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Christian Science Monitor

After New Zealand terror, the faithful grapple with big question: Why?
In recent years white supremacist gunmen have targeted worshippers as they gathered, from Charleston, South Carolina, to Christchurch, New Zealand.

AOC is the right’s new villain. And in Queens, they love her for it.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s combative style has made the young lawmaker a lightning rod. Her constituents say someone’s finally speaking for them.

Should mass shooters remain nameless?
Studies have a shown a "contagion" effect when media replay or go to great lengths to describe the details of a fatal attack. Not publicizing the photos and names of shooters has been one area where gun-rights advocates and gun-control activists have been able to agree. 

'Redface' remains persistent, despite Native Americans' pushback
Racist imagery that stereotypes Native Americans' speech, dress, and rituals has a long history in the United States. Recent conversations around blackface have many indigenous communities frustrated at the comparative lack of discussion about "redface."

Why Rep. Adam Schiff seems to be everywhere
The California congressman is a man on a mission – to use his newfound power as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee to get answers on President Trump and Russia. 

Trump signs first veto after rebuke of emergency order
President Donald Trump signed his first veto, overruling Congress as he fights to fulfill his signature campaign promise. The president's national emergency order still faces several legal challenges in federal court.

California shuts down death row. Signs a red state may be next.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a halt to executions in the state with the country’s largest death row, a move that follows similar actions by governors in Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and Pennsylvania.

America to elite colleges: Shape up (but please let us in).
Analyzing what’s wrong with college admissions became a pastime for Americans this week. At the heart of the discussion is a desire for fair opportunities to get ahead.  

FAA's close ties to Boeing examined after 2 deadly crashes
The Federal Aviation Administration’s oversight duties have been called into question with the latest downing of a Boeing aircraft. Congress will examine the FAA's relationship with Boeing. 

In California, two proposed laws with one aim: saving lives
A year after two officers fatally shot Stephon Clark, California lawmakers are weighing a pair of proposals to reform police conduct.

In rare rebuke, Senate votes to block Trump’s emergency order
In a rare 59-to-41 vote against President Donald Trump, a dozen Senate Republicans joined with Democrats to deny the president emergency powers to fund his wall.

Criminal charges for school leaders? Florida eyes as tool for school safety.
Since last year’s shooting in Parkland, activists have been focused on gun control. But Florida’s creation of a grand jury to investigate school officials suggests a new avenue for prevention: holding individuals accountable. 

Report: ICE discreetly subverts 'sanctuary' policies
New Mexico's Bernalillo County passed laws to stop police from cooperating with immigration officials but workers at a local jail continued to feed information and access to ICE. A new report reveals how informal networks and relationships work against regulations.

Fraudulent college admissions scheme used charity to funnel millions
The Key Worldwide Foundation, which bribed coaches and school officials to accept the children of wealthy parents, grew its revenue to $3.7 million in just three years. The case has drawn criticism of the Internal Revenue Service for its limited ability to police wrongdoing.

GOP senators likely to block Trump border declaration
Several conservative senators have refused to back President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration, imperiling Thursday's vote and Mr. Trump's border wall. Defection among GOP ranks would deliver one of the sharpest rebukes of the president's agenda during his tenure.

A big player in becoming a US citizen? Your ZIP code.

Pelosi puts the kibosh on impeachment: good politics or bad precedent?
By saying she won’t pursue it without bipartisan support, some wonder if the Speaker is setting too high a standard for impeachment.

New York, feds fund testing of 100K rape kits around US
More than 100,000 untested rape kits are finally getting examined with funding from a New York prosecutor and federal authorities, resulting in more than 1,000 arrests. Addressing the backlog could mean better access to justice for survivors.

Judge challenges Native American custody law
A Texas judge has declared the Indian Child Welfare Act unconstitutional. It is the most serious challenge to the law since its passage in 1978, but several high-profile cases have questioned the legality of the law, which was originally designed to give Native American families preference in adoption proceedings.

California governor takes aim at death penalty
Gov. Gavin Newsom plans to sign a moratorium on executions, granting reprieve for the state’s 737 death-row inmates. The moves counter a 2016 ballot measure in which Californians voted to speed up death-row punishments.

Criticism of FAA mounts as other nations ground Boeing Max 8 jets
Aviation safety regulators worldwide typically follow the lead of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, long considered the gold standard for aircraft safety. But many decided to ground the Boeing jets without waiting for the FAA to act after the Ethiopian Airlines crash last Sunday.

Why Adam Schiff, like Pelosi, doesn’t favor impeaching Trump
The House Intelligence chair says that without Republican support, impeachment would be ‘a partisan exercise doomed to failure.’

Wealthy parents, celebrities indicted in vast college admissions bribery scheme
More than 50 people across the nation were charged Tuesday in a scheme where coaches and administrators were bribed in order to win admittance for students at elite schools. It is the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department.

Kentucky's coal mining towns seek revival from tourism
Coal’s decline has changed what Kentucky locals call the Tri-Cities of Cumberland, Benham, and Lynch. But these old mountain mining towns are counting on their natural beauty, history, and culture to reinvent themselves as tourist destinations.

Pelosi 'not for' impeaching Trump, says it would divide country
Without something "so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she is against impeaching President Donald Trump. Thinking among Democrats has shifted in part because special counsel Robert Mueller's report may not be decisive.

This city is short of teachers. It’s tapping immigrants to help.
A path to certification for foreign-born teachers is intended to help diversify Portland’s teaching staff as well as reduce ‘brain waste.’

‘Love is the only thing’: After tornado, Alabamans lean on one another
An EF4 tornado killed 23 and injured nearly 100 in Beauregard, Alabama. Residents say they’ve lost everything, except faith in God and one another.

Democrats, citing Russia, move to block foreign funding in 2020 election
Detecting foreign money in U.S. elections is one aim of H.R.1, the bill passed by House Democrats March 8. Republicans say it infringes on free speech.

Spiritual or atheist? More nonbelievers are saying ‘both.’
In a letter up for auction, Albert Einstein talked about admiring “in humility the beautiful harmony of the structure of the world.” More nonbelievers say they are seeking a sense of awe and reverence in their own lives.

Disappearance of local news curtails communities of reliable watchdogs
More than 1,400 towns and cities in the United States have lost a newspaper over the past 15 years, according to data analyzed by The Associated Press. This has made local officials and government agencies less accountable, which bears real costs to the communities.

Playing up substance abuse: Indictments call out prison rehab scams
Indictments in Connecticut spotlight the unregulated world of prison consulting, where ex-convicts and former prison employees charge thousands of dollars for know-how on scamming the system. White-collar convicts have made increasing use of the schemes.

Alternative churches: are they the future of religion?
Is church still 'church' if you meet in ... a laundromat? With alternative churches becoming more common, it raises the question: Is this just a fringe movement, or is it what the mainstream churches of tomorrow will look like?

We asked. You answered. Did a teacher change the way you saw yourself?
We asked our readers to send in their stories of incredible teaching. And they delivered.

Teacher protests close at least four Kentucky school districts
Hundreds of Kentucky teachers staged a "sick out" this week to register their discontent with a tax credit bill that would favor private school funding. Teacher uprisings and strikes across the nation advocating for better pay and funding continue to gain momentum.

Verdict: Paul Manafort to serve four years in jail for tax and bank fraud
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been sentenced to 47 months in prison for tax and bank fraud related to his work advising Ukrainian politicians. Defending attorneys and the judge agreed Mr. Manafort would never have been charged if it were not for special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

The Mueller report is coming. Here’s what to expect.
Although the special counsel’s probe into alleged Trump-Russia collusion is reportedly wrapping up, that doesn’t mean the public will learn everything. Nor will it signal the end of investigations into the president.

Pray and wash: Finding church in unexpected places
For many, worship has always been about much more than the edifice in which it occurs. Today, a new locus of spiritual growth is emerging around alternative settings that redefine “church.” 

Border agents redirect Spanish speakers to wait in Mexico for asylum
If migrants speak Spanish at the U.S. border, send them to wait in Mexico while their asylum requests are processed. At least that's how a new memo instructs border agents. The Trump administration program could mark a seismic shift in how the U.S. handles asylum seekers.

US government 'monitored' journalists, activists at border
Leaked documents show that U.S. Customs and Border Protection collected information on journalists and activists investigating at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Trump’s CPAC speech was like a national Rorschach test
To the president’s supporters, the two-plus hours of off-the-cuff remarks were high political entertainment. Critics saw an ‘unhinged rant.’

2020 candidates tout small donors. But big money could still find its way in.

Democrats’ hand-wringing over anti-Semitism vote reveals a party in flux
House Democrats emerged from the 2018 election as the most diverse group of representatives in history. Now they are grappling with divisions in party ideology that could be growing pains – or a growing rift.

Can US help resolve Venezuela crisis? The first hurdle is history.
If the United States wants to help in Venezuela, it first needs to dispel decades-old doubts in Latin America that it really has the region’s best interests at heart.

More migrants cross US-Mexico border in large groups
February's record number of migrant border crossings contrasts sharply with the Trump administration’s hard-line policies. But the president could argue the influx reveals a genuine national emergency.

Colorado, baker end legal fight over another denied cake
Colorado baker Jack Phillips, whose refusal to bake a cake for a gay couple was partially upheld by the Supreme Court, also denied service to a transgender woman shortly thereafter. But the two parties have agreed to end the ensuing lawsuits.

Prequel to impeachment? Inquiry into Trump could be something else.
There has been lots of talk about impeachment since Democrats retook the House. But that comes with considerable political risks. The investigation launched Monday by the House Judiciary Committee may have a different goal in mind.

Schools help teachers with a new kind of homework: finding a place to live
A year of teacher walkouts in the US has been forcing communities to face school underfunding and low pay. But some school districts are offering housing to attract and retain new teachers.

House panel launches sweeping probe of Trump, his associates
The House Judiciary Committee will begin a probe into President Trump's possible obstruction of justice, corruption, and abuse of power. The effort could be the first steps toward an impeachment process. 

FBI adds anti-bribery squad with focus on South America
Robert Mueller's Russia investigation has shone a spotlight on international corruption. A new FBI unit, strategically based in Miami, will tackle the illegal bribing of foreign officials. The city has become a major economic hub for individuals seeking to hide their wealth.

Despite border tensions, use of firearms by agents plummeted in 2018
Last year, US Customs and Border Protection officers and agents deployed their firearms at the lowest rate in five years. The decrease is largely due to two factors: fewer illegal border crossings and an intentional effort by the agency to overhaul how force is deployed.