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Christian Science Monitor




Where busing works
Hartford, Conn., has revamped its schools to attract a rich mix of students in a voluntary desegregation program being watched across the country.   

Trump wants a 'top of the pack' nuclear program: does that actually signal a shift?
Paths to beef up the US nuclear arsenal might wind up going through Obama's modernization project, and an arms-control treaty with Russia.

Trump team tries to calm US-Mexico relations. Why that's not easy.
As two cabinet secretaries visit Mexico City, Mexicans wonder whether recent progress in US relations matters to President Trump.

Sessions memo: Reversal on private prisons could portend shift on justice, observers say
The federal government will not phase out its contracts with private prisons, Attorney General Jeff Sessions indicated in a memo on Thursday, highlighting the Trump administration's contrasting approach on criminal justice after Obama-era reforms.

Victim in Kansas shooting hailed as a hero for 'standing up to hate'
Ian Grillot dismissed the term hero, saying 'I was just doing what anyone should have done for another human being.'

Could Betsy DeVos be an ally for transgender students? It's complicated.
The new education secretary has a history of quietly supporting LGBT rights, and reportedly objected to the Trump administration's decision to revoke the previous administration's guidance for schools on what bathrooms transgender students should be allowed to use.

Ivanka Trump pushes $500 billion child care subsidy plan: Who would benefit?
The plan, which is similar to one President Trump proposed during his campaign, would make child-care expenses tax deductible for individuals earning less than $250,000. But critics argue that low-income families would not be able to take advantage of the benefit.

Once suspect, Trump now a hero at conservative 'Woodstock'
Conservatives have moved toward President Trump – and to a certain extent, vice versa – since he met with silence and scattered boos at CPAC a few years ago.

Trump administration sets sights on state recreational marijuana laws
The Obama administration had declined to enforce the federal laws prohibiting marijuana in states that have legalized recreational use of the drug. Comments from the White House press secretary suggest that stance could be about to change.

Dakota Access oil pipeline camp cleared of protesters
Most protesters left peacefully Wednesday, when authorities closed the camp, but some stayed overnight in defiance of the government order.

Homeland Security chief: No use of military for deportations
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said all deportations will comply with human rights requirements and the U.S. legal system

Former House speaker predicts 'Obamacare' won't be repealed
As House speaker, John Boehner promised numerous times to repeal and replace Obamacare in full.

Privatize PBS? Not to pay for a Mexico wall, says 7-year-old (+video)
Toby Smith delivered the sharp warning to Sen. Tom Cotton at a town hall in Arkansas. But the 7-year-old is likely too young to remember how often this debate about privatizing public broadcasting comes up. 

CPAC dismisses Richard Spencer: How conservatives are severing alt-right ties (+video)
Richard Spencer, who claims to have coined the term 'alt-right,' was asked to leave a conservative conference Thursday, one of several times this week that conservatives have stood up to right-wing ideas and personalities judged to be offensive.

What do those red Xs on Facebook mean?
Some social media users are sharing photos of red Xs to show support for the END IT Movement's 'Shine a Light on Slavery' Day. 

At raucous town halls, a return to the messy roots of democracy?
Town hall meetings have been a part of American politics since the colonial era, but they are often overlooked in the age of television, radio, and the internet. Now, protests against GOP representatives at many of these forums have been making headlines once again.

The logistical case for Trump's deportation plan – and the legal case against it (+video)
The administration's decision to expand the use of 'expedited removal' is within the bounds of the law. But legal experts say it opens the door to violations of due process, a right courts have ascribed even to undocumented immigrants.

Why Trump inauguration singer wants a private meeting with the president (+video)
Jackie Evancho says she wants to 'enlighten' the president on what her transgender sister endures at high school.

Those divided by transgender debate can share aim to prevent bullying: interview
Tina Owen-Moore started a public school in Milwaukee whose mission is to reduce bullying and welcome all students. She successfully reached out to people who initially protested outside her school. 

Survey says the majority of Americans trust the media over Trump
In a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday, 52 percent of respondents chose the media over President Trump when asked who they trusted to 'tell you the truth about important issues.'

Flood waters force thousands from homes in Northern California
Hit by a once-in-100 years flood, more than 14,000 residents near the swollen Coyote Creek that runs through San Jose were ordered to evacuate. 

Hundreds protest in Anaheim after an off-duty cop fired shots at teens (+video)
Video footage of an off-duty cop struggling with a teen in Anaheim, Calif., and eventually firing a gun has sparked outrage both locally and across the nation, spurring protesters to take to the streets Wednesday night. 

Md. appeals court upholds 'assault weapon' ban: a new challenge to scope of Second Amendment?
A federal appeals court in Maryland has upheld a law banning military-style weapons. If the case goes before the Supreme Court, justices will have to confront whether the weapons deserve protection under the Second Amendment.

Most oil pipeline opponents leave North Dakota protest camp
Demonstrators have been protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline at the camp for nearly a year, with the population numbering in the thousands at the height of the protests. Some new camps are popping up on private land nearby.

Trump's been quieter lately. Is that a trend?
The combative style of President Trump was part of his appeal as a candidate. But as president, a less-testy few days seem to have helped his approval ratings.

In age of Trump, apocalyptic rhetoric becomes mainstream
Under Obama, some conservatives warned of an existential threat to the nation. Now, liberals are using similar language. The concerns are not baseless, some experts say. But intensifying partisanship is a key driver.

Larry Nassar, former USA gymnastic coach, is charged with sexual assault
Dr. Nassar, who specialized in treating female gymnasts at Michigan State University and through the USA Gymnastics organization, faces charges in two Michigan counties. 

Faster play: how pro baseball commissioner hopes to speed up America's pastime
Despite reluctance on the part of the players' union, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred says he is considering rule changes beginning in 2018.

Judge stalls Texas efforts to defund Planned Parenthood
The judge’s injunction will keep Medicaid funding flowing to Planned Parenthood until an upcoming court case can rule on the merits of Texas’ case for defunding the organization.

Conservatives are 'hopeful but wary' going into annual gathering near D.C.
Thousands of conservatives are converging outside of Washington this week for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

Second Amendment does not cover 'weapons of war,' US appeals court finds
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld on Tuesday Maryland's ban on 45 kinds of assault weapons, but the National Rifle Association is open to appealing the decision. 

For kids struggling with drug abuse, can 'sober' schools make a difference?
Providing early treatment is seen as critical for teens trying to break free of addiction. The US has 33 public high schools that provide help with the complex realities that kids can face.

American Muslims raise money to repair vandalized Jewish cemetery
Muslim community leaders launched a fundraising campaign to help repair a historic Jewish cemetery that was vandalized over the weekend. Donors surpassed the initial goal of $20,000 within just three hours.

Why the Trump administration wants to roll back transgender bathroom guidelines
The Trump administrations says transgender laws are better left to the states.

Expanded immigration enforcement will not lead to 'mass deportations,' says DHS
In two new memos, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly called for existing immigration laws to be used 'to the greatest extent practicable.' That doesn't mean mass deportations, officials say.

Texas becomes fifth state to preserve Planned Parenthood's Medicaid funding
An injunction issued by U.S. District Sam Sparks of Austin comes after he delayed making a decision in January and essentially bought Planned Parenthood an extra month in the state's Medicaid program.

Republican and Democratic politicians channel grief into opioid reform
In statehouses across the country, lawmakers with loved ones who fell victim to drugs are leading the fight against the nation's deadly opioid-abuse crisis, drawing on tragic personal experience to attack the problem.

Hundreds of San Jose residents rescued from rising floodwaters Tuesday
The rains were the latest produced by a series of storms generated by so-called atmospheric rivers that dump massive quantities of Pacific Ocean water on California after carrying it aloft from as far away as Hawaii.

How Trump can end his intel wars
President Trump eased worries by picking H.R. McMaster to be national security adviser. But Mr. Trump's combative behavior remains a concern, experts say. 

Study links same-sex marriage laws and decline in teen suicide attempts: What next?
As states passed marriage equality laws, the passage of these laws led to a 7 percent drop in teen suicide attempts, a new study finds. That figure climbed to 14 percent for LGB teens.

Why the Supreme Court rejected a death penalty appeal
The US Supreme Court refused to hear the death penalty plea of Thomas Arthur, an Alabama inmate who argued that his state's lethal injection procedures constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

How Trump is challenging the media to redefine its role
The response to Trump, who referred to the press as 'the enemy of the American people,' will affect the media's influence and how it is seen by the public. But already, subscription numbers are surging.

As anti-Semitic threats increase, Trump (finally) speaks out (+video)
In the face of an attack on a Jewish cemetery and a wave of bomb threats, some have questioned how the White House has addressed anti-Semitism.

Supreme Court to hear case on border shooting of Mexican national
As its first case under the new Trump administration, the US Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case involving the shooting of a 15-year-old Mexican by a US border guard.

L.A. has the world's worst traffic. How do we fix it? (+video)
Los Angeles tops a new list of over 1,000 traffic-congested cities, but solutions are en route. 

On George Washington's birthday, thousands turn out for 'Not My President' Day
In more than 20 US cities, citizens took to the street to protest the first month of Donald Trump's presidency.

H.R. McMaster: Did Trump make a good choice for national security adviser? (+video)
Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster is a widely respected military strategist who served in both the Persian Gulf war and the second Iraq war.

Milo Yiannopoulos invited to conservative summit, then disinvited
Until Monday, Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at this week's CPAC conference. The controversy reflects a larger debate about balancing free speech and the value of civility.   

Travel ban rewrite: Should judges parse Trump motives as well as the text?
President Trump is expected to release a new executive order affecting people trying to enter the US from seven Muslim-majority nations. Some legal scholars say it's appropriate for judges to also consider statements Trump made before becoming president.

In deep-red Utah, a GOP bill to study the wage gap
The bill's sponsor acknowledged that he isn’t likely to back new regulations. But he thinks that the numbers themselves could empower women.