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This essay isn't about spin, or splitting hairs, or differing opinions.

This involves a reality check about our expectations of the people who act in our name. About credibility at the highest levels of our government. About people whose words are heard abroad as speaking for our nation. About the public and the media that try, however imperfectly, to serve it.

Hungary's parliament passed a series of laws on Wednesday criminalizing the act of aiding undocumented immigrants seeking asylum in the country, despite strong objections from leading European rights bodies.

The suite of bills, called "Stop Soros," allow the government to imprison individuals and nongovernmental organizations for up to a year if they're deemed to be facilitating what it says is illegal immigration by people not entitled to protections, the BBC reported. A separate amendment to the constitution declared that an "alien population" can not be settled in Hungary.

Rachel Osborn knows kids who slept in the immigrant detention centers in Texas that have dominated recent headlines.

"We have kids who will say that was the worst part of their journey," Osborn says. "They were traveling for weeks and the hardest part was being in this freezing cold room where, you know, they were fed a cold sandwich and had a thin blanket to shiver under."

And they had no parent or caregiver to comfort them and make them feel safe.

Seated in the Oval Office on Wednesday, flanked by his vice president and secretary of homeland security, President Trump walked back an administration practice that has separated more than 2,300 children from their parents along the border.

In Illinois, somebody being paid minimum wage would have to work 99 hours a week to afford the average two-bedroom apartment. That means an individual would have to earn more than $20 an hour to be able to pay for that two-bedroom apartment.

Those statistics come from a June report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Illinois’ average cost for a two-bedroom apartment is just above $1,058 a month. Illinois’ minimum wage is $8.25 an hour

They're used to rushing, tackling, and taking hits in front of 65,000 screaming spectators. But it was a whole different ball game when three New England Patriots came to a much smaller stage at a middle school in Boston's inner city this week to challenge five candidates vying to be district attorney on how they'd make the criminal justice system more fair.

"[My] nervous level is pretty high right now," conceded player Matthew Slater, as the auditorium began to fill up. Each clutching a wad of notes, his teammates Jason and Devin McCourty, seemed to feel the same way.

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Third grade teacher Tony Osumi says he, like a lot of Americans, watched the recent news from the Southern US border with growing dismay. The images and sounds of wailing children being pulled from their tearful parents' arms and taken away to temporary shelters made him wince—and reminded him of the first day of school for children who hadn't been before.

It was on a family trip to Japan when Jui-Ting Hsi's patience with her father Kuo-Jen Hsi reached its limit.

The family, on vacation from Taiwan, had filed into a characteristically silent and crowded subway car in Tokyo when the family patriarch began speaking loudly, attracting a few glances from other passengers.

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., has been removed from all public ministry following an allegation that he sexually abused a teenager when he was a priest in New York nearly 50 years ago.

McCarrick, 87, said in a statement Wednesday that the archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, had advised him of the allegation several months ago. He said he is innocent and that he was "shocked by the report" but fully cooperated during an investigation ordered by the Holy See.

Just as darkness fell, Capt. Austin S. "Scott" Miller was hunkered down in a building in Mogadishu, Somalia, together with his soldiers from the U.S. Army's elite Delta Force.

It was Oct. 3, 1993, and a Black Hawk helicopter had just been downed by local militants in the battle of Mogadishu, what would become the core of the book and movie Black Hawk Down. Miller was awarded a Bronze Star with a valor device for the nearly day-long battle that left 18 Americans dead and 73 wounded — including Miller.

Updated 6:15 p.m. ET

There was a private lobbying force behind President Trump's change of heart on his controversial policy that resulted in thousands of family separations at the southern U.S. border: first lady Melania Trump.

A White House official confirmed to NPR's Sarah McCammon that Mrs. Trump pressed her husband to act to keep undocumented immigrant families together.

The battle lines are being drawn five months ahead of the midterms, with more Americans than at any point in at least the last two decades saying they're enthusiastic about voting — and record numbers of voters say President Trump and which party controls Congress are big factors in their vote, according to a new Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Embattled Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday — and was targeted by protesters angry over the Trump administration's border policy that has separated children from their families along the U.S. border with Mexico.

"We're in downtown DC disrupting DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's dinner at MXDC," the Metro D.C. Democratic Socialists of America wrote in a Facebook post about the confrontation. "The irony isn't lost on us that this is a Mexican restaurant."

Pope Francis has added his voice to the growing chorus of those decrying the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy on illegal border crossings that has resulted in the separation of parents and children traveling together.

Surgeon, author and checklist-evangelist Atul Gawande has been picked to lead the health care venture formed by online giant Amazon, conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway and banking juggernaut JPMorgan.

It's an interesting choice.

Gawande, a general and endocrine surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, is probably best known for his work writing about health care for The New Yorker and in books that include the influential Checklist Manifesto.

Updated at 5:18 p.m. ET

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to end his controversial policy that has resulted in thousands of family separations and brought criticism from Democrats and Republicans.

"We're going to keep families together but we still have to maintain toughness or our country will be overrun by people, by crime, by all of the things that we don't stand for and that we don't want," Trump said Wednesday morning, when he announced that he would sign the order.

The Refugees The World Barely Pays Attention To

Jun 20, 2018

This month, diplomats from around the world met in New York and Geneva to hash out a pair of new global agreements that aim to lay out new guidelines for how countries should deal with an unprecedented surge in the number of displaced people, which has now reached 65.6 million worldwide.

A federal grand jury has indicted West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry on a number of serious charges, from fraud to making false statements and witness tampering.

The indictment says the FBI investigated Loughry under suspicion that, for years, he had engaged in a scheme to defraud the government of West Virginia — and that he lied to FBI agents when he was questioned in March.

Loughry, 47, has been suspended without pay, the state Supreme Court says.

Inside the spotless industrial kitchen at Recovery Point, a long-term drug treatment facility in Charleston, W.Va., Tracy Jividen helps to cook three meals a day for the nearly 100 women she calls her sisters. This space is her domain, and the irony isn't lost on her: Last winter, she was stealing so she could eat.

Search operations are underway for at least 180 people missing after a ferry capsized late Monday afternoon in Lake Toba on Sumatra Island, during Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim holiday which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Millions of people travel home for the holiday, and the lake is crowded with boats during this time of year.

A search and rescue team, including divers and drones, is scouring the lake's depths, looking for those who were on board the ferry when it sank.

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The short version: I loved this book! I was also very confused by this book.

The longer version: I was intrigued by the title of Kate Evangelista's new book The Boyfriend Bracket. The tagline on the cover read like a movie poster, "8 Boys, 16 Dates, 1 Perfect Boyfriend."

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President Trump keeps insisting falsely that the only way to stop family separations at the border is for Congress to act, but Congress can't seem to figure out how to make that happen, David.

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All-You-Can-Eat Was Too Much

Jun 20, 2018

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