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Christian Science Monitor

North Carolina racial gerrymandering ruling may create strong precedents for similar cases
The ruling found that two re-drawn congressional districts in the state relied on race rather than political makeup.

Year Up matches urban youth to a hungry job market
Year Up is one of a growing number of organizations working to effectively equip under-employed youth with in-demand skills and connect them to the sectors and companies that need them most.

Trump has denied 'collusion' with Russia. But is that the real issue?
So far evidence of such activity hasn't surfaced. Yet, even if it never does, serious concerns about both the Trump team and Russia are being investigated, and should not be obscured.

Trump's budget proposal includes more than 25 percent cut to food stamp budget
Many aspects of the proposal are likely to face opposition from Democrats and several key Republicans.

'Bathroom bill' set to pass for Texas transgender students
The new measure was originally intended to apply to the general public, though it will only apply public school students when it is likely signed into law.

One West Virginia city's pioneering approach to opioid crisis
Huntington’s blend of law enforcement, data analysis, and compassionate care has become a model both in the state and elsewhere.

Reinventing high school
Textbooks are rare. So are traditional grades. Students progress at their own pace. See how one New Hampshire school is retooling education. 

Trump's first trip: Can he offer leadership on both security and values?
President Trump will be tested on his trip to the Middle East and Europe, as he will address leaders and publics with very different aspirations for US leadership.

Cassette comeback: For fans, 'a yearning for something you can hold'
The generation raised on an everything-digital media diet is heralding the revival of the tangible.

What path forward for the GOP agenda?
The window for Republicans in Congress to make significant progress on their agenda is closing fast, and White House crises aren't helping. What to do? Experts point to lessons from the Clinton era.

Last show for Ringling: Why it’s not really the end of the circus
This weekend is the last show for the ‘Greatest Show.’ In part, it's a sign of changing attitudes about appropriate treatment of animals. But it doesn’t mean the allure of acrobats and live spectacle has disappeared.

How Mueller appointment may calm a roiled Washington
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is being tapped by the Justice Department after days of uproar in Washington, and even rumblings about possible impeachment. The hope now is for orderly fact-finding.

Could a different kind of transcript revitalize high-school learning?
A consortium of more than 100 of America's best preparatory schools think a competency-based transcript can relieve the pressure on students. And education reformers say the clout of this group could be strong enough to bring about this change nationwide.  

The place in America where (almost) no one drinks their tap water
Local officials in eastern Kentucky's Martin County insist the water is fine, despite repeated violations of EPA limits. But residents have been relying on bottled water for years.

How can America's spies navigate today's political minefields?
Politics is always a risky arena for intelligence agencies, as they seek out and supply information that may not fit with government agendas. But President Trump's decision to fire FBI Director Comey has brought the tensions into stark relief.

Special counsel appointed to investigate Russia-Trump ties: Three key questions
The presence of former FBI Director Robert Mueller III at the head of a semi-independent probe should provide structure and restore some measure of order to the investigation. Some questions ahead.

Are community colleges finally 'having a moment'?
Accessibility and affordability are giving many students a more favorable view of two-year community colleges, according to a wide-ranging survey by New America.

Democracy experts to Trump: Just because you can, doesn't mean you should
Practicing restraint and cooperation – abiding by the unwritten rules we call political 'norms' – can prevent partisans from locking into fights so bitter they risk tearing democracies apart.

Does US need a new crime crackdown? Prosecutors see generational divide.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is among those who say tough sentencing brought down crime before, and can do so again. For a younger generation, what's more visible is the human toll of mandatory minimum sentences on small-time violators.

Comey memo on Flynn probe: Three key questions
The revelation President Trump may have asked ex-FBI Director James Comey to shut down the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn has roiled Washington. What are the relevant questions?

What Trump's intelligence-sharing with Russia may have cost the US
The main coin of intelligence-sharing, especially in the fight against terrorism, is trust. By divulging sensitive information to his Russian guests, experts warn, Trump likely made US partners less trusting of him.

Trump revelation of intelligence to Russia: Three key questions
News that President Trump shared highly classified intelligence with top Russian officials last week has rocked Washington. What are the relevant questions?

Trump defends his right to share certain information with Russia
The tweets were a response to a report Trump shared classified information with Kremlin officials

Why a Georgia prisoner wants to be executed by firing squad, not lethal injection
The death row inmate is the latest to raise concerns about botched lethal injections. 

Why US allies still want to cooperate despite the alleged leak by Trump
One Japanese government official said it was simply not possible to stop cooperating with Washington on intelligence matters.  

Who should replace Comey? Not a politician, say lawmakers
Some suggested they should come from within the FBI ranks. Others floated Merrick Garland, Obama's Supreme Court nominee. 

Gatekeepers of the Trump revolution
Meet six senators who will help shape the administration's moves, from health care to tax reform.

Trump call on Afghan surge: Another step away from 'America First'?
A surge of US troops into Afghanistan would speak volumes about Trump’s increasing embrace of a more traditional style of global leadership – and about the growing influence of his military advisers.

Travel ban: Is a nationwide injunction on behalf of one person overkill?
Some experts, including judges, believe nationwide injunctions – like the one blocking the White House's revised travel ban – circumvent the fundamental deliberative role of the American judiciary.

Why Texas ban on 'sanctuary cities' divides local law enforcement
Texas's controversial new law raises important questions about whether enforcing a federal law should always trump enforcement of local laws, and whether local officers ultimately will take their orders from their chief – or the president.

Detroit charts a public-private path to its future, with streetcars
The three-mile, $180 million line is a step forward for a financially strapped city that's big on square miles and short on public transit. But it's there only by the grace of philanthropy. And critics say poorer neighborhoods are still on the sidelines.

Is edgier political comedy making America worse?
As political satire and late-night comedy become more aggressive, warn some critics, partisan humor risks becoming less effective and more divisive.

How Trump warned Comey
The president rattled off one of his early morning tweets to send a message to the former FBI director. 

Marine ad puts focus on a new kind of recruit: women
The new ad is part of a campaign to revitalize the image of the Marine Corps, only 8.3 percent of which are women.

US Attorney General directs prosecutors to go for harsher punishments
The new policy reverses the Obama-era stance, which was aimed at reducing prison populations.

After weeks of fuming, how Trump fired Comey
It ended with a surprise announcement, but Trump had been mulling for weeks about when to dismiss the FBI director.

Why a thorough investigation of Russian election meddling is still possible
Practically speaking, at issue right now are two very different approaches to a new a Russia investigation effort.

FBI director is out. How does that affect Trump-Russia investigation?
President Trump's abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey, coming just days after he reportedly requested more funds, has raised concerns that the investigation could be slowed.

What Comey's firing means for repairing strained US-Russia ties
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met President Trump and Secretary of State Tillerson Wednesday. It was supposed to be a step toward rebuilding cooperation on issues such as Syria. But the Comey firing could change all that.

After losing her daughter to fake drug 'treatment,' she now seeks to save others
Jennifer Flory, whose daughter got caught in a string of unscrupulous Florida drug-treatment centers and suffered a fatal overdose, wants to help other parents avoid the pitfalls she didn't see. Part 2 of 2.

How to end the word gap? Cities invest big in baby talk.
Low-income kids start school with far fewer words than affluent peers. Communities are trying a simple idea to bridge the word gap: teach parents to talk with their babies.

Reviews of Michael Flynn's consulting work reveal inconsistencies
Flynn says two $40,000 payments were consulting fees. The Turkish businessman who paid him said they were for lobbying. 

Why Pelosi and other Democratic lawmakers met with the Dalai Lama in India
The Democratic leader of the House was one of eight lawmakers to visit the Dalai Lama in his exiled home of India to call for the protection of human rights in Tibet. 

Trump fires FBI Director James Comey: Three key questions
What are the relevant questions in the wake of this major news event? 

White House welcomes top Russian diplomat on Wednesday amid controversy
The visit comes as the Trump administration continues to face criticism over the firing of James Comey in the midst of an FBI investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia.

Trump takes to Twitter to defend Comey firing
The firing has raised questions among Democrats and some Republicans as to the motive for the ousting of the FBI director.

Even a semester of full-time school may help college students
A new study shows that community college students who attend school full-time for a semester are more likely to graduate – and engage positively at school – than those who do not.

Russian hacking: the real threat lies ahead
As Washington argues over Russia’s ties with Trump, it seems as if the nation can’t wrap up the forensic analysis of 2016 and unify against the threat to 2018 elections, and beyond.

Alison’s story: How $750,000 in drug ‘treatment’ destroyed her life
The 23-year-old was recruited from one sober home to another as drug treatment facilities systematically overcharged her mother’s health insurance for unnecessary, expensive tests. Part 1 of 2.

Why the US test-fired another intercontinental ballistic missile
The Minuteman 3, capable of carrying a nuclear bomb, was launched from a base in central California to an atoll in the Pacific Ocean.