Editor's note

Health care providers and insurance companies always look for ways to lower costs, but is a merger of a huge drug store company and the nation’s third largest health insurer the way to do that? Sharona Hoffman, professor of health care law and bioethics at Case Western Reserve University, explains the pros and cons of the proposed union, noting that the “effect will likely be significant.

Just how bad is Hollywood’s diversity problem? A new analysis of hundreds of films from the past decade suggests that consumers may be to blame. More diverse movies tend to earn less in the domestic and international box offices.

Meanwhile, novelists who have made Hollywood their subject probably aren’t shocked by the sexual abuse scandals that have roiled the industry over the past few months. They’ve been writing about it for decades, and according to American Literature professor Billy Stratton, few have taken a deeper dive into Hollywood’s seamy underbelly than Nathanael West and Bret Easton Ellis.

And, Thursday marks 76 years since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. We’ve included a special section featuring some of our stories on World War II.

Lynne Anderson

Health + Medicine Editor

Top stories

A CVS drugstore in Brooklyn, New York, on Dec. 3, 2017. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

CVS merger with Aetna: Health care cure or curse?

Sharona Hoffman, Case Western Reserve University

CVS, which operates nearly 10,000 pharmacies across the country, announced intentions to buy Aetna, the nation's third-largest provider of health insurance. Here's how consumers could be affected.

Actress Viola Davis focused her speech at the 2015 Emmy Awards on diversity, saying ‘The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.’ Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images

Why aren't Hollywood films more diverse? The international box office might be to blame

Roberto Pedace, Scripps College

An analysis of more than 800 top-grossing films suggests diverse movies struggle in front of international audiences.

For decades, novels have implored readers to look beyond the glamour and riches. Trey Ratcliff

Literature has long been sounding the alarm about sexual violence in Hollywood

Billy J. Stratton, University of Denver

In their novels, Nathanael West and Bret Easton Ellis depict a world few want to admit exists, a place where 'Unless you're willing to do some pretty awful things, it's hard getting a job.'

Economy + Business

Science + Technology

  • Taking a second look at the learn-to-code craze

    Kate M. Miltner, University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

    Past efforts to teach American students computer skills haven't always helped workers get better-paying jobs. But spending on hardware and software for schools has certainly enriched tech companies.

Politics + Society

Ethics + Religion

  • How a group of California nuns challenged the Catholic Church

    Diane Winston, University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

    In the '60s, a Roman Catholic religious order, the Immaculate Heart Sisters, created a new vision of a religious community. The California dream and its promise was central to their journey.

  • The messy reality of religious liberty in America

    David Mislin, Temple University

    The Supreme Court was divided today over claims of religious freedom in the case of a gay wedding. History shows how contentious religious freedom has been in America.

Pearl Harbor anniversary

  • How the attack on Pearl Harbor shaped America's role in the world

    Peter Harris, Colorado State University

    The Japanese attack on a US naval base on Dec. 7, 1941 set in motion a series of events that transformed the United States into a global superpower. Will Donald Trump bring that era to an end?

  • Rosie the Riveters discovered a wartime California dream

    Samuel Redman, University of Massachusetts Amherst

    Thousands of American women moved west to take advantage of wartime employment opportunities during WWII. For some, this version of the California dream was temporary; for others, it lasted a lifetime.

  • Normalizing fascists

    John Broich, Case Western Reserve University

    In the 1920s and early 1930s, American journalists tended to put the ascendant fascists on a normal footing.

  • How the Nazis co-opted Christmas

    Joe Perry, Georgia State University

    Through the Nazification of Christmas, the regime was able to gain the support of ordinary Germans.

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Today’s quote

The bills that recently cleared the House and the Senate, which need to be reconciled, would have different consequences for charitable giving. But both would raise the price of donating for millions of Americans, thereby reducing how much the nation gives to charity overall.


How the tax package could sap the flow of charitable giving

Patrick Rooney

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Patrick Rooney