Social Issues

  • Duluth discusses fate of homeless in 'graffiti graveyard'
    The fate of an encampment of homeless people in the city of Duluth has become the heart of a community discussion about a growing homelessness problem there.November 1, 2013
  • One man's fight against distracted walking
    Whether consciously or not, distracted walkers now assume that it's the responsibility of other pedestrians to make way for them, not the other way around. To nip this development in the bud, one man proposes a "simple, legal, non-aggressive act of resistance," namely, refusing to play along.October 31, 2013
  • Alabama agrees to permanently gut its immigration law
    Opponents of Alabama's strict immigration law declared victory Tuesday, as the state agreed not to pursue key provisions of a measure critics had called an endorsement of racial profiling. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the state's appeal of a federal court's ruling that gutted the law.October 30, 2013
  • Blackface costumes revive controversy at Halloween
    Is donning blackface to dress up as a favorite TV character ever OK for Halloween?October 29, 2013
  • Etsy's new policy: Some items are 'handmade in spirit'
    "Their moniker is, you know, a place to buy handmade. It doesn't say a place to buy factory-made," says Rae Padulo, a potter who began selling dishes and ornaments on Etsy in 2009. "There's nothing wrong with factory-made -- it's just, that's not what Etsy started out to be."October 29, 2013
  • In Kerkhoven, a small-town grocery bows out
    "In this day and age," Kathryn Draeger says, "having a rural grocery store in your small town requires support from the whole community." But, of course, they're not getting support from the whole community.October 29, 2013
  • Will we ever stop side-eyeing relatives who don't 'match'?
    As the instances of adoptions, interracial marriages, blended families become more common, how long will it take for our perception that members of a normal family will "look like" each other to catch up with the way American families really look?October 29, 2013
  • Ever heard a nice description of North Dakota's Oil Patch?
    Is it just a petroleum hell that people -- mostly men -- willingly subject themselves in the interest of taking care of their family?October 28, 2013
  • Food stamp benefits about to decline
    In the 2009 stimulus, Congress increased the amount of money each household gets in food stamps. The temporary hike was intended to help those affected by the economic downturn. That hike expires Friday, Nov. 1.October 27, 2013
  • What happens when you just give money to poor people?
    To some veterans of the charity world, giving cash is worrisome. When we first reported on this we spoke with Carol Bellamy, who used to run UNICEF, and who said people might spend the money on things like alcohol or gambling. To see whether this was actually happening, researchers did an experiment.October 25, 2013
  • Marching to fight suicides among war veterans
    Landon Steele says 23 military veterans kill themselves each day, he says. So he's organized a 23-mile march for veterans in full gear tomorrow, starting at 9 a.m., from the Richfield VFW to the Capitol in St. Paul to the VFW in Uptown, Minneapolis, to remind veterans not to leave any soldier behind.October 24, 2013
  • Nienstedt denies any clergy sexual abuse cover-up, regrets 'lost confidence'
    Archbishop John Nienstedt responds for the first time to reporters' questions since an MPR News investigation forced the archdiocese's response to clergy misconduct into the spotlight. "I accept responsibility for addressing the issues that have been raised," he said.October 23, 2013
  • NJ Gov. Christie drops same-sex marriage appeal
    Same-sex couples in a handful of New Jersey communities exchanged marriage vows in the first minutes of Monday, becoming the first to take advantage of a court ruling that forced the state to become the 14th in the nation to recognize same-sex nuptials.October 21, 2013
  • Pot legalization effort moves east to Maine
    Voters in Portland are being asked whether they want to make it legal for adults 21 and over to possess - but not purchase or sell - up to 2.5 ounces of pot. The Nov. 5 vote is being eyed nationally as momentum grows in favor of legalizing marijuana use.October 19, 2013
  • Gearing up for gay marriage in Jersey
    The state Supreme Court Friday refused to delay a lower-court order for the state to recognize same-sex marriages starting Monday. Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who opposes the practice, says he's not happy but the state will comply.October 19, 2013

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