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Education
5:12 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Efforts To Close The Achievement Gap In Kids Start At Home

Stephanie Taveras (left) visits Julia Alfaro and her 3-year-old daughter, Ayleen, to read and discuss her vocabulary progress.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 10:34 am

When Andrea Riquetti taught kindergarten in Providence, R.I., the disparity between more affluent students and those from poor families was painfully clear.

"We would read The Very Hungry Caterpillar," she says, "and I would ask them, 'What is this fruit?' And they would call all the fruits just 'fruits,' because they didn't have the specific name."

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The Two-Way
4:58 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Army General Pleads Guilty To Adultery; Other Charges Dropped

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair (L) leaves the Fort Bragg Courthouse with his attorney Ellen Brotman, after sexual assault charges against Sinclair were dropped after he pleaded guilty to lesser charges Monday.
Davis Turner Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 8:17 am

Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, who was accused of sexually assaulting a subordinate, has pleaded guilty to lesser charges in a plea deal reached with government prosecutors. A judge accepted the plea deal Monday; the general's sentencing hearing will continue Tuesday.

NPR's Tom Bowman reports for our Newscast unit that the prosecution's case against Sinclair, 51, fell apart because of missteps by the Army command and credibility problems with his accuser:

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All Tech Considered
4:30 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

With Google's Robot-Buying Binge, A Hat Tip To The Future

A BigDog robot at Boston Dynamics in 2010. The BigDog is being developed to help soldiers carry heavy equipment in the field. It can follow a human being, walking across wet/sandy/rocky terrain, just like a dog would.
Suzanne Kreiter Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 8:56 pm

In less than a year, Google has bought more than a half-dozen robotics companies, setting the industry abuzz. But when I ask Google what it's up to with all these robots, the company won't say a thing.

"They are very careful — they haven't disclosed what they are doing," says Richard Mahoney, the director of the robotics program at SRI International, a nonprofit technology accelerator in Menlo Park, Calif. Mahoney also served on the board of Redwood Robotics, one of the companies Google bought.

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Parallels
4:30 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

A Syrian Refugee Camp With Girl Scouts And A Safeway Store

An informal Girl Scout group at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan sings: "We want to learn and rise up to fulfill our dreams."
Nabih Bulos NPR

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 8:57 pm

On a sunny afternoon in the dusty, overcrowded Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, a group of Syrian girls recites a familiar pledge and hope to change their future. The youngsters promise to serve God and country, to help people at all times and live by the laws of the Girl Scouts.

The troop was organized by Hanna Vazquez, a volunteer with Mercy Corps, a U.S.-based humanitarian group.

"We are going to do the Girl Scout music badge," she says, as the girls gather around.

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News
4:30 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

General Takes Plea Deal In Sexual Assault Case

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 6:33 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Today, a plea deal in the most closely watched sexual assault case in the military. An Army general admitted to charges of mistreating a subordinate and adultery. But Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair will not face more serious charges. That's because the Army's case against him fell apart. We're going to hear more about what happened now from NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman. Hi, Tom.

TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Hello, Robert.

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News
4:30 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

A Beer Backlash To LGBT Exclusion In St. Patrick's Parades

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 6:33 pm

Beer makers Guinness and Sam Adams withdrew sponsorship from New York and Boston's St. Patrick Day parades, respectively, over the exclusion of openly gay, lesbian and transgender participants.

News
4:30 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Hoping To Clear The Air In Paris, Officials Ration The Rue

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 1:18 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

And if you're trapped in traffic right now, or even if you're not, don't take your eyes off the road. Just let your mind drift slightly and think of Paris. That's where a spike in air pollution has driven the government to ban half of all cars from the road. Several cities in France are giving it a try, and Paris has the most severe restrictions.

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News
4:30 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

With Sanctions, Obama Aims For Those Close To Putin

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 6:33 pm

The Obama administration is ordering new sanctions against 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials. The move is designed to penalize Russia for efforts to split Crimea away from Ukraine.

News
4:30 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Kiev Mobilizes Thousands Of Troops, Preparing For Worst

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 6:33 pm

The Ukrainian parliament has voted to mobilize 40,000 reservists as Kiev tries to beef up its military following the referendum in Crimea.

News
4:30 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Out Of Antarctica, A 'Grand Slam' That Leads Back To The Big Bang

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 6:33 pm

Physicists using data from an Antarctica telescope say they've observed evidence of primordial gravity waves — in other words, echoes of the Big Bang. If real, this may be a big advance for physics.

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