Indiana’s Republican Governor Defends Religious Freedom Law

Alina Selyukh

Indiana Governor Mike Pence on Sunday defended a new state law that opponents worry may support discrimination against gay people, saying he had no plans to add extra protections but would consider new suggestions from state legislators. Pence, speaking on ABC's "This Week," sought to counter criticism from protesters who have spilled onto the streets of Indianapolis and others, including some corporations, after signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act on Thursday.

A Decade After Hurricane Katrina, 81 Percent of New Orleans Homes Are Rebuilt

Staff

The 81 percent is up from 79 percent in an April 2013 survey. The survey also found 15 percent of the homes were demolished and are now empty lots, while 4 percent are only gutted or in a state of derelict. The 2 percent increase in rebuilt homes matches a similar rise of two percent from 2010 to 2013. Among the trends of rebuilding, the survey found a 6 “percent increase from 2009 to 2010 and the 9 percent rise from 2008 to 2009. 

Cultural Appropriation: Is Imitation the Sincerest Form of Flattery?

Angelo Franco

Cultural appropriation is a dicey subject, not least because there are no given parameters of what can be considered appropriation. This while some hold that it is impossible to “steal” forms of a culture in itself, and that the imitation of it is a human phenomenon that should, in fact, be celebrated.  The term has also become a point of origin for other, wider discussions, including those of race relations and even sexuality.  

Christie's Aims for Auction Record Book With $140 Million Picasso Painting

Chris Michaud

"Les femmes d'Alger (Version “O”)," a vibrant cubist work last auctioned in 1997 when it nearly tripled the expected price, is estimated to fetch about $140 million, by far the highest price ever for a work of art on the auction block. Pre-sale estimates do not include the standard commission of just over 12 percent, making for a final price in excess of $155 million if Christie's has accurately assessed the work's appeal to a global, deep-pocketed market hungry for a dwindling supply of trophy works.

The NYPD vs. De Blasio: Why the Police Should Heed the Mayor’s Words

Rebekah Frank

People took to the streets to register their disgust at the state of policing and the failure of the justice system in the United States, and to demand that all people, regardless of the color of their skin or the job that they hold, are treated equally under the law. It wasn’t asthma and obesity that killed Eric Garner as some people claimed, it was a bigoted and improperly trained police force. It was racism that killed him and racism that kept Daniel Pantaleo from standing trial for his actions.

U.S. House Republicans Face Test of Unity in Budget Votes

David Lawder

In a test of party unity, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday are set to vote on the federal budget, using an unusual format meant to overcome lingering internal disagreements over defense spending. Known as a "Queen of the Hill" vote, the process will let lawmakers vote on several budget alternatives. The idea is to minimize the chances of not passing a budget at all, which would call into question Republicans' ability to govern now that they control both houses of Congress for the first time since 2006.

Greek Leader to Face Criticism During Berlin Visit

Stephen Brown

Angela Merkel and Alexis Tsipras have sought to play down the drama of the Greek leader's first official visit to Berlin on Monday, but open skepticism among the Chancellor's allies has spawned media portrayals of a western-style showdown. Unsurprisingly perhaps, German media have cast Greece's leftist prime minister as the outlaw and the conservative German Chancellor as a sheriff fighting to keep the euro zone together.

How South Africa Is Still Emerging From the Dark Shadow of Apartheid

Michael Verdirame

It does not take long for an outsider visiting South Africa for the first time to observe the racial divide that still exists.  Many of the types of places created by the segregation of Apartheid—such as the townships consisting of makeshift residences constructed with corrugated tin—still exist, some only a short distance from the major urban centers of big cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town.  A trip to one of the upscale malls that are appearing all over the country is unlikely to paint an accurate picture of diversity for travelers. 

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