Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 8:42 pm
In his first public comments about the prostitution scandal that has engulfed the Secret Service, President Obama praised the agency and said those implicated in the scandal should not the diminish the work of everyone else.
"The Secret Service, these guys are incredible," Obama said according to Politico. "They protect me, they protect our girls... A couple of knuckleheads shouldn't detract from what they do."
One month after a federal court ordered sweeping changes at a troubled juvenile prison in rural Mississippi, the private company managing the prison is out. A report by the Justice Department describes "systemic, egregious and dangerous practices" at the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility.
As those words imply, the official report is scathing.
Federal Judge Carlton Reeves wrote that the youth prison "has allowed a cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts and conditions to germinate, the sum of which places the offenders at substantial ongoing risk."
A new study has determined that some automated essay graders can do as good of a job as humans. Melissa Block talks with New York Times education columnist Michael Winerip about the study and the weaknesses of automatic essay readers.
Rupert Murdoch's son James testified today before a public inquiry in Britain. There, he faced a fundamental question: Did his family use its media influence to bully British politicians into making decisions that advanced the Murdoch's corporate interests? NPR's Philip Reeves followed the hearing in London.
A surfer and songwriter, Ben Howard's two loves intertwined when the English surfing world became the first audience for his quiet, meditative music. At the encouragement of friends, Howard released two EPs and was soon invited to tour with Xavier Rudd. Howard is a talented artist in the vein of labelmate and influence Nick Drake, with similarly dark and soulful lyrics.
It would be easy to confuse Dr. Mitch Katz with any other doctor at the Roybal Comprehensive Health Center in East Los Angeles. His desk in a closet-sized, windowless office is littered with patient records, X-rays and cans of Diet Coke.
His everyman demeanor belies his stature. As director of the county's Department of Health Services, Katz, 52, oversees Los Angeles' public hospitals and clinics, the health care of last resort for millions of low-income Angelenos. He oversees 22,000 employees and a $3.7 billion-dollar budget.
The Dutch scientist at the center of the controversy over recent bird flu experiments says that his team applied for government permission today to submit a paper describing their research to a science journal.
The Dutch government has asserted that the studies, which describe how to make bird flu virus more contagious, fall under regulations that control the export of weapons technology.