S1 E16: Student Debt, Gecko Update & ISIS: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

S1 E16: Student Debt, Gecko Update & ISIS: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

ISIS and Al-Qaeda

  • ISIS's dominance in the news has caused concern worldwide, including among other terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda.
  • Al-Qaeda's leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, released a video announcing the expansion of Al-Qaeda into India but was criticized for being boring compared to ISIS's effective social media campaign.

US Response to ISIS Propaganda

  • The US State Department attempted to counter ISIS's propaganda by releasing a sarcastic parody recruitment video but was criticized for being too ironic and potentially misunderstood.

Chaos in Libya

  • Libya has descended into chaos after Gaddafi's fall, with Islamist militias celebrating their takeover of an American diplomatic compound by having a pool party.

Student Debt Crisis in the United States

  • Student debt in the United States has surpassed $1 trillion, making it the second-largest type of debt after mortgages.
  • Student debt is non-dischargeable in bankruptcy and has tripled in the past decade, with more than 90% of it subsidized by the federal government.
  • The federal student loan program was initially intended to provide an escape from poverty, but rising tuition rates and cuts in state funding for higher education have led to increased student debt.
  • For-profit schools account for nearly a third of all student loans despite having just 13.3% of the country's students.
  • For-profit schools are expensive, with tuition five to six times the cost of a community college.
  • For-profit schools spend more money on marketing than on faculty.
  • For-profit schools often use aggressive and deceptive marketing tactics to recruit students.
  • Graduates of for-profit schools often have difficulty finding jobs in their field of study.
  • The federal government has tried to regulate for-profit schools, but they have found loopholes in the regulations.
  • The for-profit school industry spent $10 million in lobbying to weaken gainful employment standards.
  • The latest version of the gainful employment rules are expected by November, and the for-profit school trade group is still lobbying hard against them.

College Experience and Student Debt

  • College students with student loans should enjoy their college experience while they can, as they may be paying off their debt for a long time.

60 Minutes Interviews

  • 60 Minutes anchors sometimes prompt people to deliver specific soundbites during interviews.

Russian Satellite with Geckos

  • Russia lost contact with a satellite carrying geckos intended to observe their mating activities in zero gravity.
  • Despite a campaign to save them, five of the geckos died due to equipment failure, while the fruit flies on the same mission survived.
  • The geckos were sent to have sex in space, and their deaths are considered devastating.
  • A musical tribute is performed in honor of the deceased geckos.

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