Parallels
12:56 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Are Afghanistan's Schools Doing As Well As Touted?

An Afghan child writes on a blackboard at a school built by German troops in a refugee camp on the outskirts of Mazar-e-Sharif. The number of students enrolled in Afghan schools has skyrocketed since the fall of the Taliban at the end of 2001.
Farshad Usyan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 5:25 pm

It's one of the most touted "positive statistics" about Afghanistan: Today, there are 10 million Afghans enrolled in school, 40 percent of them female.

Under the Taliban, about 1 million boys and almost no girls were attending schools. Western officials routinely point to the revived education system as a sign of success and hope for the future.

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The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

VIDEO: In Space, A Single Hair Can Move You

Movie Interviews
12:35 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Historian Says '12 Years' Is A Story The Nation Must Remember

Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Solomon Northup, a free black man in upstate New York who was kidnapped into slavery in 1841 and won his freedom 12 years later. The film 12 Years a Slave is an adaptation of Northup's 1853 memoir.
Jaap Buitendijk Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 2:46 pm

"We love being the country that freed the slaves," says historian David Blight. But "we're not so fond of being the country that had the biggest slave system on the planet." That's why Blight was glad to see the new film 12 Years a Slave, an adaptation of an 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup. Northup was a free black man who was kidnapped into slavery in 1841 and won his freedom 12 years later. "We need to keep telling this story because it, in part, made us who we were," Blight tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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Movie Interviews
12:33 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

'12 Years A Slave' Was A Film That 'No One Was Making'

12 Years a Slave, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, is based on an 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup, a free black man in upstate New York who was kidnapped into slavery in 1841.
Jaap Buitendijk Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 2:46 pm

The new movie 12 Years a Slave has been receiving high praise — critic David Denby recently described it in The New Yorker as "easily the greatest feature film ever made about American slavery." The film is adapted from the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup, who had been a free black man in upstate New York. A husband and father, he was a literate, working man, who also made money as a fiddler. But in 1841, after being lured to Washington, D.C., with the promise of several days' work fiddling with the circus, he was kidnapped into slavery.

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It's All Politics
12:19 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Government Shutdown Makes Its Debut In Campaign Ads

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., speaks in Stuttgart, Ark., in August. Pryor's latest ad in his re-election campaign hammers his GOP opponent's position on the government shutdown.
Danny Johnston AP

The federal government shutdown ordeal only recently ended, but candidates on both sides of the aisle are already on the air with ads aiming to turn the impasse to their advantage.

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Parallels
12:10 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Saudi Women Go For A Spin In Latest Challenge To Driving Ban

A woman drives a car in Saudi Arabia on Sunday. Saudi Arabia is the only country where women are barred from driving, but activists have launched a renewed protest and are urging women to drive on Saturday.
Faisal Al Nasser Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 6:39 pm

Activists in Saudi Arabia tried once, they tried again and now they're making a third challenge to the kingdom's long-standing ban on female drivers.

Some women have recently made short drives, posting videos on social media sites, and many more are planning to get behind the wheel on Saturday.

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The Two-Way
11:48 am
Thu October 24, 2013

VIDEO: Russell Brand And His Call For Revolution

A BBC interview with comedian/actor Russell Brand is getting attention today because, it's said, he speaks for many younger adults who are fed up with politics and politicians.

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Health Care
11:07 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Obamacare Website Mess: Whose Fault Is It?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, it's no secret that it's getting harder to move on up in this country, to achieve upward mobility that is. Last week, we asked whether the ability of Americans to literally move to different parts of the country is playing a role in this. We heard from so many listeners about this that we decided to dig into the story a bit more, and we'll have that in just a few minutes.

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Economy
11:07 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Economic Mobility: America's Frontier Blocked?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We are going to talk a bit today about people on the move. Around the world and throughout time, people have moved from one place to another in search of better lives. But how they're doing it and how much they're doing it are changing. Coming up, we'll look at how thousands of Central Americans are trying to pass through Mexico to the U.S. border every year by clinging to the tops of rusty cargo trains.

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Shots - Health News
11:06 am
Thu October 24, 2013

A View Of Insurance Marketplace Problems From 4 States

Despite major problems with health exchanges, a few people have been able to sign up for insurance.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 12:33 pm

As snafus with the federal health insurance website have multiplied, some states are making halting progress getting people signed up for coverage. But the picture isn't pretty.

Mississippi and Alaska are depending on the federal government for their sites, and they haven't managed to sign up many people. California and Oregon built their own exchanges, but even those sites are having problems. Here is a roundup from NPR member stations in those four states.

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