Are people starting sentences with "so" more frequently than ever or are we just noticing it more? Leigh Wells/Ikon Images/Getty Images hide caption

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Commentary

So, What's The Big Deal With Starting A Sentence With 'So'?

It has been called the new "um" or "like," but linguist Geoff Nunberg says starting sentences with "so" isn't a new trend. People have been doing it for years. We're just noticing it more now.

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Asylum seekers rally in front of the German Office for Migration and Refugees with vests that read "no one is illegal" in Nuremberg on Aug. 17. Migrants from Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iran and Syria called for faster asylum procedures, the freedom to choose their accommodation and the abolition of camps where they must stay. Timm Schamberger/EPA/Landov hide caption

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Parallels - World News

Seeking Asylum In Germany Can Mean Living In Limbo

The process drags on for years, and during the interim, applicants are unable to find a home, job or future. Advocates say the system needs streamlining.

The StingRay II is a cellular-site simulator used for surveillance purposes. Under a new Justice Department policy, federal law enforcement officials will be routinely required to get a search warrant before using secretive and intrusive cellphone-tracking technology. AP hide caption

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It's All Politics

New Cellphone Surveillance Safeguards Imposed On Federal Law Enforcement

Federal law enforcement officials will be routinely required to get a search warrant before using secretive and intrusive cellphone-tracking technology under a new Justice Department policy.

Officials cut off water to San Quentin State Prison in California to squelch an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease. Robert Galbraith/Reuters/Landov hide caption

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Shots - Health News

What You Need To Know About Legionnaires' Disease

Three outbreaks around the country, including at California's San Quentin prison, have sickened dozens and killed 20. The disease doesn't spread among people. Instead, it's spread in warm water, like that in building cooling towers.

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A Turkish paramilitary police officer carries the body of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, found washed ashore near the Turkish resort of Bodrum early Wednesday. The boats carrying the boy's family to the Greek island of Kos capsized. His 5-year-old brother and mother also lost their lives. DHA/AP hide caption

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Parallels - World News

That Little Syrian Boy: Here's Who He Was

A photo of a drowned Syrian toddler on a Turkish beach sparked anguish and outrage over handling of the world's migration crisis.

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A wind farm in Montezuma Hills, about 40 miles northeast of San Francisco. California is considering proposals to, among other things, derive half the state's electricity from renewable sources. Carl Costas/CALmatters hide caption

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Environment

California Considers Sweeping Proposals To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The state is often a step ahead of the status quo when it comes to environmental policy, and climate change is no exception. New legislation includes a plan to cut gasoline use in vehicles by half.

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The casket of Ethel Lance is carried to a hearse following her funeral service on June 25. Lance was one of nine people killed in the shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. David Goldman/AP hide caption

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture

What Is The Psychic Toll Of Gun Violence?

The likelihood that any one of us would be caught up in a mass shooting is low. But anthropologist Barbara J. King asks: Is any one of us left unaffected by gun violence?

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis listens to a customer following her office's refusal to issue marriage licenses at the Rowan County Courthouse on Tuesday. Timothy D. Easley/AP hide caption

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The Two-Way - News Blog

Kentucky Clerk Ordered To Jail For Refusing To Issue Marriage Licenses

A federal judge found Kim Davis in contempt of court and ordered her to be taken into custody "until she complies" with a court order. She had refused to issue marriage licenses in protest of same-sex marriage.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (second from right), the ranking member of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, said it's "certainly understandable" that Bryan Pagliano would be advised not to appear before the committee. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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It's All Politics

Former Clinton Aide Who Built Private Email Server Pleads The 5th

The Select Committee on Benghazi had asked Bryan Pagliano, a former State Department employee, to field questions next week. His lawyer has declined.

A woman looks on at the U.S. Capitol in 2013 after the last government shutdown. Congress has made no progress toward avoiding a government shutdown when it will run out of funding Sept. 30. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

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It's All Politics

With Iran Deal Looking Like A Done Deal, Here Are The Next Crises For Congress

President Obama may have secured enough votes to keep his Iran deal intact, but potential problems loom for Congress on the debt ceiling, highway funding and a possible government shutdown.

In a previously unreleased letter, Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan told the Department of Health and Human Services to devise an action plan for reducing wasteful Medicare and Medicaid payments. Gary Cameron/Reuters/Landov hide caption

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Shots - Health News

White House Takes Aim At Medicare And Medicaid Billing Errors

Improper payments by Medicare and Medicaid are wasting billions of dollars a year, the budget director said. He called for urgent corrective action in a letter that is now public.

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