Earlier this year, the city of Providence, R.I., fired all of its nearly 2,000 teachers, shut down five schools and consolidated some programs. Most of the fired teachers were rehired, but when the dust settled, 400 teachers were left without jobs. To give them a chance to apply for 270 positions elsewhere the district, Providence officials are using an unusual device. From member station WRNI, Elisabeth Harrison reports.
The UN is planning to release civilian casualty figures for the month of May this weekend, and the toll could be the highest yet. NPR's Quil Lawrence reports that even though three-quarters of the victims were killed by the Taliban or other militants, it is the U.S. and its NATO allies that bear the brunt of the criticism from Afghans.
Turks are voting in parliamentary elections on Sunday. The secular opposition is mainly fighting to keep the ruling party from winning too big a majority so it doesn't have a completely free hand when it comes to re-writing the country's constitution. Guest host Jacki Lyden talks with NPR's Peter Kenyon about what's at stake.
Spotted owls are on the decline despite two decades of work to bring them back. So, later this month, wildlife officials are releasing a new plan to protect the owls, and it includes a controversial new approach: eliminating their cousins.
In a dense forest near Muir Woods, just north of San Francisco, National Park Service ecologist Bill Merkle plays a recording of a spotted owl in hopes of hearing from a real one.
"I think they're just probably 50 or 60 feet up there," he says.
Last year, I wrote that the most highly anticipated musical of the 2009-2010 season was Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Back then, the Julie Taymor/Bono/Edge show — which had a reported budget of $40 million — had been postponed for lack of funds. So as the season wrapped, it was still highly anticipated.
As you enter Cocktail Culture, an intoxicating exhibit of apparel, accoutrement and ephemera at the Rhode Island School of Design's Museum of Art, it's hard not to think of Billy Strayhorn's lyrics in his jazz standard "Lush Life":
I used to visit all those very gay places those come-what-may places where one relaxes on the axis of wheel of life to get the feel of life from jazz and cocktails
Is your job a pressure cooker? Most people are familiar with the metaphor, but not the actual device — once a common household item.
"It was the wedding gift that you gave. People got a pressure cooker," says Lorna Sass, author of The Pressured Cook. She says when Presto introduced its version of the gadget at the 1939 World's Fair, it didn't take long for it to catch on.
Thousands of Syrians have fled to Turkey as security forces continue to patrol villages, breaking down the doors of houses and burning private crops in the northern town of Jisr al-Shoughour and neighboring communities, witnesses said.
One Syrian farmer just over the Turkish border said the violence is very real.
"Today I see soldiers go into the homes," he said. "They broke the doors. They burned all the crops. I have some pictures that show it is true."