National & World News

Here is a proposition that may seem self-evident to many people: As societies become more modern, religion loses its grip. People separate their religion from their institutions and from parts of their lives.

Sociologists have a name for this idea. They call it the "secularization thesis." Now, research suggests the story is more complicated.

In 1822, Thomas Jefferson suggested an early version of it, predicting that Unitarianism "will, ere long, be the religion of the majority from north to south."

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET.

President Trump spoke to the National Rifle Association's annual leadership forum on Friday, the first sitting president since Ronald Reagan to do so.

"We have news that you've been waiting for ... a long time," Trump told the crowd in Atlanta. "The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end."

Much of his speech echoed the rhetoric he used on the campaign, and has continued at rallies during his first 100 days in office.

Gerald Chinchar, a Navy veteran who loves TV Westerns, isn't quite at the end of his life, but the end is probably not far away. The 77-year-old's medications fill a dresser drawer, and congestive heart failure puts him at high risk of emergency room visits and long hospital stays. He fell twice last year, shattering his hip and femur, and now gets around his San Diego home in a wheelchair.

Above all, Chinchar hopes to avoid another long stint in the hospital. He still likes to go watch his grandchildren's sporting events and play blackjack at the casino.

In 1949, Thomas Forkner Sr. was in the real estate business when he helped Joe Rogers Sr. buy a house.

Rogers was working for the Toddle House restaurant chain and he convinced Forkner to join him in starting their own restaurant.

The two opened the first 24-hour Waffle House on Labor Day in 1955 in the Atlanta suburb of Avondale Estates.

By the time they sold the business in the late 1970s, the chain had grown to 400 restaurants.

The Atlanta-based company that owns the chain now has more than 1,500 locations.

The final member of President Trump's Cabinet — secretary of labor — was confirmed by the Senate Thursday in a bipartisan vote of 60-38.

Alexander Acosta, 48, will be the Cabinet's first Latino member. Acosta is dean of the Florida International University College of Law in Miami.

Acosta was assistant attorney general in the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division under President George W. Bush, who later appointed him U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

Fox News has been under fire in the past year for sexual harassment. First Fox chair Roger Ailes, then the network's favorite pundit, Bill O'Reilly, were forced to leave after multiple women complained of unwanted advances—and the blocked advancement they experienced when they didn't put out.

Arkansas Executes 4th Inmate In 8 Days

Apr 28, 2017

Arkansas has put to death convicted murderer Kenneth Williams. His was the last of a series of executions accelerated because the state's lethal-injection drugs were about to expire.

Williams was pronounced dead at 11:05 p.m. Central time after the execution began at 10:52 p.m., Arkansas Public Media reports.

State officials initially scheduled eight condemned inmates to die over 11 days — the fastest pace of executions in decades. Some executions were blocked by the courts.

President Trump signed an executive order Friday that aims to expand offshore drilling for oil and gas, in a move welcomed by the oil and gas industry and greeted with alarm by environmental groups.

"Renewed offshore energy production will reduce the cost of energy, create countless new jobs, and make America more secure and far more energy independent," Trump said before signing the document. He said previous restrictions on exploration and production deprive the U.S. of "potentially thousands and thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in wealth."

Looking back at the 1992 Los Angeles riots, people often remember tensions between African-Americans, white law enforcement officers and Korean small business owners. That story gets even more complicated when you step into Pico-Union — a neighborhood that was, and still is, predominantly Latino.

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