It came down to the wire, but finally, Republicans and Democrats agreed on a deal that keeps the interest rate on government-backed student loans from doubling. It will save the average borrower about $1,000 a year, but the compromise is likely to cost students a lot more than that over the long term.
The agreement that lawmakers passed Friday will keep interest rates at 3.4 percent for another year. Anthony DeLaRosa, a 23-year-old University of Colorado graduate, says it's a big victory.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi (left) and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti (right) during a summit of European leaders in Brussels. They reached an agreement on a growth plan for the continent, and world markets surged.
It has taken several years of financial upheaval and nearly 20 summits, but the prospect of Europe's disintegration has apparently frightened leaders into working together.
This seems to be the larger message emerging from the European summit in Brussels, Belgium, where EU leaders agreed Friday to a $150 growth plan for the struggling economies across the continent. The deal sent stock markets surging in Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere.
An image grab taken from Egypt's Nile TV shows Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (center) taking the oath of office during the official swearing-in ceremony at the Constitutional Court in Cairo on Saturday.
Credit - / AFP/Getty Images
In this handout picture made available by the Egyptian presidency, Egypt's Islamist president-elect Mohamed Morsi addresses tens of thousands of Egyptians in Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square on Friday.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
The U.S. Supreme Court justices — (first row, from left) Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, (back row) Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito and Elena Kagan — pose at the Supreme Court in 2010.
It's a bit less likely now than a week ago that you'll hear people accuse the Supreme Court of being politicized.
That's because this week, the court ended its session with two controversial decisions — neither one of which was decided on the usual and predictable split between the five justices appointed by Republican presidents and the four appointed by Democrats.
But that doesn't make the court any less of a political animal.
The Greece Central School District in Western New York has decided on a punishment for the students seen bullying their 69-year-old school bus monitor on a YouTube video that went viral earlier this month.
Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams said the parents of the four middle school students agreed to a one-year suspension and 50 hours of community service with senior citizens. They will also be required to complete a bullying prevention program.
Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 11:45 am
When the Supreme Court upheld the central tenet of President Obama's health care law, it meant that several lower court fights on other aspects of the sweeping legislation can move forward.
Those cases, including high-profile lawsuits by Catholic organizations challenging the law's contraception coverage rules, would, obviously, have been affected if the court had found the individual mandate unconstitutional or struck down the law in its entirety.
But with the law intact, the lawsuits — many of them held in abeyance pending the high court's decision — will proceed.
NPR's Backseat Book Club is taking a break for the summer months, but we're already making a list of books to read in the fall. Do you have suggestions? <strong><a href="http://www.npr.org/contact/backseatbookclubsummer.html">Share Your Recommendations</a>!</strong>
"Let me just say for the record that I think middle school is the dumbest idea ever invented," laments <em>Wimpy Kid </em>protagonist Greg Heffley. "You got kids like me who haven't hit their growth spurt yet mixed in with gorillas who need to shave twice a day." <a href="http://n.pr/LiWSpO">Click Here To Read An Excerpt From Diary Of A Wimpy Kid<em></em></a>
Credit Jeff Kinney / Abrams
Jeff Kinney is an author, cartoonist and game designer. He lives in southern Massachusetts and has two sons.
We've chosen some popular books for our monthly Backseat Book Club selections, but nothing quite like the boffo best-sellers in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.
How popular are these books? Consider the numbers: There are six books, and a seventh is on the way. They've been translated into 40 languages and there are 75 million copies in print worldwide. And it was our 2009 interview with author Jeff Kinney that originally inspired us to start a book club just for kids.
CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. We're playing this week with Mo Rocca, Kyrie O'Connor, and Alonzo Bodden. And, here again is your host, at Playhouse Square in Cleveland Ohio, Peter Sagal.
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Now, it's time for our final game, Lightning Fill in the Blank. Each of our players has 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill in the blank questions as he or she can. Each correct answer worth two points. Carl, can you give us the scores?
CARL KASELL: Mo Rocca has the lead, Peter. He has three points.
MO ROCCA: My gosh.
SAGAL: Alonzo Bodden and Kyrie O'Connor are tied for second. They both have two points.
CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell, and here's your host, at the State Theater at Playhouse Square in Cleveland, Ohio, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you so much, Carl. Thanks, everybody. We are proud to announce, after a lot of thought and prayer, we have decided to take our talents to Cleveland.
SAGAL: To help us understand the wisdom of our choice, Cleveland's own Drew Carey will be joining us here later on.
We want to remind everyone to join us most weeks back at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago. For tickets and more information go to wbez.org, or you can find a link at our website: waitwait.npr.org. Right now, panel, time for you to answer some questions about this week's news.
Alonzo, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg hates going from an air conditioned building to a hot and sticky car. So, to get his official SUV cooled down faster the mayor equipped the SUV with what?
CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. We're playing his week with Mo Rocca, Kyrie O'Connor, and Alonzo Bodden. And, here again is your host, at Playhouse Square in Cleveland Ohio, Peter Sagal.
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We're going to try to break down now just what those penalties will be for those who don't buy health insurance. The Congressional Budget Office projects in the year 2016 four million people will pay the penalty. I'm joined now by Timothy Jost. He's law professor at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, and he's been looking into these numbers. We should say, Professor Jost, first off, you are also a supporter of the Affordable Care Act, right?