From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
For years, people in the military had a lower rate of suicide than their civilian counterparts. About 10 years ago that started to change and now the rate is worse for soldiers than civilians. That prompted the largest-ever study of suicide among soldiers, in cooperation with the National Institutes of Health. The study is on-going, but three initial articles have been published.
It's testing time in Illinois today. Hundreds of thousands of students began taking state tests in math and science but some students, parents, even teachers are refusing. At dozens of schools in Chicago, they're staging a boycott, saying the tests don't matter. As NPR's Cheryl Corley reports, it's part of a growing national debate over measuring student performance.
UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Boycott the ISAT. Let things be. Boycott the ISAT.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says he's still hopeful for a deal allowing a gay group to march in South Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade. Organizers say talks to include gay groups for the first time in two decades have fallen apart. Walsh, the son of Irish immigrants, is still trying to bring the sides together.
NPR's Tovia Smith reports.
TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: Gay rights activists called it historic that they were even talking to parade organizers. But now, chances for a deal are slipping.
Among the delegations heading to Kiev this week, a team from the International Monetary Fund. Its task: to come up with a plan to help Ukraine's ailing economy. And Ukraine's interim government says it needs a lot of help. There are fears it will default on its debt. And that government pensions and state salaries could soon go unpaid.
Joining us is Anders Asland, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Welcome to the program.
And joining us to talk about Putin's intentions in Ukraine and beyond is the editor of the New Yorker, David Remnick. He's a former Moscow correspondent and is recently back from Sochi. His latest New Yorker column is titled "Putin Goes To War." David, welcome back to the program.
DAVID REMNICK: It's good to talk to you, even though the subject is so grim.
BLOCK: Well, let's talk about that. I was wondering if you heard a very familiar Vladimir Putin world view reflected in those comments at the news conference today.
Secretary of State John Kerry made a high profile visit to Kiev today, showing political support for Ukraine's new government. He promised a billion dollars in loan guarantees. With lesser due, a team from the International Monetary Fund arrived. They're there to assess the state of Ukraine's finances.