Now we'd like to bring you the story of one young woman for whom going to school was literally an act of courage. Shabana Basij-Rasikh was six when the Taliban took over in Afghanistan. They made it illegal for girls to go to school. As a result, for years, Shabana and her sister put their lives on the line to go to a secret school in Kabul. Her persistence and bravery eventually led her to Middlebury College, where she graduated magna cum laude in 2010.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we will hear the story of one young woman who literally put her life on the line to go to school. Shabana Basij-Rasikh will join us to talk about growing up under Taliban rule in Afghanistan and the work she's doing now to make sure other young Afghan women can get an education. That's in just a few minutes. But first, we are continuing our conversation with our education innovators.
Beginning in 2014, most people, including students, will have to have health insurance, whether or not they are claimed as a dependent on their parents' tax returns.
The federal health law says if they don't, they or their parents will face penalties.
While expansion of coverage under the health law has helped about 3 million young people get insurance through their parents' plans, many remain uninsured or have coverage through student health plans.
Near the end of his 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela was taken to secret meetings with government officials and for drives around Cape Town. Here, he returned to his Robben Island prison cell for a visit in 1994, shortly before he became South Africa's first black president.
Credit Louise Gubb / Corbis
Mandela and other inmates faced harsh conditions during his many years at Robben Island prison. In the final year of his detention, the South African authorities put him in a private cottage where he had a swimming pool and a cook. Mandela is shown here during a return visit to his old Robben Island cell in 1994.
A Tunisian appeals court has freed rapper Ala Yaacoubi, who last month was sentenced to two years in prison for insulting police officers with his song "The Police Are Dogs."
Critics had said the arrest of Yaacoubi, 25, who performs under the name Weld El 15, was a sign of repression in Tunisia, where mass rallies overthrew former leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali at the start of the Arab Spring in 2011. As NPR reported that summer, several rap songs became anthems for that shift.
Humans have long relied on the sense of taste in the struggle to survive and multiply. A bitter taste alerts us to a plant that may be poisonous. A sweet taste tells us that a plant is likely high in calories and can help sustain us.
Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony have been consistent champions of American music of all shapes and sizes. Are there — or will there be — American symphonies that stand with those of Mozart and Beethoven, Mahler and Shostakovich?
Critics and fans love a good debate over the great American novel or great American movie. But what about the great American symphony?
Is there one? If not, why? If so, which symphonies are good candidates for the title? (Check out our Spotify list for some contenders.) And in the land of the melting pot, what does it mean for a symphony to be "American" in the first place?
Of all the stuff on metadata I've seen in the past few weeks, this is my favorite:
It's my favorite in large part because it's my metadata. It comes from my Gmail account. The relationships it maps are, more or less, my life — orange circles for Planet Money, purple for Brooklyn, brown for college. The big red circle that gets cut off at the bottom of the screengrab is my mom.