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Christian Science Monitor | USA



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Presidential persuasion: So far, the art eludes Trump

The irony is that the image Trump has long sold – the dealmaker, the negotiator, and the guy who gets everybody in the room to ‘yes’ – might be somebody America could really use at the moment.

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Chicago to students: What are your plans after graduation? No, really.

Starting with the class of 2020, graduating seniors at Chicago Public Schools will need a job offer, college acceptance, or other evidence of a postsecondary plan in order to receive their diploma.

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Trump, concerned about leaks, has a private conversation with Putin

In the midst of Russian meddling investigations, President Trump's top advisers say there's a lack of clear policy when it comes to dealing with Moscow and President Putin. 

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Human rights group petitions on behalf of Hawaii's fishermen

An investigation revealed hundreds of men from impoverished Southeast Asian and Pacific nations working as fishermen are exempt from basic labor protections due to a federal loophole. Many may make as little as 70 cents an hour.

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Most Americans think government should provide health care, new poll reports

A recent poll from AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 62 percent of Americans – up from 52 percent in March – believe the federal government is responsible to ensure that citizens have health care.

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GOP challenge: Reforming widely accepted 'safety net' programs

As safety-net programs have expanded, there is more political pressure to keep those benefits – even as fiscal pressure is mounting to reduce the cost.

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House panel vote paves way for self-driving cars to reach marketplace sooner

Concerned over a spike in road deaths, lawmakers work on a bill that would allow automakers to deploy up to 100,000 self-driving vehicles without needing to meet existing auto safety standards.

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House panel plows ahead on controversial budget with tax reform in sight

The GOP's budget plan announced Wednesday, which promises to cut over $5 trillion in spending by 2027, still faces doubts from both conservatives and moderates. 

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How cities are helping former felons get stable housing

Providence, R.I., and New Orleans have begun to rethink 'one strike' rules that have prevented ex-offenders from getting into public housing.

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Students caught in the middle of for-profit college debate ask, 'What now?'

Rule revisions set to take effect July 1 were put on hold by the Department of Education, offering a reprieve for some institutions that feel maligned but leaving students expecting assistance with loans feeing uncertain about the future.

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Health care: The promise, and the perils, of bipartisanship

The unraveling of Republicans' go-it-alone approach could well end up involving Democrats in the search for a solution to rising premiums and insurers pulling out of the Affordable Care Act.

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South Carolina debuts a new model for bridging racial divides

The South Carolina Collaborative for Race and Reconciliation, based at the University of South Carolina, will launch 'welcome tables' around the state this fall.

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New report finds US college students taking more loans, parents paying less

While parent spending on student tuition dropped 6 percent – the lowest number since 2009 – student borrowing jumped by the same percentage, according to Sallie Mae's 10th annual 'How America Pays for College' report released Monday.

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Trump administration extends Iran nuclear deal with caution

After a series of discussions Monday, the Trump administration officially extended the Iran nuclear deal, although not without casting doubt on Iran's commitment to the deal's terms.

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GOP health care plan needs Millennials, but they're not buying it

Despite debate in Washington, some young adults are skeptical about health care insurance, no matter the cost. 

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Meet a new breed of prosecutor

From Texas to Florida to Illinois, many of these young prosecutors are eschewing the death penalty, talking rehabilitation as much as punishment, and often refusing to charge people for minor offenses. While their numbers are small, they are taking over DA offices at a crucial moment.

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Beyond the headlines: How all sides are working together on campus sexual assault rules

Groups involved in protecting the rights of victims and the accused are seeking other avenues, such as state legislation, to address fairness in enforcement 

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For foreign reporters, hints of 'House of Cards' in 'Trump Show'

The story isn’t just about a flamboyant businessman who improbably winds up in the White House. It’s also about the small towns and cultural diversity of a vast nation.

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Diluted travel ban is weakened further in Hawaii court ruling

A Hawaii judge ruled Thursday to expand the list of ‘bona fide’ relationships with US citizens or entities that a citizen of one of six Muslim-majority countries must have to be considered for a new visa.  

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US considers new sanctions on Chinese banks to address North Korea threat

Next week, US and Chinese officials will convene to discuss economic policy. That meeting will heavily influence what kind of pressure the US will put on China to address tensions with North Korea.

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Why GOP Senate bill is ‘a long way’ from repealing Obamacare

What has emerged after more than 60 repeal attempts under President Obama is a GOP plan that keeps the broad structure of the Affordable Care Act.

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Trump is back in Europe: Why the continent suddenly appeals

Accepting a flattering invitation from French President Emmanuel Macron offered more than just a respite from Washington. It was a chance to nurture a relationship that both leaders are coming to value, built on 'common issues of deep importance.'

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House pushes GI Bill expansions for college-bound veterans

A bipartisan deal announced on Thursday modernizes the GI Bill, expanding financial contributions and flexibility for veterans to pursue higher education opportunities.

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On reworked health care bill, GOP hopes senators can ‘embrace progress’

A revamped bill proposed by Senator McConnell on Thursday will require the support of several opposing republicans to pass its ‘do-or-die’ vote next week.

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Wanted: Teachers willing to work 'in the middle of nowhere'

Rural school districts may not have gyms or Thai food, but a variety of programs aim to show young teachers they can make a real difference in small town America.

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Among Trump voters, is there a tipping point?

Interviews with Trump voters in Georgia and Texas suggest that part of the president’s enduring appeal hinges on the nature of how they see America’s role in the world and the depth of their personal support for the president.

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Looking for leaders in physics education? Try New Jersey.

Schools in the Garden State are changing the order of science classes in high school and recruiting more teachers. As a result, more diverse students are getting access to physics – and liking it. 

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Yellen to Congress: interest rates will continue to rise

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says the economy has improved and no longer needs recession-era support from the central bank. Economists expect rates to go up one more time this year.

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FBI candidate Wray to face questions on independence in confirmation hearing

President Trump’s pick for FBI Director, Christopher Wray, will face his confirmation hearing Wednesday and will likely be pressed on his independence from the White House, though supporters assure that ‘he’s no one’s minion.’ 

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US missile defense test successful as North Korea tensions rise

Since North Korea's successful missile launch on July 4, world powers have scrambled to find a way to negotiate concerns about nuclear power. Could the recent US missile defense success reduce the fear on the negotiation table?

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For conservatives, health-care choice trumps other values

An amendment sponsored by Sen. Ted Cruz favors the ability to choose no-frills insurance plans instead of being forced to pay a penalty or buy a plan with certain benefits, as mandated under the Affordable Care Act.

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Trump’s challenges escalate, with son’s email of ‘love’ for Russia help

In a newly released email from June 2016, Donald Trump Jr. voiced eagerness to gain Russian-government dirt on Hillary Clinton. Here's why the news may mark a turning point in the Trump-Russia saga.

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Black gun owners ask: Does the Second Amendment apply to us?

There's evidence that black gun ownership has spiked since the 2016 campaign began. While white Americans have led the liberalization of gun laws in the past decade, black gun carry is becoming a test of constitutional agency.

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Mary Matsuda Gruenewald graduates from her high school – 74 years later

The 92-year-old's story of graduation delayed is more than just another feel-good tale of a plucky senior citizen, says the principal of Vashon High.

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Sanction China over North Korea? The case for and against.

'Secondary sanctions' on countries doing business with Iran helped bring that country to the table, say some analysts. But China's own concerns over North Korea likely outweigh any fears of lost trade with the US, say others.

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Despite inconvenience, Penn Station repairs start smoothly

As repairs began Monday, hundreds of thousands of daily commuters traveled on packed and slow trains. Despite the first day's confusion, commuters and repair officials are optimistic about the summer project's success. 

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One test case for voter fraud vs. suppression: Sparta, Ga.

Georgia has become a major test case for a nation seeking to balance fraud concerns against the constitutional right to vote.

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New opioid court uses rigorous intervention methods to address epidemic

The nation's first opioid crisis intervention court in Buffalo, N.Y., gets users into treatment faster in efforts to simply keep defendants alive. The program could provide a model for other cities searching for solutions to rampant drug addictions.

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Secretary Tillerson heads to Qatar to ease crisis and restore damaged ties

In his first shuttle diplomacy mission, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wants to explore possibilities for bringing all sides of the Qatar crisis to the negotiating table.

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How Cleveland has become a leader in trying to eradicate human trafficking

Behind various efforts by the heartland city are a few individuals who are striving to chip away at a problem that many experts believe receives too little attention in society.

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US employers add robust 222K jobs in June despite slow-growing economy

Friday's jobs report suggested that after eight years of a grinding but resilient recovery, companies still have room to hire at a healthy pace. 

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Why journalism is shifting away from 'objectivity'

Amid the unusual pressures of the Trump era, some are advocating a more interpretive or even combative approach to journalism – and argue that will do more to help society.

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US teen tobacco use declines

Public health advocates are encouraged by the recent figures, but say there is more work to be done.

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Trump hasn't changed Syria policy. To defeat ISIS, some think he should.

Even as the US, through its allies, becomes a de facto occupier of more Syrian territory and faces an increasing risk of clashes, its policy is not addressing the root causes of the civil war, some experts say.

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Growing acceptance of interracial marriage in US

In 2017, 39 percent of Americans said interracial marriage was a good thing for society, up from 24 percent in 2010.

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Threat of North Korea missiles strains US-China relations

In the wake of North Korea's nuclear missile launch, the US looked to China for a response. But China is hesitant to risk its relationship with North Korea, which relies on China for 90 percent of its trade.

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Why states pass budgets despite rising political divide

Even Illinois finally put partisan wrangling aside to raise taxes and begin digging itself out of a deep fiscal hole. But polarization is growing in state politics.

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'Last Chance' schools prove to be best chance for struggling students

Alternative high schools, such as one in Boston, offer lessons in how to reach students who might otherwise drop out.

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College after prison? New Louisiana law makes it easier.

Louisiana is the first state to prohibit public universities from asking applicants about their criminal histories, the latest development in a growing movement to "ban the box" on college applications. 

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New York officials call for vigilance after 'unprovoked' fatal shooting of a police officer

Officer Miosotis Familia is one of 24 officers that have been killed by gunfire since the start of 2017, marking a 20 percent increase for the period compared to last year. 

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