TIME Higher Education

This Graduate Is Refusing to Pay Back Her Student Loans

"By using our debt as leverage, we’re making our voices heard"

A recent graduate of a for-profit college’s nursing program is refusing to pay back her federal student loans, saying the school defrauded her.

Mallory Heiney says her 12-month nursing program at Everest Institute, a Grand Rapids, Mich. school owned by Corinthian Colleges, failed to adequately prepare her for the state nursing licensing exam and put her $24,000 in debt. In a column in the Washington Post, Heiney writes that thousands of students were caught in Everest’s “debt trap.” She and several other students who have dubbed themselves the Corinthian 15 are demanding that the Department of Education discharge their federal loans.

“By using our debt as leverage, we’re making our voices heard,” Heiney wrote. “We are not asking for a handout. We are demanding justice for students ensnared in a debt trap.”

Heiney said she was inspired by Susan B. Anthony’s advocacy for women’s suffrage and by Rosa Parks’ efforts to end racial discrimination.

Corinthian Colleges, which once operated more than 100 campuses across the country, began shutting down much of its operations and selling off its assets last summer following a Department of Education investigation into its educational and financial practices.

Joe Hixson, a spokesman for Corinthian, noted that the vast majority of the students from Heiney’s nursing program successfully graduated, including Heiney herself, and that most of these students successfully passed the nursing licensing exam. “Recent criticism of Corinthian Colleges wrongly disparage the career services assistance that we offer our graduates and mischaracterize both the purpose and practices of the ‘Genesis’ lending program,” he wrote in an email, referring to Corinthian’s private student loan program.

A Department of Education spokeswoman said the agency worked with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to provide $480 million in loan forgiveness for borrowers who took out loans through Corinthian. However, she also encouraged students to continue paying back their outstanding loans to avoid default.

TIME Disease

Thousands of Geese ‘Fell Out of the Sky’ in Idaho

Disease kills birds in as little as six hours

At least 2,000 snow geese were found dead in Idaho over the weekend, many plummeting to the ground mid-flight, according to local officials.

The birds, which were migrating from Mexico to Alaska, “just fell out of the sky,” a spokesman for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game told Reuters.

The Fish and Game Department believes the birds died of avian cholera, a bacterial disease that can kill wildlife in as little as six hours.

Officials are burning the dead carcasses in hopes that other birds won’t pick up the disease. However, a group of 20 bald eagles has already been spotted near the carcasses and officials say it will be difficult to track the birds to see if they develop the disease.

While avian cholera can be fatal to birds, it poses little threat to humans, officials said.

[Washington Post]

 

TIME Media

5 Things Apple’s TV Streaming Service Will Need to Kill Cable

Apple IPads Sales Down
Peter Macdiarmid—Getty Images In this photo illustration the logo on an Apple iPad is seen on August 6, 2014 in London, England.

Apple's streaming TV service could be announced this summer

The rumor mill is once again churning over an Apple television service.

This time, the Wall Street Journal claims Apple is on the verge of rolling out a TV streaming service that could be announced as soon as June. But exact details about the company’s offerings are few and far between.

In the past, Apple TV rumors have ranged far and wide, from an Apple-manufactured television set to a partnership between the tech giant and Comcast. But the arrival of several Internet-based television streaming services on the market in early 2015 paints a clearer picture of the opportunities and constraints Apple will be working with as it enters a quickly growing market.

By surveying the current playing field, we’ve determined five features Apple’s television service needs to compete if it hopes to disrupt the pay-TV world the way iTunes changed the music industry:

ESPN

Content is king, as they say, and there is no content more important than the world’s most popular sports network. ESPN’s stranglehold on the pay-TV ecosystem is well-documented — and it’s only growing stronger as live events become a lone bright spot in a world of continually declining television ratings.

The Disney-owned channel nets a massive $6 per subscriber from cable operators, yet never gets into the public negotiation spats that can consume other networks. It’s long been considered a given that any pay-TV bundle has to include ESPN, though Sony is planning to launch its own online TV-service without the network. Whether that strategy will work out remains to be seen, but common wisdom suggests any service that wants true mass adoption absolutely must include ESPN.

A Cheap Price

The average price of basic cable is now $64.41 per month, according to the Federal Communications Commission. Many Americans pay more than $100 per month for expanded cable packages. Apple’s service will attempt to undercut these rates with pricing at about $30 to $40 per month, according to the Journal, for a bundle of about 25 channels.

That price is still a lot more than services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Instant Video, which cost less than $10 per month. Dish Network’s competing cable replacement Sling TV, meanwhile, costs $20 per month for a bundle of about a dozen live channels that includes ESPN and AMC. If Apple wants to compete in this area, it will probably have to tap into its massive cash hoard and offer television fans a deal that’s simply too good to refuse.

A Slick Interface

The easiest leg up Apple and other tech companies will immediately have over traditional cable operators will likely come through their user interfaces. There’s no doubt Apple’s solution will be elegant and intuitive in a way that traditional cable is not–juding by the efforts of Sony and Dish Network, it will probably place an emphasis on helping people find specific programming based on genre or show name rather than forcing users to scroll through dozens of channel schedules.

The lack of installation fees (no more waiting all afternoon for the cable guy!) will also be a plus. Expect tight integration with Apple’s iOS devices as well, letting users watch shows on the go (though certain content, like NFL broadcasts, is already tied up in mobile-specific deals).

Built-in DVR

DVR has long been an added luxury that cable subscribers can opt to splurge on — but tech entrants into pay-TV are now making it standard. Sony’s PlayStation Vue has a cloud-based DVR that automatically records three days of most of the service’s content. It also allows users to save individual shows for as long as 28 days.

This feature makes sense for young subscribers who have eschewed appointment viewing in favor of binging on TV shows when they get a chance to catch up. Apple needs a feature like this to let users continue the behavior they’ve grown accustomed to using services like Netflix.

Integration With Other Video Services

Even as several online TV streaming services are touting their ability to merge content from many channels into a more elegant interface, they often still remain siloed off from one other. Some set-top boxes, like Amazon’s Fire TV, have made some effort at integration by including content from Hulu and Crackle in search results along with Amazon Video content. But a service that allowed the user to seamlessly choose between content from live TV, traditional video-on-demand, and popular platforms such as Netflix would truly be something special. At the very least, Apple’s service should make it easy to switch between live-TV content and shows or movies bought on iTunes.

Read next: Here’s Everything That’s Wrong With Cable and Satellite TV Bills

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Labor

Burned McDonald’s Workers File Complaint Over Poor Working Conditions

Worker claims she was told to use mustard to treat a burn

McDonald’s employees in 19 cities have filed health and safety complaints against the fast food giant over lax standards that they say led workers to sustain severe burns on the job.

The complaints, which McDonald’s has said it is reviewing, allege that low staffing and pressure to work quickly led to employees getting injured. In at least one instance, a worker at a Chicago McDonald’s claims that after she suffered a severe burn from a hot grill, her boss told her to put mustard on it instead of immediately seeking medical treatment.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened a review into the complaints, according to the BBC.

The complaints are being publicized by Fast Food Forward, a union-backed group that has been organizing one-day strikes of fast food workers for more than two years, demanding a $15 per hour living wage and the right to unionize.

A McDonald’s spokeswoman told BBC that the company is “committed to providing safe working conditions for employees in the 14,000 McDonald’s Brand US restaurants.”

Read next: McDonald’s Wants to Replace the Drive-Thru with Drones

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME India

India’s Modi Says His Fashion Sense Is a Gift from God

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi with the US President
Prabhat Kumar Verma—Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President Barack Obama at Hyderabad House on Jan. 25, 2015 in New Delhi, India.

He's a fashion icon, according to one author

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said his well-documented fashion sense was a gift given to him by God, according to a new biography of the premier.

“God has gifted me the sense of mixing and matching colours,” Modi said, according to biographer Lance Price. “Since I’m God gifted I fit well in everything. I have no fashion designer but I’m happy to hear that I dress well.”

Price, a onetime adviser to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, takes an entire chapter to report on the ways Modi has built up his brand, and calls the newly elected Prime Minister a “fashion icon.”

The Indian leader regularly sports designer watches and glasses, and he has a pinstripe suit with his name woven into the design of the stripes. He changes his hand-made shirts multiple times a day to match the background of locations where he’s speaking publicly. And his preference for short-sleeve kurtas has been viewed as a symbol for his efforts to modernize the country.

[WSJ]

 

TIME Gadgets

This Is the Biggest Problem With the New MacBook

More adapters are in your future

Apple’s latest MacBook sports a shockingly thin frame, improved battery life and a more responsive keyboard. But it also offers just one input-output port — a feature Apple is touting as a step forward, but is likely to cause plenty of headaches for users.

The new 12-inch MacBook uses a new port called USB-C to handle many different functions, such as transferring data between devices, outputting the MacBook’s display and charging the computer. USB-C offeres faster transfer speeds than USB 3.0, and the plugs can be oriented up or down and still work properly when plugged in. The port itself is about the size of a mini-USB port.

That means all those regular USB-compatible hard drives, cameras and other gadgets you have won’t be able to plug into the new MacBook without an adapter. Apple is selling a USB-C-to-USB adapter for $19, and right now there are few alternative options because the USB-C standard is so new.

The price of entry to get the Macbook display on your television screen is even higher. The USB-C-to-HDMI adapter, which also includes ports for USB-C charging and for connecting USB devices, costs $79. As Wired points out, it would actually be cheaper to buy an Apple TV for $69 and mirror the new MacBook’s screen wirelessly to a TV right now than to jury-rig an HDMI connection.

These problems will be less of an issue as more devices begin using USB-C. Google’s new Chromebook Pixel laptop, for instance, is using the same standard. But for now, getting all your electronics to play nice with the new MacBook could be a bit of a hassle.

Read next: Hands-On With Apple’s Stunning New Gold Laptop

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Mobile

This Country Has the Fastest Mobile Broadband

Go to Europe if you want fast mobile Internet

When it comes to mobile data speeds, Europe is world’s quickest region.

A new study by wireless network tracking service OpenSignal found that Spain has the fastest 4G LTE networks in the world, with download speeds of 18 Mbps on average. Denmark, Finland and South Korea tied for second place with speeds of 17 Mbps. The U.S., with speeds of just 7 Mbps, ranked 26th out of the 29 countries measured.

The U.S. fared better on the ‘Time on LTE’ metric, a measurement of how often users are able to access high-speed data service in a given country. South Korea topped the list with 95% accessibility, while U.S. came in 6th with 77% accessibility.

OpenSignal determined its rankings by measuring data speeds and LTE access between November 2014 and January 2015 for the 11 million users who have downloaded their app and subscribed to an LTE mobile data plan.

TIME Airlines

Here’s a New Way to See if Your Flight Has Wi-Fi

In-Flight Wi-Fi
Matteo Colombo—Getty Images/Flickr RF Adult man using laptop on the plane

Google's flight search adds new features

In-flight Wi-Fi is an amenity frequent flyers are coming to expect because everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy. Now Google and a startup called Routehappy are working together to make this actually-mind-blowing-when-you-think-about-it luxury easier to find.

Routehappy already tracks various amenity offerings across millions of flights to let passengers know more about what features they can expect before they board their flight. That information will now be incorporated into Google Flights search results to show users whether a given flight offers Wi-Fi, power outlets and other perks.

Some competing flight booking websites like Kayak already present info on Wi-Fi availability.

Google Flights also has some other nifty features, like a year-long summary of flight fares between two cities so travelers can determine what time of year tickets are cheapest.

TIME Civil Rights

Inside the Home Where MLK Planned the Selma-to-Montgomery March

American religious and Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. watches US President Lyndon Johnson on television, Selma, Alabama, March 1965.
Frank Dandridge—The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images American religious and Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. watches President Lyndon Johnson's voting rights speech on television, Selma, Alabama, March 1965.

The home remains today just as it did 50 years ago

Last week, President Obama and the rest of the nation gathered in Selma, Ala., to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. But another pivotal moment on the road to equal voting rights took place a week after that violent day, on March 15, 1965, when President Lyndon B. Johnson made his famous “We Shall Overcome” speech urging lawmakers to pass the Voting Rights Act.

Martin Luther King, Jr., who had been pushing President Johnson to publicly advocate for such a law, was at a friend’s home in Selma on the night of the momentous speech. The one-story house owned by Sullivan and Richie Jean Sherrod Jackson, where King lived for several months in the lead-up to the Selma-to-Montgomery marches, became an operational headquarters of sorts for him and other members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The home and the family that owned it are depicted in several scenes in the biopic Selma.

“There were people staying in this house that were dedicated to the progressive movement of African Americans from the early 1900s,” says Jawana Jackson, the daughter of Sullivan and Richie Jean. Built in 1906 by local black educator and businessman R.B. Hudson, the home had in its early days hosted important Alabama leaders such as Booker T. Washington, according to Jackson. In the 1960s, when Sullivan and Richie Jean lived in the home, prominent black ministers regularly stayed there as they attended training sessions and meetings at nearby Selma University.

After the SCLC selected Selma as the location to launch its voting rights campaign, King and several other Civil Rights leaders, including C.T. Vivian, Andrew Young and Ralph Abernathy, regularly held meetings and slept at the Jackson home. In the weeks before the marches, as many as 25 to 30 people would cram into the three-bedroom home, sleeping on couches and even in the bathtub. On March 9, two days after Bloody Sunday, U.S. Assistant Attorney General John Doar visited the home to warn King against trying to immediately stage another march to Montgomery. King greeted the attorney in Sullivan Jackson’s pajamas, according to historian Taylor Branch’s At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years.

Jawana Jackson was a 6-year-old girl as these historic events were unfolding. She recalls making mudpies for King, whom she calls “Uncle Martin,” and serving him with her children’s tea set. “He was always caring,” she says now. “He was always available. I had no clue that this man was changing the world, but I did have a sense that something powerful was going on because of the energy in this home.”

On March 15, King sat in the Jacksons’ living room and watched the President deliver his historic speech. LIFE photographer Frank Dandridge, who had previously photographed the aftermath of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Ala., was embedded in the home and captured several powerful images of King intently watching one of his goals coming to fruition. “The world wanted to see his expression as the President spoke,” says Jackson.

Though the Jacksons continued to live in the house until Richie Jean’s death in 2013, they decided to preserve its appearance because they recognized its historical significance. The home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in January 2014. Today the bed where King slept and the phone he used to talk with President Johnson are still intact. Though the home is not currently set up for general admission, interested parties can visit the Jackson Foundation website to book a private tour or offer a donation. “People will have an opportunity to see a special side of the Selma movement,” says Jackson. “Really a side of the Civil Rights Movement that is rarely seen.”

TIME Apple

The Apple Watch Could Have One Major Flaw

Analysts are worried about the 18-hour battery life

The Apple Watch could be a big hit when it launches in April, but one key issue might keep the device from truly breaking into the mainstream.

Analysts are fretting over the relatively short battery life of the watch, according to the Wall Street Journal. Apple claims the device will last 18 hours on a full charge, but Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey believes the battery life will be more like 10 to 12 hours with heavy use.

All of these figures are less than the 24-hour battery life that some analysts had hoped for, and could prevent the watch from being a true lifestyle device.

“Every time someone takes off a smartwatch, you’re potentially losing that user,” Canalys analyst Daniel Matte told the Journal.

The 18-hour stated battery life is less than the Android Wear LG G Watch, which Ars Technica pegged at around 23 hours, and the Pebble smartwatch, which is supposed to last for five to seven days. To address battery life issues, the Apple Watch will come with a “Power Reserve” mode that will limit the device’s functionality in the name of preserving power.

Still, we won’t get a true understanding of the Apple Watch’s battery performance until reviewers conduct hands-on tests in the coming weeks. The Apple Watch goes on sale April 24, while a pre-sale and preview session begins April 10.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com