Clare Lombardo

Americans owe about $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. That's about twice the current budget for the Defense Department and around 22 times the budget for the Education Department.

Starbucks has issued an apology after an employee asked a group of six police officers in Tempe, Ariz. to either leave one of its stores or move out of the line of sight of a customer. The officers say a barista told them the customer didn't feel safe with police nearby.

Updated at 7:50 p.m. ET Monday

President Trump says he "will no longer deal with" the U.K.'s ambassador to the U.S., Kim Darroch, who sent a series of confidential memos to the British Foreign Office assailing President Trump's character and leadership.

NPR is looking into the use of restraint and seclusion in schools, and we want to hear from educators who currently use, or have used, these methods.

Restraint and seclusion might include holding a student down or secluding the student in a room alone.

If you have student debt, but never finished your degree, you're not the only one. Millions of people take out loans to start college, but never finish.

These people often struggle to pay back their loans. Does this sound like you? If so, we want to hear your story.

Fill out the form below or by clicking on this link. A producer at NPR may follow up for a story.

We will not publish your name or responses without your permission.

Five males between 15 and 18 years old have been arrested in connection with a homophobic attack on a London bus late last month, London police say.

Melania Geymonat posted about the violent incident on her Facebook page, describing what began as a date night with her partner Chris. On the way home, a group of boys began harassing them.

Updated at 5:10 p.m ET.

Well-known Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov was ordered to two months of house arrest on Saturday after being charged with attempting to sell drugs, according to Meduza, the online news site where Golunov works.

This year, NPR held its first Student Podcast Challenge — a podcast contest for students in grades 5 through 12. As we listened to the almost 6,000 entries, we smiled, laughed, and even cried. Students opened their lives to us with stories about their families, their schools and communities and their hopes for the future.

In the second-floor girls' restroom at Bronx Prep Middle School in New York, there's a sign taped to the back of the toilet stall doors. It's a guide on how to "properly dispose feminine products." On the list? "Make sure that no one views or handles product."

"It's not even saying the word pad. It just says product!" explains Kathaleen Restitullo, 13. "Just, like, don't let anyone see that you are on your period."

In the tiny town of Erwin, Tenn., history is the elephant in the room.

At the Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce, Cathy Huskins remembers one particularly angry tourist "came barreling through the door, and came up to the counter here and slung her hands down. ... And she says, 'I cannot believe that you killed an elephant!' "

Librarian Angie Georgeff is used to the strange phone calls and unannounced visits from world travelers:

What happened to a circus elephant in the small East Tennessee town of Erwin a century ago, and what are the people there today doing about it?

And what do a group of middle school girls from the Bronx have to say about the stigma that surrounds talking about periods?

We asked teachers and students to put on their headphones and turn their ideas into sound for our first-ever NPR Student Podcast Challenge — and boy, did they. We got nearly 5,700 entries, from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Podcasts that explored climate change. Podcasts about gun control and mental health. About great books and mythology. Hedgehogs and history.

Teachers and their students at 1,580 schools participated: all told, roughly 25,000 students nationwide.

The fallout — and fascination — continue from the massive college admissions scandal.

Two afternoons a week, Mikala Tardy walks six blocks from Eastern High School to Payne Elementary School, not far from Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

She signs in at the front desk just after 3:30 p.m. and makes her way to a classroom, where she'll be tutoring second- and third-graders who are full of energy after the school day.

Today, Mikala and three students work through an exercise about communities and the building blocks that create them. They learn how to spell people and playground — two essential components of any community, they decide.

Students with disabilities and disability rights advocates are among those angry — and feeling victimized — after the arrests in the college admissions and bribery scandal Tuesday.

"Stories like this are why we continue to see backlash to disability rights laws," Rebecca Cokley, director of the Disability Justice Initiative at the Center for American Progress, said in a statement.

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