Jennifer Ludden http://kunm.org en Outdated Tax Code Gives Some Working Spouses A Bad Deal http://kunm.org/post/outdated-tax-code-gives-some-working-spouses-bad-deal Women today are nearly half the workforce, and two-income couples are the norm. But the U.S. tax code? It's straight out of <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0044230/"><em>Ozzie and Harriet</em></a>.<p>When it comes to paying taxes, economists say, a lot of secondary wage-earners are getting a raw deal. It's called the marriage penalty.<p>"The system was never designed to penalize working spouses," says Melissa Kearney, director of the Hamilton Project at The Brookings Institution. "It was just designed in a different era."<p>That era was 1948, when the U.S. Sun, 13 Apr 2014 20:59:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 43817 at http://kunm.org Outdated Tax Code Gives Some Working Spouses A Bad Deal When Planning For The Future, Women Have Been Hands Off http://kunm.org/post/when-planning-future-women-have-been-hands It's a truism in the financial industry that women need to get more out of their money than men since they live longer and make less, especially if they take time out to care for children or aging parents. Mon, 31 Mar 2014 07:28:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 43195 at http://kunm.org When Planning For The Future, Women Have Been Hands Off Rural Appalachia Helps Some Women Save For Retirement http://kunm.org/post/rural-appalachia-helps-some-women-save-retirement Anita Wallace has run a day care in her home in rural Athens County, Ohio, for eight years. The schedule is more family-friendly than when she logged 60 hours a week as a manager at Wal-Mart, and the pay is about $27,000 a year — not bad for the area.<p>Wallace adores the children, getting down on the floor to let toddlers snuggle on her shoulder. Thu, 20 Mar 2014 20:28:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 42735 at http://kunm.org Rural Appalachia Helps Some Women Save For Retirement Efforts To Close The Achievement Gap In Kids Start At Home http://kunm.org/post/efforts-close-achievement-gap-kids-start-home When Andrea Riquetti taught kindergarten in Providence, R.I., the disparity between more affluent students and those from poor families was painfully clear.<p>"We would read <em>The Very Hungry Caterpillar</em>," she says, "and I would ask them, 'What is this fruit?' And they would call all the fruits just 'fruits,' because they didn't have the specific name."<p>Two-thirds of Providence children entering kindergarten already fall short on state literacy tests. Mon, 17 Mar 2014 20:09:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 42595 at http://kunm.org Efforts To Close The Achievement Gap In Kids Start At Home Telework: Not Just For Moms And Millennials http://kunm.org/post/telework-not-just-moms-and-millennials Many people may think of a "remote worker" as a harried mom in her bathrobe or a 20-something at a coffee shop. Thu, 27 Feb 2014 22:25:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 41882 at http://kunm.org Telework: Not Just For Moms And Millennials Push To Change Custody Laws: What's Best For Kids? http://kunm.org/post/push-change-custody-laws-whats-best-kids Fathers today spend more time than ever with their kids, experiencing just as much stress as women in balancing work and family, <a href="http://www.familiesandwork.org/the-new-male-mystique/">if not more</a>. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 08:35:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 41795 at http://kunm.org Push To Change Custody Laws: What's Best For Kids? Going To College May Cost You, But So Will Skipping It http://kunm.org/post/going-college-may-cost-you-so-will-skipping-it In America, total student loan debt tops $1 trillion and a four-year college degree can cost as much as a house — leaving many families wondering if college is really worth the cost.<p>Yes, a new study of young people finds. <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/files/2014/02/SDT-higher-ed-FINAL-02-11-2014.pdf">The study, released Tuesday</a> by the Pew Research Center, looks at income and unemployment among young adults. Tue, 11 Feb 2014 23:16:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 41221 at http://kunm.org Going To College May Cost You, But So Will Skipping It Malawian Farmers Say Adapt To Climate Change Or Die http://kunm.org/post/malawian-farmers-say-adapt-climate-change-or-die Rain is so important in Malawi's agriculture-based economy that there are names for different kinds of it, from the brief bursts of early fall to heavier downpours called <em>mvula yodzalira</em>, literally "planting rain." For generations, rainfall patterns here in the southeast part of Africa have been predictable, reliable. But not now.<p>In the village of Jasi, in the hot, flat valley of Malawi's Lower Shire, farmer Pensulo Melo says 2010 was a disaster.<p>"I first planted my maize on Nov. Wed, 01 Jan 2014 08:04:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 39565 at http://kunm.org Malawian Farmers Say Adapt To Climate Change Or Die With National Treasures At Risk, D.C. Fights Against Flooding http://kunm.org/post/national-treasures-risk-dc-fights-against-flooding The nation's capital is not exactly a beach town. But the cherry-tree-lined Tidal Basin, fed by the Potomac River, laps at the steps of the Jefferson Memorial. And, especially since Superstorm Sandy, officials in Washington have a clear idea of what would happen in a worst-case storm scenario.<p>"The water would go across the World War II memorial, come up 17th Street," says Tony Vidal of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "And there are actually three spots where the water would come up where we don't have ... Thu, 26 Dec 2013 21:36:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 39396 at http://kunm.org With National Treasures At Risk, D.C. Fights Against Flooding Five Things You May Not Know About Child Marriage http://kunm.org/post/5-things-you-may-not-know-about-child-marriage <em>NPR's Jennifer Ludden recently traveled to the African nation of Malawi, one of many countries in the developing world where child marriage remains prevalent. She found girls like Christina Asima, who was married at 12 and became a mother at 13. She is now divorced and caring for her infant son on her own. You can read Jennifer's <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2013/11/25/245973216/can-child-marriages-be-stopped" target="_blank">full report here</a>. Below are a few more things she learned while</em><em><em> reporting on </em>child marriage. Sun, 01 Dec 2013 10:24:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 38337 at http://kunm.org Five Things You May Not Know About Child Marriage Can Child Marriages Be Stopped? http://kunm.org/post/can-child-marriages-be-stopped Christina Asima seems tired for a 13-year-old. I meet the shy-mannered girl in the remote farming village of Chitera, in the southern African nation of Malawi. She wears a bright pink zip-up shirt and a blue print cloth wrapped up to her chest. Snuggled in that, hugging her side, is a chubby-cheeked baby boy.<p>My gut assumption is that the infant must be Christina's little brother. I know 8-month-old Praise is actually her son. Still, it's startling when, as we speak, she shifts him around front to nurse.<p>"I was 12 years old when I got married to my husband," she explains softly. Mon, 25 Nov 2013 14:47:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 38105 at http://kunm.org Can Child Marriages Be Stopped? Illinois Files Suit Against Online Adoption Agency http://kunm.org/post/illinois-files-suit-against-online-adoption-agency The Adoption Network Law Center is based in California, but when someone in Illinois searches "adoption" on the Web, up it pops, right near the top.<p>"They're very specific in directing their advertising and marketing to people in Illinois," says Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, even though they're not licensed in the state. Illinois prohibits for-profit adoption agencies.<p>In fact, Madigan notes the group is not licensed anywhere — yet a huge advertising budget means people searching across the country often find it first. Tue, 29 Oct 2013 21:30:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 36944 at http://kunm.org Illinois Files Suit Against Online Adoption Agency For Restaurant Workers, A Struggle To Put Food On The Table http://kunm.org/post/restaurant-workers-struggle-put-food-table Losia Nyankale, 29, didn't <em>mean</em> to make a career in the restaurant business. But after Nyankale was in college for two years, her mom lost her job as a schoolteacher and could no longer pay tuition. Then, Nyankale's temp jobs in bookkeeping dried up in the recession. So she went back to her standby — restaurant work.<p>"I did some kitchen work. The pantries or the salad station," she says. Thu, 29 Aug 2013 07:32:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 34229 at http://kunm.org For Restaurant Workers, A Struggle To Put Food On The Table Jesse Jackson Jr. Sentenced To 30 Months In Prison http://kunm.org/post/jesse-jackson-jr-sentenced-30-months-prison-0 Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was sentenced to 30 months in prison today for using campaign funds to buy luxury goods. His wife also received a year in prison for filing false tax returns. Prosecutors called their joint crimes one of the worst abuses of campaign finance laws in recent memory. NPR's Jennifer Ludden was at the courthouse here in Washington, D.C.<p>JENNIFER LUDDEN, BYLINE: At one time, Jackson's political career was expected to rival that of his civil rights hero father. Wed, 14 Aug 2013 21:27:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 33600 at http://kunm.org Zimmerman Verdict Feels Personal For Some In Service Sorority http://kunm.org/post/zimmerman-verdict-feels-personal-some-service-sorority Attorney General Eric Holder looked out over a sea of women in red on Monday and invoked his wife, a member of the influential African-American sorority Delta Sigma Theta. Holder was <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/07/15/202364815/holder-trayvon-martin-case-is-a-chance-for-difficult-dialogue" target="_blank">addressing the sorority's national convention</a> in its centennial year.<p>Founded at Howard University, Delta Sigma Theta is the largest single organization of African-American women in the United States. Mon, 15 Jul 2013 22:13:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 32217 at http://kunm.org Zimmerman Verdict Feels Personal For Some In Service Sorority Gays And Lesbians Turn Fight To Workplace Discrimination Ban http://kunm.org/post/gays-and-lesbians-turn-fight-workplace-discrimination-ban With new momentum for same-sex marriage from the <a href="http://www.npr.org/series/174965583/same-sex-marriage-and-the-supreme-court" target="_blank">Supreme Court</a>, gays and lesbians are hoping for progress in another sphere: the workplace. Tue, 09 Jul 2013 22:00:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 31918 at http://kunm.org Gays And Lesbians Turn Fight To Workplace Discrimination Ban Congress Not Likely To Pass Sweeping Climate Legislation http://kunm.org/post/congress-not-likely-pass-sweeping-climate-legislation Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And now to an issue that lawmakers are not spending a lot of time debating: climate change. Tomorrow, President Obama will lay out a strategy to address the problem, using executive powers. It's an admission that's sweeping climate legislation stands little chance of passing Congress as NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports.<p>JENNIFER LUDDEN, BYLINE: Aides say Mr. Obama's plan includes limiting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The reaction from House Speaker John Boehner was blunt.<p>REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: I think this is absolutely crazy. Mon, 24 Jun 2013 22:10:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 31227 at http://kunm.org Pushed Off The Job While Pregnant http://kunm.org/post/pushed-job-while-pregnant At a time when most pregnant women work, there are new efforts to keep companies from unfairly targeting employees because of a pregnancy. The allegations of pregnancy discrimination persist and have even risen in recent years despite a decades-old law against it, <a href="http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/statistics/enforcement/pregnancy.cfm" target="_blank">according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission</a>.<p>Advocates say those most vulnerable are low-wage workers like Natasha Jackson, a former account representative at Rent-A-Center in Charleston, S.C. Tue, 11 Jun 2013 18:26:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 30567 at http://kunm.org Joblessness Shortens Life Expectancy For White Women http://kunm.org/post/joblessness-shortens-life-expectancy-white-women At a time when many people live longer, it's been a mystery why white women without a high school diploma have been dying increasingly earlier those with more education.<p>A <a href="http://hsb.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/05/30/0022146513491066.extract">study</a> in the June issue of the <em>Journal of Health and Social Behavior</em> tries to understand this growing mortality gap, and finds two key factors: smoking — already well known as detrimental to life expectancy — and, more surprising, unemployment.<p>The study used data the National Center for Health Statistics had collected on more Thu, 30 May 2013 18:57:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 29972 at http://kunm.org Joblessness Shortens Life Expectancy For White Women Alimony Till Death Do Us Part? Nay, Say Some Ex-Spouses http://kunm.org/post/alimony-till-death-do-us-part-nay-say-some-ex-spouses Alimony dates back centuries. The original idea was that once married, a man is responsible for a woman till death. But that notion has shifted in recent decades, as more women have jobs and their own money. Now, a number of states are considering laws to end lifetime alimony.<p>During his two-decade marriage, Tom Leustek's wife earned a Ph.D. and landed a job that paid as much as his. He's a college professor in New Jersey.<p>But she quit to start her own psychology practice, and her salary plummeted. Then they split. Tue, 28 May 2013 07:46:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 29811 at http://kunm.org Stay-At-Home Dads, Breadwinner Moms And Making It All Work http://kunm.org/post/stay-home-dads-breadwinner-moms-and-making-it-all-work The next time you see a father out shopping with his kids, you might need to check your assumptions.<p>"I'll get the, 'Oh, look, it's a dad! That's so sweet!' "says Jonathan Heisey-Grove, a stay-at-home father of two young boys in Alexandria, Va., who is pretty sure the other person assumes he's just giving Mom a break for the day. Wed, 15 May 2013 10:04:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 29217 at http://kunm.org Stay-At-Home Dads, Breadwinner Moms And Making It All Work Bombing Suspect's Lawyer A Quiet Defender Of The Notorious http://kunm.org/post/attorney-notorious-clients-quiet-defender Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and Arizona mass shooter Jared Loughner all have one thing in common: defense attorney Judy Clarke. With her help, all three avoided the death penalty.<p>Clarke routinely faces an enraged public, top-notch prosecutors and difficult, often disturbed clients. Sun, 12 May 2013 09:34:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 29051 at http://kunm.org Bombing Suspect's Lawyer A Quiet Defender Of The Notorious Filling In The Gap On Climate Education In Classrooms http://kunm.org/post/filling-gap-climate-education-classrooms The auditorium at James Blake High School in Silver Spring, Md., is packed when Cy Maramangalam strolls onstage, sporting jeans and a shaved head.<p>"All right, how's everyone doing today?" he says to rousing cheers. It feels as if he's about to introduce a hot new band, but Maramangalam is with the <a href="http://www.acespace.org/" target="_blank">Alliance for Climate Education</a>, or ACE, and he's here to talk climate change. In the past few years, the nonprofit has put on multimedia presentations for more than 1 million students across the country. Tue, 07 May 2013 20:35:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 28836 at http://kunm.org Filling In The Gap On Climate Education In Classrooms Moving Out And Buying In: Single Ladies Emerge As Homeowners http://kunm.org/post/moving-out-and-buying-single-ladies-emerge-homeowners It's hard to remember that just a few decades ago it was difficult, if not impossible, for a woman alone to take out a mortgage. Federal legislation changed that.<p>And yet, it's still surprising to learn how dominant single women have become in the housing market today: Their share is second only to married couples, and twice that of single men.<p>In Washington, D.C., Amanda Cowley lives in her dream home — a century-old rowhouse in a gentrifying part of the city. The 37-year-old and her boisterous dog, Sadie, moved in at the end of last year. Mon, 22 Apr 2013 20:29:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 28103 at http://kunm.org Moving Out And Buying In: Single Ladies Emerge As Homeowners A Hot Topic: Climate Change Coming To Classrooms http://kunm.org/post/hot-topic-climate-change-coming-classrooms By the time today's K-12 students grow up, the challenges posed by climate change are expected to be severe and sweeping. Now, for the first time, <a href="http://www.nextgenscience.org/next-generation-science-standards" target="_blank">new nationwide science standards</a> due out soon will recommend that U.S. Wed, 27 Mar 2013 07:31:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 26952 at http://kunm.org A Hot Topic: Climate Change Coming To Classrooms Modern Parenthood: More Equal, More Stressed http://kunm.org/post/modern-parenthood-more-equal-more-stressed If you've ever had a spousal spat over who logs more time on housework, child care, or at the office, you might want to see how you stack up against other couples.<p><a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/03/14/modern-parenthood-roles-of-moms-and-dads-converge-as-they-balance-work-and-family/">A new survey by the Pew Research Center</a> finds fathers spend three times as many hours a week on child care, and twice as much on housework, as they did in the 1960s. Thu, 14 Mar 2013 16:27:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 26382 at http://kunm.org Modern Parenthood: More Equal, More Stressed Stay-At-Home Workers Defend Choice After Yahoo Ban http://kunm.org/post/stay-home-workers-defend-choice-after-yahoo-ban Yahoo's sweeping edict against telecommuting has been felt as a personal attack by some of the two-thirds of Americans who regularly work from home.<p>Lawyer Shannan Higgins of Washington, D.C., finds one line of the company memo outlining the policy change particularly offensive: "Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home."<p>For nearly a decade, Higgins has worked one day a week from the basement office in her rowhouse, where she takes pride in her work and is obsessed with efficiency.<p>"It's a huge morale booster to be given that flexibility," she says. Fri, 01 Mar 2013 07:59:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 25740 at http://kunm.org Forecasting Climate With A Chance Of Backlash http://kunm.org/post/forecasting-climate-chance-backlash When it comes to climate change, Americans place great trust in their local TV weathercaster, which has led climate experts to see huge potential for public education.<p>The only problem? <a href="http://www.climatechangecommunication.org/images/files/2011_Mason_AMS_NWA_Weathercaster_Survey_Report_NA_doc_pdf%281%29.pdf" target="_blank">Polls</a> show most weather presenters don't know much about climate science, and many who do are fearful of talking about something so polarizing.<p>In fact, if you have heard a weathercaster speak on climate change, it's likely been to deny it. Tue, 19 Feb 2013 08:14:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 25245 at http://kunm.org Forecasting Climate With A Chance Of Backlash FMLA Not Really Working For Many Employees http://kunm.org/post/fmla-not-really-working-many-employees Twenty years after President Bill Clinton signed the <a href="http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/">Family and Medical Leave Act</a>, workers' rights groups say many employees still must choose between their family or their job.<p>They're marking the anniversary with calls to expand the law, and for Congress to pass a new one that would provide paid leave.<p><strong>What Falls Under The FMLA?</strong><p>FMLA provides up to 12 weeks per year of unpaid leave if an employee has a new baby or a serious illness in the family. Tue, 05 Feb 2013 08:24:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 24605 at http://kunm.org FMLA Not Really Working For Many Employees Debate Over Rebuilding Beaches Post-Sandy Creates Waves http://kunm.org/post/debate-over-rebuilding-beaches-post-sandy-creates-waves For a half-century, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been in the beach business, dredging up new sand as shorelines wash away. Federal disaster aid for Superstorm Sandy could provide billions more for beach rebuilding, and that has revived an old debate: Is this an effective way to protect against storms, or a counterproductive waste of tax dollars?<p>On a recent blustery day at Virginia Beach, the latest beach nourishment project is in full swing. Tue, 29 Jan 2013 21:21:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 24325 at http://kunm.org Debate Over Rebuilding Beaches Post-Sandy Creates Waves