Education
5:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Do The Data Exist To Make A College-Rating System Work?

President Obama delivers a speech on education at the University of Buffalo on Thursday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 5:46 pm

President Obama unveiled a plan on Thursday that would, for the first time, tie federal student aid to a new rating system for colleges and universities. While the president's message that higher education costs should be reined in was simple enough, the sweeping proposal is anything but.

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It's All Politics
5:00 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Polite Reception For Obama College Cost Plan Belies Hurdles

President Obama takes the stage at the University at Buffalo on Thursday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 5:47 pm

The big idea in President Obama's new proposal for tackling the growing crisis in college affordability can be boiled down to this: linking federal higher education aid to a new grading system that would rate colleges and universities on the "value" they provide students.

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Environment
4:42 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

'Uncertain' Science: Judith Curry's Take On Climate Change

Judith Curry with her dogs, Rosie (left) and Bruno, in the mountains near Lake Tahoe. The climatologist focuses on the uncertainties of climate change far more than on the consensus of climate scientists.
Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 4:10 pm

While the Obama administration presses forward with plans to deal with climate change, Congress remains steadfast against taking action. It's not easy to find a scientist who will agree with that point of view. But Republicans have found an ally in a climate scientist by the name of Judith Curry.

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Business
4:42 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Is Government's Renewed Push On Mortgage Fraud Too Late?

Foreclosures increased dramatically as a result of risky subprime loans during the 2000s.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

"Remain aggressive." That's the message Attorney General Eric Holder says he has given to prosecutors around the country about pursuing wrongdoing by financial institutions — particularly, wrongdoing related to the financial crisis of 2008.

But as the five-year anniversary of the crisis approaches, the record of prosecutions against high-level Wall Street executives has been dismal.

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The Two-Way
4:30 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

NYC Lawmakers Override Bloomberg On Police Oversight

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at a news conference with New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly last week.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 4:26 pm

New York's City Council has approved a new layer of oversight for the nation's largest police force, overriding Mayor Michael Bloomberg a week after the NYPD's stop-and-frisk tactics were deemed "indirect racial profiling" of blacks and Latinos.

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Research News
4:28 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

The World's Most Precise Clock Could Prove Einstein Wrong

This may look like a mad scientist's garage sale, but it's actually the most precise clock ever built.
Jim Burrus NIST

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 6:00 pm

What a makes a good clock? Andrew Ludlow, a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, says one of the most important criteria is stability.

"If you could imagine a grandfather clock and see the pendulum swinging back and forth, ideally that pendulum would swing back and forth very uniformly," Ludlow says. "Each swing would take exactly the same amount of time."

That's stability. But what if something perturbs the system, like a mischievous toddler?

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Law
4:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Soldier Who Admitted To Killing Afghans Apologizes In Court

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 10:15 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In a military court in Washington State today, Army Sergeant Robert Bales offered these words: Sorry just isn't good enough, but I am sorry. Bales agreed to plead guilty to killing 16 Afghan civilians, as part of a deal that spared him the death penalty. Now his sentencing hearing is wrapping up.

And NPR's Martin Kaste is at the hearing at Joint Base Lewis McChord. He joins us now.

Martin, this is the first time that the jury heard from Sergeant Bales at any length. What did he say to explain what he did?

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Around the Nation
4:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

New Activists Harness Memory Of 1963 March On Washington

Events commemorating the March on Washington started Wednesday evening, and got under way in earnest on Thursday.

History
4:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

John F. Kennedy Faced Civil Rights Opponents In His Own Party

One aim of the organizers of the 1963 March on Washington was to get Congress to pass civil rights legislation. President John F. Kennedy had proposed a wide-ranging measure earlier that summer. But he faced unrelenting opposition from lawmakers, many in his own party.

Around the Nation
4:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

911 Call Captures School Employee Talking Down Gunman

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 5:37 pm

We hear some of the 911 call from a Georgia school clerk to the police earlier this week. Antoinette Tuff, who works at the McNair Discovery Learning Center, talked a 20-year-old gunman who was brandishing an AK-47 and shooting at police, into giving himself up.

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