Among the two dozen most populated states that determine the vast majority of Congress, there were nearly three times as many with Republican-tilted U.S. House districts. Traditional battlegrounds such as Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida and Virginia were among those with significant Republican advantages in their U.S. or state House races. All had districts drawn by Republicans after the last Census in 2010.

Workers also will receive substantial raises in states carried by President-elect Donald Trump. In Arizona, the hourly minimum will increase from $8.05 to $10. The floor will increase from $7.50 to $9 in Maine, from $8.50 to $8.90 in Michigan and from $8 to $8.50 in Arkansas ... Polling by the Public Religion Research Institute last year found that 3 in 5 Republicans and nearly 3 in 4 independent voters would support increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10.

Bangladesh was the first country in the world to ban certain types of thin plastic bags in 2002, after they were found to have choked the nation’s drainage systems during a series of devastating floods. China instituted a similar ban in 2008, and also prohibits businesses from giving out thicker plastic bags to customers for free. Other nations, including South Africa and Italy, have also enacted similar restrictions.  

The anecdotes are different but the narrative is the same across battlegrounds, where Democratic operatives lament a one-size-fits-all approach drawn entirely from pre-selected data...guiding...decisions on field, television, everything else. That’s the same data operation...that predicted Clinton would win the Iowa caucuses by 6 percentage points (she scraped by with two-tenths of a point), and that predicted she’d beat Bernie Sanders in Michigan (he won by 1.5 points).

Clinton’s stunning loss...showed that issues of culture and class mattered more to many American women than their gender ... In Iowa, a state Obama...won in 2008 and 2012, the class-tinged tale was much the same. White women without a college degree account for just over a quarter of voters in the state, and while Obama won them by 17 percentage points in 2012, Clinton and Trump split their support. Trump won the state by 10 percentage points.

In Southern states...county lines often double as school district lines, creating "less opportunity for intentional segregation." Instead, the researchers found the greatest disparity tended to occur in the country’s manufacturing centers: Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. In the study, the term "segregation" is referring to class separation, not race. The two often overlap, however, creating what some allege is a legal way to essentially continue racial segregation

The United States is the only country in the world that routinely sentences children to life in prison without parole, and, according to estimates from nonprofits and advocacy groups, there are between 2,300 and 2,500 people serving life without parole for crimes committed when they were minors. Two-thirds of those were sentenced in just five states: Louisiana, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Ninety-seven percent of them are male...and 60 percent are black.

According to the latest state data, more than 15 percent of Detroit’s adults have asthma, a 29 percent higher rate than the rest of Michigan. Detroiters are hospitalized for their asthma three times more frequently than other Michiganders. Being black ups the rate significantly: Black Detroiters are hospitalized for asthma at a rate more than 150 percent that of their white neighbors—and Detroit is 83 percent black.

Today's decision in Montgomery v. Louisiana now requires all states to apply Miller retroactively, which means that in Louisiana, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, and Colorado, hundreds of people who were sentenced to die in prison for crimes when they were children are now entitled to new sentencing hearings ... People serving juvenile life-without-parole sentences must now be afforded hearings where "youth and its attendant characteristics" are considered as sentencing factors.

the blue-collar city that has been home to Polish Catholic immigrants and their descendents for more than a century became what demographers think is the first jurisdiction in the nation to elect amajority-Muslim council ... But Hamtramck’s Muslim population is hardly a monolith — the city is about 23 percent Arabic, 19 percent Bangladeshi and 7 percent Bosnian. The predominantly Muslim groups don’t intermingle much because of language differences