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Christian Science Monitor | USA



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Spy suspect's arrest: What motivates turncoats?

The FBI has charged Jerry Chun Shing Lee, a former CIA officer, with passing secrets that helped Beijing brutally dismantle US espionage operations in China. Along with raising questions about why Mr. Lee would betray America, the arrest also points to the growing Chinese intelligence threat.

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'Mama warrior' helps children of immigrants

Immigration activist Nora Sandigo has accepted responsibility for 1,250 children of immigrants living in the United States illegally. Hundreds of parents have signed power of attorney documents giving her the ability to care for their children if they are detained or deported. 

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Democrats watch Pennsylvania special election race for anti-Trump sentiment

A moderate Democrat and a Trump supporter face off in conservative Pennsylvania in a special congressional election race as Democrats hope for a political renaissance on the heels of sweeping wins in Virginia and a surprise upset in Alabama. 

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On policy, Trump favors one side of red-blue divide

From tax reform to offshore drilling, the Trump administration has made major policy moves that appear to favor red states and penalize blue ones, reflecting the GOP's control of government – and the degree to which the president is focused on his base.

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US and Canada hold summit on North Korean nuclear threat

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets with US allies to discuss cooperation in heightening pressure on North Korea to discontinue weapons development. Russia and China, though closest diplomatically with North Korea, were not invited to the talks.

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False missile alert raises questions about preparedness

A false missile alert sent Hawaii into a panic on Saturday with many people unsure of how to respond. The incident fueled skepticism of the government's ability to alert residents during a real emergency.

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Why presidential language matters

When presidents sort groups of voters – and groups of nations – into categories they like and dislike, the results aren’t always pretty. It’s a tactic that can be wrong, and ineffective, say historians.

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Florida races to accommodate influx of Puerto Rican migrants

Hundreds of thousands of migrants from Puerto Rico continue to arrive in Florida in the aftermath of hurricane Maria. The state is working to resettle these new arrivals, many of whom plan on staying permanently. 

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Californian rescue workers 'searching for a miracle'

Rescue workers continue to search for victims after mudslides crashed into homes early Tuesday morning, as the likelihood of finding victims drops.

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Q&A: In St. Louis, the Rev. Darryl Gray is 'praying with my feet'

'If we can be successful in St. Louis as Dr. King and the civil rights leaders were in Selma, it could change this country, as Selma did.' – The Rev. Darryl Gray, civil rights activist

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Congress raises concerns over Florida drilling exemption

Secretary Zinke's decision to remove Florida from a list of states being considered for offshore drilling has led some lawmakers to question whether the administration has violated federal law. Florida has not opposed the drilling measure, unlike several other states.

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Speaking of America: 'I'm not where I want to be'

After a tumultuous year, a reporter took a cross-country journey to sample Americans' views of their country. Today, a Trump voter in Kentucky finds reason for more hope, but still wants her children to move away. Part 5 of 5.

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Cliven Bundy case: How big a problem is prosecutorial misconduct?

Beyond high-profile examples, such as the dismissal 'with prejudice' this week of the Bundy case, the question of how often prosecutorial misconduct occurs now is open to debate – with a former state attorney calling it a “rare event” and a former federal judge calling it an “epidemic.”

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California mudslides highlight evacuation complexities

Officials faced the difficult task of determining evacuation zones during this week's California mudslides. The mudslides, many in places with voluntary evacuations or no alert at all, killed at least 17 people and destroyed dozens of homes in Santa Barbara County.

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Trump opens path for states to require employment for Medicaid recipients

The Trump administration announced a policy shift that would allow states to enforce work requirements for Medicaid recipients. Ten states have already applied for waivers to require work or community involvement.

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State legislators rework sexual misconduct policies

Sexual harassment policies for state legislatures across the country are currently being reviewed and changed following a rash of complaints against lawmakers in around two dozen states.

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Speaking of America: 'Here, you have the freedom'

After a tumultuous year, a reporter took a cross-country journey to sample Americans' views of their country. Today, how a man escaped war on a boat, and then found a new life as a Louisiana fisherman. Part 4 of 5.

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Why earmarks, deplored by many Republicans, find a new fan in Trump

Allowing members of Congress to insert pet provisions has been a fount of wasteful spending in the past. It can also facilitate dealmaking – now an urgent priority for President Trump.

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On DACA, old political fault lines – but new room for optimism

Some lawmakers say Tuesday's televised negotiations helped them inch toward a deal to aid an estimated 700,000 young people brought illegally to the US as children. Also Tuesday, a federal judge issued an injunction temporarily blocking White House plans to end the DACA program in March.

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In wake of sexual misconduct scandals, mothers of boys focus on developing respect for girls

The recent saga of sexual misconduct scandals that has rocked American society has brought to light a subgroup of women: mothers of boys. These women seek to raise their sons to shun sexist mindsets with the hope that as men they won't condone sexual assault.

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Russian interference in Europe brought to surface by congressional report

A new report by congressional Democrats highlights Russia's increasing interference in Europe and the US who feel the meddling has failed to be addressed by President Trump, despite aggressive countermeasures by other Western democracies.

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Judges strike down North Carolina GOP-drawn voting map

Federal judges determined that North Carolina's congressional district map gave the Republican Party an advantage for most seats and ordered the map to be redrawn immediately. 

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A search for survivors continues after mudslides hit southern California

The communities of Montecito and Carpinteria, which were subject to massive wildfires in the past month, have been hit hardest by recent mudslides in California. Rescue efforts are expected to continue as storms pass and search conditions improve.

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Speaking of America: 'Now, I feel like home'

After a tumultuous year, a reporter took a cross-country journey to sample Americans' views of their country. Today, a survivor of hurricane Harvey reflects on what she has to be grateful for, even after a tough year. Part 3 of 5.

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Oprah 2020? Why the political appeal of celebrities endures.

Oprah Winfrey’s impassioned speech about the #MeToo movement at the Golden Globe Awards lit Democratic hopes and dreams. Part of that may be because voters want to connect with their leaders on an emotional as well as a political level. 

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Gun rights: Bid to federalize concealed carry puts GOP in unfamiliar territory

That a black single mom has become the poster-woman for a national concealed-carry reciprocity bill has put Republicans in an unusual position. The party usually arguing in favor of states' rights finds itself defending federal supremacy.

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Trump reaffirms promise of border wall before immigrations talks with Congress

Though Republicans and Democrats seem far from an agreement on immigration reform, President Trump heads into discussions with congressmen from across the aisle regarding 'Dreamers' and his campaign promise of a border wall.

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Speaking of America: 'An optimist who wears body armor'

After a tumultuous year, a reporter took a cross-country journey to sample Americans' views of their country. Today, a policeman who traded chasing crooks for thieving bears. Part 2 of 5 in the Monitor's 'Speaking of America' series.

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Under Trump, US debates a leader’s mental fitness as never before

Two books, one quoting White House insiders and the other by psychiatrists, have spurred discussion of a long-taboo subject regarding sitting presidents. It's about Trump, but also about whether the "Goldwater rule" against armchair diagnosis should still apply.

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Supreme Court ends legal challenge to Mississippi's anti-LGBT law

Mississippi's Republican-backed anti-LGBT law has been allowed to stand, proving to be a major setback for gay rights, activists say. The law enables business and government employees to refuse service to members of the LGBT community based on religious beliefs.

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200,000 Salvadorans to lose protected status in the US

The Trump administration announced on Monday that approximately 200,000 Salvadorans who have lived in the US since 2001 after a pair of earthquakes in El Salvador must return home in 2019.

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Author and publisher of book about Trump stand by work

Michael Wolff, author of 'Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,' and his publisher have pushed back against criticism from the Trump administration and Steve Bannon, a key source for the book. 

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Speaking of America: 'I'm a person of hope'

After a tumultuous year, a reporter took a cross-country journey to sample Americans' views of their country. A young woman comes to Los Angeles to follow her dream – to help the homeless. Part 1 of 5.

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Women take centerstage at the Golden Globes to say 'Time's Up'

After a year rocked by the Harvey Weinstein scandal and a tide of sexual misconduct allegations that followed, women in the film industry highlighted gender inequality and the fight against sexual harassment at the Golden Globes.

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Why the leaders of the Republican establishment are smiling

The political banishment of Steve Bannon means the GOP can focus on candidates who appeal to the mainstream. But the rift with the anti-establishment still remains, and Trump will have to help mend it for the midterms, analysts say.

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After 'bomb cyclone,' East Coast faces another deep freeze

Coastal flooding at historic levels across New England left streets full of icy slush as weekend forecasts predict plummeting temperatures will settle over the region.

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North Korea: Why 'battle of the nuclear buttons' is likely overblown

Critics fear that taunting between Trump and Kim injects anger and emotionalism into the nuclear balance. But the objective and well-known high cost of conflict is still a deterrent that is more important than words.

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Disrupter in chief: How Donald Trump is changing the presidency

A year into the presidency, Trump’s freewheeling, norm-busting approach to the office is the new normal.

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US Attorney General rescinds policy that let legal pot blossom

Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinds the 2013 policy that allowed states across the nation to legalize marijuana. He will let federal prosecutors decide how aggressively to enforce federal marijuana law in states where pot is legal. 

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Trump to take on welfare, but not all Republicans are on board

After celebrating the passage of a major tax reform bill, President Trump eyes welfare reform, though some Republicans are hesitant to scale back welfare programs during a congressional election year.

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Republican wins drawing in Virginia to decide political majority of House

After a too-close-to-call race, Virginia's state elections board blindly picked David Yancey as the winner of the 94th District on Thursday. The win gives Republicans a slim 51-49 majority over Democrats in the House. 

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Blizzard conditions of 'bomb cyclone' head for US Northeast

After dumping snow in Florida for the first time in 30 years blizzard conditions are marching northward. The severe drop in pressure along the coast has intensified the snowy conditions, creating a 'bomb cyclone' in the Northeast.

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Despite divisions, Congress will have to work across party lines

The items topping lawmakers' to-do list this year – such as funding the government – will require bipartisan cooperation. But that may be easier said than done.

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How China can help Pakistan weather Trump’s tweet storm

China has invested billions in Pakistan, making it less responsive, perhaps, to Trump's complaints about its cooperation on terrorism. Still, say experts, Pakistan would prefer to preserve its ties with the US, and remains key to a solution on Afghanistan.

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Why New York crime has plunged to record lows

With a murder rate of 3.4 per 100,000 in 2017, the city of 8.5 million had crime levels comparable to sparsely populated states such as Montana and Wyoming.

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Harvard Law grad helps low-income students aim high

James O'Neal started with the idea of getting students interested in school by getting them interested in the law. His initial idea has expanded to helping increase the ranks of high-schoolers who get to – and through – top tier colleges. 

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Winter storm and freezing temperature blast the usual balmy South

Dangerously cold temperatures blamed for at least nine deaths have wreaked havoc across a wide swath of the United States, freezing a water tower in Iowa, and halting ferry service in New York.

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A record year in the making: more women are running for office

US sees tremendous surge in women interested in politics, fueled largely by frustration over the Trump administration, success of Democratic women winning races in November, and the growing #MeToo campaign.

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As two new US Senators are sworn in, Republican control of Senate loosens

Alabama Democrat Doug Jones and Minnesota Democrat Tina Smith are set to enter the US Senate, narrowing the Republican majority in the body of Congress to 51 to 49.

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Bridging black and white: How St. Louis residents are trying to surmount racial inequities post-Ferguson

A broad movement has sprung out of Ferguson, in which white people are increasingly joining a spirited crusade by black people to foster racial equity in St. Louis. They see the Midwestern city as a modern Selma, Ala., fueling a new civil rights movement.

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