Birth Control Debate in Senate; Why Long-Term Unemployment Is At Record Levels; Foreign Language Study in JCPS: Today on Here and Now

by Laura Ellis on March 1, 2012

1:06pm: Access to contraception was debated in the Senate Thursday, and Senators voted down a measure that would have let insurance plans and employers, not just at religious institutions, refuse to cover health services that violate their religious beliefs or morals. The measure was sponsored by Republicans Roy Blunt of Missouri and Marco Rubio of Florida. It would have let insurance plans and employers refuse to cover health services that violate their religious beliefs or morals. We’ll talk about the political repercussions.

1:12pm: Why can’t people who have been unemployed for more than six months find jobs? Analysts say the number of people who have been long term unemployed hasn’t been this high since the Great Depression. Those on the political right might say it’s because they’ve become dependent on unemployment benefits, and those on the left might say it’s because their skills are outdated and they need training. According to some new research, it’s neither. Heidi Shierholz, economist at the Economic Policy Institute says the reason is simpler: there are just no jobs.

1:35pm: When they’re at home, many Jefferson County Public Schools students speak a language other than English—more than 100 different languages across the city. But the school district only teaches six, and one of them is Latin. Kentucky has made small gains to encourage students to study foreign languages, but much of that the work has been overshadowed by changing assessment standards for other subjects. WFPL’s Devin Katayama has more on the present and future of foreign language study in Kentucky.

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