Marvin Castillo

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This is what Christmas is like in North Korea, according to someone who escaped

A quick Google search of "Christmas in North Korea" brings up very little actual concrete information.<p>From US tabloids branding Kim Jong-un the "Grinch who stole Christmas" to a veritable plethora of Christmas jumpers which feature predictable puns that incorporate Christmas and nuclear weapons, it …

North Korea

30 Must-Read Books

<i>The Great Gatsby,</i> by F. Scott Fitzgerald<p>“It’s hard to say what anyone should or shouldn’t read, let alone <i>everyone,</i> but <i>The Great Gatsby</i> is a book I …

Books

Couple killed after warning daughter of boyfriend's suspected neo-Nazi views

<b>Washington (CNN) —</b> A 17-year-old in northern Virginia is facing two counts of murder for allegedly killing his girlfriend's parents after the couple tried to get their daughter to stop dating him because of his suspected neo-Nazi views, according to police and family members who spoke to the …

Neo-nazism

For Veterans, a Path to Healing ‘Moral Injury’

When you have a physical injury, go to the doctor. A psychological injury? Get thee to a psychiatrist. But what can be done if you suffer from a “moral injury?”<p>The term “moral injury” was popularized in the mid-1990s by Jonathan Shay, a staff psychiatrist at a Department of Veterans Affairs …

U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs

Take a look at the grimy and grueling training the Army uses to turn soldiers into snipers

At the US Army's Sniper School at Fort Benning in Georgia, students undergo some of the most grueling training the force offers.<p>"Sniper school is one of the hardest schools in the military, not physically, but mentally," Staff Sgt. Brian Moran, one of the 11 instructors who oversees the training, …

Military

Returning to Civilian Life Can Be a Collaborative Journey if You Know Where to Look

As a former captain in the U.S. Air Force supporting troops in combat and a practicing psychiatrist within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs …

Mental Health

Nonprofit seeks to pair military veterans with rescued dogs

American Humane wants military veterans to apply for its “Shelter to Service” program, an initiative that pairs victims of the hidden wounds of war …

These military mates will work for free in their battle to beat PTSD

Two former military men are offering to carry out free work to help them beat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).<p>Paul Morris, 57, and Ian Graves, …

Why Military Women Are Missing from the #MeToo Moment

For military women, before #MeToo there was #NotInvisible, our attempt to draw attention to the epidemic of sexual assault in the military which …

Kirsten Gillibrand

Stabenow proposes bill to reform VA health care

<i>Washington</i> — When former National Guardsman Jerry Sorensen was diagnosed with a lesion on his brain last year, he needed to see a specialist.<p>To …

Special counsel investigation leads to change in VA policy about suicidal vets

WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs is implementing a new agency-wide policy to flag medical records of patients at high risk of suicide …

Joe Biden Says Obama Didn't Have a 'Hint of Scandal' in His Presidency

Speaking Wednesday morning during an interview on CBS News, former Vice President Joe Biden made a bold claim about his old boss.<p>In an exchange with …

Military

Secretary of Veterans Affairs on combating homelessness among America's heroes

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for veterans is down to 2.7% in October, its lowest rate in years. But despite the improving job numbers for veterans, there is still the tragic issue of homelessness among America’s heroes. Secretary of Veterans Affairs David …

The Latest: Estimate says tax bill adds $1.46T to deficit

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Republican tax overhaul legislation (all times local):<p>6:45 p.m.<p>The preliminary deficit estimate for the final version of the GOP tax bill says it would add $1.46 trillion to the budget deficit over the coming 10 years.<p>The true deficit cost is likely to be even higher …

Affordable Care Act

11,000 People Demanded the Met Remove This Painting. They Aren’t Going To. Good.

A petition containing over 11,000 signatures has surfaced demanding that the Metropolitan Museum of Art remove a painting by the famous French artist …

The Hidden Succession News in Rupert Murdoch’s Sale of Fox Entertainment to Disney

As has been endlessly reported, Rupert Murdoch’s sale of Twenty-first Century Fox’s mostly entertainment assets to Disney merits major news. It reveals Fox’s lack of size, or “scale,” in a business increasingly dominated by corporate behemoths. It confirms Disney’s lust to compete with Netflix. But …

Journalism

While you’re looking the other way, Trump is changing America for decades to come

The president’s incendiary tweets and the Russia scandal distract us from decisions that are reshaping the internet, the environment and democracy<p>Now twice as long, his tweets are half as good. The early-morning dispatches from the iPhone of Donald Trump, often sent while he lies in bed, propped up …

Donald Trump

What’s in the Tax Bill, and How It Will Affect You

(UPDATED) — Republican lawmakers passed a sweeping tax overhaul this week. Several of the most anticipated changes — such as a significant increase in the standard deduction and the curtailing of state and local income tax breaks — made the final cut of the bill. Some of the most controversial …

Retirement

The Next Crisis for Puerto Rico: A Crush of Foreclosures

Puerto Rico has had an awful decade — and it’s about to get worse.<p>First came a brutal 10-year recession and financial crisis that drove businesses from this island and left 44 percent of the population impoverished. Then, in September, Hurricane Maria, a powerful Category 4 storm, shredded …

Caribbean

A journey through a land of extreme poverty: welcome to America

The UN’s Philip Alston is an expert on deprivation – and he wants to know why 41m Americans are living in poverty. The Guardian joined him on a special two-week mission into the dark heart of the world’s richest nation<p>Los Angeles, California, 5 December<p>“You got a choice to make, man. You could go …

Human Rights

Sex, Drugs, And Illness: How Chemsex Is Harming India's Gay Men

The drugs transported me to a world where stigma, stereotyping, abuse, shame, and bullying didn’t exist. But eventually they left me shameful, depressed, and terrified of disease.<p>It was a chilly December night. I was living on the outskirts of Delhi, away from my family and boyfriend. My friends …

These Were the Best Books We Read All Year

Books provided much-needed solace this year, both from the insanity of the news, and even from the way we consume the news itself. It felt more vital than ever to pick up a solid, ideally wireless object (okay, e-readers count too) that we could sink into for hours at a time, without seeing a red …