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Christian Science Monitor | USA



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The Trump era begins

How far will Donald Trump shift the US to the right? Enough that it will mark on of the biggest U-turns in a half-century. Maybe. 

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Lack of Latinos in incoming Trump Cabinet draws ire

The lack of Latino appointments means no Hispanic will serve in a president's Cabinet for the first time in nearly three decades.

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Obama commutes prison sentences for 330 before leaving office

The commutations were the most done in a single day, the White House said, and brought the total number of sentences reduced by Obama to 1,715.

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A low-key end to fast-paced presidency on Obama's last day

President Obama didn't appear publicly during the day, and he didn't leave the White House, though he was to accompany Trump at midday Friday to the Capitol for his successor's swearing-in.

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Trump’s inaugural: A chance to use national ‘we’

Trump's aides say his inaugural address will not be too long, and will be a personal statement about the country’s future that is 'less of an agenda' and more of a 'vision of where he sees the country.'

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What do inauguration protesters hope to accomplish?

Americans from around the country are marching, dancing, and protesting against President-elect Donald Trump in Washington, D.C. this week. How effective are these public demonstrations?

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Is watching Fox News the ultimate conservative calling card?

In a Pew Research Center survey, 40 percent of Donald Trump voters say they got the bulk of their information from Fox News. Why some experts say those numbers aren't accurate.

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Why suspected steroid users are now getting into the Baseball Hall of Fame

Professional baseball writers are softening their views on players suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs. It's a shift some say is representative of American attitudes about the MLB's 'Steroids Era.' 

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In last 48 hours as president, Obama underscores parting messages

As the clock winds down on the Obama presidency, he sends a message of optimism and hope, while indicating the issues that might draw him back into the political fray.

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Another wave of bomb threats hits US Jewish community centers

"These are individuals or groups that want to disrupt our way of life," Paul Goldenberg, the national director of the Secure Community Network, which advises Jewish groups, told Reuters. 

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Who’s showing up to protest in Washington this weekend?

Women are taking the lead on protests. But the inauguration weekend could draw some unexpected faces.

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Is China the new world champion of free trade? Not so fast.

At Davos, President Xi thrilled the world's economic elites by warning against protectionism and extolling free trade. But economists and Asia experts say China's vision of globalization differs sharply from America's.

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What to expect from Rick Perry’s confirmation hearings

The former Texas governor faces a critical test, as the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources weighs his fitness as potential head of the Department of Energy.

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As Trump's 'roll-back cabinet' takes charge, lessons from Reagan era

Today’s president-elect may not have the ideological purity of Reagan, but many of his cabinet choices are just as conservative, if not more so. And they could have big impact. 

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U.S Army to begin environmental study of Dakota pipeline

Protests over the controversial pipeline have continued for months over fears that it desecrates sacred ground and could contaminate drinking water. Over 600 people have been arrested.

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What’s in a name? Supreme Court to decide 'offensive' band name case

The Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday about trademarking the name of Asian-American band 'The Slants.' Perceived as offensive by some, the band’s leader sees it differently.

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For some, Trump Tower has become a place of pilgrimage

Ahead of Inauguration Day, Trump supporters have come to Trump Tower, seeing it as a White House away from Washington.

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Can Washington's Democrats and Republicans come together on capital punishment?

Washington State's top officials proposed a bipartisan bill that would repeal capital punishment, marking a unified effort on an issue that historically has found more favor in the liberal camp. 

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Trump to enter office as least popular president in 40 years

No prior US president, stretching back at least four decades, has arrived on his Inauguration Day with less support.

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Why the Secret Service will shell out $24 million to black agents

The agreement settles a protracted legal battle from 2000 initiated by 10 black agents who claimed Secret Service practices had violated the civil rights of black agents for decades.

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The importance of being Josh Earnest

Mr. Earnest, President Obama's spokesman, has a warning for his successor: Those tweets could undermine your message.

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Obama’s approval rating is the highest since his first year in office

Despite widely partisan politics, Obama closes out his White House tenure with a 60 percent approval rating, suggesting that the political center continues to support him as president.

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In last major speech, Vice President Biden warns against Russia

Vice President Joe Biden, one of the most beloved and controversial US vice presidents, appealed to global leaders at the World Economic Forum to stand up to Russia.

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Obama commutes sentence of Chelsea Manning. What's next for Julian Assange?

In releasing Chelsea Manning nearly three decades early, the outgoing Obama administration will test promises made by Julian Assange.

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Partisan opposition flares up at Betsy DeVos confirmation hearing

Democrats took aim at President-elect Trump's pick for Secretary of Education at the Senate hearing Tuesday, accusing her of working against public schools and using her wealth to advance conservative policies.

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Was Barack Obama a transformative president?

Trump threatens to undo key parts of Obama's legacy, but there are elements he can never take away.

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Repealing Obamacare without a replacement could leave 18 million Americans uninsured

Spotlighting potential perils for Republicans, a report Tuesday immediately became a flashing hazard light for this year's effort by Donald Trump and GOP lawmakers to annul Obama's law and — in a more complicated challenge — institute their own alternative.

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Interior Secretary nominee Rep. Ryan Zinke talks climate change at confirmation hearing

In contradicting Trump, Rep. Ryan Zinke cited Glacier National Park in his home state as a prime example of the effects of climate change, noting that glaciers there have receded in his lifetime and even from one visit to the next.

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Trump isn't the first president to distrust US intelligence

Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford all resented the CIA, but they learned to work with it when unexpected crises hit.

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Obama grants clemency to Chelsea Manning, taking decades off the former soldier's sentence

A former Army intelligence analyst, Manning has been serving a 35-year sentence for leaking more than 700,000 classified government and military documents to WikiLeaks, along with some battlefield video.

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Widow of Orlando nightclub shooter charged: What does it mean to aid and abet a terrorist?

Noor Salman, whose husband Omar Mateen rampaged through an LGBT nightclub last summer, killing 49, faces the possibility of life in prison.

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Is an inauguration performance a political statement?

Some say the participation of high-profile musicians in Donald Trump's presidential inauguration concert implicitly supports the president-elect and his rhetoric. Others don't see it that way. 

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Arizona ethnic studies bill and what it means to be American

An Arizona bill that would ban ethnic studies and social justice classes at state universities revives an enduring – and increasingly partisan – debate about what it means for the US to be a multicultural nation.

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North Dakota bill would protect drivers who hit protesters obstructing traffic

State GOP Rep. Keith Kempenich is pushing legislation that would exempt from liability drivers who unintentionally injure or kill pedestrians obstructing traffic on public roads.

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Does greater school choice lead to less segregation?

Statistics suggest that charter schools and vouchers aren't a solution to segregated schools. In some cases, they can actually make it worse. 

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Amid plagiarism scandal, Monica Crowley bows out of national security job

The political commentator and foreign policy adviser had been picked by President-elect Donald Trump to serve as senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council.

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Study: US abortions now at lowest rate since Roe v. Wade

A survey released Tuesday by the Guttmacher Institute found that the annual number of abortions in the United States has dropped to the lowest rate since 1974. 

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Consumer watchdog is a Trump target ... eventually

Republicans are eager to replace the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But Trump has higher economic priorities, and Democrats are poised to fight for its current head, Richard Cordray.

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Trump's big foreign policy shift: looser ties with Europe

In a weekend interview that shocked European leaders, the president-elect expressed indifference to EU disintegration and reiterated campaign rhetoric that NATO was 'obsolete.' 

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How young activists are reclaiming a more radical version of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King's disruptive tactics once earned him a reputation for divisiveness among most of the American public.

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In urgent race to repeal Obamacare, rifts emerge in push for speedy reform

President-elect Donald Trump and many GOP lawmakers have repeatedly called for an immediate repeal of the Affordable Care Act, but others are urging caution, wary of the political repercussions that could follow a rushed repeal.

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Days before Trump inauguration, writers gather to celebrate the power of language

Instead of wielding signs and chanting, the participants in the Writers Resist movement joined around the world to use prose passages and poems as a form of protest.

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White House news conferences out of the White House: more access or less press?

The Trump transition team is considering moving White House news conferences out of the building, sparking fears it will diminish the role of the White House press corps. 

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Is the new 'silencer' gun bill a matter of public safety?

Silencers, or suppressors, can protect a shooter's hearing while also reducing recoil, advocates say.

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How SNL parodied Trump's press conference

Saturday Night Live's cold open sketch, starring Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump, touched on a number of contentious issues surrounding the president-elect's transition. 

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Could new 'clip-on' evidence help crack the D.B. Cooper case?

Three amateur scientists given access to the clip-on tie left behind on the hijacked plane found more than 1,000 particles on it, which they say could lead to the true identity of the infamous skyjacker. 

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How mentoring helps Aboriginal teens create new futures

Ninety-three percent of AIME’s 12th-grade Aboriginal students graduated from high school, exceeding Australia's overall graduation rate.

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NFL Playoffs: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs

The final game of the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs may turn out to be the weekend’s best as the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Kansas City.

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For many, problems with Obamacare are personal, not partisan (+video)

Many Americans are conflicted on Obamacare. They like what it does for others but say it is too expensive and doesn't offer good options for them.

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Terror and the Mexico border: How big a threat?

Conservatives and the Obama administration have long disagreed about the threat of terrorists coming across the Mexico border. Data suggest the threat is not insignificant. Now, the Trump administration is poised to make it a priority. 

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