And let's go next to Pakistan, the scene of both a natural disaster and political turmoil. And we'll talk about the disaster first. NPR's Julie McCarthy is on the line from a flood zone in southern Pakistan. Julie, hi. Where are you?
Child poverty in Jefferson County is increasing more quickly than Kentucky’s adult poverty rate and all areas of the state are contributing to some of the highest child poverty rates in the nation. Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA) released information it compiled using data from the U.S. Census’ American Community Survey. The data shows Jefferson County’s youth poverty rate is still under the state-average, which is currently 26.3 percent. But it’s creeping up and being just shy of the state-average is not good enough, said Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates.
Last week, Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities announced a plan to retire three coal-fired power plants over the next four years. The plants will be replaced by facilities that burn natural gas—which is cleaner than coal. The utilities are part of a growing trend across the nation to retire older coal plants. To most people, a gas turbine doesn’t sound any different than a jet engine, or than the sounds you’d expect to hear in a coal-fired power plant. But in terms of what this sound means for the region’s energy mix, it’s a big deal.
Earlier this week, Marine Major Darrel Choat revealed on Morning Edition that he is gay. Choat made the statement on the day that "don't ask, don't tell" was formally repealed. That law had banned gays from serving openly in the military. Steve Inskeep checks back in with Choat to hear how those he serves with reacted to the news.
Pakistan lashed out at the U.S. for accusing the country's most powerful intelligence agency of supporting extremist attacks against American targets in Afghanistan. Steve Inskeep talks to Alex Rodriguez, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, about what Pakistan had to say.
Indiana's new voucher program allows families with incomes up to $62,000 to take a portion of the funds that would have gone to a public school and convert it into a scholarship that can be used at a private school. The program has brought an enrollment rush at Catholic schools. Opponents fear the vouchers could siphon money away from public schools, and uses state funds to offer religious education.
The White House is announcing Friday that it will grant waivers to states that cannot meet the testing standards of the No Child Left Behind education law. But states will face strict scrutiny from Washington before they get these waivers.