FROM Jonathan Glater
The Growing Scandal in Student Loans Education Secretary Margaret Spelling heads to Capitol Hill tomorrow to answer questions about student loans . With tuitions rising toward $50,000 a year at top institutions, student lending is an $85 billion industry. Investing in education is a lot like buying a car, with discounts and interest rates as important as faculty qualifications or student performance. Private lenders compete with the federal government, and friendly college administrators have taken gifts, trips and stock options. New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is just one investigator into reports of unethical and possibly illegal practices that include kickbacks to college loan officers who've recommended private lenders to parents and students. Yesterday, Theresa Shaw, Spelling's top student-loan overseer announced her resignation. How can students and parents tell if they're getting their money's worth? Is the Department of Education doing its job? Why is it so expensive to go to school?
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?