Student Loan Defaults On The Rise, Texas Special Education, And Other Education News

Hello! Money is on our minds in this mid-January edition of the Weekly Roundup. Student loan default is a "crisis," report says Almost 40 percent of students who entered college in the fall of 2003 may default on their student loans by 2023. That is the conclusion of the Brookings Institution, which analyzed 20 years of federal data for two groups of student borrowers. Previously published data from the Department of Education looked at default rates just three to five years after borrowing....

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Meet the new German government, same as the old German government.

At least that's the plan of Chancellor Angela Merkel and her political allies, who Friday crafted a deal aimed at ending Germany's 3 1/2-month political crisis.

It may appear an odd strategy, given that German voters gave the previous government the boot.

All three parties making up the last grand coalition — the Christian Democrats (CDU), the Christian Social Union (CSU) and the Social Democrats (SPD) — ended up with historically low returns in last September's federal elections.

Simon Bramhall, the British surgeon who branded his initials onto patients' livers during transplant surgeries at least twice, has been ordered to do 120 hours of community service and pay £10,000 (more than $13,600).

Bramhall pleaded guilty in December to two counts of assault for branding his patients.

The United States appears to be in the midst of an unusually severe flu season, officials at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

The flu season started early, which is never a good sign, and the flu is already widespread throughout the country, the CDC's latest report shows. Half of states are reporting especially intense flu activity.

On this episode, Derek Smith talks with Dr. Kevin Pinney - Professor of Chemistry, Bio-Chemistry and Cancer Researcher at Baylor University. 


Joe Riley

Nan Holmes leads this weeks conversation with Sherry Williams, Director of the Waco - McLennan County Public Health District. 

Natalie Portman is so done with male bias in Hollywood. On Sunday, before reading out the top picks for best director at the Golden Globes, she said: "Here are the all-male nominees."

She's not the only one who's over industry sexism.

You've seen the Orion Nebula before – but not like this.

It's part of the Orion constellation, easily visible from Earth: The bright center "star" in Orion's sword, located off Orion's belt, is actually an active nebula where new stars are formed.

In a narrow alley just behind a busy Queens street, Hernán's kitchen makes more than 4,000 churros each day for street vendors to sell across New York City. From 3 a.m., hours before nearby shop owners unlock their front gates, the kitchen fills with the sound of churro batter beating against the sides of large industrial mixers.

The kneaded dough is shaped by a long dispenser that drops it into sizzling hot oil. The churros — long, striated doughnuts — are finished with a sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon and stacked high on baking trays by Hernán's wife.

Updated at 12:45 p.m. ET

One day after President Trump referred to African nations as "shithole countries," adding that the U.S. should want immigrants from countries such as Norway rather than from Haiti or El Salvador, the countries that came in for the president's criticism are offering some responses of their own.

Two 15-year-old boys have been sentenced to 5 years of probation over the livestreamed sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl in Chicago last March.

As NPR reported at the time, the girl, then a freshmen in high school, was sexually assaulted by as many as six different boys and men. Video of the attack was streamed on Facebook Live. Dozens of people watched, none of whom called police to report the rape.

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Events Jan 13 - Jan 18

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at the Mayborne Museum, Activities to commemorate Martin Luther King Day, opportunities to exercise your creativity and more are in this edition of Act Locally Waco.

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Weekly Folk Music Program hosted by Ross Burns

Saturday at 11am with encores Sunday at 10am and 7pm