Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The sushi at No Hatchi Restaurant in Tokyo packs a big flavor, but it's so small customers might need tweezers rather than chopsticks to eat it. That's because the sushi is made with a single grain of rice. The restaurant's chef told Reuters that his miniature sushi started as a joke and then it became a hit. Radish and chili give the teensy pieces a bit - even though they're gone in a bite.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning, I'm David Greene. And I'm looking for a Mr. Frostnova. He's a 22-year-old from New Zealand who lost a poker bet a few years ago. He wagered his name. And after losing, he had to change his name to one just shy of the hundred-character limit for new names in New Zealand; this came to light recently because his passport expired. His full legal name, a mouthful, wait for it: Full Metal Havok More Sexy N Intelligent Than Spock And All The Superheroes Combined With Frostnova.
And our next guest is Aaron David Miller, a longtime Middle East policy advisor at the State Department. He came to our studio this morning to weigh in on the consequences of the Ukraine crisis on two other major foreign policy issues: The Syrian Civil War and the Iran nuclear negotiations.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene.
On Independence Square in Kiev this morning, a 62-year-old Ukrainian, Igor Voscovonyanko(ph), was venting his frustration. Russia is effectively occupying part of his country, Crimea, and he's not convinced economic sanctions or anything else can stop Russia's president Vladimir Putin.
IGOR VOSCOVONYANKO: It is not enough. They are not enough because Putin's will is only occupation.
Now to a story of how a long ago association with the crimes of Nazi Germany could stop a French company from doing business today in Maryland. A Maryland House committee heard testimony yesterday on a bill that would bar companies that played a role in the Holocaust from bidding on state contracts unless the companies pay reparations to victims.
State officials told the hearing that if that bill passes, it could jeopardize federal funding for a major light rail project. NPR's Allison Keyes explains.
This is Hungerford, a large female snowy owl. Last summer she was just a hatchling — a gray ball of fuzz in the middle of the Arctic tundra. In the fall, newly equipped with adult plumage, she flew thousands of miles south until she reached the coast of Maryland. And this winter, she became an important part of an unprecedented research project.
Inside Florida's Capitol, calls to change or repeal Stand Your Ground are having little impact.
On Tuesday, several hundred people in Tallahassee, Fla., gathered outside the Capitol building calling for changes in the law. The march and rally came a month after a jury in Jacksonville deadlocked on a murder charge in the case of Michael Dunn. Dunn is the software designer who shot and killed 17-year-old Jordan Davis in a dispute over loud music.
And our last word in business today is: Doggie Cam.
There has been a lot in the news lately about the Internet and privacy. And now it seems that even pets are under surveillance by owners.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
That's right. Thanks to a newly-improved smartphone app and device called the Dropcam, pet owners can check in on their furry friends while they're at work or out of town. Through the app, you can not only see your dog, but talk to them through a speaker as well.
So far this winter, lots of snow and ice has forced major U.S. airlines to cancel more than 74,000 flights. At an aviation conference in New York yesterday, top executives of some of the nation's biggest airlines spoke about how those cancellations are affecting business.
NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.
JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: American Airlines said it cancelled 28,000 flights in January and February. Almost as many flights were grounded by United Continental. At Southwest 6,500 flights were cancelled.
NPR's business news begins with Congress investigating a GM recall.
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GREENE: General Motors last month recalled 1.6 million older-model compact cars. The concern was that faulty ignition switches could cause the cars engines to turn off - a problem that's been linked to 13 deaths. GM employees knew of the issue as early as 2004, according to the company's own chronology.
Now for an update on a more recent disaster here in the U.S. In September of last year, heavy rain flooded large areas of Colorado, killing 10 people, damaging businesses, homes, and roads. Many towns are still struggling to recover.
Grace Hood from member station KUNC traveled to two communities in northern Colorado that were among the hardest hit to see how they are coping today.
The extremists now committing a wave of attacks in Iraq's Anbar province are better trained, funded and equipped than the al-Qaida-linked groups American soldiers battled there, says Brett McGurk, one of the State Department's top officials for Iraq.
The militants, who have drawn strength amid the war in Syria over the border, have taken over parts of Anbar over the last three months.
Three years after the massive tsunami that ravaged northeastern Japan, the government is building the biggest anti-tsunami barriers ever.
The vast network of supersized sea walls, mocked by some as "the Great Wall of Japan," is already underway and would stretch 230 miles and cost nearly $8 billion.
The wall is designed to protect places like the small port city of Kesennuma in Miyagi prefecture. With its dramatic hills, white fishing boats and seafood market, Kesennuma has the pleasant nautical feel of Seattle.
Virtually any time a major event ripples across Washington, the Justice Department is positioned near the center of it.
From the disappearance of a Malaysian airliner that carried three Americans on board to the fate of voting rights for millions of people, the attorney general has an enormous portfolio. And the stress to match it.
But after an elevated heart rate sent him to the hospital last month, Eric Holder says he's on the mend.
One of the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing is the appearance of two men on the flight manifest who were apparently traveling with stolen passports.
On U.S.-bound flights there are safeguards aimed at preventing that from happening. Interpol, the international police organization, issued a statement criticizing Malaysia for allowing the passengers to board the flight.
America used to have a robust college education system for prison inmates. It was seen as a way to rehabilitate men and women behind bars by helping them go straight when they got out.
Those taxpayer-funded college classes were defunded in the 1990s. But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo would like to bring them back in the state, prompting a fierce new debate over higher education in state prisons.
Every year, Americans send millions of tons of food to the landfill. What if you could use all of those pizza crusts and rotten vegetables to heat your home? That's already happening in one unlikely laboratory: the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Brooklyn.
Sometimes there just isn't enough time to get it all done. Washington Post journalist Brigid Schulte has certainly felt that way. "I was working all the time and yet never very good at what I was doing," she tells NPR's David Greene. " ... I felt all this pressure that I was a working mom and so I was always so guilty, and I didn't want to ruin their childhood. So I was up at 2 in the morning to bake cupcakes for the Valentine's party."