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Sam Ward / Reveal

For People Of Color, Banks Are Shutting The Door To Homeownership

Fifty years after the federal Fair Housing Act banned racial discrimination in lending, African Americans and Latinos continue to be routinely denied conventional mortgage loans at rates far higher than their white counterparts.

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Sam Ward / Reveal

Forty years ago, Congress passed the Community Reinvestment Act, which required banks to lend to qualified borrowers in blighted neighborhoods. The act aimed to eliminate government-sponsored housing discrimination, known as redlining. But it is full of loopholes: It doesn’t apply to mortgage brokers or cover internet banking, and it allows banks to claim credit for loaning almost exclusively to white applicants moving into historically black neighborhoods – supposedly lifting up low-income areas, but also enabling gentrification.

It was Saturday afternoon, and Abigail Spanberger was in a busy hallway at the Chesterfield County Public Library in Midlothian, Va., minutes away from training a room of about 40 campaign volunteers. She seemed ready for a quick interview, but then abruptly called out to her campaign manager.

"Hey Dana, Eileen Davis is about to come through. Can you head her off at the pass so she doesn't interrupt the — "

She cut herself off and turned to me.

"That's my mother," Spanberger said, laughing.

Her mom is volunteering for her campaign?

"Evidently."

Food scientists at the University of Massachussetts Amherst have come up with a technique they say could make it a lot easier to avoid food poisoning.

The main piece of equipment? Your smartphone.

Currently, to identify the bacteria that can get you sick, like E. coli or salmonella, food scientists often use DNA testing.

They obtain samples from, say, raw spinach or chicken skin, by rinsing the food and collecting a tiny bit of bacteria from the water. Then they let that bacteria multiply over 24 hours to get a big enough sample.

Sunday afternoon, Cameron Kasky is doing push-ups in a park near Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Kasky, a junior, says kids like himself are doing something new, demanding a fresh look at America's gun laws.

"The crescendo has hit its point. It's enough and it's over," he says. "I haven't got a shred of doubt that this is going to be our change."

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

After the Step Up Oklahoma package of revenue-raising bills failed in the Oklahoma House of Representatives Monday, a message on the plan’s website read, “Step Up Oklahoma’s effort has run its course” and that fixing the state’s financial problems is worth continued deliberations.

However, in a press conference following the bill’s defeat, House Speaker Charles McCall said the negotiations were final, saying, "We've made it very clear: This was the final package we would consider."

It's a ritual that plays out every year or so, whenever a Very Important Black Film is about to drop. Black fraternities, sororities, churches and civic organizations, aunties and teachers and coaches, plan trips by the busload to the cineplex. Maybe it's Malcolm X or 42 or 12 Years A Slave. Maybe someone holds special screenings followed by panels of cast members, academics or public intellectuals.

Oklahoma Watch

Faith leaders are looking for answers after a Republican legislator issued guidelines that could block a large swath of the state’s religious community from leading lawmakers in prayers that kick off each day of the legislative session.

Updated at 10:50 p.m. ET on Friday

In the shooting Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, 17 people were killed. Three were on the staff as coaches or teachers; 14 were students. On Thursday afternoon, the Broward Sheriff's Office identified them.

Here are their names.

Alyssa Alhadeff

In her late 20s and attending college in Texas, Elizabeth Moreno suffered from debilitating back pain caused by a spinal abnormality. "I just could not live with the pain," she says. "I couldn't get dressed by myself, I couldn't walk across my house, let alone to class, and nothing, no drug that had been prescribed to me, even dulled the pain."

Achy Obejas
Kaloian

Even though Achy Obejas’s family left Cuba when she was very young, the island nation has an enormous influence on her work.

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