National / International News

Killed The Mockingbird? American Classics Cut From British Reading List

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-26 04:47

U.K. Education Secretary Michael Gove has decided that the English literature list for a national exam needs to be more English, so he is swapping American texts in the curriculum for British ones.

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In prison and getting an education

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-05-26 04:46

In a ground floor classroom, dark but for the glare of fluorescent lights, about a dozen men are discussing "The Odyssey." They’re talking about the part where Odysseus comes home after being away for so long. 

It’s hard not to imagine that the story has an added poignancy for them, students in the Bard College program at the Woodbourne Correctional Facility, a medium-security prison inupstate New York. 

Earlier this spring, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo presented a new plan for higher education. Citing the cost savings of preventing recidivism and helping newly released inmates find jobs, he said that New York planned to set up—and fund—college programs at 10 prisons around the state. Soon after, though, some New Yorkers began complaining that it was unfair for the state to fund education for prisoners, when many middle class families are struggling to pay for college. The plan was dropped. 

But the Bard Prison Initiative has been offering college courses -- and degrees -- to prisoners around New York State since 1999.

It may sound abstract, said BPI’s founder and director, Max Kenner. But he thinks a liberal arts education is a better investment than many vocational training programs.

“Nothing prepares people for the challenges of the workforce like a liberal education,” he said.  “Liberal education is the best vocational education we can provide, because it trains people to respond to the dynamics of their circumstances.”’

The sample size is small -- Bard only has about 278 graduates. But Kenner says that of the alumni the college is still in touch with, around two-thirds of them have gotten jobs and/or continued their educations after leaving prison.

And he says the actual cost of running college programs in prison is cheap.

“The round number that we’ve come up with is roughly $5,000 a year,” he said. “And that is books, teachers, and the administrative cost of staff or the people who oversee the programs.” (Part of the reason it’s so much cheaper than regular campus-based programs is that it a lot of the fixed costs, say for the physical plant, are a already covered.)

The Rand Corporation did a study recently, looking at all the studies that have been done about the benefits of prison education. Lois Davis, one of the report’s authors, says she found the real economic benefit of educating inmates is that education makes people less likely to recidivate.

“For every dollar spent on correctional education programs, you save about four to five dollars on reincarceration costs,” she said. “That’s a huge difference in terms of cost-effectiveness.”

Having a job is another thing that helps keep people from coming back to prison, but having a criminal record can make it hard to get a job. 

Francisco Feria, who’s been incarcerated since he was 16, for robbery and assault, got his GED when he was in the county jail. Now 24, he hopes his Bard degree will help him get a job when he gets out of prison.

“College or not,” he said. “I’m still considered a felon. I’ve committed a crime. And that’s always going to follow me throughout my whole life, but I just think that college just boosts that chance that much more.”

Feria got his associate’s degree this spring, and plans to spend the last two years of his sentence getting his bachelor’s.

Art school fire clean-up under way

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 04:45
Staff at the Glasgow School of Art start to remove artwork and other items from the fire-damaged Mackintosh building.

VIDEO: Vote 2014: European election results

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 04:23
Nigel Farage has hailed a historic victory as UKIP tops the polls in the European elections, with Labour second and the Lib Dems losing all but one of their seats.

Protest parties will force EU rethink

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 04:12
Protest parties will force EU rethink

Apple wants Samsung case retried

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 03:56
Apple seeks a retrial for increased damages after a jury ordered Samsung to pay $119m for infringing Apple patents.

Bounty rises for Korean ferry owner

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 03:42
South Korea is stepping up its hunt for the owner of the ferry company whose vessel the Sewol sank last month with the loss of some 300 lives.

Labour doubles its MEPs in London

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 03:36
Labour win half the seats available in the European election for the London region.

Inter move would be fantastic - Ince

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 03:35
Winger Tom Ince has arrived in Milan to discuss a possible transfer to his father's former club this summer.

Dylan Thomas film footage found

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 03:24
The first moving footage of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas is found, ending years of searching by fans.

European election NI count under way

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 03:17
Counting gets under way in Northern Ireland for the European elections, with ten candidates contesting three seats.

Malawi recount ordered in some areas

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 03:00
Malawi's electoral commission orders a recount in some areas after discovering some voting anomalies after last Tuesday's general election.

Report details fatal PNG camp attack

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 02:54
A report into February's violence at an Australian asylum camp in Papua New Guinea says detainee Reza Barati died from a brutal beating.

UKIP on course for Scots MEP seat

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 02:50
UKIP is on course to win its first Scottish seat in the European election, on a night which saw the SNP take the most votes overall.

Merger push means big lobbying effort

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-05-26 02:43

Comcast is going to war in its pursuit to merge with Time Warner Cable. The telecom giant has reportedly bought up lobbyists at 40 different firms around Washington.

There's a simple way you could describe Comcast's strategy: have an unlimited budget and then exceed it. The Sunlight Foundation’s Bill Allison says the nation’s capital eats it up.

“You know Washington is the kind of girl that always falls for the dozen of flowers sent three or four times a day,” he says.

By the looks of it, Comcast’s got all the florists on speed-dial. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the company spent nearly $20 million dollars lobbying the federal government last year, putting it in the top 10, and it is on track to be there again this year.

Former FCC chief of staff Blair Levin says this is less about influencing Congress than convincing regulators and Comcast competitors this is a done deal.

“Because if you have the impression this deal is going to go through and everybody is going to rearrange their lives, it’s much harder for a government to act in a way that upsets those expectations,” he says.

Levin says there is something of a firewall. He says regulators at the Department of Justice – key decision-makers in telecom mergers – are historically immune to lobbying campaigns, regardless of size.

Three tried to catch falling woman

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 02:38
Three people tried to catch a 66-year-old woman using a sheet or duvet as she jumped 40ft from a burning building in Hastings, Sussex Police say.

World War II Vets Honor Their Own In Cactus Division

NPR News - Mon, 2014-05-26 02:37

In Gainesville, Texas, on Monday, World War II vets from a unit known as the Cactus Division will remember their fallen comrades. These veterans helped liberate Germany's Dachau concentration camp.

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VIDEO: Motocross rider first to jump pier

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 02:33
A freestyle motocross rider has become the first person to jump over Bournemouth Pier on a motorcycle.

Groves could get hurt - Froch

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 02:27
Carl Froch warns George Groves of impending danger before their rematch at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

Mercedes boss to 'fix' Hamilton issue

BBC - Mon, 2014-05-26 02:27
Lewis Hamilton's complaints over team-mate Nico Rosberg at the Monaco GP will be resolved, says team boss Niki Lauda.
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