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In late May on the floor of a drilling rig on Alaska's northernmost edge, oil workers were dwarfed by giant pieces of machinery. They were slowly pushing pipe thousands of feet below the tundra to tap one of the biggest oil fields in North America: Prudhoe Bay.

Welcome to this week's edition of our national education news roundup.

DeVos appoints current student loan company CEO to head student loan agency

Wayne A. Johnson will be the new head of Office of Federal Student Aid after James Runcie abruptly resigned last month, the U.S. Department of Education announced this week. FSA is the agency responsible for administering $1.4 trillion in outstanding student loans from 42 million borrowers, plus other aid programs for millions of college students.

A jury in Nashville has convicted former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Banks for his involvement in the 2013 gang rape of an unconscious female student. Two of his former teammates have also been convicted, and another is awaiting trial.

Banks was found guilty on one count of aggravated rape and one count of aggravated sexual battery, The Associated Press reports. He was acquitted on five other counts. The aggravated rape count carries a minimum 15-year sentence.

North Carolina televangelist Todd Coontz – author of numerous books on faith and finances – has been indicted on charges of tax fraud spanning more than a decade.

"As a minister, Coontz preached about receiving and managing wealth, yet he failed to keep his own finances in order," Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, said as she announced the charges. "Coontz will now receive a first-hand lesson in 'rendering unto Caesar' that which is due."

A Catholic bishop has instructed priests in his central Illinois diocese to deny communion, last rites and funeral rites to people in same-sex marriages – unless they repent.

In the decree he sent to priests, deacons, seminarians and staff in his Springfield diocese last week, Bishop Thomas Paprocki sets forth a set of norms on same-sex marriage and related pastoral issues that he says are the policy of the diocese.

Arkansas's pesticide regulators have stepped into the middle of an epic battle between weeds and chemicals, which has now morphed into a battle between farmers. Hundreds of farmers say their crops have been damaged by a weedkiller that was sprayed on neighboring fields. Today, the Arkansas Plant Board voted to impose an unprecedented ban on that chemical.

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Back before inauguration, Donald Trump announced a deal with the air conditioning and heating company Carrier to keep one of their manufacturing plants on U.S. soil. Here's President-elect Trump in December at that factory in Indianapolis.

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The killing of a Virginia teen over the weekend is drawing a new focus on road rage.

Fairfax County police say Nabra Hassanen, 17, was killed early Sunday by an angry motorist after an encounter with a group of Muslim teenagers walking along a road on their way back to a mosque.

While college campuses struggle with consent, and when and how "no means no," a nearly 40-year-old court case in North Carolina says a person can't be charged with rape if their partner revokes consent during sex.

Could The Best Memory System Be One That Forgets?

Jun 23, 2017

Intuitively, we tend to think of forgetting as failure, as something gone wrong in our ability to remember.

Now, Canadian neuroscientists with the University of Toronto are challenging that notion. In a paper published Wednesday in the journal Neuron, they review the current research into the neurobiology of forgetting and hypothesize that our brains purposefully work to forget information in order to help us live our lives.

Thirteen chefs divide into teams and begin to prepare appetizers, salads, mains and sides, and desserts. At their disposal are 300 pounds of "ugly" produce just rescued from local farms: purple cauliflower, cherries, shiitake mushrooms, pears, fingerling potatoes, shallots, kale and carrots.

Most of it looks super-fresh, though in some cases the produce is dinged or oddly colored enough to be unappealing to distributors.

Today we're going to update a story we first brought you back in 2004. That September, NPR set out to document what may be the most important day in any young child's life — the first day of kindergarten. For parents it's a day filled with hope, anxiety and one big question: Is our child ready?

The answer back then, as far as 5-year-old Sam Marsenison was concerned, was, "No, no, no!"

Seventy-five years ago this month, a 13 year old girl in Amsterdam sat down and wrote the first entry in a red-checkered diary. Over the next two years, hundreds more pages followed as Anne Frank told about life in the "secret annex" where her family was hiding from the Nazis.

In 1982, Vincent Chin was a 27-year-old draftsman at an engineering firm living in Detroit. On June 19, the Chinese-American immigrant went out with friends to celebrate his upcoming wedding.

That night at a bar he crossed paths with Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz. The two worked in the auto industry and were angry about recent layoffs which were widely blamed on Japanese imports.

A federal judge in Michigan granted temporary reprieve from deportation on Thursday to more than 100 Iraqi nationals with criminal convictions who were living in the Detroit area. They had argued they could face persecution or torture in Iraq because of their status as religious minorities, The Associated Press reports.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented the Iraqis, says they include Christians and Muslims.

Six inmates at Georgia's Polk County Jail came to the aid of a deputy sheriff who collapsed on the job, calling 911 with his phone and staying with him as the ambulance arrived.

The inmates were on their weekly work detail on June 12, sprucing up a Polk County cemetery ahead of Father's Day, when the deputy collapsed, WXIA in Atlanta reports.

"I happened to look up and I seen the officer, he was going to his knees," one inmate tells WXIA.

Throngs of mourners paid their final respects to Otto Warmbier Thursday at a public funeral at the high school he attended near Cincinnati. Just four years ago, Warmbier graduated from the school as the salutatorian.

The 22-year-old University of Virginia student was detained in North Korea for 17 months and died on Monday, shortly after he returned to the United States in a coma.

A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court ruling that the confession of Brendan Dassey, whose case was part of the Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer, was involuntary. Dassey was found guilty of helping his uncle kill a young woman in 2005, and has been held in a Wisconsin prison.

Federal regulators on Thursday said they've identified "the perpetrator of one of the largest ... illegal robocalling campaigns" they have ever investigated.

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a $120 million fine for a Miami resident said to be single-handedly responsible for almost 97 million robocalls over just the last three months of 2016.

Officials say Adrian Abramovich auto-dialed hundreds of millions of phone calls to landlines and cellphones in the U.S. and Canada and at one point even overwhelmed an emergency medical paging service.

In this week's episode of the show and podcast Invisibilia, we explore what happens when you discover a part of yourself that is very different than who you think you are.

Women in their 40s at average risk for breast cancer should talk to their health care provider about the risks and benefits of mammography before starting regular screening at that age, according to guidelines released Thursday by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

For the first time in more than four decades, the Yellowstone grizzly bear is set to lose its federal protections under the Endangered Species Act. Citing a rebound in the bear's population, the U.S. Department of Interior announced its intention Thursday to end these protections and return oversight of the animal's status to the state level.

The agency says the rule to remove the grizzly from the endangered species list will be published "in coming days" and "will take effect 30 days after publication."

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