FROM Alia Wong
Diversity in higher education is back in the crosshairs Despite decades of legal actions, legislation, and US Supreme Court decisions, "affirmative action" in college admissions is still a political hot potato. The New York Times reports that the Trump Administration is recruiting from among its political appointees to the Justice Department's Civil Rights division for lawyers who want to bring challenges to race-based policies in university and college admissions. Critics fear that will weaken protections for blacks and Latinos. Caught in the middle is the fastest-growing minority, Asian-Americans. Is the Administration aiming for real change — or signaling to its base of supporters? Is the real enemy of "diversity" not race after all--but economic inequality?
DeVos confirmed as education secretary as Pence breaks tie Betsy DeVos was confirmed as President Trump's Education Secretary today by the narrowest margin provided by the Constitution. Vice President Mike Pence declared, "The Senate being equally divided, the Vice President votes in the affirmative and the nomination is confirmed." That was the first time in history that a Vice President broke a tie to confirm a cabinet nominee. Democrats conducted a 24-hour speaking marathon before the vote. Alia Wong, Education Editor at The Atlantic , says efforts by two GOP Senators to derail the confirmation fell short against pressure from fellow Republicans to stick with their party's preference.
Obama and Former Students Go After For-Profit Colleges "The future of the for-profit college industry is looking pretty dismal right about now — and that, many would agree, is generally a good thing." That's the first line of an article in The Atlantic magazine, " The Downfall of For-Profit Colleges ." After investigating the "shady" practices of some for-profit colleges, the Obama Administration is going after their budgets. We hear how loopholes may be closed and talk to an angry former student who refuses to pay back her loans
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.