United States

Anita Pointon shows where the water has to soak over to in order to reach a bed of corn seeds. Photo: Lydia DePillis/The Washington Post

Drier than the Dust Bowl: waiting for relief in rural America. As wide swaths of rural America suffer through historic drought, they’re being le...

by Lydia DePillis Washington Post July 21, 2014

Every few hours, Anita Pointon refreshes the Web site that tells when it’s coming, because the work begins as soon as they know. Her husband, Chuck, 62, will set out to walk the farm with a moisture probe to see which fields are the driest. One run of water covers only about 18 acres of their 500,...

At a huge free medical clinic in Southwest Virginia, misery that shouldn’t exist

by Petula Dvorak Washington Post July 18, 2014

A gravel parking lot deep in the green hills of Virginia coal country was packed to capacity by 4 a.m. Friday. More than 1,500 people with canes, wheelchairs, oxygen tanks, bleeding gums, black lungs and other ills had come to the Wise County Fairgrounds, camping in tents, sleeping in pickup truck b...

Maryland governor, Obama aides spar over unaccompanied immigrant children

by Jenna Johnson Washington Post July 16, 2014

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The American middle class is no longer the world’s richest, and the poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans

by David Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy New York Times April 22, 2014

The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction.While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received consid...

Children do work at a school in the violent Chamelecon neighborhood of San Pedro Sula in Honduras. In Chamelecon, more than 300 houses have been abandoned, and military police in body armor patrol day and night on Honda dirt bikes. The two main gangs, 18th Street and MS-13, have fought over the area for years, commandeering houses and demanding that residents pay a war tax. “They bleed you,” said Alvin Rolando Baide, 34, who grew up in the neighborhood. “They demand 80 or 90 percent of your salary.” Photo: Joshua Partlow/The Washington Post

Honduran child migrants leave home because of poverty and violence

by Joshua Partlow Washington Post July 15, 2014

SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras — They are coming to America because a good job here means sewing underwear in a sweatshop for $47 a week.They are leaving neighborhoods where you can walk down block after block of abandoned houses spray-painted with gang graffiti, with collapsed roofs and jungle plants s...

Emalee Short played with her dog outside her grandparents’ home in Hensley, W.Va., in long-struggling McDowell County. Photo: Travis Dove/New York Times

Fifty years into the War on Poverty, hardship hits back

by Trip Gabriel New York Times April 20, 2014

TWIN BRANCH, W.Va. — When people visit with friends and neighbors in southern West Virginia, where paved roads give way to dirt before winding steeply up wooded hollows, the talk is often of lives that never got off the ground....

Report urges US commitment to addressing impact of climate change on global food security

by Hunger Notes July 13, 2014

(June 13, 2014) US government action can curb the risks climate change poses to global food security, says a new report (PDF) released by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Building on the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change report and National Climate Assessment, The Chicago Cou...

“Since returning from Afghanistan, Derric Winters had tried to replace the war by working construction, roughnecking in the oil fields and enrolling in community college. He had tried divorce and remarriage; alcohol and drugs; biker gangs and street racing; therapy appointments and trips to a shooting range for what he called “recoil therapy.” He had tried driving two hours to the hospital in Laramie, proclaiming himself in need of help and checking himself in. On this day, he was on his way to try what he considered the most unlikely solution yet: a 9-to-5 office job as a case worker helping troubled veterans — even though he hated office work and had so far failed to help himself.” Photo: Washington Post

Ugh. I miss it. Transitioning from military to civilian life and from camaraderie to isolation

by Eli Saslow Washington Post April 19, 2014

ROCK SPRINGS, WYO. — The only light in the vast Wyoming darkness came from the lit end of another 5:30 a.m. cigarette as Derric Winters waited alone for sunrise on the porch of his trailer. He never slept well, not anymore, so he smoked and stared across the three miles of barren landscape that se...

USAID, partners target preventable deaths. New efforts unveiled to save millions of women, children

by Board of Church and Society, United Methodist Church July 11, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is realigning $2.9 billion of its resources to save up to half a million children from preventable deaths by the end of 2015. USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said it is refocusing resources on high-impact programs with proven ...

Neonicotinoids: A reason millions of bees are dying

by Terrence McCoy Washington Post July 10, 2014

It was one of those mysteries no one cracked for years but gripped many: What’s killing all the bees? In Brevard County, Fla., nearly 12 million bees expired in 2011 in a great dying of almost biblical proportions. Then came news last year that 37 million bees — 37 million — had died that mont...