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Ernest Peterson has spent his entire adult life in Washington, D.C. — almost all of it in Shaw, a neighborhood of colorful row houses and tree-lined side streets about 2 miles from the White House. In Shaw, Peterson bought his first house and started a business. And, for 20 years, on the Saturday before Labor Day, he organized a community picnic at the elementary school near his house. Over the years, friends and neighbors moved away or got locked up. He lost touch with many of them.

Since he began running for president, Donald Trump has been talking about a smaller federal role in education.

The confirmation hearings begin Tuesday for the person he has nominated to carry out his vision, Betsy DeVos. In her home state of Michigan, DeVos has been a powerful advocate of school choice and a larger private role in education. If confirmed, she'll take over a huge federal bureaucracy of some 4,400 employees and a $68 billion budget.

A top Egyptian court has ruled against the government's bid to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

It's an embarrassing ruling for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, who has argued that the islands of Trian and Sanafir are historically Saudi. The Supreme Administrative Court disagreed, saying that they are Egyptian sovereign territory.

"It's enshrined in the court's conscience that Egypt's sovereignty over Tiran and Sanafir is beyond doubt," presiding judge Ahmed al-Shazli told the court, according to The Associated Press.

The final few days before President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office will be filled with a flurry of congressional activity, as the Senate holds confirmation hearings for eight more of his Cabinet nominees.

Most are expected to be fairly routine, but a few could be hot-button affairs, including hearings for Education Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos and Scott Pruitt, Trump's nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right. As Inauguration Day approaches, we are marking the end of an era. It's the era of Charlie Brotman known for 60 years as the president's announcer.

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Sixty-three years after the Supreme Court's ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, many schools across the country either remain segregated or have re-segregated.

Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that when it comes to school segregation, separate is never truly equal.

A group of scientists is gathering this week in the U.K. to discuss a slab of ice that's cracking in Antarctica. The crack could soon split off a frozen chunk the size of Delaware.

One glacier scientist, Heidi Sevestre, spent six weeks last year living on that giant slab of ice off the Antarctic Peninsula.

When Samantha Deffler was young, her mother would often call her by her siblings' names — even the dog's name. "Rebecca, Jesse, Molly, Tucker, Samantha," she says.

More than a hundred female federal inmates, sentenced to long-term prison, have instead been held for years in two windowless rooms in a detention center in Brooklyn.

Conditions for the women have been found to violate international standards for the treatment of prisoners.

Prosecutors in South Korea have requested an arrest warrant for the de facto head of the nation's biggest conglomerate, Samsung, on charges of bribery and embezzlement in connection with a swirling scandal that led to the president's impeachment.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Bitterness between Balkan neighbors flashed to the surface this weekend after a train was turned back from the Kosovo border. The train, which had been painted with Serbian national colors and the phrase "Kosovo is Serbia," cut short its journey amid fears it was under threat of violence.

Iraqi forces have made a crucial step in the bloody quest to retake Mosul from the Islamic State, according to a spokesman for the country's military. Iraqi Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool announced that the city's university has been fully retaken from ISIS militants.

Special forces, known in Iraq as the Counter-Terrorism Service, or CTS, raised the Iraqi flag above the campus Friday, the Associated Press reports — but the troops were still days away from claiming complete control.

Updated at 3:32 p.m. ET

Foreign ministers and other diplomats from some 70 different countries descended on Paris on Sunday, with the intent to renew peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The summit, which was held without leaders from either side of the conflict, pushed for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

"We are here to reiterate strongly that the two-state solution is the only one possible," said French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, in his opening remarks to top envoys at the conference.

This week, the House and Senate took the first substantial step toward repealing Obamacare.

Today, Democrats are holding rallies across the country, in an attempt to get some public momentum behind their longshot goal of blocking that effort.

Congressional Democrats are organizing what they call a "Day of Action," with events scheduled from California to Illinois to Maine.

Just about one month ago, we invited you to write little commercials for all the joys in life that money can't buy. Tell us what makes you happy, we said — if you could sell us on it, we'd produce the ad and air it on All Things Considered.

My, how time flies.

Celebrities, politicians and activists, ranging from Bernie Sanders to Hamilton creator Lin Manuel Miranda and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, are asking President Obama to grant clemency to a man who was part of a militant group that fought for Puerto Rican independence.

People planning to watch — or protest — Donald Trump's inauguration festivities this week should prepare to maneuver through lots of security, including thousands of law enforcement personnel, National Guard troops, fences, magnetometers and cement-laden trucks.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson outlined the massive security preparations during a briefing at the Multi Agency Communications Center at a secret location in Virginia.

There's a popular saying in Spanish — O todos en la cama, o todos en el suelo. It conveys a selfless commitment to equal treatment, and translates roughly like this: Either we all get the bed, or we all get the floor.

Among many immigrants in the U.S., there's been a feeling that when it comes to the spoils of U.S. immigration policy, the government has given Cubans the bed all to themselves, while it has relegated others – Mexicans, Haitians, Central Americans — to the floor.

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