National News

An Israeli Merkava tank drives past a field of sunflowers along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip as it moves out of the Gaza Strip on Aug. 3.

Hamas Conflict Could Have Lingering Impact On Israel's Economy

Itay Maoz climbs into his dusty SUV and presses a series of buttons on his cellphone, which opens an electronic gate surrounding the Nahal Oz Kibbutz. From here, in the far south of Israel, you can see across the border into Gaza and the remains of buildings pulverized by Israeli missiles.

This 2,500-acre collective farm was on the front line during the war between Israel and Hamas, and it sustained millions of dollars worth of damage. Maoz points at a patch of hard earth, gouged with deep tracks, leading toward Gaza.

Volunteers at the Maryland Food Bank in Baltimore sort and box food donations on a conveyor belt. The bank started working with groups like the USO in 2013 to provide food aid to families affiliated with nearby military bases.

More Military Families Are Relying On Food Banks And Pantries

Despite the economic recovery, more than 46 million Americans — or 1 in 7 — used a food pantry last year. And a surprisingly high number of those seeking help were households with military members, according to a new survey by Feeding America, which is a network of U.S. food banks.

The Power Of The Peer Group In Preventing Campus Rape

Many forces can drive a male college student to commit sexual assault. But one of the most important may be the company he keeps.

A DC-10 firefighting aircraft drops fire retardant in northern California in 2008. As it expands and modernizes its fleet of air tankers, the Forest Service has recently added several DC-10s to its fleet.

Bigger, Faster Air Tankers Help Forest Service Tackle Wildfires

In the battle against wildfires, the Forest Service often draws on a fleet of air tankers — planes that drop fire retardant from the sky.

But the fleet shrank dramatically in the early 2000s, and by 2012, the Forest Service was woefully low on planes. Now, the agency is quickly increasing the number of planes at its disposal — and modernizing the fleet in the process by adding bigger, faster and more efficient planes.

Tobacco prevention specialist Rob Carr speaks to a group of youth and elders at the Red Rock Chapter of the Navajo Nation in New Mexico.

Casinos Worry As More Navajo Communities Go Smoke-Free

Walking onto the gaming floor at the Twin Arrows Casino near Flagstaff is a sensory-rich experience, with winning bells and slot machine jingles a constant. But in addition to hearing the sounds of the gaming floor, visitors also smell cigarette smoke.

The Smoke-Free Arizona Act doesn't apply to this casino, located just inside the southern borders of the Navajo Nation. That means smoking in an enclosed public space is legal.

Pamela Taylor, who lives near Brownsville, Texas, calls the border fence there "useless."

In South Texas, Few On The Fence Over Divisive Border Wall Issue

When Congress thinks about border security, it often sees a big, imposing fence.

The federal government has spent $2.3 billion to build the fence — 649 miles of steel fencing, in sections, between the U.S. and Mexico, designed to help control the illegal movement of people and contraband.

It's called tactical infrastructure, and the Border Patrol says it works. But people on the lower Texas border have another name for it: a boondoggle.

Whisked bakery founder Jenna Huntsberger (right) and baker's assistant Lauren Moore (left) prepare pies in Union Kitchen, a food incubator in Washington, D.C. Huntsberger says the shared kitchen space and the business know-how she's honed there have played a big part in her success.

For Food Start-Ups, Incubators Help Dish Up Success

If you want to get in shape, you can join a gym. But if you want to start a food business, where do you go?

Try a culinary incubator.

Just as gym members share workout equipment, members of many food incubators share commercial kitchen space.

Incubators also offer business support and technical assistance — like branding, sales and distribution — to help "foodpreneurs" get off the ground.

Lincoln, Neb., is home to a sizable community of Iraqi Yazidis — including Ismaeil Khalaf, shown here in his home watching the latest news about the Yazidi crisis in Iraq. Lincoln Yazidis petitioned for U.S. intervention to prevent the genocide of their friends and family.

Yazidi Community In America Watches Events In Iraq With Horror

For the past week, American warplanes and drones have been attacking militants from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, in the Sinjar region of northern Iraq. The U.S. is working to prevent the genocide of an ethnic and religious minority known as the Yazidis.

A sizable group of Iraqi Yazidis lives in Lincoln, Neb. Sulaiman Murad is among them; he grew up in the Iraqi town of Sinjar, which has been at the heart of recent Islamic State violence. Murad translated for the U.S. military after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and he moved to Lincoln in 2010.

Paul MacLeod, shown in 2009, was such an Elvis fan he even named his son after "the king."

With Its Eccentric Owner Gone, What To Do With Graceland Too?

Holly Springs, Miss., is a postcard antebellum Southern town. The official motto is "All Kinds of Character." Newspaper reporter Sue Watson says locals put it differently.

"We say, 'Holly Springs, All Kinds of Characters.' " she says. "I think Mr. MacLeod probably could fit in there pretty easily."

After a hiring freeze caused by a budget crisis, New Orleans is now struggling to replace the roughly 100 officers a year it loses to retirements and officers quitting.

New Orleans Makes Big Push To Get More Cops On The Streets

New Orleans is still reeling from another spate of violence last weekend, when five people were killed by gunfire and 11 wounded, including two toddlers. The city has launched high-profile campaigns to address gun violence, but a big part of the problem is an acute shortage of police.

Karen Rogers lives in the lower 9th Ward, where a recent drive-by shooting left two teenagers dead and several more wounded. Police say it was drug-related.

"This is not the first time [I've heard gunshots]," says Rogers. "This is the first time to actually see people murdered and shot."

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