When the Transportation Security Administration recently said it was changing the rules to allow small knives and sports equipment as carry-on items on planes, that sparked an outcry over safety. The TSA is backing down and will require travelers to check those items after all.
Kidnappings and other crime have infiltrated every aspect of daily life in Venezuela, especially the capital, Caracas, which was recently ranked the world's third most violent city.
Credit Jasmine Garsd / NPR
German Garcia-Velutini, a banker, was kidnapped in Caracas and held for 11 months in 2009. Now, he says, he is imprisoned by his bodyguards and feels free only when he is out of the country.
Credit Fernando Llano / AP
Two men participate in a kidnapping drill in an intensive self-defense course at the School of Personal Protection in Caracas. In 2011, there were 1,150 reported kidnappings in Caracas alone. It's widely believed that the vast majority of kidnappings aren't reported at all — in large part because many victims believe their kidnappers are police.
German Garcia-Velutini got into his car and left work one day. It took him 11 months to get home.
Kidnappers had nabbed the Venezuelan banker. His abduction is part of a problem that's been getting worse every year for the past decade in Venezuela, which belongs to a region riddled with crime and the most violent cities in the world.
Gracia-Velutini tells his story at an outdoor table at a hotel in Caracas, the capital, with a view of a mountainside that climbs into the clouds.
Fire officers walk past the fire-damaged Al-Rahma Islamic Centre in Muswell Hill in London Wednesday. Counter-terrorism officers have been called in amid suspicions that it was a racially motivated attack.
Two weeks after the brutal murder of a British soldier that brought a rise in hate crimes against Muslims in the U.K., a fire devastated an Islamic community center in London Wednesday. Scotland Yard says the cause of the blaze is being treated as suspicious.
"Graffiti was found amid the charred ruins, including an abbreviation for a far right anti-Muslim fringe group," NPR's Philip Reeves reports for our Newscast unit. "Detectives are trying to figure out when it was written."
The International Monetary Fund has admitted "notable failures" in the Greek bailout, saying in a report Thursday that despite the steps Greece's recession and unemployment problem were more severe than anticipated.
The report said the program had succeeded in keeping Greece within the eurozone and mostly prevented the country's economic troubles from spilling over to the rest of the region. "However," it said:
Tropical Storm Andrea, the first named storm of the new hurricane season, has formed in the eastern portion of the Gulf of Mexico. Forecasters expect the storm to bring heavy rains to Florida before moving up the East Coast.
The origin of the first primates — the group that includes humans, apes and monkeys — is thought to lie in the deep past, about 55 million years ago.
Fossils from that period are rare. But now, there's an exciting new one. It's called Archicebus achilles, roughly meaning "beginning long-tailed monkey." Actually, this creature lived before the monkeys we know of today, a mere 10 million years after the dinosaurs died out.
Before Midnight is the third movie about Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy), and takes place 23 years after the first one (Before Sunrise) and 15 years after the second (Before Sunset). All three films were written and directed by Richard Linklater. For Before Midnight and Before Sunset, Delpy and Hawke joined Linklater as co-writers. All three came in to NPR West to talk with Fresh Air Host Terry Gross about the popular trilogy.
A photograph taken on May 20, 2013, by the DEA Strike Force shows some of the marijuana plants the agency says were grown by a woman from a wealthy New York suburb, in a warehouse in the Queens borough of New York.
Andrea Sanderlin, a mother who drives a Mercedes SUV and lives in a large Scarsdale, N.Y., home, is facing serious drug charges after federal investigators accused her of being the mastermind behind an operation growing nearly 3,000 marijuana plants in a warehouse in Queens.
Three for a Song is a performing trio with a love for the 1930s, during which some of the greatest songwriters who ever lived wrote music that would enter the canon of American popular song. But the group has recently added a quirk to its repertoire: performing songs that were never popular.
"You will always hear Burton Lane's 'How Are Things in Glocca Morra?' " says the trio's pianist, Alex Hassan, who is also a pop-music archivist. "But you will not hear an incredible torch song that he wrote for a 1935 MGM flick that never got made."
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning (right) is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., on June 25, 2012. His lawyer announced that Manning, who is accused of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks, had agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges.
For the next 12 weeks, a military judge in Fort Meade, Md. will consider the case of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning. It's bound to be a complicated, long-running and often secretive process that kicked off on Monday.
Before we get too far into the court-martial, we wanted to put together a shortish guide to bring you up to speed on the trial.
Chinese pianist Fei-Fei Dong, 22, performs at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas. The Juilliard School graduate student is among six musicians chosen for the final round.
Six finalists for the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition were announced last night in Fort Worth, Texas. For the first time since its inception more than 50 years ago, the contest is taking place without its namesake. Cliburn died in February of cancer, and the competition is dealing with his loss and other changes as well.
As President Obama meets his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, many experts hope this will be the start of something new: regular high-level contacts. History shows it is always dangerous when established powers face rising powers.
After conquering the online department store model, Amazon is eyeing an expansion into the world of grocery shopping. The company has been testing out an online grocery called AmazonFresh in Seattle. Today, there are reports that Amazon plans to expand to other cities around the country. But the business landscape is littered with the graves of online grocers who didn't make it. Remember Webvan? No? That's OK.
Major League Baseball is investigating as many as 20 players, including some of the league's biggest stars. MLB wants to know if they used banned drugs from an anti-aging clinic in Florida. That clinic is now closed and the owner is now cooperating with MLB investigators. Two former MVPs, Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, are reportedly on the list of players who are being interviewed. ESPN's "Outside the Lines" broke the story last night.
NPR's Tom Goldman joins us now. Tom, what can you tell us?
A graphic released by the TSA earlier this year announced coming changes to the agency's Prohibited Items List, which it said would allow small knives. The TSA now says those items will remain banned from carry-on bags.
Small knives, golf clubs, and other items that had been poised to be allowed in air passengers' carry-on luggage will instead remain prohibited, the Transportation Security Administration confirmed Wednesday. The reversal follows a review process in which the agency heard from passenger advocates, law enforcement, and others.
"After extensive engagement with the Aviation Security Advisory Committee, law enforcement officials, passenger advocates, and other important stakeholders, TSA will continue to enforce the current prohibited items list," the agency said in a statement.
When Michelle Obama squared off with a heckler at a private fundraiser last night, the racial context was hard to ignore: a white woman yelling at the country's most visible black woman and that same black woman offering a pointed response.
When singer-songwriter Grant Olney started working on his latest album, Hypnosis For Happiness, he never imagined it'd take six years to finish. But after laying down the first tracks in 2006, Olney left for the U.K. and the Netherlands to pursue a Ph.D. in mathematics. After finishing a 300-page dissertation on something called "high dimensional geometry," Olney returned to music and found himself reflecting on identity, friendship and what it means to really know someone. It's a knotty mix of emotions and ideas he tackles in a touching new video for the song "Not From Body."