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- Travel ban rewrite: Should judges parse Trump motives as well as the text?
As the Trump administration readies a revised version of its executive order restricting immigration to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries, some of the reported changes in wording could address problems that caused the original order to be blocked by multiple federal courts. Although the full text of the order has not been released, the success of such lawsuits could still hinge on the question of whether statements from Trump and his surrogates during his presidential campaign could be used against him as evidence of an unconstitutional motive, even if the statements came before his election. According to news reports, the administration is working carefully to address some of the more glaring legal holes in its original order.
- In deep-red Utah, a GOP bill to study the wage gap
Watching speakers at the Salt Lake City Women’s March, Utah State Senator Jake Anderegg noticed that one frequent topic was equal pay. Senator Anderegg doesn’t deny that situation. “The disparity of the wage gap was anywhere from 64 cents on the dollar all the way up to 92 cents on the dollar,” he tells The Christian Science Monitor in a phone interview.
- After millions sign petitions, British lawmakers debate Trump's state visit
Parliament debated Monday whether or not to rescind a state visit invitation extended to President Trump a week into his presidency, after two competing petitions elevated the issue to the national conversation. The close relationship between the United States and Britain has sent presidents across the Atlantic to meet with Queen Elizabeth II for decades. Prime Minister Theresa May invited Trump to the UK during her visit to Washington, DC.
- Bouche à Oreille: Michelin mixup makes modest French café a star
Last week, Bouche à Oreille, a café in Bourges, central France, found itself suddenly in possession of a Michelin star. The eatery, which serves hearty dishes of beef bourguignon and lasagna to its clientele of locals, was taken aback by the arrival of swarms of new visitors. Thanks to their identical names, and eerily similar street addresses, the Michelin website had listed the Bourges café on its website by mistake.
- One month of Trump: What voters think – and why that matters
After 30 days in office President Trump has done one thing for sure: He’s polarized American voters more than any US chief executive of the last 30 years. Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents loathe his performance, per approval polls. This is a reminder that most of the people who put Trump in office are content to wait and see how his policies develop.
- Sweden responds to Trump's comments with confusion, criticism
Swedes were surprised to hear President Trump suggest on Saturday that a major terror attack had just taken place in their country. You look at what's happening in Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden," Mr. Trump said, speaking about his travel ban and what he sees as poor refugee policies in Europe, at a campaign-style rally in Florida. Not Swedes, who knew that no terror-related incidents or violent crimes involving refugees or immigrants took place in their country Friday night.
- Parks for the people: How the National Park Service is celebrating Presidents’ Day
As the nation celebrates Presidents’ Day, the National Park Service is taking the opportunity to showcase what the late writer Wallace Stegner once described as America’s best idea: national parks. On Monday, national parks across the country will be open to the public for free. It’s one of 10 fee-free days that celebrate important events such as Veterans’ Day and the birthday of the National Park Service.
- Canada's Muslims embrace their country – even when it doesn't embrace back
It was the first-ever awards ceremony reserved for Muslim Canadians, an evening that saw a steady parade of business people, doctors, and community activists take the stage to be recognized for their contribution to society. “At the same time, it saddens me that this is something Canadian Muslims need to do.
- Why some Republicans are opting for conference calls instead of town halls
A growing number of Republican lawmakers are opting out of town hall meetings this week, choosing instead to speak with their constituents in a less direct way. In response to a wave of anti-Trump activism that has resulted in the perceived "hijacking" of such public town hall events by protesters, many Congressional Republicans are ditching the traditional in-person appearance in favor of large conference calls with constituents, with in-person meetings limited to small sit-downs with individuals and community groups. During these conference calls, dubbed "tele-town halls," questions are screened by aides, with no follow-ups, crowd reactions, or visuals. Those who endorse the strategy say it keeps question-and answer-sessions productive by eliminating disruptions from angry demonstrators, and is a necessary measure amid post-inauguration unrest.
- Marine Le Pen is latest French politician embroiled in fraud allegations.
A Friday email from the European Union’s anti-fraud group claimed that two of French National Front leader Marine Le Pen’s employees received salaries as European Parliament assistants, positions about which the unit’s probe discovered “serious irregularities,” according to the email. The latest allegations make Ms. Le Pen the second major presidential contender to face fraud accusations after the French newspaper “Le Canard enchaîné” published an article stating that Conservative frontrunner François Fillon provided his wife and two of his children with fictitious employment as parliamentary assistants – positions from which they received income for years.
- Why 160,000 protesters in Barcelona want Spain to welcome more refugees
In 2015, Spain’s government made a promise: welcome in more than 17,000 refugees within two years. On Saturday, at least 160,000 protesters at a march in Barcelona said the conservative government is not living up to its pledge. Spaniards and Catalans have a history of being more accepting of migrants than much of the rest of the European Union, perhaps because of their geography, their own histories of emigration and asylum seeking, their experiences with Basque and Islamic-inspired terrorism, or all of the above.
- Did the ‘dishonest media’ really take on Lincoln, Jefferson, and Jackson?
Trump's remarks were made in a Florida airplane hanger following a tumultuous week in which his national security adviser was forced to step down amid allegations that he had communicated inappropriately with the Russian ambassador and then deliberately misled senior White House staff about that conversation. The president took the opportunity to direct the blame away from government officials, and towards members of the mainstream media – which he says purposefully misleads the public to further an agenda. Recommended: Know your US presidents?
- Too soon? What comes of Democratic talk of impeaching Trump
As protesters and some liberal politicians have begun talk of impeaching President Trump, others are rushing to pump the breaks as they consider the perils of pushing an opposition agenda that could further divide the nation along partisan lines. After a brutal election cycle that highlighted the growing rifts between Democrats and Republicans, many hoped that the nation could come together around compromise. Trump proved a polarizing candidate on the campaign trail, and his first foray into the presidency has followed that pattern.
- New Homeland Security guidelines aggressively crack down on illegal immigration
Under the new guidelines, outlined in a pair of memos, the agency plans to hire thousands of additional enforcement agents, expand the pool of immigrants who are prioritized for removal, enlist local law enforcement to help make arrests, and speed up deportation hearings – directives that would replace nearly all guidelines put in place by previous administrations. Since taking office in January, President Trump has come under fire for what immigrant rights advocates have denounced as unprecedented action against undocumented people in the United States.
- How 'Jane Roe' came to symbolize both pro-life and pro-choice
You might think Jane Roe from the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade would unhesitatingly support a women’s right to choose. “I think I have always been pro-life,” Ms. McCorvey once told a local radio station. McCorvey’s death comes at a critical juncture in the abortion debate.
- At Florida rally, Trump returns to campaign tactics, media criticisms
Speaking to a Florida crowd Saturday evening, President Trump recycled campaign rhetoric as he discussed reforms of health care, taxes, and border control while stoking the fires of his feud with the press. Just four weeks into his presidency, Mr. Trump returned to the popular tactics he used on the campaign trail. Recommended: What do you know about Donald Trump?
- A town changed by Trump
There are times these days when Mary Jo Groves feels like she no longer understands her city and the world around it. The hospital physician knows Springfield as a place that has prided itself on its moderate, practical outlook. Asked about Mr. Trump, an elderly gentleman said he was pleased, suggesting the crackdown on immigrants and the temporary ban on citizens from seven Muslim nations was spot on.
- US student debt tops $1.31 trillion: Does Betsy DeVos have a plan?
Student loans were the leading cause for a substantial increase in household debt last year, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Thursday. While the high balance of US student debt is not news anymore, the new record-high $1.31 trillion balance, up 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter, is another reminder of the severity of a problem that has cast a shadow over the nation in recent years. During her confirmation hearing, now-Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos suggested a vision for higher education that might not require as much student debt.
- Why Malaysia is refusing to return Kim Jong Nam’s body to North Korea
The investigation into the death of Kim Jong Nam is still ongoing. Malaysian authorities said Friday that they would conduct a second autopsy on the body of Mr. Kim, half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, after the first one yielded no definitive conclusions about the cause of his death. Malaysian police also say they will not return the body to North Korea until a family member claims the body – with a matching DNA sample to prove the relationship.
- Can Tony Blair stop Brexit?
Earlier this month, British members of Parliament (MPs) overwhelmingly voted to back Brexit, citing deference to the will of the people. Speaking at an event for Open Britain, which wants Britain to maintain access to the single market, Tony Blair declared that the Brexit discussion was far from over. The task for voters who want to remain in the EU, Mr. Blair said, is to persuade Leave voters to change their minds, thus forcing a reversal on Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.
- Romania’s lesson in public integrity
Since early February, tens of thousands of people in Romania have held almost daily protests against corruption in many cities. This persistent and peaceful outcry on Romania’s streets for honest governance began after the ruling party tried to roll back anti-corruption efforts that have already led to thousands of officials being put on trial since 2013. People were shocked at how easily their progress in suppressing corruption could be eroded by politicians.
- Kim Jong-nam’s death: Latest test of tense China-North Korea relations
Despite being North Korea's biggest ally, China has seen its alliance with the regime repeatedly tested in recent years – and the past week is no exception. With a ballistic missile test this past Sunday, and the apparent assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the exiled half-sibling of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, the relationship between the two nations is growing increasingly tense. On Monday, Kim Jong-nam died en route to the hospital from Kuala Lumpur International Airport after he claimed he was sprayed with a chemical.
- Readers write: Trump editorial coverage
Recommended: What do you know about Donald Trump? Milton Love’s remarks in your Readers Write column regarding the Monitor’s political coverage highlighted one of the things I love about the Monitor: namely that, while it may constructively criticize actions, opinions, and policy, I have not seen the Monitor defame someone’s character, even slightly.
- Can decriminalizing marijuana improve public safety in Houston?
Following decades of rising incarceration and diminishing public safety returns, America’s fourth most-populous city is embarking on a new approach to drug crime. On Thursday, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced that Houston would decriminalize possession of less than 4 ounces of marijuana, beginning March 1. The new county policy means offenders without warrants for other crimes will soon have a route to bypass court appearances and jail time. Under the Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program, they can opt instead to pay $150 and take a 4-hour drug education class.
- Lincoln is still No. 1 but Obama debuts high on historians’ 2017 presidential ranking list
Recommended: Know your US presidents? Mr. Obama did best in the “pursued equal justice for all,” category with an overall average of 83.2, placing him third behind Abraham Lincoln (first) and Lyndon Johnson (second).
- Many presidents have first year troubles. Trump is the same – and different
The top national security official was a problem from the beginning of the administration. It was a key job and the White House needed someone more attuned to the president’s instincts and operating style. Michael Flynn, the ex-general just dismissed as President Trump’s national security adviser?
- Obama officials: There's hope for cybersecurity under Trump
- Harward turns down national security adviser job. Who else is there?
Mr. Trump said in a post on Twitter on Friday he was weighing four potential candidates for national security advisor. "General Keith Kellogg, who I have known for a long time, is very much in play for NSA – as are three others," he tweeted, without naming the other candidates. Lt. Gen. Kellogg was named as acting National Security Advisor following Mr. Flynn's resignation on February 13.
- Arrest of abused immigrant unleashes debate: Where should line be drawn?
Last week, in the middle of a nationwide immigration sweep, federal agents surrounded an El Paso, Texas, county courtroom, a place where victims of domestic violence – women, mostly – go to obtain orders of protection against their abusers. It’s a case that has shocked and outraged El Paso county officials, who called the enforcement action in their courtroom an unprecedented federal intrusion into a space meant to ensure their community’s public safety. Immigration advocates see it as another sign that the Trump administration plans to widen the scope of its priorities as it aggressively seeks to find and deport a wide range of the nation’s estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants.
- Far-right populism marches across Europe – but not in Iberia. Why not?
It's a good time to be a far-right populist in Europe. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders' Freedom Party looks set to win the most seats in March elections. Recommended: Test your Iberia IQ: How much do you know about Spain and Portugal?
- Mexico's pollution: how two entrepreneurs are driving change by embracing old cars
After decades as the standard taxi model in Mexico City, the Volkswagen Bug is considered “classic” Mexico. Take the 2002 white VW Bug parked in the gravel lot alongside Alto Rendimiento Automotriz, Álvaro de la Paz’s car shop. The engine has been replaced with an electric motor held up by handcrafted supports, and the back window looks down on rows of bright blue lithium batteries.
- Watch: Cybersecurity futures
In this Privacy Lab event, CLTC will present on Cybersecurity Futures 2020, a report that poses five scenarios for what cybersecurity may look like in 2020. The report extrapolates from technological, social, and political forces that are already shaping our world today. CLTC grantees will also present findings from their research.
- How to combat the rise of 'intellectual' hate groups in the US
The number of Ku Klux Klan chapters across the country declined 32 percent from the previous year, dropping from 190 groups in 2015 to 130, with Klan activity largely limited to anonymous leafleting, according to the SPLC quarterly Intelligence Report published Wednesday. Recommended: How well do you know #BlackLivesMatter?
- He devised a business plan that’s improved livelihoods in his native Senegal
The Franco-Senegalese, born in Senegal’s capital, Dakar, and vet-schooled in Belgium, was more interested in how healthy animals could boost food production and how that production could improve people’s livelihoods. For 10 years now, the result is Dolima, Senegal’s second-largest dairy brand under the milk production company La Laiterie du Berger (LDB). “If we had known it wasn’t possible, we wouldn’t have done it,” Mr. Bathily says amusedly.
- WA Supreme Court: By refusing same-sex wedding, florist violated anti-discrimination law
The Washington State Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Thursday that a florist based in the city of Richland discriminated against customers Rob Ingersoll and Curt Freed when she refused to sell flowers for their wedding in 2013. The ruling upheld a closely-watched decision from last February, when a Benton County Superior Court judge ruled that her religious beliefs did not allow her to discriminate against the same-sex couple. Mr. Ingersoll and Mr. Freed had been longtime customers of Barronelle Stutzman before the 2013 refusal.
- Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and the rise of originalism
What Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings could highlight is how the traditionally conservative philosophy of originalism has become so mainstream and, arguably, bipartisan. Originalism calls for the Constitution to be interpreted as the Framers intended it to be more than 200 years ago. Since a staunch commitment to originalism helped scupper a Supreme Court confirmation three decades ago, the philosophy has become increasingly popular.
- The 'Day Without Immigrants' protest returns a decade later. Will it be effective?
Some restaurants, small businesses, and even schools across the country shut their doors Thursday to show the nation just what a United States without immigrants looks like. Businesses and consumers in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Houston, Boston, and others may feel the strain of the “Day Without Immigrants” strikes on Thursday, as immigrants and advocates protest the Trump administration's agenda on immigration. The move is intended to highlight the vital role immigrants play in each industry, as well as in the economy by calling on immigrants to keep their wallets closed while also skipping school or work if they can.
- Justin Trudeau thinks an EU-Canada accord is make or break for free trade deals. Is he right?
Justin Trudeau thinks there’s life for big free trade deals after Donald Trump and Brexit. A long-stalled accord between Canada and the European Union – the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Accord, or Ceta – was approved by the European Parliament and Canada’s House of Commons this week, leaving the Canadian senate and Europe’s national governments as the final hurdles.
- Third arrest made in murder of North Korean leader's half-brother, while debate over motive continues
Malaysian police have made a third arrest in the apparent murder of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and an occasional critic of his family's regime. On Monday, the leader's estranged brother was attempting to board a flight from Kuala Lumpur to the Chinese territory of Macau when he said he was sprayed with a chemical thought to be a poison, and died shortly thereafter. Take our geography quiz.
- The UN’s step for justice in Syria
After six years of a brutal war in Syria, the United Nations took a concrete step this month to help heal Syrian society once the war ends. It set up an office for the formal investigation of war crimes in Syria to collect hard evidence for the future prosecution of perpetrators on all sides in the conflict.
- End of the two-state solution? What Israel, Palestinians would be giving up.
When President Trump dropped the longstanding American insistence on the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, he veered away from the two-state premise that has been at the core of Middle East peace efforts for decades. The idea of dividing the land shared by Israelis and Palestinians goes back to 1947. For more modern proponents of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the model enshrined the principle of trading “land for peace.” It promised two essential ingredients that sought to satisfy the basic needs of the two peoples: political self-determination for the Palestinians in their own independent state, and recognized borders for Israel that would be accepted by its Arab neighbors.
- Mattis: US 'not in a position to collaborate' with Russian military
- What's next for Joe Biden?
Joe Biden has been elected to chair the Philadelphia National Constitution Center’s board of trustees, his most significant appointment since the unusually popular former vice president left the White House early this year. Mr. Biden, who has left the door ajar to bigger appointments such as an unlikely third tilt at the presidency in 2020, was named by the center on Wednesday to succeed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. “The National Constitution Center’s mission to teach all Americans about the great document of human freedom that unites us has never been more timely, urgently needed, and inspiring,” Biden said in a statement.
- 'A day without immigrants' arrives: Can a strike move immigrants' concerns forward?
A national grassroots campaign is urging immigrants to avoid work and shopping on Thursday to demonstrate how their absence could effect the US economy. Some activists may not be sure where the social media-driven campaign originated, but their target is clear: what they call anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies from President Trump, such as the now-halted travel ban blocking refugees and visitors from seven predominantly Muslim nations. Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test?
- Amid global unrest, Germany rethinks its security – and its place in the world
At the high-powered Munich Security Conference in 2014, German officials made news by acknowledging their nation’s new responsibility in foreign and security affairs. Less than two months later, Russia annexed Crimea, bringing a security crisis to Germany’s front yard. Less than a year after that, Islamic radicals shot their way into the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, setting off a series of deadly terror attacks across Europe, including in Germany.
- 2016 witnessed surge in anti-Muslim hate groups, SPLC report says
Hate groups – particularly right-wing extremists and anti-Muslim groups – are on the rise in the United States, according to a report released Wednesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC's findings are contained in the current issue of their Intelligence Report, which tracks extremist groups.
- Mexican mother fleeing deportation finds refuge in Colorado church
A Mexican mother of four took sanctuary in a Denver church on Wednesday to avoid being deported by federal immigration authorities, amid a White House promise to crack down on illegal immigration. Jeanette Vizguerra, who has lived in the US for 20 years and has three US-born children ages 6, 10, and 12, took refuge at the First Unitarian Society church after US Immigration and Enforcement officials refused to grant her another “stay of removal” as she waits on the outcome of her visa application.
- Where Americans agree on Trump: He should be builder-in-chief
For several nervous days, the flooding at Oroville Dam in California presented the prospect of a catastrophic disaster. Throughout his presidential campaign, Donald Trump branded himself as a builder and dealmaker set to revive a decaying America.