"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

After an international tribunal invalidated Beijing's claims to the South China Sea, Chinese authorities have declared in no uncertain terms that they will be ignoring the ruling.

The Philippines brought the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, objecting to China's claims to maritime rights in the disputed waters. The tribunal agreed that China had no legal authority to claim the waters, and was infringing on the sovereign rights of the Philippines.

Donald Trump is firing back at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after she made disparaging comments about him in several media interviews. He tweeted late Tuesday that she "has embarrassed all" with her "very dumb" comments about the candidate. Trump ended his tweet with "Her mind is shot - resign!":

Donald Trump wrapped up his public tryout of potential vice presidential candidates in Indiana Tuesday night with Gov. Mike Pence giving the final audition.

The Indiana governor's stock as Trump's possible running mate is believed to be on the rise, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also atop the list. Sources tell NPR the presumptive GOP presidential nominee is close to making a decision, which he's widely expected to announce by Friday.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The unassuming hero of Jonas Karlsson's clever, Kafkaesque parable is the opposite of a malcontent. Despite scant education, a limited social life, and no prospects for success as it is usually defined, he's that rarity, a most happy fella with an amazing ability to content himself with very little. But one day, returning to his barebones flat from his dead-end, part-time job at a video store, he finds an astronomical bill from an entity called W.R.D. He assumes it's a scam. Actually, it is more sinister-- and it forces him to take a good hard look at his life and values.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Paying For College: More Tough Decisions

May 15, 2012
Originally published on May 23, 2012 10:48 am

Middle age is prime time for saving money. From your late 40s through early 60s, you're supposed to squirrel away cash to cope with health care costs in your old age.

But for millions of Americans, middle age also is the time when children are seeking help with higher-education bills, and elderly parents may be needing assistance with daily care.

Scott and Kelley Hawkins, both 46, are in that middle position. As they brace for paying rising college expenses for two daughters in school at once, they know they will have many tough financial decisions to make. "A lot of extra stuff we used to have money for, we don't have the money for" now that the hefty-tuition years are looming, Scott Hawkins said.

The Hawkinses belong to one of three multigenerational families being profiled in NPR's eight-week series, "Family Matters: The Money Squeeze." They already have been paying for their older daughter Chelsea's college costs, and in a few months, they will see their second daughter, Carley, head off to college.

This tuition double whammy comes at a time when the couple also is helping care for AnnaBelle Bowers, Kelley's 87-year-old grandmother. As the generations stack up on each other in one household, the Hawkins family has to set priorities to make education-related expenses fit into the budget.

They believe that helping the next generation is a worthwhile investment. "It's very hard because college is very, very expensive," Kelley Hawkins said. "But you just make it work."

The College Board, a nonprofit group, estimates that at a four-year private college, tuition, fees and room and board now average nearly $39,000 per year. For in-state students at public four-year institutions, that annual "sticker price" averages just over $17,000. Scholarships and other forms of assistance can greatly reduce the price.

Still, most students end up having to borrow money to help pay for college. A just-released study by Rutgers University found that 6 in 10 graduates owe an average of $20,000 to pay off their education costs.

All of that debt has rolled up to a total of more than $1 trillion, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal agency.

Despite its cost, higher education is more valuable than ever as the wage gap between high school graduates and college graduates widens. U.S. Census Bureau data show that the average gap in annual earnings between a high school and college graduate now stands at nearly $27,000.

Nicholas McDonald is a 24-year-old member of another family in the NPR series. He'd like to make money to help his mother, Natasha Shamone-Gilmore, 58, his stepfather, Curtis Gilmore, 63, and his grandfather Franklin Brunson, 81. They all live together in a small home in Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C.

But McDonald's training and career plans are still in flux. After running up about $6,000 in student loans at The Art institute of Washington, a for-profit college, he realized too late that such schooling was not right for him. "I didn't agree with the amount of money I was paying," he said. So he dropped out and began pursuing a $16-an-hour construction job.

"Sixteen dollars an hour is something I can contribute with — gas up, get food for the house," he said.

The latest statistics about current college graduates' job prospects suggest McDonald may be wise to stop taking on more student debt to pursue an art education.

The Rutgers study showed that just half of the people who graduated from college between 2006 and 2011 are working full time. So financial planners say students must take a harder look at which degrees are leading to jobs, such as those involving engineering, and which ones — particularly in the arts and humanities — are leading to unemployment lines.

Tim Maurer, a financial adviser in Hunt Valley, Md., says that when making decisions about higher education, you need to "take a look at the value proposition."

Going to an expensive college for a degree that leads to a low-paying job may not be a good financial decision, even though college is, generally speaking, a path to a better living, he says.

"Education is in many ways priceless, but it is not without a price tag," he says. "You need to gauge how much you are willing to pay for your education, based on how much money that is going to help you make in the future."

McDonald says that by giving up on college, he hopes to avoid adding to his family's debt load and begin contributing sooner. He says his goal for now is to keep himself and the older generations living together under one roof — but in a better way. "I want to see my family eating good, not struggling for money," he said. "I want to see us comfortable."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.