Clare Lombardo | KGOU
KGOU

Clare Lombardo

If you've ever voted in-person, you've been helped by a poll worker: they've checked you in and pointed you in the right direction to cast your ballot. Maybe it was your retired neighbor, even a family member or former teacher, greeting you at the polls year after year.

This year, many of those folks are avoiding public spaces.

In any ordinary school year, school nurses are busy. This year, that's an understatement.

"Our role has expanded tenfold," says Eileen Gavin, who co-leads a team of nurses for Middletown Township Public Schools in New Jersey.

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The new school year is rapidly approaching, but many parents and educators still don't know exactly what the semester will look like.

As President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos call for schools to open in-person, districts across the country are formulating a range of plans. Doctors have their own recommendations for what systems should do.

Updated Friday at 11:04 a.m. ET.

Lawmakers have called for an investigation into a troubled student loan discharge program one day after an NPR report revealed that the program — meant to erase the student debts of borrowers with significant, permanent disabilities — wasn't helping the vast majority of those who are eligible.

Earlier this year, an NPR investigation with WAMU and Oregon Public Broadcasting found deep problems in how school districts report restraint and seclusion. Following that investigation, NPR reached out to educators about their experiences with these practices.

Brent McGinn spent a year early in his career working with students who could sometimes hurt themselves.

Denise had no idea her student loans could be erased. In 2007, a truck rear-ended her car. The accident ravaged her legs and back, and the pain made it impossible for her to work.

"I have basically been in pain — chronic pain — every day," says Denise, who asked that NPR not use her full name to protect her privacy. "I live a life of going to doctors constantly."

Updated at 6:45 p.m. ET

A judge has ruled in favor of Harvard University in a high-profile court case centered on whether the school's admissions process forces Asian Americans to clear a higher bar to get in.

It's been a summer of heat waves in the Northern Hemisphere. But in Australia, a group of kangaroos is enjoying wintry conditions.

Stephen Grenfell captured their joy as the troop leaped across open fields, undeterred by the cold, wet ground just north of Goulburn, in New South Wales.

Updated 5:30 p.m.

Thousands of guns have been turned in to New Zealand police as part of a nationwide gun buyback program created after a massacre earlier this year left 51 people dead.

Following attacks on two Christchurch mosques, New Zealand's parliament voted overwhelmingly to ban most semi-automatic weapons along with certain kinds of ammunition and large-capacity magazines.

The first time that Simone Biles performed a triple-double at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Kansas City, she wasn't pleased. After soaring through the air to complete two flips and three full twists on Friday, she stumbled.

On Sunday, the 22-year-old did it again — and stuck the landing. It's the first time a woman has done so in competition.

The reigning world champion finished the competition on Sunday with the U.S. all-around title. It's her sixth.

Most days, 25-year-old Chavonne can push her student loan debt to the back of her mind.

Between short-term office jobs in the Washington, D.C., area, she drives for Uber. But once in awhile, a debt collector will get hold of her cellphone number — the one she keeps changing to avoid them — and it all comes back fresh. "I'll be like, 'Oh no!' " she says. "It's a sad reminder that I owe somebody money!"

In April, she got another reminder when the government seized her tax refund.

All this for a degree she never finished.

Americans owe about $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. That's about twice the current budget for the Defense Department and around 22 times the budget for the Education Department.

Starbucks has issued an apology after an employee asked a group of six police officers in Tempe, Ariz. to either leave one of its stores or move out of the line of sight of a customer. The officers say a barista told them the customer didn't feel safe with police nearby.

Updated at 7:50 p.m. ET Monday

President Trump says he "will no longer deal with" the U.K.'s ambassador to the U.S., Kim Darroch, who sent a series of confidential memos to the British Foreign Office assailing President Trump's character and leadership.

Updated at 4:10 p.m. ET Sunday

Southern California was hit by another big earthquake at 8:19 p.m. local time Friday, after a quake rattled the region a day before. The U.S. Geological Survey reported the magnitude as 7.1 with a shallow depth of about 10.5 miles.

It was centered near the same Mojave Desert site as the 6.4 quake on Thursday and near the small city of Ridgecrest.

Updated Oct. 21

NPR is looking into the use of restraint and seclusion in schools, and we want to hear from educators who currently use, or have used, these methods.

Restraint and seclusion might include holding a student down or secluding the student in a room alone.

If you have student debt, but never finished your degree, you're not the only one. Millions of people take out loans to start college, but never finish.

These people often struggle to pay back their loans. Does this sound like you? If so, we want to hear your story.

Fill out the form below or by clicking on this link. A producer at NPR may follow up for a story.

We will not publish your name or responses without your permission.

Five males between 15 and 18 years old have been arrested in connection with a homophobic attack on a London bus late last month, London police say.

Melania Geymonat posted about the violent incident on her Facebook page, describing what began as a date night with her partner Chris. On the way home, a group of boys began harassing them.

Updated at 5:10 p.m ET.

Well-known Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov was ordered to two months of house arrest on Saturday after being charged with attempting to sell drugs, according to Meduza, the online news site where Golunov works.

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