National News

The High School Graduation Rate Reaches A Record High — Again

The high school graduation rate in the U.S. reached an all-time high of 83 percent in the 2014-2015 school year, President Obama announced today, marking the fifth straight record-setting year.

Achievement gaps have narrowed even as all boats have risen. Graduation rates range from 90 percent for students who identify as Asian/Pacific Islanders to 64 percent for students with disabilities.

A Peshmerga convoy drives toward a frontline on Monday in Khazer, about 19 miles east of Mosul, Iraq.

Iraqi Forces Fight Their Way Toward Mosul For Crucial Battle Against ISIS

The long-awaited Iraqi military offensive to retake Mosul from ISIS has begun.

Backed by U.S. air support, Iraqi army troops and allied Kurdish fighters are advancing on the city from two fronts, the south and northeast, as NPR's Alice Fordham tells Morning Edition. They say they're making progress but face resistance from ISIS militants who have been in control of the area for more than two years.

The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. The fraternity was at the center of a controversial <em>Rolling Stone</em> article describing an alleged gang rape at the school.

Defamation Trial Over 'Rolling Stone' Rape Allegation Story Begins

A defamation trial against Rolling Stone, based on a 2014 article about an alleged rape on the campus of the University of Virginia, got underway in federal court on Monday.

The magazine retracted the story after scrutiny revealed inconsistencies. The trial beginning now involves a former dean at the school who has sued for $7.85 million over her portrayal in the piece.

Jury selection in the case began early Monday at a federal court in Charlottesville, Va., The Associated Press reports.

Kurdish peshmerga fighters, who are allied with the Iraqi army, stand atop military vehicles on Monday as they advance toward villages about 20 miles east of Mosul.The Iraqi military said an operation to retake Mosul from the Islamic State was launched before dawn on Monday.

The Battle For Mosul: 5 Key Things To Know

The Islamic State forced the world to take notice when the extremist group overran Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, in June 2014.

Just months earlier, President Obama had described ISIS as "the JV team." But by August 2014, the U.S. was bombing ISIS in Iraq, and early Monday, the U.S. teamed up with the Iraqi army and other allies in a major offensive to recapture the northern Iraqi city.

A full-size model of the ExoMars entry, descent and landing module Schiaparelli, with its parachute deployed, was on display in the Netherlands in April. The actual lander is en route to the surface of Mars and set to arrive on Wednesday.

European Space Agency Probe Approaches Surface Of Mars

An experimental lander from the European Space Agency is making its final descent toward Mars, preparing for a controlled landing on Wednesday.

The Schiaparelli probe detached from its mothership, the Trace Gas Orbiter, on Sunday.

There was a moment of alarm when, after separating from the ship, Schiaparelli didn't send the expected signals back to scientists on earth. It did send back a "carrier signal" to show it was operational, but didn't communicate any telemetry data about its status or location.

Hillary Clinton chats with Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein onstage during a panel discussion in 2014 of the Clinton Foundation's Clinton Global Initiative.

There's Really No Comparison Between The Trump And Clinton Foundations

The Clinton Foundation and the Trump Foundation have similar-sounding names. And they've both become political targets in this election cycle. Beyond that, charities experts say, they have remarkably little in common. But the differences between them might reveal something about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Laura Passoni, a Belgian woman who was recruited by ISIS, traveled to Syria and eventually escaped, has written a book to discourage young people who may be tempted to follow the same path.

Europe Wakes Up To Prospect Of Female Terrorists

Laura Passoni, a 34-year-old mother of two small boys, grew up in a Catholic family in the Belgian town of Charleroi. She converted to Islam at the age of 16 because she says she liked the religion and her best friend was Muslim.

Passoni married a Muslim man and they had a son. Everything was fine, she says — until her marriage collapsed. "My husband met another woman and left me and abandoned his little boy," she says. "And I went into a deep depression."

Actor Mark Ruffalo and Murray the Muppet talk about empathy.

E Is For Empathy: Sesame Workshop Takes A Crack At Kindness

Parents and teachers are worried.

They believe that today's kids are growing up in an unkind world and that learning to be kind is even more important than getting good grades. But, when it comes to defining "kind," parents and teachers don't always agree.

That's according to a new survey of some 2,000 parents and 500 teachers from the educational nonprofit behind Sesame Street, Sesame Workshop.

WFYI's Jake Harper reports health stories for <a href="">Side Effects Public Media</a> in Indianapolis. His newest health anxiety stems from the human papillomavirus, or HPV.

Is 20-Something Too Late For A Guy To Get The HPV Vaccine?

Sex with someone new has always made me nervous. Now, TV is making it even worse.

I keep seeing scary ads featuring young people asking their parents why they didn't get the vaccine to protect against the human papillomavirus — HPV. If you're unfamiliar with HPV, it's a sexually transmitted infection that has been linked to various cancers, including cervical cancer in women.

I didn't get vaccinated. So lately I've been wondering: Now that I'm 29, is it too late for me to get the vaccine?

Yana Shapiro relaxes while taking an intravenous vitamin treatment at RestoreIV in Philadelphia.

Skeptics Question The Value Of Hydration Therapy For The Healthy

Yana Shapiro is a partner at a Philadelphia law firm with an exhausting travel schedule and two boys, ages 9 and 4. When she feels run-down from juggling everything and feels a cold coming on, she books an appointment for an intravenous infusion of water, vitamins and minerals.

"Anything to avoid antibiotics or being out of commission," the 37-year-old says.