Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is signaling that he's prepared to give public schools relief from federal mandates under No Child Left Behind if Congress does not pass the law's long-awaited overhaul and re-authorization this year.
"This is absolutely plan B," Duncan told reporters during an embargoed conference call on Friday. "The prospect of doing nothing is what I'm fighting against."
That relief could take the form of granting waivers on test scoring to flexibility on how schools spend federal dollars. "We can't afford to do nothing," he said.
The new top cop in Mexico's deadliest city, Juarez, gained notoriety for using an iron fist to reduce the violence in Tijuana's streets. And Julian Leyzaola now plans to use that fist to beat down the drug cartels in Juarez.
On his first day, thugs left Leyzaola a greeting on a tortured, duct-taped body. It said, "Welcome to Juarez, Julian Leyzaola. This is your first little gift and it's going to keep happening." It was signed, the Sinaloan cartel.
As legal experts debate the strength of the campaign finance case against former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, details are emerging of how the indictment came about.
Lawyers for Edwards had pressed Justice Department officials for weeks to end the two-year investigation of the once-prominent Democrat with no criminal charges, a decision that would have carried profound political fallout. It would have been a hard sell even in an ordinary prosecution, let alone one completely interwined with politics.
Former IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn's attempted rape charges have caused a great stir in both the U.S. and France. Initially, it seemed to highlight cultural differences between the two countries around sexual politics. Lately, however, French attitudes have begun to change. Host Jacki Lyden speaks to the senior editor of Le Monde, Sylvie Kauffmann, about whether the scandal has changed the way gender relations are viewed in France.
This week we saw a prominent member of Congress brought low by salacious behavior on Twitter. We also saw a shift in the batting order of Republican candidates for president in 2012. Guest host Jacki Lyden talks politics with NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson and NPR's Andrea Seabrook.