The U.S. birth rate fell 2 percent in 2018 from the previous year—the fourth consecutive year of decline, according to a new federal report. Demographers attribute the drop to economic insecurity among people of reproductive age, and to their fear of the costs and career complications of child-raising.
John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban fighter from California who was captured in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, is scheduled to be released from federal prison three years early this week. About a fifth of the roughly 500 federal prisoners sentenced for terrorism-related crimes are scheduled to be released within the next five years; 62 of them are U.S. citizens.
The Washington Post
There are now 56 parrot species from tropical climates living in the wild in the U.S., including in New York City and Chicago, with escaped pet parrots forming breeding colonies. There are currently no native parrot species in this country.
The number of intensely segregated public schools, where less than 10 percent of the student body is white, tripled between 1988 and 2016, rising from 6 to 18 percent, according to a new study. New York, California, Maryland, and Illinois had the most heavily segregated schools in 2016, particularly in suburban areas.
The New York Times
The Internal Revenue Service audited just 0.59 percent of individual tax returns last year, the seventh consecutive year audits have declined amid budget and staffing cuts at the agency.
The Wall Street Journal