New British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her Cabinet Wednesday.

Amid a sweeping crackdown on dissent in Egypt, security forces have forcibly disappeared hundreds of people since the beginning of 2015, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

It's an "unprecedented spike," the group says, with an average of three or four people disappeared every day.

The Republican Party, as it prepares for its convention next week has checked off item No. 1 on its housekeeping list — drafting a party platform. The document reflects the conservative views of its authors, many of whom are party activists. So don't look for any concessions to changing views among the broader public on key social issues.

Many public figures who took to Twitter and Facebook following the murder of five police officers in Dallas have faced public blowback and, in some cases, found their employers less than forgiving about inflammatory and sometimes hateful online comments.

As Venezuela unravels — with shortages of food and medicine, as well as runaway inflation — President Nicolas Maduro is increasingly unpopular. But he's still holding onto power.

"The truth in Venezuela is there is real hunger. We are hungry," says a man who has invited me into his house in the northwestern city of Maracaibo, but doesn't want his name used for fear of reprisals by the government.

The wiry man paces angrily as he speaks. It wasn't always this way, he says, showing how loose his pants are now.

Ask a typical teenage girl about the latest slang and girl crushes and you might get answers like "spilling the tea" and Taylor Swift. But at the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., the answers were "intersectional feminism" — the idea that there's no one-size-fits-all definition of feminism — and U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Why Keep Athletes Eligible But Uneducated?

Sep 4, 2013
Originally published on September 4, 2013 4:31 pm

Each football season brings exciting plays and game heroes, but Frank Deford says the real heroes are often overlooked.

As another school year and college football season gets underway, Deford looks at the frustrations and challenges facing educators to keep student athletes eligible.

Click on the audio link above to hear Deford's take on this issue.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit



Well, we're going to talk about college football now.



MONTAGNE: College football season is in its second week. Each season brings exciting plays and game heroes. But Frank Deford says the real heroes are often overlooked. He points to an educator who decided to speak up.

FRANK DEFORD: So much about big-time college sports is criticized. But the worst scandal is almost never mentioned; the academic fraud wherein the student-athletes, so-called, are admitted without even remotely adequate credentials and then aren't educated so much as they are just kept eligible.

The reason this shameful practice seldom surfaces is because all the major conference schools are guilty and everybody - presidents, trustees, coaches, media, fans - everybody accepts the corruption. Only occasionally does the truth bubble up. Enter Mary Willingham at the University of North Carolina. She was a learning specialist, working with the Tar Heel athletes who needed study help. And invariably, almost all of the most unqualified were from the revenue sports, football and basketball. She was so appalled at the academic inability of so many players that she began to speak out about the terrible hypocrisy.

Meanwhile, the university removed her from working with athletes, reduced her title and, she says, "doubled my workload. They're trying to get rid of me," she told me. Fans of the Tar Heel teams treat her unkindly. This invariably happens to college sports whistleblowers who dare reveal what is called a dirty little secret, wink-wink; but which is, in fact, a filthy, big lie.

Imagine, showing up at college, Ms. Willingham says, with reading, writing and vocabulary skills so below your classmates that nothing makes sense. She found some athletes admitted to Chapel Hill, one of the most elite public universities in the country, with fourth-grade reading skills. Worse, some are, simply, non-readers. More upsetting, she found cheating rampant. It troubles her, she admits, that she herself lied about that, filling out boilerplate NCAA forms that affirmed that there was no cheating. But everybody does it. Just tell the NCAA what it wants, and sell more tickets.

What is so sad, Ms. Willingham says, is that almost all the academically deficient players whom she worked with wanted to learn, wanted an education. But their time and energy were eaten up by their sport. There wasn't enough time left over for the student-athletes to try to become students.

But understand, as another college year begins - or, more visibly, as another college football season begins, that what goes on at Chapel Hill is substantially no different than the way athletic programs are run across the country. It's the only way to win. As Ms. Willingham says she's been told so often: Athletics is in charge of the university. She doesn't want to believe that because among other things, she says that she loves the University of North Carolina. She loves that place of learning.

MONTAGNE: Commentator Frank Deford joins us each Wednesday. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.