core, a compromise with his cabinet.

Trump decides to 'decertify,' but not scuttle, the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal, illustrating both how the president is at odds with his top advisers, and what are the limits of their influence.

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Campus sexual assault: Should restorative justice be an option?

The approach – which includes facilitated discussions – shows potential for bringing closure to survivors and stopping repeat offenses. But critics say it's not appropriate for such a violent crime.

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If children are bullies, parents could pay the price

In a small town in New York, parents can now be jailed and fined if their children bully other children. Lawmakers says it is an attempt to hold parents accountable for their children's behavior if they are not already making some kind of effort to do so. 

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Social Security benefits set for modest increase

The average beneficiary should expect to see about a $25 monthly increase next year, to account for the rising cost of living.

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As Californians evacuate wildfire areas, volunteers race to help the four-footed, too

Northern California is big horse country. Residents worked together to evacuate hundreds of horses, cows, and even yaks from areas threatened by wildfires after owners fled. One woman raised $8,000 to cover food and care costs for rescued animals.

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US to withdraw from UNESCO, claiming anti-Israel bias

The US owes about $550 million in back payments since it stopped funding the educational, scientific, and cultural agency of the United Nations after UNESCO voted to include Palestine as a member state in 2011. 

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Trump takes executive action against Obamacare, but at what political cost?

An executive order could allow insurers to offer less-than-full medical coverage, which are likely to draw healthier Americans from more expensive plans that help subsidize coverage.

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In Utah, major forest fire fuels push for state, not federal control

The costliest fire in Utah's history came this summer, after locals had warned for years that the US Forest Service was mismanaging public land and making it more vulnerable to catastrophic blazes. Now state leaders are asking Washington to return that power to the states.

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Out of options, rural communities turn to charters to keep schooling local

Although not without controversy, rural charter schools are seen by residents as a way to maintain community cohesiveness and culture in the face of school closures.

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Puerto Rico's children: a focus of concern ... and source of inspiration

Even as educators and psychologists watch for signs of the emotional toll on children in Maria's aftermath, many Puerto Ricans say young people are demonstrating a desire to give in the midst of so much loss.

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Disaster aid for hurricanes, wildfires set to be approved by House

Despite his criticisms of Puerto Rico, President Trump has requested aid for the territory hit hard by hurricanes, along with aid for Florida, Texas, and California. The House is set to approve $36.5 billion of disaster relief.

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Boy Scouts will admit girls in 2018

Boy Scouts of America has steered through monumental changes in recent years. It's announcement that it will recruit girls to join its troops is the biggest surprise yet, drawing ire from the Girls Scouts.

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Presidential supporters: We are OK with an immigration deal

Recent polls – and discussions with Americans who back the president – suggest an openness to Mr. Trump negotiating legislation that would allow young, undocumented DACA immigrants to stay in the US.

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Is Harvey recovery changing the way Texas defines fiscal responsibility?

As the eastern part of the state recovers from Harvey, the costliest storm in US history, flood-prevention measures that had stalled due to lack of funding are now priorities for some Republican lawmakers.

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How Trump's tax plan could affect mortgage interest deduction

President Trump proposes double the standard deduction for mortgages but only if homeowners don't take itemized deductions. Only homes worth $801,000 or more would qualify for the deduction. Those who do itemize, could end up paying more taxes.

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'Buy American' expands to include US drone manufacturers

President Trump is expected to relax regulations on US-built drones to help the industry compete on a global scale. While US drones are the gold standard for quality and technology, strict sales regulations have severely limited their markets. 

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Majority of Americans support Dreamers staying in the US, poll says

Americans have largely negative opinions about President Trump's immigration policies, which include deporting Dreamers and building a wall along the US-Mexico border. 

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Northern Californians come to terms with wildfire devastation

As fire crews continue to work around the clock, some California residents are slowly returning to the sites of their damaged or destroyed homes. The fires moved across seven counties with surprising ferocity giving evacuees and first responders just minutes of warning.  

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Soccer stunner: Trinidad and Tobago knocks out US in World Cup qualifier

For the first time since 1986, the United States men's national soccer team will miss the 2018 World Cup after a 2-1 defeat against Trinidad and Tobago in the qualifying round.

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Could smaller, local measures offer a way forward on gun control?

Examples that could serve as models range from state efforts to take guns from domestic abusers to intensive intervention with urban gangs. But implementation on a national scale could be a challenge.

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Amid Evangelical decline, growing split between young Christians and church elders

The number of white evangelical Protestants fell from about 23 percent of the US population in 2006 to 17 percent in 2016, and only 11 percent are under 30, according to a survey of more than 100,000 Americans.

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In Puerto Rico mountains, more than muddy roads delay relief efforts

As civilian and military officials work to bring supplies to 'forgotten' residents of Puerto Rico's hard-hit hinterlands, personal and partisan rivalries over who gets to claim credit for delivering the relief are slowing the process.

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Northern California battles historic rash of deadly wildfires

The wildfires engulfed a 200-mile region, forcing residents to evacuate. Santa Rosa, Calif., was the hardest hit.

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America's split-screen economy

By most statistical measures, the US is near full employment. But many people still feel anxious. What's behind the dichotomy and how it's changing the culture of the workplace. 

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Will Senate lose its last remaining pragmatists?

The departures of Republicans Susan Collins, John McCain, and Bob Corker – all known for working across the aisle – along with several red-state Democrats, would be another blow to the Senate's political center.

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New route: A bus takes learning to places where the streets are deadly

With the Self-Determination Bus Project, a San Francisco-based nonprofit hopes to address safety issues that keep adults from earning their high school diplomas.

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San Juan residents pitch in with cleanup, lifting their own spirits

Puerto Rican society is starting to mirror the island’s jarring post-Maria natural landscape, where the ghostly gray-brown of wind-slashed tropical trees is already being overtaken by the iridescent green of emphatic new growth.

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'Blade Runner 2049': Why some science fiction writers are tired of dystopias

The long-awaited sequel to 1982's 'Blade Runner' seems inspired by present-day concerns. But amid the grim apocalyptic narratives, authors such as Neal Stephenson and Cory Doctorow argue that futuristic fiction should leave room for optimism and vision.

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New immigration principles could hinder DACA deal

The White House was expected to endorse principles of the Davis-Oliver bill, which aims to give local law enforcement officials the power to enforce immigration laws and allow states to write their own immigration legislation, among others. 

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Budget plan sets the stage for Republican tax reform

A budget plan passed the House, signaling another step toward the Republican's goal of tax reform. While it is intended to pave the way for the upcoming tax debates, it also promises major cuts to social programs.

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Racial gaps in education: How much do voters care?

A study finds that school board reelections are tied to achievement of white students, even in heavily minority districts. It highlights a need for public understanding about a stubborn problem.

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Gun control: where glimmers of compromise may be appearing

In the wake of the Las Vegas massacre, a briefing on background checks, what's happening in Washington and state capitols, and initiatives at the retail level.

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Why gun experts don’t support banning – or buying – ‘bump stocks’

Twelve of the 23 guns found in the Las Vegas shooter’s hotel room were retrofitted with an add-on that allows a semiautomatic weapon to mimic the action of an automatic, according to the ATF. The buzz surrounding these add-ons follows a now-familiar pattern.

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Trump looks for a way out of periodic review of Iran deal

US officials are focusing on finding a way for Trump to avoid looking as if he is approving the accord every 90 days.

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Self-driving cars face more obstacles than the ones on the road

Safety advocates are still holding up a 'stop' sign as lawmakers work to expand the self-driving car market in the US.

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