News & Features

Hit Musical 'Hamilton' Receives Record 16 Tony Award Nominations

Chris Michaud

The Broadway musical "Hamilton," which has triggered a ticket-buying frenzy not seen in years, scored a record 16 Tony Award nominations on Tuesday, solidifying its front-runner status for the top prize of best musical. "Hamilton" features a multiracial cast in a hip-hop and R & B-inflected musical that tells the story of U.S. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, who was killed in an 1804 duel with Vice President Aaron Burr.

Marijuana Use in Michigan’s Arab-American Community

Samer Hijazi

Marijuana smoking is a recreational activity for many local Arab and Muslim Americans. But those who consume it continue to conceal the habit out of fears of social scrutiny, challenges with the law and uncertainty of where it stands in the religion. Michigan's marijuana laws continue to remain unclear. In the last few years, the laws have shifted drastically to decriminalize personal pot smoking in many cities and to allow medical marijuana patients an easier path for consumption.

Clinton on Trump: He Is a ‘Loose Cannon’

Doina Chiacu and Megan Cassella

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took quick aim at presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump on Wednesday, saying United States should not take a risk on an unreliable candidate. "He is a loose cannon, and loose cannons tend to misfire," Clinton said in an interview with CNN, citing Trump stances including a claim that climate change was a Chinese hoax.

On Chicago’s West Side, No Rebound From the Recession

La Risa Lynch

While the overall unemployment rate in Chicago has declined since the recession ended, the rate in African-American communities has remained high. The citywide unemployment rate was 8.4 percent in 2014, but it has been well into the double digits in neighborhoods like Austin, North Lawndale, Englewood and Garfield Park, according to a Reporter analysis. The interconnection between unemployment and incarceration has made these communities least likely to share in the economic recovery.

The 4-Year College Myth: Why Students Need More Time to Graduate

Joanna Pulido

Four-Year Myth, a report from the national nonprofit, Complete College America, declares that a 4-year degree has become a myth in American higher education. The study finds that the majority of full-time American college students do not graduate on time, costing them thousands of dollars in extra college-related expenses. Policy experts who analyzed the statistics believe a more realistic benchmark for graduation is six years for a bachelor’s degree and three years for a “two-year” certificate.

From the Campaign Trail: Trump, Boehner Heap Attacks on Clinton, Cruz

Doina Chiacu and Megan Cassella

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump waded into politically risky territory this week when he accused Democrat Hillary Clinton of exploiting her gender to win votes and said she would have little support if she were not a woman. As Trump and Clinton, fresh off big wins in five Northeastern state primaries on Tuesday, circled each other for a potential matchup in the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election, his comments portended what could be an unusually nasty campaign.

The Development of the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Rebekah Frank

Our public school system employs about 46,000 full-time and 36,000 part-time officers across the country. In theory, these officers supervise lunchrooms, coach sports, teach drug and alcohol awareness and, in many situations, become confidants to kids who need an ally at school or don’t have the support they need at home due to myriad different reasons. But, as the incident in South Carolina indications, the existence of SROs in schools is not always positive.

Why the GOP’s Smear Campaign Against Clinton Won’t Work

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

The aim was to embarrass and discredit her not because of her alleged missteps as Secretary of State, but as a 2016 presidential candidate. Republicans got what they wanted when their phony accusations against her of cover-up and incompetence got tons of media chatter and focus and raised the first shadow of public doubt. The doubt quickly ballooned into the image of Clinton in the mind of many as a shifty-eyed and shifty-talking candidate who every time she opened her mouth grew a Pinocchio-length nose. 

Clinton, Trump Tighten Grip on Their Parties’ Nominations

Emily Flitter and Luciana Lopez

Trump delivered a crushing defeat of Cruz in Tuesday's New York Republican nominating contest while Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton broke rival Bernie Sanders' string of state victories with a definitive win of her own. Rebounding from a defeat in Wisconsin two weeks ago, Trump set himself up for another big night on April 26, when the Northeast U.S. states of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Maryland hold primaries.

Harriet Tubman: The New Face of the $20 Bill

Breanna Edwards

Harriet Tubman will be replacing President Andrew Jackson as the face of the $20 bill, the Treasury Department confirmed Wednesday. But Tubman is not the only civil rights icon set to be honored on U.S. currency. Secretary of the Treasury Jacob J. Lew said during a press call Wednesday that the $5 bill will also be redesigned and will feature images from the civil rights movement, historic events that occurred on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, including Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and a 1939 performance by opera singer Marian Anderson. 

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