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A Hot Topic: Climate Change Coming To Classrooms

For the first time, new nationwide science standards due out soon will recommend teaching K-12 students about climate change. Educators say many teachers have shied away from the polarizing topic, and an organized campaign to promote it as "controversial" leaves many students confused.
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Looking For 'Oxygen,' Small Papers Erect Digital Pay Walls

The Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle are the latest big newspapers embracing a pay model for Web content that had been free. But around the country, more small papers, like the Chinook Observer in Washington state, have also started charging for their digital content in a bid for economic survival.
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Phoenix Schools Under Fire For Program Linked To Scientology

A group of Phoenix charter schools is facing criticism for using a teaching tool based on the work of L. Ron Hubbard, best known for founding the Church of Scientology. The tool has concerned parents in other schools, but the Phoenix schools' leader insists it has nothing to do with the church.
NPR

DOMA Challenge Tests Federal Definition Of Marriage

The Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal recognition and benefits for same-sex couples. The case involves a woman charged a hefty estate tax when her spouse died, which she would not have owed if her spouse had been a man.

NPR

At Arguments, Supreme Court Takes Halting Steps Into Gay Marriage Issue

At oral arguments on the constitutionality of California's law banning same-sex marriage, the justices parried over the history of the institution of marriage. They also debated an essential question: Should the case be in the Supreme Court at all?
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Justices May Not Agree That Petitioners Have 'Standing' To Bring Prop 8 Case

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday in the first of two high profile gay marriage cases. This one challenges the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage. But it remains unclear whether the justices can even agree that the petitioners have "standing" or the right to bring the case.
NPR

Revamping An L.A. Housing Project Takes Army of 'Life Coaches'

Los Angeles's infamous Jordan Downs public housing project in Watts is getting a makeover. For the last 18 months, the city's housing authority has dispatched life coaches to assist longtime residents with a myriad of social services from career counseling to parenting classes. These coaches are there to help make way for a new development. The plan is to try and attract hundreds of middle-class residents who will be living side-by-side with some of the city's poorest people. But some families living in Jordan Downs say for all its ills, the community is also a place where people care for and look out for each, and they fear that will be lost forever amid the restaurants, retail outlets, and condos.
NPR

Feds Ban Banks From Charging Homeowners Fees On 'Forced Insurance'

Since 2009, millions of struggling homeowners have been moved onto higher-premium homeowners insurance after missing mortgage payments. It's known as "force-placed insurance." On Tuesday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced new rules to crack down on the fees and commissions that insurers pay to lenders.

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