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Obama moves to ease student loan burdens

President Barack Obama on Monday signed an executive order making it easier for up to 5 million people to pay off college tuition debt, and scolded congressional Republicans for opposing legislation that would lower student-loan borrowing costs. Obama signed an executive order allowing more people to limit repayments of federal student loans to 10 percent of their monthly incomes. The administration will also try to lower student costs by renegotiating government contracts with companies like Sallie Mae that service student loans, he said.

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Facebook’s Zuckerberg pumping $120 mln into local schools

Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg put out word that he and his wife Priscilla Chan are pumping $120 million into San Francisco Bay Area schools. Distribution of the money will be spread over five years, with initial grants going toward initiatives for providing computers and Internet access in public schools as well as training teachers and enlisting parents in efforts to keep students on track. “The Bay Area is one of the most prosperous places in the world, but there so many schools here that don’t have the resources they need,” Zuckerberg said in a post on his Facebook page late Thursday. Part of the focus for grant money from his Startup: Education fund will be to start new district and charter schools that provide high quality education.

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Bloomberg bashes liberal McCarthyism at Harvard commencement

By Scott Malone and Daniel Lovering BOSTON (Reuters) – Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg used his commencement address at Harvard University on Thursday to bash a U.S. academic culture that he described as increasingly intolerant of ideas from outside a narrow liberal spectrum. Citing the campus protests that caused luminaries including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde to back out of planned speeches, Bloomberg criticized students and faculty for being hostile to ideas that clashed with their own ideologies. Standing amid the centuries-old stone buildings of Harvard Yard, he compared the atmosphere in U.S. academia to that which prevailed during Senator Joseph McCarthy’s 1950s campaign to ferret out Communists in public life. “In the 1950s the right wing was attempting to repress left-wing ideas,” said Bloomberg, who started his career on Wall Street before launching the news and data company that bears his name.

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