NPR News

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been a passionate proponent of expanding school choice, including private school vouchers and charter schools, and she has the clear backing of President Trump. But does the research justify her enthusiasm?

Experts say one single, overarching issue bedevils their efforts to study the impact of school choice programs. That is: It's hard to disentangle the performance of a school from the selection of its students.

When Feld Entertainment, owners of Ringling Bros., announced it's cancelling the circus after nearly 150 years, it was one of the biggest victories yet for animal welfare activists.

How the circus treats it animals — especially elephants and big cats — has long been a focus for groups like the Humane Society of the U.S and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. They see it as part of a larger change going on in this country — about how Americans view animals and the way we treat them.

It took an explosion and 13 pounds of iron to usher in the modern era of neuroscience.

In 1848, a 25-year-old railroad worker named Phineas Gage was blowing up rocks to clear the way for a new rail line in Cavendish, Vt. He would drill a hole, place an explosive charge, then pack in sand using a 13-pound metal bar known as a tamping iron.

After more than three years in captivity, 82 of the Chibok schoolgirls have been reunited with their families amid tears, laughter, music and dancing. On an emotional day in the Nigerian capital city, Abuja, the young women and their parents wept as they embraced.

Some groups sank to their knees, giving praise and praying.

"Today I thank God, my daughter is alive," Yahi Bulata told NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton as he hugged his now 21-year-old daughter, Comfort Bulus Bulata. He said he hoped she would now be able to continue her education. Mothers sang a song of thanks.

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