Protesters of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel's plan to close dozens of city schools rally in the Capitol rotunda in Springfield, Ill., on Wednesday. The Chicago Board of Education voted to close 50 schools.
Credit M. Spencer Green / AP
Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and Board of Education General Counsel James Bebley listen at a packed board meeting Wednesday in Chicago. The board voted Wednesday on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposal to close dozens of schools.
A day after school officials approved shutting down 50 schools, the Chicago Teachers Union and community activists say they'll hold a voter registration and education campaign. The union is agitated that Mayor Rahm Emanuel, school board members and some lawmakers failed to listen to parents, teachers and others who called for the schools to remain open.
Before they voted yes on the sweeping school closure plan, school board members faced a torrent of criticism Wednesday. Protesters tried to conduct a sit-in at the front of the boardroom, but security officers escorted them out.
Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress Wednesday that the central bank is not ready to scale back on economic stimulus. But he suggested the Fed may start to pare back bond purchases if the economy picks up momentum. Stocks fell following Bernanke's remarks.
On Wednesday, Lois Lerner, the IRS official overseeing the tax-exempt organizations office, refused to testify during a hearing on Capitol Hill, and was attacked by some Republicans on the House committee. Her brief appearance was the beginning of a five-hour session marked by angry outbursts and allegations of political motives.
President Obama speaks at Ellicott Dredges in Baltimore on May 17. The trip followed a visit by the company's president to Capitol Hill to testify in support of the Keystone XL pipeline. The White House says Obama's speech had nothing to do with Keystone, but environmental groups have been frustrated with his stance on the issue.
NPR continues its conversations about The Race Card Project, where NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris asks people to send in six-word stories about race and culture. The submissions are personal, provocative and often quite candid.
Prison is a tough place, but Congress made an exception nearly 30 years ago, giving terminally ill inmates and prisoners with extraordinary family circumstances an early way out. It's called compassionate release.
But a recent investigation found that many federal inmates actually die while their requests drift through the system.
Credit Ian Harrowell, Christine Austin, Manish Arora / Harvard School of Public Health
This model of a molar shows color-coded barium banding patterns that reveal weaning age.
Credit Alyson Hurt, Adam Cole / NPR / Christine Austin / Westmead Centre for Oral Health
Top: Lines on a 100,000-year-old Neanderthal tooth mark the passage of time. Bottom: The distribution of barium shows dietary transition: low barium before birth (1), high barium during breast-feeding (2) and falling barium as the Neanderthal transitions to a mixed diet (3).
Our closest relatives, chimpanzees and gorillas, breast-feed their offspring for several years. Some baby orangutans nurse until they are 7 years old.
But modern humans wean much earlier. In preindustrial societies, babies stop nursing after about two years. Which raises the question: How did we get that way? When did we make the evolutionary shift from ape-like parenting, to the short breast-feeding period of humans?