Immigration reform, making its way through Congress, and the Boston Marathon bombings – allegedly committed by two Chechen immigrants – has raised heated debate about how we measure the assimilation of newcomers civically, culturally, economically, and even patriotically.
AIDS turning point: South Africa is the worst-hit country in the worst-hit region of the epidemic. But the disease is no longer an acute emergency. The spread of infection has slowed sharply and those infected are living close-to-normal lives. Still, an exhausted nation deals with the aftereffects.
School prayer was banned by the US Supreme Court 50 years ago, but there is probably more presence of religion in public school environments – through club ministries, classes, after-school and interfaith programs, and faith-based services – than ever.
Telecommuting is a rapidly growing work-life style. Yahoo's recent ban of remote work sent a wave of concern through white-collar legions who consider themselves fortunate – and more productive – working in pajamas at home or holed up in a Starbucks cafe.
The post-9/11 'new normal' has evolved: The tactical and emotional responses to the Boston Marathon bombings show what experts call a national maturity toward terrorism that echoes longer experience with such crises in England, Spain, Russia, Japan, and Israel.
In the new politics of Congress, deals are no longer fashioned by moderates, who vanished long ago, but by a few lawmakers on the left and right who have the respect, clout, and just enough pragmatism to surmount the culture of division.
Congress is considering comprehensive immigration reform, including amnesty, work visas, and guest worker programs. What this path to citizenship could mean for 11 million illegal immigrants can be seen in the 1986 amnesty of 3 million legalized in the last major immigration overhaul.