National News

At sign-up events like this one in Los Angeles in 2013, Covered California pledged "affordability" in health insurance as one of its main selling points.

California Health Insurance Exchange Keeps Rate Hikes Low — Again

Monthly premiums for California's 1.3 million Covered California customers will rise a modest 4 percent, on average, officials with the agency said Monday. This increase is slightly less than last year's increase of 4.2 percent for consumers who bought policies on the state's health insurance marketplace.

Some consumers could even achieve a reduction in their premium, of an average of 4.5 percent, if they choose to shop around.

Detainees at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash., gather for a Sikh prayer service.

With Religious Services, Immigrant Detainees Find 'Calmness'

When undocumented immigrants move through government-run detention centers in the U.S., it can take months before they find out if they'll be deported or allowed to stay in the country.

During this long wait, many become frustrated. And some turn to religion.

It's the job of the in-house chaplain to help connect detainees to religious services.

Keith Henderson, chaplain at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash., says, "I love it. I love the job," partly, he says, because he likes challenges.

A cell at New York's Rikers Island jail. About 1,000 people die in American jails every year, and about a third of those are suicides.

The 'Shock of Confinement': The Grim Reality Of Suicide In Jail

The case of Sandra Bland has raised anger and suspicions nationwide since she was found dead in a jail cell in Hempstead, Texas, two weeks ago. Bland's family and supporters have rejected the medical examiner's finding of suicide, and the criminal district attorney for Waller County, Texas, says he's recruited two outside lawyers to assist in the investigation of her death. The local investigation has been reviewed by the FBI, and local prosecutors have pledged to bring the case to a grand jury next month.

A worker picks clingstone peaches in Greece. Most of the country's farms are small and family owned. Production costs can be high, and Greek farmers have had trouble competing internationally.

For Greece's Farmers, Growing Pressure To Be More Competitive

Nick Lapatas spent 18 years living in Chicago. Then he returned home to Greece and bought a small farm. Today he and his son sell tomatoes in an open-air market in Athens. Despite the depressed economy and cheaper imports from Bulgaria and Albania, he's doing OK.

"I don't know how, but we are making some money," he says. "Now, what is going to happen a month from now, I don't know."

Vice President Joe Biden addresses a progressive youth summit in Washington, D.C., earlier this month.

Could Joe Biden Get 'Ready For Biden'?

Sitting vice presidents are usually seen as political heirs to the White House. But not this year.

With Hillary Clinton surging to the front of the Democratic field and the sudden rise of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden has largely been an afterthought.

"The fact that he's not in the mix is odd," said Ralph Begleiter, a professor of political communication at the University of Delaware.

As early as this spring though, Biden still hadn't ruled out a run and said he'd make a decision by summer.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh speaks at a news conference last month. He and the USOC announced Monday that his city is no longer in the running to host the 2024 Olympics.

Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid Is Over

It's official. The 2024 Olympic Games will not take place in Boston.

The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Olympic Committee "severed ties" with Boston on Monday. In a statement, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said, "I strongly believe that bringing the Olympic Games back to the United States would be good for our country and would have brought long-term benefits to Boston." He continued, "However, no benefit is so great that it is worth handing over the financial future of our City and our citizens were rightly hesitant to be supportive as a result."

The Savory Summer Cobbler from the <em>Cheap and Good</em> cookbook features seasonal vegetables under a peppery biscuit crust.

Cheap Eats: A Cookbook For Eating Well On A Food Stamp Budget

Editor's note: A version of this story was first published Aug. 1, 2014.

When Leanne Brown moved to New York from Canada to earn a master's in food studies at New York University, she couldn't help noticing that Americans on a tight budget were eating a lot of processed foods heavy in carbs.

Children play in between the tents of Parc Cardeau.

Fleeing To Haiti, They Put Their Faith In 'God And Government'

Marie Etyse left two of her children behind.

She's 29, a widow and has five kids. She's lived in a town in the Dominican Republic for the past nine years.

Like many Haitian migrants, she faced formal deportation after a law stripped them of their citizenship. Formal deportation could start as early as August 1. So many of these people have already fled to settlement camps in Haiti, which shares the island of Hispaniola with the DR.

Etyse had tried to get the required papers to stay in the country.

Malaysia, Cuba Taken Off U.S. Human Trafficking Blacklist

The U.S. State Department has taken Malaysia and Cuba off its list of worst human trafficking offenders — which many human rights advocates and U.S. lawmakers say has more to do with politics than facts on the ground.

The department's latest annual Trafficking in Persons Report also upgraded Uzbekistan and Angola, while Belize, Belarus and South Sudan were among 18 nations downgraded this year. Russia, Iran, Eritrea and Algeria are some of the countries that have been on the blacklist for years.

New York City FC's Andrea Pirlo warms up before an MLS soccer match against Orlando City SC on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

Major League Soccer Gambles On Star Power Of Aging Foreign Players

"We want Pirlo! We want Pirlo! We want Pirlo!"

On Sunday night, this chant thundered through Yankee Stadium, where Major League Soccer's prized acquisition from a top European club, legendary Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo, was set to make his debut with the New York City FC. The 36-year-old former Juventus star took the field as a sub in the second half, but from the cheers of the more than 30,000 fans, it was as if Babe Ruth had just scored the winning touchdown for the Knicks.

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