President Obama says he wants Congress to keep student loan rates from doubling July 1st. If lawmakers don't act, those rates will jump from 3.4 to 6.8 percent. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports the president held a White House event this morning to increase the pressure.
ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: It was a steamy morning in the White House Rose Garden when President Obama stepped out in front of a group of college students and graduates. The president said it's inspiring to spend time with young people.
We knew it couldn't last. We've been reporting some good news about the economy lately. The housing market has been doing quite well. Unemployment is high, but it's been falling. But today, the government released some key economic data and it suggests things are not quite as good as they seemed. Adam Davidson with NPR's Planet Money team joins us to explain. And, Adam, what did we learn today?
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Melissa Block. With the civil war raging in Syria, the U.S. and Russia are making another attempt to get on the same page about how to stop it. Diplomats meet in Geneva next week to try to salvage plans for a June peace conference. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, have run into problems ever since they announced that conference.
A file photo from 2011 shows a man touching a giant bronze sculpture of a mammoth in the Siberian city of Khanty-Mansiysk. A team of Russian and South Korean scientists who found a well-preserved frozen woolly mammoth carcass this month say it also included blood.
Scientists in Siberia say they've extracted blood samples from the carcass of a 10,000-year-old woolly mammoth, reviving speculation that a clone of the extinct animal might someday walk the earth, if scientists are able to find living cells. But researchers say the find, which also included well-preserved muscle tissue, must be studied further to know its potential.
<a href="http://www.labiennale.org/en/">Il Palazzo Enciclopedico</a>: A visitor puzzles over the multitude of choices offered by the the 55th International Art Exhibition of <a href="http://www.labiennale.org/en/biennale/history/">La Biennale di Venezia</a>. It runs from June 1 to November 24, 2013.
This is coming to you from Venice, where I am attending the opening of the Art Biennale.
I find myself interested in Tino Sehgal's live piece installed in one of the main galleries of the Giardini. If the piece has a title, it isn't posted anywhere. I say "live piece" rather than "performance" because the work itself seems crafted precisely to question the nature of performance.
Most women diagnosed with breast cancer when they're 40 or younger are choosing mastectomy rather than more limited and breast-conserving lumpectomy plus radiation, a study of women in Massachusetts finds.
Moreover, most of those choosing mastectomy elect to have the other, noncancerous breast removed, too.
The Mediterranean diet has long been a darling of nutrition experts as a proven way to prevent some chronic diseases. Heavy on olive oil, vegetables, fruit, nuts and fish, the diet most recently has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and dying compared with a typical low-fat diet.
Rio's Operations Center brings together more than 30 agencies and allows them to coordinate on daily issues such as traffic, as well as on emergencies such as the frequent flash floods in hillside slums.
Credit Raphael Lima / Courtesy of the Operations Center, City of Rio De Janeiro
Rescue workers carry the body of a victim after a building collapsed in Rio on Jan. 26, 2012. The city's Operations Center was built to allow for a coordinated response during such emergencies.
We are standing in front of a huge bank of screens, in the middle of which is a glowing map that changes focus depending on what the dozens of controllers are looking at.
The room looks like something straight out of a NASA shuttle launch. The men and women manning the floor are dressed in identical white jumpsuits. With a flick of a mouse, they scroll through dozens of streaming video images coming into the center.
The second collaboration between writer-director Zal Batmanglij and actress and co-writer Brit Marling is called The East, which happens to be the name of the movie's anti-corporate terrorist cult. Marling plays Sarah, an agent who infiltrates the group. She doesn't work for the FBI. Her employer is a private security and intelligence firm run by the sleek, profit-oriented Sharon, played by Patricia Clarkson. Its clients are Big Pharma, Big Oil, or Big Rich Any Corporation that, according to the group The East, poisons the world and everyone in it.
Cities like Houston are dotted with air-sniffing monitors that measure levels of benzene and other potentially unhealthy air pollutants. But those monitors can't answer the question we care about most: Is the air safe?
That's because there's no simple relationship between toxic air pollutants and health risks. Researchers at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill are trying to get a leg up on that problem. They are building an instrument that uses human lung cells to measure health hazards in the air more directly.
There's a part of basic cable that you might call "soft reality" — the unscripted shows where everybody is nice, almost all the stories are happy, the comedy is mostly gentle, and the main characters are meant to be very sympathetic. Soft reality loves pregnancy and childbirth, as seen on shows like A Baby Story and some of the shows about giving birth to multiples. (Jon & Kate Plus 8 started as soft reality and wound up as something else entirely.)