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A disrupter at UN: Can new chief shake up bureaucracy to speed progress?

A disrupter at UN: Can new chief shake up bureaucracy to speed progress?António Guterres, who took over as United Nations secretary-general early this year, acknowledges that the world community has made encouraging progress in improving people’s lives over recent decades. Just two examples: Malaysia reduced poverty levels from about half the population in 1970 to under 10 percent in 2000, allowing the country to focus on eradicating poverty by 2030. Recommended: What do you know about the United Nations?


Why there's a growing rift in GOP over law and order

Why there's a growing rift in GOP over law and orderShould the government be able to take your money, car, or home without charging you with a crime? For Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a “careful” plan to expand the program amounts to a common-sense approach to support law enforcement and weaken criminal enterprises amid an uptick in violent crime. Democrats and civil libertarians have been up in arms about such seizures for years, saying the war-on-drugs-era tactic creates absurd incentives that have in many cases resulted in “policing for profit,” as the nonprofit Institute for Justice found in a 2015 report.


Poland’s challenge to EU values

Poland’s challenge to EU valuesPoland’s government, elected in 2015 with 38 percent of the vote, appears to be on a collision course with the European Union. In fact, the EU has few tools to punish Poland. One of the EU’s great triumphs is the spread of the idea that people should be treated equally before the law.


For homeless girls in Queens, Girl Scout Troop 6000 offers an anchor

For homeless girls in Queens, Girl Scout Troop 6000 offers an anchorWhen New York City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer attended the first meeting of Girl Scout Troop 6000 in his district in western Queens this year, he hadn’t the slightest inkling that the small group of girls gathering here would have such an impact. As the first Girl Scout troop in New York designed specifically for homeless girls, Troop 6000 began in February as a modest effort to help bring a sense of community, if not normalcy, to the 100 families with children who lived in a Queens shelter in his district. Only eight girls attended that first meeting in the old breakfast nook of the converted budget hotel in Long Island City. Yet the idea to bring a Girl Scout troop to a family shelter became a symbol for the city’s larger efforts to rethink its efforts to help the homeless, including those to maintain “community anchors” for families that had lost their homes, such as churches and schools.