News & Features

Hundreds Mourn the Death of Sandra Bland

Mike Lansu

Hundreds of people on Saturday attended the funeral of Sandra Bland, a black woman found dead in a Texas jail cell days after she was arrested following a minor traffic offense, an incident said by activists to be yet another example of police brutality toward minorities. Mourners including local politicians lined up for more than an hour outside the DuPage African Methodist Episcopal Church in Lisle, Illinois to file past an open casket and attend the funeral.

How Long Will Trump’s Surge in the Polls Last?

Steve Holland

For most of his Republican rivals, Donald Trump's surge in the polls in the 2016 U.S. presidential nomination fight is like a summer squall that will eventually blow itself out. There was no general sense of panic among the candidates over opinion polls that showed support growing for the real estate mogul, whose candidacy thus far has been notable for his anti-immigrant stance and bare-knuckled tactics.

Capitalism Arrives in Cuba

Louis Nevaer

A stroll through Old Havana is enough to convince anyone that the entrepreneurial spirit that is fast-transforming this city into a nation of shopkeepers is in full swing. This isn’t to say that corporate America is about to descend on this island nation of 12 million people. Raúl Castro’s reforms place sharp restrictions on capitalism: one can work for one’s self, but only the state can hire more than two employees. 

Most Americans Favor Supreme Court Term Limits

Lawrence Hurley

Limiting terms would be difficult, requiring an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Congress shows no signs of taking up the idea, though Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz has suggested the possibility of justices being voted out of office. Support for the 10-year term limit proposed by the poll was bipartisan, with 66 percent saying they favored such a change while 17 percent supported life tenure.

Obama Took a Big StepToward Ending Grotesque Drug Sentencing Laws

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Obama essentially followed a lead that then Attorney General Eric Holder took when he virtually ordered US attorneys to take a hard look at who they are prosecuting for drug crimes, and why. Holder minced no words in stating the obvious. The overwhelming majority of those prosecuted are mostly poor, blacks and Hispanics, for low level, petty dealing and use. In legions of cases, those offenders were slapped with draconian sentences of 10 or more years with little prospect of parole. 

Iran Deal Holds Both Promise and Peril for Hillary Clinton

James Oliphant and Amanda Becker

Clinton embraced the deal on Tuesday in remarks on Capitol Hill. She had little choice. By her own admission, she was a driver of the talks that resulted in the historic accord, telling reporters she was “part of building the coalition that brought us to this point” while praising the agreement as “an important step that puts the lid on Iran’s nuclear programs.”

Washington State Gains $65 Million in Taxes from Marijuana Market

Brendan O’Brien

Washington state took in $65 million in tax revenue from the recreational marijuana market during the first 12 months since it became legal to produce and sell, according to data released by state regulators this week. The revenue was generated by cannabis sales of more than $260 million from June 2014 to June 2015, according to data released by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which oversees the distribution of cannabis.

Who is Burning America’s Black Churches, And Why?

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

The count of black churches in the South that have been torched is not the six that have been burned since the massacre of nine blacks at Charleston's Emmanuel AME Church, but 37. The church burnings occurred in a period of not two weeks but over 18 months. That was only the tip of the church burning iceberg. In a six-year period between 1991 and 1996, the ATF investigated more than 150 churches that had been torched in both the South and the North. 

Fendi, Dior, Chanel Gowns Shimmer Down Runway in Paris Couture Week

Marie-Louise Gumuchian

Floaty floor-length gowns, intricate detailing and "haute fourrure" or "high fur" mark this week's Paris Haute Couture shows, where some of fashion's best-known names present some of the world's most expensive clothes. On Monday, Christian Dior models strutted in flowing white dresses, tight-waisted coats with ankle-length puffy skirts and oversized capes in a specially built structure at the Musee Rodin.

Greece Seeks EU Loan Deal to Avert Collapse

Barbara Lewis and Alastair Macdonald

A race to save Greece from bankruptcy and keep it in the euro gathered pace on Wednesday when Athens formally applied for a three-year loan and European authorities launched an accelerated review of the request. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called in a speech to the European Parliament for a fair deal, acknowledging Greece's historic responsibility for its plight.

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