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A conservative-leaning Democrat from New Jersey who defied his party in opposing the impeachment of President Trump is expected to switch parties and become a Republican.

Rep. Jeff Van Drew, a first-term Blue Dog Democrat who represents a swing district in southern New Jersey, intends to change parties after some of Van Drew's internal polling showed that he was becoming increasingly unpopular in his purple district, according to a senior Democratic aide.

Julián Castro went to Des Moines this week and told Iowans they shouldn't vote first.

"I'm gonna tell the truth. It's time for the Democratic Party to change how we do our presidential nominating process," Castro said at a town hall dedicated to his belief that the party should shake up who has the first say of who should be president. Iowa holds its caucuses in less than two months.

Hair School For Dads

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Children love to pronounce the name of Olive Senior's new book: Boonoonoonous Hair. ("You break it down into boo noo noo nous, and then you say it fast," she advises.)

It's a word that comes from Jamaica where Senior was born. She says this evocative term has fallen out of fashion, but she's working to bring it back.

"It's just a word that suggests something lovely, something beautiful, something warm, something wonderful," she says. "So if you're told you're boonoonoonous that's a great compliment."

Ann Jones tried everything short of surgery for her chronic migraines, which have plagued her since she was a child.

"They've actually gotten worse in my old age," says Jones, who is 70 years old and lives in Tucson, Ariz.

Jones would have as many as two dozen migraines a month.

Over the years, some treatments might work initially, but the effects would prove temporary. Other medications had such severe side effects she couldn't stay on them.

Nathan Pyle fills the pages of his new book Strange Planet with big eyed, bright blue aliens from a planet that shares a lot in common with Earth. These aliens sunbathe, sneeze and even wish each other sweet dreams like us, but they describe these practices with deadpan technical terminology like "sun damage" and "face fluid explosions." The lifegiver aliens even implore their offspring to "imagine pleasant nonsense" as they tuck them in for the night.

In late November, a group of laid-off garment industry workers in Indonesia collected more than $4 million in severance pay owed to them by their employer.

It was a rare victory, won with the help of local labor unions, international advocacy groups and major retailers like Nike. But it may not happen again: The government there is moving forward with a controversial plan to roll back labor protections in the hope of attracting more foreign investment.

Christina worried when she found her 16-year-old boyfriend, Jacob Goyette, drunk and crying at school in the spring of 2018.

A sophomore at a suburban Massachusetts high school, Christina already knew too many people who had died by suicide. Her mind immediately went to the worst-case scenario.

So Christina says she left Jacob with a friend and headed to the social worker for help. Christina told her she was worried about Jacob's mental health and says she was promised that word would get to his family.

Minnesota winters are long, brutal and gray. Minneapolis resident Keith Dent has endured 38 of them. But over the last several years, he's experienced what he calls a "reintroduction to the sun."

In 2017, Dent helped install, and later subscribed to a massive community solar garden mounted atop Shiloh Temple — a majority black church in north Minneapolis. Today, the 630-panel array provides Shiloh itself, the nearby Masjid An-Nur Mosque and 29 local households with green energy.

For millions of Americans, time is running out to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act's online marketplace healthcare.gov.

For those who will not receive health coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2020 through an employer or other programs like Medicaid, Medicare or the Children's Health Insurance Program — commonly referred to as CHIP — the deadline to purchase health insurance is Sunday, Dec. 15.

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