Jennifer Ludden http://kasu.org en Outdated Tax Code Gives Some Working Spouses A Bad Deal http://kasu.org/post/outdated-tax-code-gives-some-working-spouses-bad-deal Women today are nearly half the workforce, and two-income couples are the norm.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That era was 1948, when the U.S. Sun, 13 Apr 2014 20:59:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 42858 at http://kasu.org Outdated Tax Code Gives Some Working Spouses A Bad Deal When Planning For The Future, Women Have Been Hands Off http://kasu.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 42239 at http://kasu.org When Planning For The Future, Women Have Been Hands Off Rural Appalachia Helps Some Women Save For Retirement http://kasu.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 21:10:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 41810 at http://kasu.org Rural Appalachia Helps Some Women Save For Retirement Telework: Not Just For Moms And Millennials http://kasu.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 22:13:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 40959 at http://kasu.org Telework: Not Just For Moms And Millennials Push To Change Custody Laws: What's Best For Kids? http://kasu.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 40874 at http://kasu.org Push To Change Custody Laws: What's Best For Kids? Going To College May Cost You, But So Will Skipping It http://kasu.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 22:56:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 40305 at http://kasu.org Going To College May Cost You, But So Will Skipping It Malawian Farmers Say Adapt To Climate Change Or Die http://kasu.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 38694 at http://kasu.org Malawian Farmers Say Adapt To Climate Change Or Die With National Treasures At Risk, D.C. Fights Against Flooding http://kasu.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 38515 at http://kasu.org With National Treasures At Risk, D.C. Fights Against Flooding Five Things You May Not Know About Child Marriage http://kasu.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 37472 at http://kasu.org Five Things You May Not Know About Child Marriage Can Child Marriages Be Stopped? http://kasu.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 15:04:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 37240 at http://kasu.org Can Child Marriages Be Stopped? Illinois Files Suit Against Online Adoption Agency http://kasu.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 36106 at http://kasu.org Illinois Files Suit Against Online Adoption Agency For Restaurant Workers, A Struggle To Put Food On The Table http://kasu.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 33424 at http://kasu.org For Restaurant Workers, A Struggle To Put Food On The Table Study Finds Stagnated, Declining Wages For Low Wage Earners http://kasu.org/post/study-finds-stagnated-declining-wages-low-wage-earners Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>The president's education tour is part of a broader campaign aimed at boosting the fortunes of the middle class. A study out today shows just how widespread the nation's economic pain has been. It finds that over the past decade, wages have been flat or even declined for the bottom 70 percent of American workers. NPR's Jennifer Ludden has that story.<p>JENNIFER LUDDEN, BYLINE: The farther down the income scale you go, the worse it gets. Wed, 21 Aug 2013 21:22:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 33097 at http://kasu.org Jesse Jackson Jr. Sentenced To 30 Months In Prison http://kasu.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 32792 at http://kasu.org Zimmerman Verdict Feels Personal For Some In Service Sorority http://kasu.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 31412 at http://kasu.org Zimmerman Verdict Feels Personal For Some In Service Sorority Gays And Lesbians Turn Fight To Workplace Discrimination Ban http://kasu.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 31116 at http://kasu.org Gays And Lesbians Turn Fight To Workplace Discrimination Ban Congress Not Likely To Pass Sweeping Climate Legislation http://kasu.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 30444 at http://kasu.org Pushed Off The Job While Pregnant http://kasu.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 29794 at http://kasu.org Joblessness Shortens Life Expectancy For White Women http://kasu.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 29205 at http://kasu.org Joblessness Shortens Life Expectancy For White Women Alimony Till Death Do Us Part? Nay, Say Some Ex-Spouses http://kasu.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 29035 at http://kasu.org Stay-At-Home Dads, Breadwinner Moms And Making It All Work http://kasu.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 09:32:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 28435 at http://kasu.org Stay-At-Home Dads, Breadwinner Moms And Making It All Work Bombing Suspect's Lawyer A Quiet Defender Of The Notorious http://kasu.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 28284 at http://kasu.org Bombing Suspect's Lawyer A Quiet Defender Of The Notorious Filling In The Gap On Climate Education In Classrooms http://kasu.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 20:58:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 28071 at http://kasu.org Filling In The Gap On Climate Education In Classrooms Moving Out And Buying In: Single Ladies Emerge As Homeowners http://kasu.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 20:26:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 27355 at http://kasu.org Moving Out And Buying In: Single Ladies Emerge As Homeowners A Hot Topic: Climate Change Coming To Classrooms http://kasu.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 26213 at http://kasu.org A Hot Topic: Climate Change Coming To Classrooms