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Author: TheGuardian

The Quiet Hero: How Japan’s Schindler Chiune Sugihara saved 6,000 Jews

Chiune Sugihara’s son tells how he learned of his father’s rescue mission in Lithuania, which commemorates his achievements this year. As a child in Japan in the 1950s and 60s, Nobuki Sugihara never knew his father had saved thousands of lives. Few did. His father, Chiune Sugihara, was a trader who lived in a small coastal town about 34 miles south of Tokyo. When not on business trips to Moscow, he coached his young son in mathematics and English. He made breakfast, spreading butter on the toast so thinly “nobody could compete.” His son had no idea his father...

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A Schism of Faith: Methodist Church plans split into opposition and LGBTQ-inclusion branches

There is at least one area of agreement among conservative, centrist, and liberal leaders in the United Methodist Church: America’s largest mainline Protestant denomination is on a path toward likely breakup over differences on same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBT pastors. The differences have simmered for years, and came to a head in February at a conference in St. Louis where delegates voted 438-384 for a proposal called the Traditional Plan, which strengthens bans on LGBT-inclusive practices. A majority of delegates based in America opposed that plan and favored LGBT-friendly options, but they were outvoted by U.S. conservatives teamed...

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The contradictions of 2010 to 2020: An era that began with Obama and ended with Trump

2010 to 2020 was a contradictory decade that will confound future historians with a simple question: how did America go from Obama to Trump? Lin-Manuel Miranda was touring his award-winning musical, In the Heights, to his parents’ homeland of Puerto Rico. Donald Trump was awarding first prize on his reality TV show, The Apprentice, to a corporate lawyer turned mobile cupcake entrepreneur. The year was 2010 and, in the decade that followed, these two hustlers from New York with fiercely devoted followings would come to represent the two faces of America. Miranda produced Hamilton, a musical mega-hit that used...

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Our nation’s self-serving myths fell apart in the decade since 2010

The 2010s was the decade that forced American politicians and commentators to confront the limits of the country’s own mythology. Political elites in both parties had long shared the same conventional wisdom about the United States, grounded in ideas of exceptionalism and institutional perfection. But with the rise of Donald Trump and the return of a virulent politics of xenophobia and exclusion, it became increasingly difficult, even for many in the political establishment, to reproduce these past homilies. Today the US is truly at a crossroads. Are Americans willing to confront the failures that led to the present, or...

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Wisconsin comes to terms with repercussions of armed security after cluster of school shootings

Shootings a day apart at two high schools in Wisconsin have shaken the state and sparked a renewed debate over how to combat violence in American schools. An Oshkosh police department resource officer shot a 16-year-old student on December 3 after the boy stabbed him in the officer’s office at Oshkosh West high school. A day earlier, a resource officer at Waukesha South high school helped clear students out of a classroom after a 17-year-old student pointed a pellet gun at another student’s head. Another police officer entered the room and shot the student. Neither of the students who...

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New database reveals staggering scale of gun violence in schools and lack of safety laws

A gun is fired on a school campus in America nearly twice a week. Suicide, homicides, a police shooting, attacks on students by other students: more than once a month this past year, gunfire on American school and university campuses has turned deadly, according to a database of school gunfire incidents compiled by advocates. Schools are one of the safest places for kids in the United States, and shootings in and around schools represent only a tiny fraction of the violence that children face here on a daily basis. But even the small amount of gun violence that occurs...

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