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A new housing project in the West Bank settlement of Naale, part of the Israeli government’s recent push to increase its presence in the disputed territory, Jan. 1, 2019. AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

Israel’s West Bank settlements: 4 questions answered

The US delighted Israel and outraged Palestinians by announcing it sees nothing illegal with Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Here, a brief history of this hotly disputed land.
A mother hugs her son at the memorial of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, 2019, the first anniversary of the shooting at the synagogue. AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

How American anti-Semitism reflects the centuries-long struggle over the meaning of religious liberty

The US Constitution is supposed to protect freedom of religion. But in the 20th century, white Christian nationalists used this ideal to discriminate against Jews and justify their exclusion.
Victims of sexual violence and their supporters gather to protest outside a speech from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at George Mason University Arlington, Virginia. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Protections against sexual misconduct on campus may end up stifling free speech

Changes to how the landmark federal law to protect women on campuses from sexual discrimination and misconduct is interpreted are having an unintended effect: scaring off potential whistleblowers.
Drills can help people learn how to respond when an active shooter situation arises, as recently occurred in Santa Clarita, Calif. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Do lockdown drills do any good?

Being ready takes training and practice. But it might not require fake blood and simulated shootings.
A vitamin E acetate sample during a tour of the Medical Marijuana Laboratory of Organic and Analytical Chemistry at the Wadsworth Center in Albany, New York on Nov. 4, 2019. Hans Pennink/AP Photo

Vitamin E and vaping injuries: What’s safe in your diet is rarely safe in your lungs

A form of vitamin E could be behind recent vaping illnesses and death, as the vitamin was not meant to go into the lungs. Lax oversight of products and supplements only worsens the situation.
Amanda Gershon testifies at a public hearing on Medicaid expansion in Lincoln, Nebraska, Oct. 16, 2018. Gershon had $60,000 worth of medical debt at age 22 because of an autoimmune illness. Nati Harnik/AP Photo

Americans bankrupted by health care costs: 4 questions answered

Just how big a problem are medical bankruptcies? For someone going through one, it's devastating. And it happens far more often than you might think.
Students in an advanced bachelor’s degree seminar in the Bard Prison Initiative at Eastern New York Correctional Facility. Skiff Mountain Films

Documentary provides rare look at higher education in prison

A scholar who has taught in prison weighs in on 'College Behind Bars,' which airs Nov. 25 and 26 on PBS. The documentary prompts viewers to consider the importance of higher education in prison.
Blood has special traits unique to every person. TippaPatt/www.shutterstock.com

What are blood types?

Every person's blood is identified by type. Why does this matter?
Those smiles probably aren’t thanks to tryptophan. Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

Turning to turkey’s tryptophan to boost mood? Not so fast

Tryptophan, found in food, is an important ingredient in the neurotransmitter serotonin. But is that enough to support it as a possible mood booster? The research is decidedly mixed.