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Tuesday October 5, 2010

President Pledges To Boost Community Colleges, But Falls Short On Funding

(Jeffrey Beall/Flickr)

(Jeffrey Beall/Flickr)

President Obama is hosting the first-ever White House summit on community colleges today. While the two-year schools are glad to be getting the recognition, many are disappointed that the initial $12 billion the president pledged to them is now just $2 billion. Other community college leaders tell the Chronicle of Higher Education that the White House seemed to throw together the summit at the last minute and didn’t get input on topics important to educators. Jeff Selingo, editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education, is our guest.

General Speaks Out On Military Suicides After Losing His Soldier Son

The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, warned recently that the number of military suicides will likely increase as large numbers of troops return home after multiple deployments. Mullen’s warning comes on the heels of a Pentagon task force report that found the military’s suicide prevention efforts, even after they’ve been beefed up, are still inadequate. We speak to Army Major General Mark Graham, a leading figure in that prevention effort. Gen. Graham lost both of his soldier sons, one in combat and the other, a promising ROTC cadet, to suicide in 2003.

Peace Prize Nominee Awaits Announcement From Jail Cell

Pro-democracy protesters hold a candle light vigil supporting jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo, shown on a poster, in Hong Kong. (AP)

Pro-democracy protesters hold a candle light vigil supporting jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo, shown on a poster, in Hong Kong. (AP)

Liu Xiaobo, a leading figure in the struggle for human rights and democracy, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is currently serving an 11-year prison term in China for “inciting subversion of state power.” Chinese officials have protested his nomination, saying “his actions are diametrically opposed to the aims of the Nobel prize.” We speak with Larry Siems of the PEN American Center, a human rights organization which nominated Liu Xiaobo for the peace prize.

Making Non-Renewable Materials Infinitely Useable

Saleem Ali makes a passionate argument in a recent article for what he calls “elemental accounting” — tracking and accounting for the elements that go into consumer goods. Ali says the elements in products may be non-renewable, like the Boron in Pyrex cookware and Platinum in catalytic converters, but they are also indestructible. If we account for them, we can design products that make re-using those elements simple, and that would keep the elements in use indefinitely. Ali is a professor of Environmental Studies, and his new book is “Treasures Of The Earth: Need, Greed, and a Sustainable Future.”

Pulling The Wool Over Readers’ Eyes

Author James Frey with Oprah Winfrey in 2006. (Harpo Productions/AP)

Author James Frey with Oprah Winfrey in 2006. Frey admitted to fabricating parts of his memoir on Winfrey's show. (Harpo Productions/AP)

Did you know that Mark Twain liked to make up news stories when he was a young reporter? That Frenchman Vrain-Denis Lucas duped the literary and scientific establishments during the 19th century with fake letters from Alexander the Great and Cleopatra? We revisit a conversation with Melissa Katsoulis, the author of “Literary Hoaxes: An Eye-Opening History of Famous Frauds.”

Music From The Show

  • Dntel, “Last Songs”
  • Sigur Ros, “Nybatteri”
  • Paul Simon, “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover”
  • Radiohead, “Where I End and You Begin”
  • Freddie Hubbard, “Little Sunflower”
  • Steve Reich, “Music for Mallets”
  • Ken Vandermark, “New Acrylic”
  • Grace Slick, “White Rabbit” performed by Jefferson Airplane
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

October 23 Comment

New Documentary Profiles Human Rights Watch Team

An elite group known as the E-Team travels across the globe documenting human rights violations and war crimes.

October 23 Comment

Bottom Of The Sea Is ‘A World Of Surprises’

The world's oceans cover nearly two-thirds of the Earth's surface, yet little is understood about the ocean floor.

October 22 13 Comments

Colorado Backs Away From Pot Edibles Ban

Critics say a ban would violate the state's voter-approved legalization of recreational marijuana, which took effect in January.

October 22 4 Comments

Modest Raise For Social Security Recipients

Economist Diane Swonk says the 1.7 percent cost-of-living increase falls short of the inflation older Americans actually see.