January 1st is the day college football fans dream about - or, at least they used to. Not too long ago, it featured the big event: the last and biggest of the bowl games. We'll have to wait until next Monday for the BCS championship, but no worry, there are still some good games on tap for today. And here with a preview is NPR's Mike Pesca. Good morning.
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.
MONTAGNE: Six games today, Mike. Which are the big ones?
A November demonstration against Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Designated Secrets Bill drew thousands of protesters. The Japanese Parliament has since passed the law, under which people convicted of leaking classified information will face five to 10 years in prison.
Credit Franck Robichon / European Pressphoto Agency/Landov
Students at the Oakland Military Institute took several courses offered by San Jose State and the online course provider Udacity this year. The university is now scaling back its relationship with Udacity.
One year ago, many were pointing to the growth of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, as the most important trend in higher education. Many saw the rapid expansion of MOOCs as a higher education revolution that would help address two long-vexing problems: access for underserved students and cost.
In theory, students saddled by rising debt and unable to tap into the best schools would be able to take free classes from rock star professors at elite schools via Udacity, edX, Coursera and other MOOC platforms.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
Residents of Casselton, North Dakota are starting to return to their homes. That's after yesterday's fiery crash of two freight trains, one carrying crude oil. From Fargo, Prairie Public's Todd McDonald reports.
It's the last night of the year, a big night for party-hopping and, of course, some bubbly. And that also means it's the biggest night of the year for cab companies. The surge in demand starts right after the clock strikes 12 and quickly outstrips supply. That mismatch can send prices soaring, depending on who's doing the driving. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports several ride services have come up with some solutions to try to manage the crunch.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. Both sides in the conflict in South Sudan agreed to meet tomorrow in Ethiopia to discuss a cease-fire. It's hoped that a speedy end to the power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his ousted deputy Riek Machar can avert an all-out ethnic civil war. But even as both sides prepare to negotiate, a fierce battle was underway for control of the strategic city of Bor. NPR's Gregory Warner reports.
There is a rising debate over “donor-advised funds,” the fastest growing category in charity.
Donor-advised funds are a way to put aside money now for charity, and claim the tax deduction now, but have the freedom to actually donate the money whenever the donor wants. They’ve been around for a long time, but their sharp rise came after the asset management firm Fidelity set up a philanthropic fund, Fidelity Charitable, to manage them.