Jennifer Ludden is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk. She covers a range of stories on family life and social issues.

In recent years, Ludden has reported on the changing economics of marriage, the changing face of retirement as the baby boomers enter old age, and the ethical challenges of modern reproductive technology.

Ludden helped cover national security after the 9/11 attacks, then reported on the Bush administration's crackdown on illegal immigrants as well as Congressional efforts to pass a sweeping legalization. She traveled to the Philippines for a story on how an overburdened immigration bureaucracy keeps families separated for years, and to El Salvador to profile migrants who had been deported or turned back at the border.

Award-winning journalist Richard Harris reports on science and the environment for NPR's newsmagazines, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Harris, who joined NPR in 1986, has traveled to all seven continents for NPR. His reports have originated from Timbuktu, the South Pole, the Galapagos Islands, Beijing during the SARS epidemic, the center of Greenland, the Amazon rain forest, the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro (for a story about tuberculosis), and Japan to cover the nuclear aftermath of the 2011 tsunami.

National Security
11:01 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

Does Libya Offer Clues To An Obama Doctrine?

President Obama speaks in the White House Rose Garden to discuss the death of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 7:08 am

President Obama said Moammar Gadhafi's death marks the end of a long and painful chapter for the Libyan people. The seven-month military campaign that toppled the Libyan leader also marks a high point for the kind of international cooperation that Obama has championed.

The White House was careful Thursday not to claim vindication for the president's policies, but the Libyan exercise does offer an example of what an "Obama Doctrine" might look like.

Read more
Economy
11:01 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

School Debt A Long-Term Burden For Many Graduates

Students attend graduation ceremonies at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Two-thirds of college students now graduate with debt, owing an average amount of $24,000.

Butch Dill AP

With the nation's student-loan debt climbing toward $1 trillion, it's taking many young people longer than ever to pay off their loans. Two-thirds of college students now graduate with debt, owing an average of $24,000. But some borrow far more and find this debt influencing major life decisions long after graduation.

"I was very naive, and I realize that now," says Stephanie Iachini, of Altoona, Pa. She was the first in her family to go to college and financed it herself. "Basically I was just signing papers because the education part meant a lot to me."

Read more
Planet Money
11:01 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

France And Germany: A Love Story

Philippe Wojazer AP

France and Germany are trying to come up with a bailout plan for Europe. This isn't the first time they've fought over money.

Like any bickering couple, they've spent centuries fighting over finances. In fact, the history of their relationship is so dramatic — so theatrical — it's best to tell it in song.

(Read the lyrics, and see the credits, here.)

Our story begins in 1870.

Read more
Middle East
11:01 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

Prominent Syrian Activist Flees, Reveals Identity

At his home in Syria, activist Rami Jarrah, 28, spoke out under the alias Alexander Page. Fearing arrest, he recently fled to Egypt.

Courtesy of Rami Jarrah

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 9:30 pm

The Syrian government has barred most international journalists from the country, restricting coverage since an uprising began last spring. In response, Syrian activists have played a crucial role in providing information to the wider world.

One of the most prominent is Alexander Page — an alias that a young Syrian used for his safety. He was often cited by international media outlets, including NPR.

But he recently fled Syria after his identity was compromised and he was in danger of arrest.

Read more
Research News
11:01 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

'Living Fossils' Just A Branch On Cycad Family Tree

A giant dioon, seen at the United States Botanic Garden, is part of the cycad family and can be found growing in Mexico and Central America.

Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 7:46 am

Although dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago, there are still thought to be a few species left over from those days. Plants called cycads are among these rare "living fossils" — they have remained pretty much unchanged for more than 300 million years, but a study in Science magazine suggests that glamorous title may not be deserved.

There's no time machine in Washington, D.C., but Harvard botanist Sarah Mathews leads me to what's arguably the next best thing — a room made of glass in the U.S. Botanic Garden, just downhill from the U.S. Capitol.

Read more
Business
11:01 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

Japan's Uniqlo Eyes Manhattan, And More

The mannequins are fashionably dressed at Uniqlo's new Fifth Avenue flagship store in New York. Uniqlo's U.S. chief says he would eventually like to have 1,600 stores in the country, almost twice the number in Japan.

Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 2:59 pm

At the same time that Gap is closing 20 percent of its stores, a big Japanese clothing retailer called Uniqlo plans to open hundreds of shops in the U.S. Uniqlo is sort of like the Gap of Japan: The low-priced casual clothing retailer has been around since the 1980s, but sales are flattening out in its home market so the company is looking overseas for growth.

The U.S. is at the heart of its strategy, according to the head of Uniqlo's U.S. operation, Shin Odake.

Read more

Staci Hoste joined the stations in 2008 and is responsible for the stations' general operations and overall strategy.  She’s been a lifelong listener to WNIJ and WNIU -- first as a “prisoner of public radio” in her parents' backseat, and now of her own enthusiastic accord.  Her favorite shows include Talk of the Nation, This American Life, and Wait, Wait…Don't Tell Me.  In addition to her role at the station, Staci serves on the board of directors for Riverfront Museum Park, and DeKalb County Hospice.  When time allows she also enjoys reading and working on an ongoing home restoration project.

David James hosts our Saturday Night Blues show on WNIJ, the fastest three hours on radio.  He's a Northern Illinois native, and has also lived in Northern Arizona and North Carolina.  He eats, sleeps and breathes the Blues. Dave has always been passionate about radio and music ever since he was a little lad.  He's a BIG fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Penguins.  Dave is easy to get along with, and tries to golf in his spare time when he's not writing his book, Everything I Learned in Life I Learned From Bugs Bunny.

Pages