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Christian Science Monitor

VA fix 101: what the $17 billion emergency bill would do
The chairmen of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs in the Senate and House announced an agreement Monday on a $17 billion emergency veterans bill that seeks to address a national care crisis.

US is no safer after 13 years of war, a top Pentagon official says
The outgoing head of the Defense Intelligence Agency says that new players on the scene are more radical than Al Qaeda, and the core Al Qaeda ideology has lost none of its potency.

Ukraine crisis: How far will Obama go to get Russia to back down?
President Obama and four other western leaders agree to tougher sanctions on Russia. But Mr. Obama is unlikely to go further, as he aims to avoid a proxy war with Russia.

No, the presidency has NOT become more difficult
There's an argument going around that it's 'virtually impossible' to be president today because of the power of the job and partisanship surrounding it. But there are problems with both those assertions.

NSA surveillance, government secrecy undercut press freedoms, report says
The NSA's surveillance and a government culture of secrecy are impairing the work of journalists and lawyers, two pillars of democracy, says a joint report by the ACLU and Human Rights Watch.

Why Sarah Palin launched her own online TV network
The Sarah Palin Channel, which went live Sunday, aims to 'cut through the media’s politically correct filter.' It also includes a clock calculating the time left in the Obama administration, out to the second.

California fire threatens 500 homes, more high temps forecast
California fire crews are battling the so-called Sand Fire, which doubled in size over the weekend, as well as a fire near Yosemite National Park. Intense heat is expected to continue in the state this week.

Rare, fatal lightning strikes at Venice Beach (+video)
Fatal lightning strikes in the US are on the decline as awareness of risky activities rises. But one man was killed Sunday while swimming off Venice Beach, Calif., after several lightning bolts hit the area.

What's on The Sarah Palin Channel?
Sarah Palin promises that her new subscription TV channel will talk about "the issues that the mainstream media won't talk about." The $9.95 per month online Sarah Palin Channel debuted Sunday.

Will House pass 'skinnied down' bill to tackle child immigration crisis?
Texas Sen. John Cronyn expects the House of Representatives to pass a 'skinnied down' emergency funding bill this week to help solve the influx of child immigrants from Central America.

Ohio amusement park ride cable snaps, injures two people (+video)
Two people were injured at Ohio's Cedar Point amusement park after a cable snapped on a large swing ride, just three weeks after a fallen tree stranded roller coaster riders at a California Six Flags.

US releases images of rockets fired from Russia into Ukraine
A four-page document from the US State Department seems to show blast marks from where rockets were launched in Russia and Ukraine, and craters where they landed in Ukraine.

Judge rules Washington D.C. handgun ban is unconstitutional
A federal judge released a decision Saturday that the Washington D.C. ban on carrying handguns outside the home is unconstitutional. Effectively immediately, registered D.C. gun owners may carry a firearm in public.

Pennsylvania man charged with murder in hospital shooting
The man accused of fatally shooting his caseworker and grazing a psychiatrist was charged with murder late Saturday. 

NYPD arrests 'Spider-Man' for assaulting a police officer
New York Police officers arrested a man dressed as Spider-Man after he allegedly assaulted an officer in Times Square.

Hundreds flee as two California wildfires threaten homes (+video)
California firefighters are struggling to get the upper hand on two rapidly-spreading wildfires while contending with temperatures in the triple digits.

Obamacare for ex-inmates: Is health insurance an antidote to crime?
Some jails and prisons are pushing to sign up exiting inmates for Medicaid, courtesy of Obamacare. The idea is that if ex-prisoners receive regular health care on the outside, fewer will reoffend. Not all experts are believers, however.

Is Putin to blame for MH17 tragedy? Hillary Clinton has harsh words.
Hillary Clinton has again made sharp comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying he is partly responsible for the crash of MH17. In recent months, she has been one of Putin's most vocal critics.

Widow of chokehold victim describes quiet, non-violent man
Member of Eric Garner's family met Friday with federal prosecutors to ask them to bring a civil rights case against the NYPD. Garner died in police custody. An onlooker shot video of him in a chokehold.

Can Ohio State reverse band culture of sexual harassment?
Ohio State University dismissed marching band director Jonathan Waters Thursday after concluding he knew about, but failed to stop inappropriate rituals. The university will appoint a task force to help bring about changes in the band.