Japanese officials are experimenting with ways to help people displaced by last year's earthquake and tsunami. One idea is to create parallel towns where everyone from the dog-catcher to the schoolteacher can shift to one town while their old village is being rebuilt. It's a way of keeping communities intact. But after more than a year, many of the affected communities have already scattered.
In Georgia, among those returning when school resumes this month are several thousand students who attend private religious academies on scholarships paid for by taxpayers. Georgia is one of several states that allow businesses and individuals to receive tax credits for contributions to scholarship programs for kids, kindergarten through 12th grade.
The tax credit scholarships are popular with school choice advocates. Like vouchers, they use public money to pay for private education. But in Georgia, even some supporters say the scholarships may be open to abuse.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. This presidential campaign season features not only battles between candidates, but fights over how the voting process should work. Today in Pennsylvania, a judge refused to block the state's new voter ID law from going into effect before the election. The law requires voters to show identification at the polls.
As we hear from NPR's Pam Fessler, opponents of the law say they will appeal.
India turned 65 on Wednesday, and amid the great pomp and ceremony of National Day celebrations, the prime minister announced plans for a mission to Mars. India plans to send a research satellite to the Red Planet in November next year — at a cost of $82 million. Critics say the money would be better spent on the nation's creaky infrastructure, and connecting the 400 million Indians who are not on the national electricity grid.
The question many young immigrants have had since President Obama's Deferred Action policy was announced is whether their new status would allow them to pay in-state tuition at state universities. Audie Cornish speaks with Maria Sacchetti, immigration reporter for The Boston Globe, about how various states are handling tuition matters.
Iranians walk through the main bazaar in Tehran in January. Sanctions by the EU and U.S., plus political woes related to the Syrian uprising, have created the most serious crisis faced by Tehran since the 1980s.
Credit UPI /Landov
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (left) greets Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem in the presidential palace in Tehran on July 29, in this official handout photo. The war in Syria threatens Iran's only ally in the Arab world.
Iran appears to be facing a crisis more serious than anything it has experienced since its war with Iraq in the 1980s.
Diplomatically, President Bashar Assad's regime is under threat from the widening war in Syria, Iran's sole ally in the Arab world. Domestically, the European oil embargo and U.S. banking sanctions are undermining the Iranian economy, bringing inflation, food shortages and unemployment.
Iran is trying to maintain a defiant posture, without much success.