NPR News

No rest for the weary in our weekly roundup of national education news.

Supreme Court rules on special education case

"I'm thrilled," said Amanda Morin, a parent and advocate with the web site Understood.org, after the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in a case that could affect 6.5 million special education students. "Now I can actually go into a school system and say 'The Supreme Court has said, based on my child's abilities, he is legally entitled to make progress.'"

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And now we're back with NPR's congressional correspondent, Sue Davis. Hi there again.

SUSAN DAVIS, BYLINE: Hey there.

MCEVERS: And we have White House correspondent Scott Horsley also. Hi, Scott.

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Former Penn State president Graham Spanier was convicted Friday of child endangerment for his role in the sexual abuse scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

In a split verdict, the Pennsylvania jury found that Spanier's handling of a 2001 complaint alleging abuse by Sandusky, warranted conviction on one of three charges against him. The jury did, however, acquit Spanier of conspiracy and a second count of child endangerment, the Associated Press reports.

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And we have Congressman Bradley Byrne of Alabama. He actually supported this bill. Welcome, Congressman.

BRADLEY BYRNE: It's good to be back on the program.

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In a series of memorandums sent to U.S. embassies, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has offered a glimpse of what President Trump's promised "extreme vetting" will mean for visa applicants when put into practice.

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A Kansas legislative committee is considering tighter amusement park regulations following the death of a lawmaker’s son last year on the Verrückt water slide in Kansas City, Kan.

Kansas lawmakers are now a step away from what could be a showdown with Republican Gov. Sam Brownback on the political football issue of Medicaid expansion.

A proposed school funding bill in Kansas would add $75 million to the public education system but many educators say that’s far less than they expected and may not be enough to satisfy the state Supreme Court.

Stephanie Clayton, a moderate Republican from Overland Park, says lawmakers in both parties “believe it will take a significantly larger amount” to satisfy their constituents, educators and the court.

There are beers that can make headlines simply by existing, especially if they use unique ingredients. That's the case with Stone Brewing's Full Circle Pale Ale, whose key component — water — came from an advanced filtration system that recycles and purifies San Diego wastewater that had previously been used in taps, toilets and showers.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

House Republicans scrapped a vote on their health care replacement plan on Friday after defections from both the right and center that made it clear the bill would not pass.

"Obamacare is the law of the land. It is going to remain the law of the land," House Speaker Paul Ryan admitted shortly after he pulled the bill. "We're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future. I don't know how long it's going to take us to replace this law."

Doctors say it all started eight years ago, when a urology clinic in Oregon ran an ad promoting the benefits of scheduling a vasectomy in March.

"You go in for a little snip, snip and come out with doctor's orders to sit back and watch nonstop basketball," the voice-over promises. "If you miss out on this, you'll end up recovering during a weekend marathon of Desperate Housewives!"

North Dakota's Republican governor signed legislation Thursday night that allows people to carry concealed handguns without needing a permit.

This makes North Dakota the latest of about a dozen states to adopt what gun rights proponents often call "constitutional carry," according to the National Rifle Association.

A Food Festival Celebrates The Rebirth Of Jewish Life In Berlin

Mar 24, 2017

Inside a Berlin bookstore on a recent Friday night, an unusual scene unfolded. Thirty people sat around a long table, sharing Israeli-Moroccan dishes like matbucha (a side of roasted red peppers and tomatoes), ptitim (a toasted pasta shaped in little balls) and a modern twist on the traditional challah or egg bread — a vegan one filled with dry fruits, quinoa, herbs and pomegranate juice.

'Pizzagate' Gunman Pleads Guilty To Charges

Mar 24, 2017

A North Carolina man pleaded guilty Friday to charges from an armed encounter within a Washington, D.C., pizzeria that was the focus of pernicious and baseless Internet rumors.

On Dec. 4, 2016, Edgar Maddison Welch entered the Comet Ping Pong restaurant and fired an AR-15 rifle into a door. The 28-year-old man told police that he had driven from his home in Salisbury, N.C., to "self-investigate" the "pizzagate" conspiracy theory that the restaurant was the site of a child sex-abuse ring involving powerful Democrats such as Hillary Clinton.

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A plane flies over a field in South Sudan. Out of the sky drops a cascade of pallets, sacks or boxes filled with emergency food supplies that, once they reach the ground, can make the difference between sustenance and starvation.

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Updated at 3:30 p.m.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has volunteered to testify before the House Intelligence Committee, as turmoil within the committee continues and the future of the investigation into Russia's attempts to interfere with the election sunk deeper into doubt.

The House Republicans' embattled health care bill has plenty of detractors: Democrats, hospitals, the American Medical Association and the House Freedom Caucus all oppose it. But the insurance industry is not on that list, even though it stands to lose millions of customers.

One reason is that insurers' profits are expected to fatten under the bill.

Most baby boomers say that they plan to keep working past conventional retirement age. But to do that, they have to get hired first. New research shows that can be harder when you're older.

The U.S. women's national soccer team got some disappointing (and not unexpected) news Friday — it fell out of first place in the FIFA world rankings for the first time in years. The demotion follows a last-place finish in a U.S.-hosted tournament of some of the world's best teams earlier this month.

When China took control of Hong Kong from Great Britain back in 1997, voting rights for all was one of the promises it made. These were rights Britain never gave the island's citizens during its 156-year rule.

This Sunday's election in Hong Kong was expected to be the first in which each and every resident would be allowed to vote for the city's top leader, the chief executive. But it won't be the case. Many city residents are calling Sunday "Selection Day," since they won't be allowed to vote directly.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has signed a bill into law that lowers the maximum blood alcohol limit for drivers to .05 percent from the current legal threshold of .08 percent — giving Utah the strictest drunken driving law in the nation.

In addition to drivers, the law applies to anyone carrying a dangerous weapon.

A last-minute attempt by conservative Republicans to dump standards for health benefits in plans sold to individuals would probably lower the average person's upfront insurance costs, such as premiums and deductibles, say analysts on both sides of the debate to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

But it will very likely also induce insurers to offer much skimpier plans, potentially excluding the gravely ill and putting consumers at greater financial risk if they need care.

Former Egyptian Leader Mubarak Released

Mar 24, 2017

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Deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been freed after being cleared of charges against him. As NPR's Jane Arraf reports, his lawyers say the 88-year-old left a military hospital this morning where he had essentially been under house arrest.

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