The White House and State Department have called on the Russian leader to use his influence to stop separatists from disrupting Sunday's election.
Laptops, tablets, calculators. For lots of high school students, technology has become pretty routine. Not so for students at three Illinois high schools.
Those students are building drones, as part of a program funded by the a National Science Foundation, and created by Matthew Schroyer, an amateur mechanical engineer, and a journalist who promotes using drones in investigative reporting.
Schroyer, who is based at the University of Illinois, also trains teachers in how to incorporate creative science and tech education into their classes. If he had his way, he’d just be out there building drones with the kids all day.
"My favorite thing is to help the students just put those things together,” Schoyer said.
Students build the drones, and then use them in ways that benefit the local community. One group did low-flight photography of local corn and soybean fields, to gather information about the plants for a biological survey. Another helped map out a local quarry, using the same aerial photography techniques.
Schroyer’s aim is to make drones an integral part of the science curriculum. Students could build and fly very small drones indoors, he said.
So if you catch your kid with aerial photos of your neighbor’s backyard someday, don’t be alarmed. He may just be doing his homework.
Rep. John Conyers got off to a good start on his holiday weekend with a federal court's decision preventing Michigan officials from throwing him off the primary ballot.
In an age of smartphones, it's easy to take an overwhelming number of photos. NPR's picture editor, Kainaz Amaria, has some tips for creating a bounty of images without driving yourself crazy.
President Obama has nominated San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD.
Now, if you wanna be HUD secretary, there are a few things you should know. No. 1: HUD doesn’t have a say in the biggest federal housing initiative, the housing deductions in the federal tax code.
“HUD has not traditionally been one of the most powerful cabinet agencies,” says Robert Van Order, a former HUD economist who now teaches finance and economics at George Washington University. Van Order points out a second challenge facing Castro: HUD’s budget has been cut.
Still, Van Order says, housing is important, especially now when it’s so key to our economic recovery.
“And so the secretary of HUD has to represent housing as a part of the discussions of what legislation ought to be,” he explains.
Henry Cisneros, who was HUD secretary during the Clinton administration, says the top boss at HUD still sets priorities for housing.
“A HUD secretary can make a difference," he says. "Tweaking policy and budgets. Working with the Congress.”
And Cisnerso says, don’t forget the Federal Housing Administration , or FHA, is part of HUD. It insures housing loans for people banks pass over. And during the housing crisis, it was "essentially the only source of credit for first-time homebuyers in particular, but minority homebuyers as well,” says Erika Poethig, who worked on policy development at HUD and left last year to join the Urban Institute.
Poethig says Castro will have plenty of work to do as the housing recovery sputters along.
That is, pending a Senate confirmation vote.
A vacation request from a security guard for the U.K.-based fashion retailer Arcadia inadvertently got forwarded to the entire company. Within hours, it became a Twitter sensation.
The U.K.-based newspaper says the author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, a treatise on income inequality, may have gotten some of his data wrong.