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Perspective

Rosaries matter to Catholics, but for a convert like me it was the found medal of the blessed Virgin Mary that gave me both hope and fear. Where was God? And my faith?Getty Images

Perspective: What personal hardship did to my faith

A week before my daughter was born, my husband lost his job. It was unexpected. I don't remember much about what happened then, other than that at some point I pulled so hard on the medal I was wearing — a miraculous medal, imprinted with an image of the Virgin Mary — that the clasp broke. When I gave birth a few d …

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  1. PolitiFact: No, food waste is not the third biggest source of greenhouse gases

    Perspective

    As it struggles to feed the hungry, the U.N. World Food Program often reminds the public that in the face of great need, there is also great waste.

  2. Column: In praise of the humanities

    Perspective

    Six Tampa Bay veterans took the stage to tell their stories of war. One, handsome and athletic, explained how he lost his leg from a roadside bomb explosion in Baghdad. He wears a blade-runner prosthetic and now operates a national nonprofit dedicated to helping veterans improve mental health through physical activity. …

    In Telling: Tampa Bay, veteran Jessica McVay described surviving rape by a fellow Marine and showcased the transformative power of the humanities.
  3. Column: You can't fool Mother Nature

    Perspective

    In the 1870s, spectacular rains began to fall on the Western Plains, turning a dry region then named "the Great American Desert" to gorgeous green. Thousands of young homesteaders rushed west to raise crops and families, convinced by a humdinger alternative fact: "Rain Follows the Plow." The more people moved to the …

    In this April 15, 1935, photo, a dust cloud approaches a ranch in Boise City, Okla. The Dust Bowl led to a massive migration of Oklahoma and Texas farmers out of the region, many of whom traveled to California in search of jobs.
  4. Column: A profound question behind the immigration debate — what kind of country do we want our country to be?

    Perspective

    Behind the Sturm und Drang that greeted President Donald Trump's recent and now evolving executive action on refugees lies the broader issue of U.S. immigration policies over the past half-century. And behind those immigration policies lies a profound question facing Americans: What kind of country do they want …

    Robert W. Merry
  5. Column: Oil is not the Middle East's most strategic export. People are.

    Perspective

    Ever since the 1973 oil embargo, policymakers, professors and presidents have been preoccupied with the so-called oil weapon. This is the notion that Iran, Iraq or OPEC could selectively cut off oil sales to the United States, causing pain at the pump and across the economy. Thus, the oil weapon became a staple …

    Workers move a section of well casing into place at a Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site near Burlington, Pa. If there ever was an oil weapon, it is now in Uncle Sam’s hands.
  6. A little Perspective: A skin-saving gecko, a cost-benefit analysis

    Perspective

    The costs and benefits

    As part of its assault on climate change regulation, the energy industry has conjured up frightening estimates of lost jobs and higher energy prices. But nowhere will you find any estimate of the economic benefit that would be realized by preventing rising tides from inundating New …

    Geckolepis megalepis, newly discovered in Madagascar, has the largest scales of any fish-scale gecko. “It looks like a fish until you grab it, and then it looks like a naked chicken breast,” said Mark D. Scherz, a doctoral candidate at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
  7. Column: Could the European Union be pulled apart?

    Perspective

    Never before has the European Union been under such severe threat. The United Kingdom's imminent Brexit under Prime Minister Theresa May, and the arrival in the White House of Donald Trump, amount to a declaration of war on the EU's very existence. President Trump has been quite clear: Britain's exit of the EU is a good …

  8. Column: Will the U.S. lose Turkey?

    Perspective

    In April 2009, President Barack Obama spoke before the Turkish Grand National Assembly, hailing the country's "strong, vibrant, secular democracy" and noting that Turkey is a "resolute" and "critical" American ally. Since then, much has changed in both countries, and little has been positive with respect to Turkish …

  9. We'll help to figure out what in the world is going on

    Perspective

    Editor's note: In advance of this week's fifth annual St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs, several of the experts who will participate have written essays for today's Perspective about key areas of concern: Russia, Turkey, the European Union and the Mideast, among them.

    ST. PETERSBURG ?€š€” In 34 years as an American diplomat, Douglas L. McElhaney witnessed a revolution in Portugal, helped negotiate independence for the African nation of Namibia, and served as ambassador in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
He has helped organize an annual conference on national and international issues featuring prominent speakers from the U.S. Foreign Service, academia, the military and the news media at USF-St. Pete.
  10. PolitiFact: Is $135 billion enough to end global poverty? No.

    Perspective

    Twitter followers of the cheekily named What the F*** Facts got some bold guidance recently.

  11. A look back at Tampa Bay's cafeterias of days gone by

    Perspective

    Over a century ago, readers of the afternoon St. Petersburg Evening Independent encountered a strange headline: "Novel Restaurant Service Is Put Into Effect Here." The article profiled the owner, E.C. Stinespring, and his new restaurant, oddly named, the Scientific Lunch Room.

    Morrison’s Cafeteria in Tampa fed the masses, in part because the federal courthouse and post office were nearby.
  12. Column: Victims of confidence schemes tend to have something in common: They think they're extraordinary.

    Perspective

    A few years ago, an internationally respected 68-year-old physicist fell for a sweetheart scam. Paul Frampton met a young supermodel online, became convinced he was corresponding with the new love of his life and traveled to La Paz, Bolivia, to meet her.

  13. Perspective: Trump sold America a miracle cure, but he won't be blamed when it fails

    Perspective

    There are many who hope that President Donald Trump's supporters will hold him accountable. That they will insist he fulfill his promises about jobs or universal health coverage — and when those promises are broken, that their fervent support will turn into rage at having been duped, causing Trump anguish and …

  14. Perspective: Cattle ranches are key to preserving Florida for all of us

    Florida's final frontier

    Perspective

    Beyond our beaches and theme parks lies a Florida still unknown to many — Florida's ranchlands. Off the beaten track, these lands are our last frontier. I consider myself blessed to live and work as a rancher in this magical landscape we call Florida.

  15. Fact-checking fake news reveals how hard it is to kill pervasive 'nasty weed' online

    Perspective

    No, the United Nations did not order former President Barack Obama to pay African-Americans reparations.

    The Facebook logo is displayed on an iPad in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
  16. Florida has been red,it has also been blue,now that it's purple,what will it do?

    Perspective

    Since 1928, Florida has voted for the winning presidential candidate all but twice — 1992 and 1960. Not a bad track record. It was a solidly Whig state the first time it voted, in 1848, when fewer than 8,000 citizens cast ballots. Then a sesquicentenary later, it was as purple as statistically possible in the …

    Library of Congress
  17. Lighting up the night skies

    Perspective

    Imagine if you could put on radio goggles to see the clouds of energy billowing from quasars or the lighthouse blasts from pulsars. Or X-ray visors to see the spitfire from black holes. Astronomers from the International Center for Radio Astronomy Research, in Perth, Australia, have produced what they call the …

    Steve McCurry poses next to his photos of the “Afghan Girl” named Sharbat Gula at “Overwhelmed by Life,” a 2013 exhibition of his work. After making the famous photo, he found her years later. Gula has made news again, this time as a symbol of desperation.
  18. A quick history of Florida's presidential politics, from Whigs to wigged out

    Perspective

    Florida has long been viewed as fundamentally unique among the Southern states. Manning Dauer, one of Florida's most revered experts on politics in the Sunshine State, called it "the different state." V.O. Key, Jr., in his seminal work on Southern politics, Southern Politics in State and Nation, titled his …

  19. PolitiFact: Fact-checking the top campaign ads of 2016

    Perspective

    In this unusual presidential election, one political tradition has remained intact: flooding the airwaves with campaign ads.

  20. PolitiFact: Donald Trump's top 10 most misleading claims

    Perspective

    Donald Trump's "truthful hyperbole" fueled his rise to the top of the Republican ticket — and a surge of interest in fact-checking. PolitiFact has been documenting Trump's statements since 2011, when he was toying with a 2012 White House bid. Since then, we've fact-checked more than 300 Trump claims. About 71 …

    Trump speaks at a Miami rally. His inaccuracies are diverse: conspiracy theories, attacks on critics and misleading stats.