Education
10:02 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

For College Seniors, One Last Lap Before Graduation

The pool at Bryn Mawr College's Bern Schwartz Fitness and Athletic Center. Bryn Mawr is one of a handful of colleges that requires students to pass a swimming test to graduate.
Courtesy of Bryn Mawr College

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 4:57 am

It's spring, the season when many college students are cramming for final exams. But it's also when some college seniors must prove they can literally stay afloat.

A swim test is still a graduation requirement on a handful of U.S. campuses, mostly in the Northeast. For seniors who have been putting off the exam, it's time to sink or swim.

A Shrinking Tradition

On a recent evening, a handful of seniors at Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pa., gather nervously at the edge of the campus pool, waiting to take the last swim test of the school year.

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National Security
10:00 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Potential Torture Testimony Could Rattle Sept. 11 Case

A picture posted on the website www.muslm.net in 2009 allegedly shows al-Qaida's Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has claimed to be the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 7:02 am

The man who claims to have orchestrated the Sept. 11 attacks is expected to appear in a military courtroom this Saturday. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men are supposed to answer formal charges related to their roles in the plot.

Their arraignment will be at Guantanamo Bay, and it is the first step that leads — possibly years from now — to a military trial.

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It's All Politics
1:19 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Political Scientist Asks: Are Obama's Approval Ratings Better Than They Seem?

President Obama's voter-approval ratings certainly have been far from spectacular for much of his presidency, remaining mostly below 50 percent since November of 2009.

But on that dimension he may actually be doing better than it appears, at least based on some statistical modeling of presidential approval ratings conducted by George Washington University political scientist John Sides.

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Ofeibea Quist-Arcton is a journalist and broadcaster from Ghana who reports for NPR News on issues and developments related to West Africa. She spent her early years in Ghana, Italy, Britain and Kenya.

Quist-Arcton has lived and worked in the U.K., France, Ivory Coast, U.S., South Africa and most recently Senegal, traveling all over Africa as a journalist, broadcaster, commentator and host.

After completing high school in Britain, she took a degree in French studies with international relations and Spanish at the London School of Economics (LSE) and went on to study radio journalism at the Polytechnic of Central London, with two internships at the BBC.

Africa
12:55 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Diplomats Up Efforts To Avert War Between Sudans

Sudanese soldiers walk in the oil town of Heglig on April 24. South Sudanese forces occupied Heglig last month. The international community called on the South to pull out, which it says it did.
Ebrahim Hamid AFp/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 5:43 am

Sudan and South Sudan are facing the threat of United Nations sanctions if they fail to stop fighting along their disputed frontier in the Horn of Africa.

A unanimous U.N. Security Council resolution, which condemns the surge of border violence, orders the two Sudans to cease hostilities within two days and resume negotiations within two weeks.

The U.N. resolution endorses an African Union road map it hopes will avert a return to war.

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Planet Money
12:37 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

What American Women Do For Work

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 1:09 pm

Forty years ago, only 1 in 3 American workers was a woman. Today, it's 1 in 2.

You know this already. But it raises interesting, subtler questions: What jobs did all those women get? And how did the gender breakdown change by industry over the past 40 years?

This graph answers those questions.

It shows how the gender breakdown changed in major sectors of the economy between 1972 and 2012.

The size of the circles shows how some sectors grew to include a larger share of the workforce, while others shrank in relative terms.

Two main themes jump out here.

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It's All Politics
12:14 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Do Campaign Ads Seem More Negative This Year? It's Not Just You

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 5:43 am

If you thought the presidential primaries were extraordinarily negative, now there's statistical evidence that you were right.

A new analysis of TV ads finds that 70 percent of the messages were negative — a trend spearheaded by the heavily financed superPACs supporting the candidates. At this point in the 2008 election, 91 percent of TV ads were positive.

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Award-winning journalist Richard Harris has reported on a wide range of topics in science, medicine and the environment since he joined NPR in 1986. In early 2014, his focus shifted from an emphasis on climate change and the environment to biomedical research.

Sarah McCammon worked for Iowa Public Radio as Morning Edition Host from January 2010 until December 2013.

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