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 Seth Perlman / 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.
Players, coaches and parents collected donations Wednesday in Oklahoma city for the Angle Family, who lost their daughter Sydney, and their home, in the tornado. Sydney was No. 35 on a softball team called 'Bring It'.
Credit Katie Hayes Luke / Katie Hayes Luke for NPR
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene.
For months now, the Obama administration has promised to reveal more about America's secret drone program, and today could be the day. The president will speak this afternoon at the National Defense University, and he's planning to discuss America's fight against terrorism. He is expected to address everything from drones to the prison at Guantanamo Bay.
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.
The movie Fast & Furious 6 hits theaters tomorrow. It is director Justin Lin's fourth film in the franchise, and is far different from his very first film, Shopping for Fangs, which starred a young John Cho and became a cult classic among Asian-American indie film fans.
This follow-up now on the move for immigration reform: When a Senate committee approved a bill overhauling immigration laws this week, it was a victory for supporters of reform, but a bitter pill for one group: the gay and lesbian community. Both Republican and Democratic senators rejected an amendment that would have allowed American citizens to sponsor their same-sex partners for permanent residency. NPR's Richard Gonzales reports from San Francisco.
The IRS has admitted to targeting conservative groups seeking tax exempt status. And yesterday at a House hearing the IRS director of exempt organizations said, quote: "I have not done anything wrong." She then declined to testify. Lois Lerner's brief appearance at the committee was just the beginning of a stormy, five-hour session filled with angry outbursts and allegations of political motives.
NPR's Peter Overby reports.
PETER OVERBY, BYLINE: Lois Lerner did read a statement that she had done her job properly.
This model of a molar shows color-coded barium banding patterns that reveal weaning age.
Credit Ian Harrowell, Christine Austin, Manish Arora / Harvard School of Public 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).
Credit Alyson Hurt, Adam Cole / NPR / Christine Austin / Westmead Centre for Oral Health
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 apelike parenting to the short breast-feeding period of humans?