Nation: Nose to Nose

Philadelphia confronts a cult

On Philadelphia's once elegant North 33rd Street stands a red brick Victorian house surrounded by trash, garbage and human excrement. Children and dogs play in the yard, while adults lean over a 6-ft.-high wooden barricade and shout obscenities at passersby. "This is our house, and we are not going to let the city take it," vows a young woman. "We will defend our house. We will defend our children."

From across the street, the police are watching, as they have been doing for 16 months, after city officials had decided that...

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