With the nation's student-loan debt climbing toward $1 trillion, it's taking many young people longer than ever to pay off their loans. Two-thirds of college students now graduate with debt, owing an average of $24,000. But some borrow far more and find this debt influencing major life decisions long after graduation.
"I was very naive, and I realize that now," says Stephanie Iachini, of Altoona, Pa. She was the first in her family to go to college and financed it herself. "Basically I was just signing papers because the education part meant a lot to me."
Although dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago, there are still thought to be a few species left over from those days. Plants called cycads are among these rare "living fossils" — they have remained pretty much unchanged for more than 300 million years, but a study in Science magazine suggests that glamorous title may not be deserved.
There's no time machine in Washington, D.C., but Harvard botanist Sarah Mathews leads me to what's arguably the next best thing — a room made of glass in the U.S. Botanic Garden, just downhill from the U.S. Capitol.
Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 8:24 am
The Institute of Medicine sympathizes with us consumers and the confusion we suffer weighing health claims on food packaging at the grocery store. Our convoluted food labels might have something to do with why so many Americans aren't eating as healthfully as they could, and are shouldering too much weight and diet-related health problems, the IOM says.
Originally published on Thu October 20, 2011 10:46 pm
Early voting is underway in Ohio, where a fierce fight with political and economic implications is forcing voters to pick sides between Republican budget-cutters and public workers' unions. At issue is whether to keep or repeal SB 5, a controversial bill supported by Gov. John Kasich and passed by the GOP-dominated legislature this spring. Among other things, SB 5 dramatically restricts Ohio's public sector workers collective bargaining rights. Under SB 5, public employees cannot strike or negotiate for wages or working conditions.
Originally published on Thu October 20, 2011 6:18 pm
Teenage drivers have fewer crashes after they've been driving for a while, but new research suggests that a few months behind the wheel doesn't improve their driving skills all that much.
Researchers persuaded 42 newly licensed teen drivers to have data-recording systems installed in their cars — a camera, a GPS, and an accelerometer to measures rapid stops, sharp turns and swerves. They also checked up on how their parents did when driving the same cars.
The idea was to compare the driving habits of novices with those of more experienced drivers under similar conditions.
Moammar Gadhafi proved true to his word that he would remain in Libya and "die as a martyr," though his final hours were an ignominious end for a man who long ruled from a fortress-like compound in the heart of Tripoli.
His last moments were reportedly spent holed up in a culvert under a road in his hometown of Sirte as loyalist forces waged a losing battle to keep control of the city.
Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice held a special place for Col. Moammar Gadhafi. We know that because he once referred to her her as "my darling black African woman," and said, "I love her very much."
This past summer, two assassinations paralyzed the southern Afghan city of Kandahar with fears of a power vacuum.
In the first incident, President Hamid Karzai's half-brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, considered the unofficial kingpin of the south, was gunned down in July by a close associate. Two weeks later, a Taliban assassin killed the city's mayor, Ghulam Hamidi, with a bomb concealed in his turban.
Commuters on Northern California's I-80, which connects the Bay Area to Sacramento, saw something unexpected early this morning. Two rigs collided and about 5,000 chickens spilled onto the highway near Vacaville.
More than 13,000 years ago, hairy elephant-like creatures with giant tusks roamed North America. These mastodons were hunted by some of the earliest people to live here, and scientists recently learned a bit more about those mysterious cultures by taking a new look at an old mastodon bone.
Mitt Romney's current run for the White House has not included a big presence in the first state that will actually vote: Iowa, which holds its caucuses on Jan. 3.
He failed to meet expectations at the Iowa caucuses in 2008. So for 2012, his campaign has focused instead on New Hampshire as the key to a series of primary victories that, they believe, will result in the former Massachusetts governor winning the GOP nomination.
Moammar Gadhafi was killed in the crossfire of a battle between his supporters and fighters loyal to the opposition that topped the dictator's regime, Libya's interim prime minister told NPR this afternoon.
"Nobody can tell if the [fatal] shot was from the rebel fighters or from his own security guard," Interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril told All Things Considered host Robert Siegel.
Part of Herman Cain's appeal to GOP presidential primary voters was that he seemed to have more street cred with social conservatives than the putative front runner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Doubts about Romney have helped fuel Cain's recent rise in the polls, putting him in a virtual dead-heat with Romney.
It's been a few decades since Americans were engaged in a back-of-the-bus controversy. Now a popular bus route between two New York City neighborhoods is reviving the issue.
Last Wednesday, Melissa Franchy boarded the B110 from Williamsburg to Boro Park, two Hasidic Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn. She was accompanying her friend, Sasha Chavkin, a reporter for The New York World, a Columbia Journalism School publication. Their mission: Find out what would happen if Franchy sat at the front of the bus.
Nelly Lambert is a PhD student in English at Catholic University. She's writing her dissertation on Emily Dickinson's poetry.
Poet Emily Dickinson withdrew from society for most of her adult life. And yet, she was known to lower a basket full of cakes from the window of the home she rarely left to crowds of expectant children on the street below. Dickinson probably never met these children, yet she connected with them through her baking.
The killing of Col. Moammar Gadhafi will most certainly go down as one of the important chapters of what's come to be known as the Arab Spring, or the popular uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East that have deposed three dictators.
In the region, one big question that will be answered in the coming weeks is how Gadhafi's killing will affect the opposition movements firmly in place in Syria and Yemen.
NPR's Ahmed Al-Omran, a production assistant on NPR's social media desk, has been sifting through social networks to gauge reaction from the region.
Retirement can be an endless golf game or constant trips to the doctor, depending on a whole host of factors, including luck. But either way, it's a stage of life that's usually more difficult and expensive than people expect.
As news of the killing of Col. Moammar Gadhafi spread, politicians, world leaders and dignitaries have been issuing statements. We've collected some them on this post and we'll add more as we get them:
Moammar Gadhafi ruled Libya with an iron fist for more than four decades. He was an unpredictable, often brutal leader with a grand vision of himself. In the end, he squandered his country's wealth and lost the support of his people.
During his 42 years of rule, Gadhafi reinvented his image many times — from revolutionary to Arab nationalist, freedom fighter and self-styled leader of Africa.
Multiple reports say Libya's Moammar Gadhafi may be dead. A photo of a body purported to be Ghadafi has been shown on television and websites after earlier reports that he had been captured and wounded. NPR News producer Grant Clark is in Tripoli and joins Renee Montagne by phone.
Originally published on Thu October 20, 2011 10:25 am
Despite its proximity to the Chesapeake Bay, Washington, D.C. isn't a seafood town in its own right, with a proper port. But just steps away from the White House, in the most straight-laced section of a straight-laced town, is a kind of temple to the most sensual of seafood – the raw oyster.
Reports streamed in Thursday morning that Libya's Moammar Gadhafi had been captured and killed. A Libyan transitional government official told CNN that Gadhafi is dead. A NATO official cautioned that it will take time to confirm the reports. NPR foreign editor Loren Jenkins talks with Renee Montagne about the latest developments.