As back to school shopping season gets into full swing (gulp, already!?), the cost of college is top of mind for many – and with good reason. According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2017–2018 school year was $34,740 at private colleges, $9,970 for state residents at public colleges, and $25,620 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.

That’s why Walmart’s announcement that it will pay for associate’s or bachelor’s college degrees for its 1.5 million full- and part-time employees is kind of a big deal. The nation’s largest retail employer announced in late May that employees will be able to pursue degrees in business or supply-chain management at three non-profit schools for just one dollar a day. The program, which is available to all Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club employees, will subsidize the cost of higher education. Degrees are being offered through the University of Florida, Brandman University in Irvine, California, and Bellevue University in Nebraska – nonprofit schools selected for their focus and strong outcomes on serving working adult learners.

Keep reading... Show less

Natural gas, which for years has been promoted by the oil and gas industry as the “cleanest” of the fossil fuels, may not be as environmentally friendly as advertised. The United States’ reliance on natural gas as a source of power is only increasing. In 2017, 31.7 percent of U.S. electricity came from natural gas-fired generation, up from 27.3 percent in 2013.

But while natural gas produces fewer carbon emissions than burning coal, the production and transportation of natural gas releases a significant quantity of methane – a greenhouse gas that also contributes to climate change.

Keep reading... Show less
An undated picture released by North Koreas Korean Central News Agency on March 7.

The somewhat surprise announcement of hawkish John Bolton as the new National Security Advisor to U.S. President Donald J. Trump sent a shiver up the collective spines of world politics and defense watchers. The reason: there’s very real fear that Bolton’s worldview – that the United Nations and international law are meaningless, the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq was a good idea, and China and Russia are not to be trusted – could push countries around the world to ramp up their military forces.

The biggest concern is an escalating arms race in the development of long-range missiles. The United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China and France are the only countries capable of striking any spot on Earth with a missile. For now.

Keep reading... Show less
AFP/Getty Images This photo taken on February 5, 2018 shows a police officer wearing a pair of smartglasses with a facial recognition system at Zhengzhou East Railway Station in Zhengzhou in China's central Henan province. Chinese police are sporting high-tech sunglasses that can spot suspects in a crowded train station, the newest use of facial recognition that has drawn concerns among human rights groups.

Remember the first time you saw Terminator, when the cyborg portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger first spotted John Connor using the virtual reality technology that had been engineered into his brain? You might have thought: cool! I want that!

But then as you thought about it a little more, you may have been a little creeped out. Turns out you were totally justified.

Keep reading... Show less

We all have seen and heard the term “clean coal.” Proponents of the prospect of boosting the coal industry in the United States, principally U.S. President Donald J. Trump, say that the technology exists to burn coal and generate both electricity and jobs. But what are the real facts and economics behind that claim? Can coal really ever be clean? Should the United States really peg its energy security to coal?

Since the 1980s, those seeking to bolster the coal mining industry in the United States have promoted what they describe as "clean coal technology." Coal has been burned to generate electricity in the United States since 1882, when the first power plant was built in New York City. Coal enjoyed its heyday in the 20th century, when it accounted for the majority of electricity generated in the U.S. Even today, coal generates about 56 percent of U.S. electricity. The reason: coal is by far the cheapest source of fuel to create the BTUs (British Thermal Units) needed to boil water that produces steam to turn the turbines that generate electricity. Consider this: to generate one million BTUs of energy, it costs

Keep reading... Show less

It’s one of the most gripping rites of spring. The switch to daylight saving time? Nope. The onset of seasonal allergies? Nah.

We’re talking March Madness, the NCAA’s college basketball tournament. It’s a glorious couple of weeks during which almost everyone – except maybe your great aunt – becomes an expert on college basketball. Across the country, millions of people will participate in March Madness office pools, filling out brackets and laying down cash. And according to outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., employees’ monitoring of their bracket’s progress will contribute to an estimated $2.3 billion in lost productivity during the tournament.

Keep reading... Show less
WASHINGTON, D.C. - FEBRUARY 28: President Donald Trump shows off a hat that says "Make Counties Great Again" before signing an Executive Order to begin the roll-back of environmental regulations put in place by the Obama administration February 28, 2017 in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. The Clean Water Rule, also known as WOTUS, the Waters of the U.S. rule, has been unpopular with some farmers, housing developers and energy companies. (Photo by Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images)

President Donald J. Trump’s surprise announcement that he will seek to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports sent shockwaves around the world yesterday and roiled the financial markets. Whether those tariffs get implemented is open to debate. Many believe the reality show theatrics with which he made the announcement were intended to distract from the accelerating scandals that are engulfing his White House.

But if he really intends to enact the tariffs, which are opposed by many in his administration, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Trump campaigned on the promise of “America First” and many of his actions in the first year of his presidency have been designed to deliver on that campaign slogan.

Keep reading... Show less