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Stephen Gandel, Steven Gray and Bryan Walsh


More than 500 foreign nationals have been arrested this year attempting to enter the western U.S. by sea–a new trend in human smuggling, officials say. Tiny boats leave Mexico at night and drop their cargo on mainland and offshore-island beaches as far north as Ventura County, California, 200 miles from the border.


The New Teardowns

Banks have a new foreclosure fix: bulldozers. Bank of America is demolishing 100 repossessed homes in Cleveland and donating the land to the city. Similar deals are being struck elsewhere. Fewer homes might revive prices, says economist Thomas Lawler. “It’s the right thing to do.”

Fuel-economy standards

M.P.G. IN 2011


M.P.G. BY 2025



End of the Gas Guzzler

Flanked by auto executives, President Obama announced an agreement July 29 to raise fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light trucks from 28.3 m.p.g. on average now to 54.5 m.p.g. by 2025. While the new rules come with some loopholes and represent a minor retreat for Obama from an earlier position, the pact still represents a major environmental advance for the White House–and for anyone worried about the U.S.’s dependence on foreign oil.

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