A U.S. spy satellite detected a surface-to-air missile in the area just before the plane went down. Detailed forensic analysis on the wreckage may be complicated; it's reportedly been cut apart.
South Portland, Maine, has blocked crude oil from being loaded onto ships at its port. Environmentalists are cheering, but the Portland Montreal Pipeline Corp. says the ban won't hold up in court.
In a recent Gallup poll, most named immigration the biggest problem confronting the nation. But past periods of heightened worries have been brief — and haven't brought about solutions.
By 2015, the Obama administration will evaluate colleges on average tuition cost, low-income student enrollment, graduation rates and job earnings after graduation.
When they released this proposal last year, the higher education community generally disagreed with their criteria. One strong critic is Drew Faust, the president at Harvard University. Here are some measurements she thinks are important to consider:
Measurement: Jobs, but not salaries.
Faust is not opposed to focusing on kinds of work students can do after they graduate. However, she believes emphazing earnings at a first job distorts the picture.
"Some of our economists at Harvard have done analysis of this, and find that you really only begin to get an accurate reflection of lifetime earnings if you look at 10 years out. So I think they’re looking hard at more nuanced ways of measuring output of education.”
Measurement: The percentage of students on financial aid.
Of course, she cites the stats from Harvard: They accepted 5.9 percent of the 24,294 applicants for the entering class of 2014, and Faust says they have expanded financial aid programs so that those select few can actually afford to enroll.
"We have a financial aid policy that supports 60 percent of our undergraduates," she said. "They pay an average of $12,000 a year."
Faust also said that about 20 percent of Harvard's class makes no parental or family contribution at all.
Measurement: How digital-forward teaching is.
The big push at Harvard right now is digital — Harvard edX, where anyone can take classes from their computer. Faust says this provides acess to the knowledge and research for students, researchers and educators around the globe.
"We get many students from Asia and Europe," she says, "and our students expect to live their lives and practice their professions and fields in a global environment."
Faust also says learning and "the fundamental value of learning and challenging ourselves in the realm of research and relating our research and teaching" are key principles to any education system. She thinks its better to focus on how education and learning can better a student, rather than how much they will make.
We've all heard Congress is in recess more than it's actually in session, but there's more to the story.
It turns out Congress working during August is actually against the law.
Congress will recess for its summer break next Friday because the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 says it has to according to the Washington Post.
In fact the House and Senate shall recess, "not later than July 31 of each year...to the second day after Labor Day."