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A family catches Mardi Gras beads during the Krewe of Thoth parade down St. Charles Avenue in 2000. Reuters

The destructive life of a Mardi Gras bead

Each Mardi Gras, 25 million pounds of beads hit the streets of New Orleans. One researcher went to the Chinese factories that make them – and spoke to the workers who believe the beads will be given to royalty.
Director Asghar Farhadi wins the award for best screenplay at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Yves Herman/Reuters

How Iranian filmmakers like Asghar Farhadi defy the censors

Their critiques may be more gentle, their attacks more circumspect – but they are resonant nonetheless. And when filmmakers like Farhadi confront Trump, they're on familiar turf: They've seen his type back home.
The bad old days: Public and political support for the EPA was highest when environmental problems like air and water pollution were more obvious than current problems like climate change or endocrine disruptors. U.S. National Archives

Why Trump’s EPA is far more vulnerable to attack than Reagan’s or Bush’s

Today's political climate gives new EPA head Scott Pruitt a clear path to seriously cut back EPA enforcement – more than previous administrations.
Indian Muslim woman Shagufta Sayyd prays in Mumbai, India. AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool

Who exactly are ‘radical’ Muslims?

Muslims from the Salafist tradition can often be seen as 'radical.' There is not much understanding of Salafism, its history and its diversity. Here's what it means to be a Salafist.
The Statue of Liberty has been a welcoming sight for immigrants for decades. Susan Ragan/AP Photo

Want a stronger economy? Give immigrants a warm welcome

Trump's plans to build a wall with Mexico and deport millions of people in the US illegally cast immigrants as an economic threat to Americans. The evidence suggests otherwise.
A woman holds a flag as she looks out over the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Threats of violent Islamist and far-right extremism: What does the research say?

Data on violent incidents in the US reveal that our focus on Islamist extremism since 9/11 may be misguided.
Tyler Oakley speaking in California. Gage Skidmore/flickr

How social media stars are fighting for the Left

Content creators with millions of fans are increasingly willing to voice their political views. Their influence on American politics may be in its infancy but it is growing fast.
Does technology shackle us, preventing us from interacting with real people? 'Chain' via www.shutterstock

Is your smartphone making you shy?

Some have said that technology could lead to 'a new ice age' of social isolation. Not so fast, says the author of a new book about shyness.
Inmates wait to enter an assigned cell block at the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, California. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File

Inmates are excluded from Medicaid – here’s why it makes sense to change that

Repealing a legal provision that excludes people in prison or jail from Medicaid could improve access to treatment, save state and local governments money and reduce recidivism.