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The FBI came knocking at this man's door — long before Trump

Sarmad Gilani was working at Google’s offices in San Francisco one morning when he received a message that two cops were waiting for him in Google’s lobby.<p>The 31-year-old software engineer at Google figured the officers just wanted to talk about an unpaid parking ticket. But Gilani also wondered if …

FBI

Texas police may soon act more like federal immigration enforcers

Texas State Rep. Gene Wu was visibly emotional on Wednesday as he spoke about a controversial immigration enforcement bill before the Texas House of Representatives.<p>"This topic is painful for me," said Wu, a Democrat who represents a district in Houston. "I am an immigrant. My parents are …

Immigration

Colleges create 'safe zones' on campus for undocumented students

Maria Soria Castañeda grew up in North Carolina but was born in Mexico. She moved to the US with her family when she was 3. She’s also undocumented and, now, a junior at Swarthmore College, where she feels like a bit of a pioneer.<p>"We don’t really know what undocumented students they had before, but …

College & University

Sometimes, you can't see change until your neighborhood auto shop is forced out of the neighborhood

When you’ve got a great car mechanic and he leaves the neighborhood, it almost feels like your doctor has moved. Guang Lin is that mechanic. And with his departure goes much more than a mechanic and friend I trust, which is no small thing itself.<p>In my own neighborhood of Cambridge — Cambridgeport — …

Bicycling

Trump will give NAFTA talks a shot, but withdrawal is still possible

Canada and Mexico got a reprieve in their tough trade relationship with Donald Trump after the US president walked back his threat to jettison the NAFTA continental trade pact Thursday.<p>After speaking by telephone with his Canadian and Mexican counterparts a day earlier, Trump announced that the …

Donald Trump

Astronauts are baffled by Trump's space travel plans

American astronauts may be walking on Mars in the next eight years, or ideally the next four, if President Donald Trump has his way. But the new timetable has baffled experts in space travel.<p>The surprise announcement — or rather instruction — took place this week during a live video conference …

Space Travel

Watch these majestic reindeer in Norway make their summer migration

The annual migration of reindeer across Norway is a spectacle of nature. The majestic animals are currently moving from their southern winter grazing grounds to greener spring pastures.<p>This year you can watch it happen in real time — all of it.<p>The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) is …

Nature

Why some experts want the US to adopt a VAT and other tax lessons from around the world

“It’s going to be the biggest tax cut in the history of the country!” That’s how US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin touted the Trump administration’s just-revealed tax plan. But huge cuts mean the government will need to make up the revenue somehow.<p>James Hines, an economics professor at the …

So we slash US foreign aid. But why?

President Donald Trump's plan to make dramatic cuts in foreign aid and abolish an independent US Agency for International Development has few fans on Capitol Hill and powerful detractors at the Pentagon.<p>Still, the proposal, or some version of it, could become a reality.<p>The details are readily …

Foreign Aid

Say what! Humans in America '115,000 years earlier than thought'

High-tech dating of mastodon remains found in southern California has shattered the timeline of human migration to America, pushing the presence of hominins back to 130,000 years ago rather than just 15,000 years, researchers said Wednesday.<p>Teeth and bones of the elephant-like creature unmistakably …

Anthropology

The world's most eligible bachelor likes to eat grass and chill in the mud

Here's some news for the lovelorn.<p>If you’ve ever used the dating app Tinder to meet interesting people, then maybe you’ve come across a handsome devil named Sudan who describes himself as "the most eligible bachelor in the world.” He's one of a kind and “looking for love."<p>Tempted to find out more?<p>A …

Climate

President Trump, what will you do to draw immigrant scientists to the US?

<i>Over President Donald Trump's first 100 days, we're asking him questions that our audience wants answers to. Join the project by tweeting this question to @realDonaldTrump with the hashtag #100Days100Qs.</i><p><b>#90. @realDonaldTrump, what will you do to draw immigrant scientists to the US?? …

Donald Trump

The White House threatens to take Congress to the mat on the border wall

The Trump White House has doubled down on its demand that a government spending bill include $1.4 billion for a wall on the US-Mexico border.<p>But a determined group of US lawmakers is prepared to stand in the president's way.<p>"We're going to fight this to make sure that we don't get a wall," says …

Immigration

Robert Pirsig, author of the iconic 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,' dies

Robert Pirsig, author of the iconic novel "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," has died at the age of 88, US media reported Tuesday.<p>Despite its title, the book published in 1974 to rave reviews and explosive popularity is more a reflexion on metaphysics and existential philosophy than a …

Literature

Is it murder if there’s no homicide?

Jessie McKim has spent the last 20 years behind bars for a murder that never took place.<p>McKim of Kirksville, Missouri, is serving a life sentence without parole for murdering Wendy Wagnon back in 1997. (He was convicted in 1999.) But back in 2013, it was determined that Wagnon actually died from a …

Justice

To understand climate change, look at it from a mussel's perspective

The phrase “climate change” triggers images of a huge, global phenomenon. Rising seas. Drought. Ocean acidification.<p>But it's actually experienced on a much smaller scale, by individual plants, animals and people.<p>And most of the world’s organisms experience it much differently than humans do.<p>“As …

Climate Change

What happens when you eat seafood at every meal for a year?

“What fish should I eat that’s good for me and good for the planet?”<p>Best-selling author and lifelong fisherman Paul Greenberg spent a year eating seafood for breakfast, lunch and dinner — and traveling the world — in an attempt to find out.<p>His quest is chronicled in "The Fish on My Plate," a …

Nutrition

It's World Penguin Day! Help scientists count penguins.

Fall is turning to winter in the Southern Hemisphere, and Antarctic penguins are beginning their northward migration, so it's time to celebrate World Penguin Day!<p>Scientists use penguin population size and well-being as indicators of the state of Antarctica, Earth's most frozen continent. And on …

Climate Change

Students 'study abroad' with immigrant families in the US

Armand Melk-Johnson gives me a tour of his host family’s home, a one-and-a-half story bungalow in Minneapolis.<p>He’s staying with his host mom Alicia and her two young kids, Mariel and Thomas.<p>Melk-Johnson is 15 and a ninth-grader at Minnehaha Academy, a private school in Minneapolis, that's doing …

Education

A Guatemalan indigenous land rights activist wins the Goldman Environmental Prize

Rodrigo Tot is a 60-year-old farmer and an indigenous land rights activist from Guatemala. He represents an isolated, small Q’eqchi farming and fishing community of about 270 members in the long-running fight to secure legal ownership over their communal lands.<p>Tot and his community stood up to the …

Environment

'Almost Asian' is a hilarious look at dealing with adult-onset identity issues

When I stumbled across Katie Malia’s YouTube series “Almost Asian,” I thought, "Oh my goodness, I have found my half-Japanese sister from another mister."<p>I watched every episode, back-to-back, laughing, even guffawing at times. The short scripted series follows the half-Japanese actress navigating …

Mental Health

Attack in Afghanistan raises questions about the 15-year-old war — and US role

The Trump administration is contemplating sending US reinforcements to try to stabilize Afghanistan. Defense Secretary James Mattis is visiting the capital, Kabul, to assess the situation.<p>However, Mattis can't meet with his Afghan counterpart, or the head of the Afghan military, as those guys quit …

War

How Trump's border wall demands could lead to a government shutdown

The deadline for Congress to pass a new federal budget — this Friday at midnight — is fast approaching, and recently, there appeared to be bipartisan support for a compromise. However, last week the White House introduced a new spending measure that seems to have scuttled that progress and could, …

Government

Online fake news and hate speech are fueling tribal 'genocide' in South Sudan

South Sudan became the world’s newest country in 2011. But since breaking from Sudan, it’s been riven by its own internal conflicts between clan groups, minor warlords and government factions.<p>Earlier this month, the United Nations World Food Program discovered three of its workers were killed …

Africa

Scenes from the March for Science in Washington, DC

It was a rainy day in Washington, DC — but that didn’t stop thousands from gathering on the National Mall to voice their support for science.<p>The March for Science in Washington was one of nearly 500 marches around the world scheduled on April 22, 2017—Earth Day. Science Friday‘s Danielle Dana, …

March for Science

The March for Science is a truly global affair

Thousands of people rallied in support for science in Europe and Australasia on Saturday ahead of a march in Washington, triggered by rising concern over populism and so-called alternative facts.<p>The March for Science demonstrations have been organised in response to what is seen as mounting …

Climate Change

As the election looms, this week's terror attack weighs on the minds of voters

Thursday night, some media outlets were remarking on the triple symbolism of the Champs-Élysées attack.<p>The targets were the French police, the most emblematic avenue in France, and an election campaign hitting a nail-biting climax.<p>The attack occurred as all 11 candidates in this first round of the …

Elections

Why is the world marching for science? It's local issues, like budgets, education and food security.

The March for Science, happening Saturday in Washington, DC, started as a reaction to the Trump administration’s attitudes toward science. But since it was dreamed up in late January, the movement has spread well beyond the Beltway.<p>As of Friday afternoon, organizers say there are more than 600 …

Food Security

Meth’s new frontier: The Islamic marshlands of Bangladesh

<i>Annual seizures of meth in the country have gone up 80,000 percent — yes, eighty thousand percent — in nine years.</i><p><i>Editor’s note: Muktadir “Romeo” Rashid co-reported this story.</i><p>Rural Bangladesh is a sleepy, swampy sort of place.<p>At dawn, moms in burqas emerge from huts to scatter chicken feed in the …

Methamphetamine

What nature can teach us about sustainability and innovation

We live in a world driven by technology and innovation, but what if the answers to some of our most complex questions, like how to build more sustainable communities with stronger and more efficient infrastructures, came not from algorithms and big data, but from nature?<p>It’s a question that Amina …

Sustainability