National & World News

What Makes Mira Rai Run?

Feb 26, 2017

Mira Rai is perched on the edge of a couch in Kathmandu in a bright yellow Salomon windbreaker and track pants. The 29-year-old is recovering from knee surgery but looks as if she needs to jump off the couch and burn energy on a mountain trail.

Trail running is, in fact, what the Nepali athlete is known for — along with her unlikely journey from school dropout in a remote Nepali village to Maoist child soldier to national sports hero featured in children's books and depicted in murals.

Firsts can be life changing — think about your first kiss, your first time behind the wheel of a car. But what about the first time you got a prescription for a narcotic?

James Hatzell, from Collingswood, NJ, is now a technology officer for a college addiction treatment program. He didn't realize it at the time, but that spring day of his junior year of high school — seven years ago — was a pivotal moment in his life.

Down Baltimore's Greenmount Avenue, across from a hair braiding salon and a crab shack, the lights for the One Stop Auto Shop flash around the clock, much like shop owner Jerry Greeff's work ethic.

Greeff has been putting in his last days after working with cars for more than 40 years — and he's done quite well. In 2016, his business had $2.5 million in sales.

But he's been working long days for a long time.

"If a customer doesn't have their car, I feel bad for them," Greeff says. "They need their car."

The cost of college is high and rising, while a bachelor's degree is practically required to get ahead.

It's hard enough for a family with means to get a student through school these days, let alone a low-income family.

So, are the immediate costs of college, and the loans that can follow, worth it?

There are renewed efforts at the state level to pass so-called religious freedom bills. LGBTQ rights advocates believe that's because local lawmakers are anticipating support from the Trump administration.

In Alabama, there's a bill that allows adoption agencies that are religiously affiliated to hold true to their faith if they don't think same-sex couples should be parents. The psychiatric community has found no evidence that having same-sex parents harms children.

Tales of talented black students on majority-white campuses running through a racial gauntlet that has them questioning their brilliance, abilities and place are familiar to parents like me who have a college-bound child at home.

On Monday, the Senate will vote on Wilbur Ross' nomination as the U.S. commerce secretary. As required by the Ethics in Government Act, the billionaire businessman has reached an agreement with the Office of Government Ethics to sell off most of his holdings.

Updated Sunday, Feb. 26, 12 p.m. ET

President Trump announced Saturday afternoon that he would break from a decades-old tradition and skip the annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner scheduled for April 29.

"I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!" Trump tweeted.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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