Reforming the education system in any country can be tricky. But in France, where learning is highly centralized and public school (l'ecole de la Republique) a symbol of French greatness, it's all but impossible.
Several French presidents have tried and failed. President Francois Hollande's second attempt has traditionalists up in arms and critics on the right and left screaming that French schools are being dumbed down.
Teachers, students and some parents took to the streets of cities across the country recently to denounce the government's project.
As presidential candidates visit the early caucus and primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, they're hearing about heroin and meth. Drug overdoses now kill more Americans than traffic accidents. And, in many places, there's a growing acceptance that this isn't just a problem for other people.
New Hampshire is in the throes of a crisis. Last year more than 300 people in the small state died of drug overdoses. Mostly opiods like oxycontin and heroin.
For about as long as there have been humans, it seems there have been tattoos.
Ötzi the Iceman, the 5,000-year-old mummy discovered in the Alps in 1991, had 61 tattoos covering his body. And a quick look around the local coffee shop reveals they're just about as popular today. By one estimate, about a quarter of U.S. adults have at least one tattoo.
Beloved by both Garrison Keillor and Jack White, Pokey LaFarge describes his own music — a mix of old-time jazz, blues, ragtime and string-band music from the past century — as timeless rather than retro.
Antidepressant drugs that work in hours instead of weeks could be on the market within three years, researchers say.
"We're getting closer and closer to having really, truly next-generation treatments that are better and quicker than existing ones," says Dr. Carlos Zarate, a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health.
Embattled FIFA President Sepp Blatter is speaking at the beginning of the 65th Congress of soccer's worldwide governing body. Blatter faces a re-election vote Friday, in the face of new corruption and bribery charges against senior members of FIFA.
"These are unprecedented and difficult times for FIFA," Blatter said. "The events of yesterday have cast a long shadow over football and over this league's congress."
It was a somber opening to FIFA's meeting of international sporting bodies, an assembly that was celebrated with flag-bearers and other pageantry.
The nationwide weirdness that was the Windshield-Pitting Mystery began in the spring of 1954. Looking back at the events today may give us a window — OK, a windshield — on the makeup and the mindset of mid-20th-century America.