News & Features

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.  

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.

U.S. Secret Service Director Pledges to Get Tough on Security Lapses

Lisa Lambert

U.S. Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy pledged on Thursday to get tough on his agency for keeping quiet about officers allegedly driving drunk on White House grounds, but he also knocked down reports that the incident involved a collision or that agents purposely deleted surveillance video of it. "If it is determined that any one of our employees concealed information about this alleged incident, they will be held accountable."

Palestinians Seek World Pressure on Israel After Worrisome Netanyahu Win

Nidal Al-Mughrabi and Ali Sawafta

Palestinian leaders on Wednesday called for international pressure on Israel and support for their unilateral moves towards statehood after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's election win. Netanyahu's surprise victory, after pledging in the final days of the campaign that there would be no Palestinian state as long as he was in power, left Palestinians grim about prospects for a negotiated solution to a decades-old conflict.

Ferguson, Missouri Activists Struggle for Recognition of Black Rights in U.S.

Richard Valdmanis and Nick Carey

Like other protest leaders in the St. Louis area, Simmons is determined to continue the near-daily demonstrations in Ferguson that have galvanized a national debate on race since the fatal shooting in August of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, by a white policeman. The protests have rolled on for seven months - and took a violent turn Wednesday night with the shooting of two Ferguson policemen. 

How Democracy Continues to Grow in Africa

Khalil Abdullah

Lately, the United States has moved to aggressively bolster pro-Western forces in the Ukraine and promote democracy in the Middle East and Asia. But once again, the U.S. and other western powers are largely ignoring Africa, even as democratic movements are quietly spreading throughout the continent after a generation of leaders who often hoarded power and wealth at the expense of their people.

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