And let's get an update now on those tensions on the Korean peninsula. South Korea's foreign minister has warned that North Korea could launch a medium-range missile at, quote, "any time." Also, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the North Koreans are skating close to a dangerous line. Both the United States and South Korea have put their forces in South Korea on heightened alert, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is due in Seoul tomorrow to assess the situation.
Tonight, in Flint, Michigan, a limousine is going to pull up to a nursing home and take a 79-year-old patient for a long-awaited night out on the town. Seven years ago, Evie Branan suffered a stroke that left her in a semi-coma. In May of 2011, she tumbled out of her bed, bumped her head and woke up, and her very first words were a request.
EVIE BRANAN: I said I wanted to go to a Bob Seger concert.
Well, the first round of golf's first major tournament of the year tees off today. And if people are not excited enough about the Masters, there is added drama this year. The most recognizable golfer on the planet, Tiger Woods, is a bonafide favorite to win his fifth green jacket. NPR's Tom Goldman has been wandering, strolling the grounds of golf's most storied course. He joins us now from Augusta, Georgia. And, Tom, how did you get this assignment?
In recent elections the Republican Party has struggled to find much support among African-American voters. That though did not dissuade Kentucky's Republican Senator Rand Paul from making a pitch yesterday at Howard University, the historically black college in the nation's capital.
NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson was listening.
MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Rand Paul spoke carefully from a teleprompter and posed this question to his audience of young African-American students.
On Capitol Hill, the Senate is set to open debate this morning on the first major gun control legislation to reach Congress in two decades. Some Republicans, though, say they have a pretty good reason to hold up that debate. NPR's Ailsa Chang explains.
AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: Senator Mike Lee of Utah is one of the Republicans who say they're filibustering, and here's his rational: He's not actually trying to block debate. He's just trying to buy more time to consider the proposals.
Now the Federal Housing Administration might need its first bailout in its 79 year history. So-called reversed mortgages are at the heart of the problem here, as fallout from the housing crisis continues.
NPR's Dan Bobkoff explains.
DAN BOBKOFF, BYLINE: Perhaps you've seen ads like this one on TV.
(SOUNDBITE OF TV AD)
FRED THOMPSON: A government-insured reverse mortgage allows seniors to stay in their own home and turn their equity into tax-free cash...
The federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. is second only to the United States Supreme Court in terms of the important cases it decides. But the court, known as the D.C. Circuit, has been limping along with four vacancies. President Obama's first nominee recently withdrew after two Senate filibusters blocked her path. The White House is hoping its other nominee will have an easier ride.
Now to Paris, France - where a walkout briefly shut down one of the world's most visited museums. Our last word in business: Pickpocket Protest.
The Louvre is famous for its priceless works of art - think the Mona Lisa - which it protects with high-tech security. But apparently, the Paris museum is less effective at protecting the valuables of patrons and staff.
OK. President Obama's budget is out - two months behind schedule. It is four volumes, 2,509 pages.
To tell us what pages we should be looking at closely, we turn, as we often do, to David Wessel. He's The Wall Street Journal's, economics editor and the author of a book on the budget called "Red Ink."
Venezuela's acting president, Nicolas Maduro, fist-bumps a worker of the state-run oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., last month. Maduro faces opposition candidate Henrique Capriles in Sunday's presidential election. Whoever wins will have to tackle the legacy of Chavez's oil programs.
As Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez thought in grandiose terms, and his country's vast oil riches enabled him to act on his vision. But Chavez died before he had to deal with the flaws in his model, and some hard choices await his successor.
Key to Chavez's notion of "21st Century Socialism" was the redistribution of Venezuela's oil earnings. The country's oil reserves — estimated by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to be the largest in the world — are worth tens of billions of dollars a year in potential revenue.
In director Gilles Bourdos' biopic <em>Renoir</em>, Christa Theret plays Andree Heuschling, who served as a muse for both the aging Impressionist master and his young filmmaker son.
Credit Samuel Goldwyn Films
While art critics sometimes call Renoir's late period overly emotional, works like <em>Blonde a la rose</em>, shown here, were an inspiration to film director Gilles Bourdos. Andree Heuschling, a main character in the film, is credited as the model for this painting.
Credit RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY
Renoir's <em>The Bathers (Bathing Women) </em>also used Andree Heuschling as inspiration. Critics say the young model gave the aging artist a needed boost of inspiration during his final years.
Researchers in California described Wednesday their new method for mass-producing the key ingredient for the herbal drug artemisinin, the most powerful antimalarial on the market. Already, the French drugmaker Sanofi is ramping up production at a plant in Italy to manufacture the ingredient and the drug.
Global health advocates say they expect this new method of producing artemisinin will at last provide a stable supply of the drug and cut the overall cost of malaria treatment.
Scientists reported Wednesday that they had developed a way to measure how much pain people are experiencing by scanning their brains.
The researchers hope the technique will help doctors treat pain better, but the work is also raising concerns about whether the technique might interfere with doctors simply listening to their patients.
Now, when someone is in pain, a doctor has no way to judge its severity except to ask questions, a method that often is inadequate.
Jackie Robinson was the first African-American Major League Baseball player. He wore "42" on his uniform for the Brooklyn Dodgers, a number that has since been retired by every MLB team in his honor. Chadwick Boseman plays Robinson in the new biopic, 42, and he came in to talk with Weekend Edition Saturday Host Scott Simon about the playing such a legend.
Former El Paso Independent School District Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia is escorted by his attorneys into a Texas courthouse. He was found guilty of fiddling with El Paso schools' test scores for his own financial gain.
Lorenzo Garcia, the former superintendent of schools in El Paso, Texas, has been sitting in a federal prison since last year. He's the nation's first superintendent convicted of fraud and reporting bogus test scores for financial gain.
On a normal day, Kansas City, Mo., processes more than 70 million gallons of raw sewage. This sewage used to be a nuisance, but Kansas City, and a lot of municipalities around the country, are now turning it into a resource for city farmers hard up for fertilizer.
After the sewage has been processed at a treatment plant, it's piped out to Birmingham Farm on the north side of the Missouri River.
Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 10:18 am
Marchers dressed in white descended on Wednesday on the Capitol to press Congress to overhaul the nation's immigration policies. One of the key thrusts of their appeal: an on-ramp to citizenship for the millions of unauthorized immigrants living in the United States.
The last time the federal government offered a pathway to citizenship was in 1986 during the Reagan administration. The Immigration Reform and Control Act, or IRCA, granted amnesty to millions of people.