Chinese officials hope to rein in teachers who assign too much homework, as the country's Ministry of Education considers new rules that ban schools from requiring students to complete written tasks at home. Citing undue stress on students, the ministry would also limit the number of exams students take.
Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 8:34 am
When you go to the Dead Sea for a float in its extraordinarily buoyant waters, signs warn you not to drink a drop. "Did you swallow water?" one Dead Sea do's and don'ts list asks. "Go immediately to the lifeguard."
Mental disorders and substance abuse are the leading causes of nonfatal illness on the planet, according to an ambitious analysis of data from around the world.
A companion report, the first of its kind, documents the global impact of four illicit drugs: heroin and other opiates, amphetamines, cocaine and cannabis. It calls illegal drugs "an important contributor to the global burden of disease."
The two papers are being published by The Lancet as part of a continuing project called the Global Burden of Disease.
So what legal justification might the Obama administration use to justify military strikes on Syria? To help us better understand the legal rules behind intervention, we turn to John Bellinger. He was legal advisor for the State Department and the National Security Council in the George W. Bush administration. Welcome to the program.
JOHN BELLINGER: Thanks, Melissa, it's nice to be here.
The Obama administration appears poised to attack Syria after concluding Bashar Assad's government used chemical weapons, but many members of Congress say they haven't been briefed enough about why military action is warranted.
Opinions about Syria are all over the map, with many lawmakers saying the president cannot proceed without first getting authorization from Congress.
Melissa Block has an exit interview with Kelly McEvers, who's ending a grueling years-long assignment in the Middle East that included coverage of Iraq, Syria and beyond. McEvers and her NPR colleague Deborah Amos, won four major awards in 2012 for coverage of the Syrian conflict.
Researchers in Sweden have confirmed the existence of element 115. It sticks around for a surprisingly long time. Scientists believe it may bring them closer to the mythical "island of stability" a whole slew of super-heavy elements that could last for days or even years.
Organizers of the event expanded the focus beyond race, to include issues like the environment, gay rights, the challenges facing the disabled.
Credit Andrew Harnik / The Washington Times/Landov
Dupont Park Seventh Day Adventists students carried posters of King as they pass the Washington Monument.
Credit Andrew Harnik / The Washington Times /Landov
Shayna Mason, 11, signs a poster of King following a march down Pennsylvania Avenue.
Credit Andrew Harnik / The Washington Times /Landov
Members of the crowd listened to a speaker at the Lincoln Memorial. In addition to President Obama, former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton spoke, as well as celebrities Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker.
Credit Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images
Thousands of people, including Joyce Elliotte, marched from Capitol Hill to the Lincoln Memorial to commemorate the historic march for jobs and freedom.
Credit Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Former President Bill Clinton told the crowd that Americans today owe a tremendous debt to "those people who came here 50 years ago." Millions of us, he said, have lived the dream King talked about.
Credit Shawn Thew / EPA/Landov
President Obama spoke of the progress of the Rev. Martin Luther King's dream, in front of the Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday during the "Let Freedom Ring" commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. It was the same spot where King delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech.
Credit Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images
Joyce Elliotte joins thousands of people as they march from Capitol Hill to the Lincoln Memorial during the "Let Freedom Ring Commemoration and Call to Action" honoring the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on Wednesday.
Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 5:57 pm
This week, Jess Jiang and Robert Smith visited the factory in Indonesia where U.S. cotton was spun into yarn for the Planet Money T-shirt. (They also visited several other factories.) Here are some of the pictures Robert posted to our T-Shirt Tumblr.
Vehicles carrying Syria's national flag and playing songs in support of President Bashar Assad drive through the streets of Damascus on Wednesday.
Credit Khaled Al-Hariri / Reuters/Landov
Young people in the Syrian capital, Damascus, paint concrete roadblocks with the colors of the Syrian flag. With the threat of a U.S. strike growing, there are public displays of support for the Syrian state.
Credit For NPR
Syrians wait in line to buy bread at a market in Damascus on Wednesday. Residents are stocking up on supplies in anticipation of a possible U.S. strike.
Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 4:37 pm
The author is a Syrian citizen in Damascus who is not being further identified for safety reasons.
The likelihood of a U.S. strike against Syria seems to be setting in among the people of Damascus.
Just a couple of days ago, many residents seemed fairly blase. Now people are beginning to react with a mixture of patriotism, fear and dark humor. People are also starting to stock up on some nonperishable items.
St. Louis is about to get something it hasn't had in 152 years: control of its own police force.
Thanks to a statewide ballot measure approved last fall, Missouri officially hands over the keys to the squad cars on Sunday.
It's only right for the city, which spends $180 million annually on cops, to take command, says Maggie Crane, director of communications for Mayor Francis Slay. "This is really just an antiquated system that needed to be changed," she says.