Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 1:14 pm
Some 3.4 million vehicles produced by four Japanese automakers are being voluntarily recalled due to faulty airbag inflators.
The inflators were installed in some of Toyota's top-selling Camry and Corolla models produced since 2000. Certain Honda Civics and Mazdas are also subject to recall, which also reportedly includes the Maxima and Cube, according to Reuters.
The defective passenger-side airbag inflators were produced by Tokyo-based Takata at a Mexican plant, Reuters says.
Marcela Valdes is the books editor of The Washington Examiner and a specialist in Latin American literature and culture.
For more than 40 years, the most important book prize in South America has been bankrolled by the region's most famous petro-nation: Venezuela. Yet Venezuelan novelists themselves rank among the least read and translated writers in the entire continent. Over and over again as I worked on this article, I stumped editors and translators with a simple question: Who are Venezuela's best novelists?
Say what you will about the slow pace of Congress. Lawmakers were really cooking yesterday. Yes, the Minnesota delegation held its Third Annual Hotdish Competition. Nine lawmakers entered but only one could take the official golden casserole dish trophy home. Representative Tim Walz won handily with an artery-clogging recipe, a casserole made of Kraft cheese, tater tots and bratwurst, all seasoned with a bottle of beer.
From 'Morning Edition': Frank Langfitt and David Greene discuss the latest news from the Korean peninsula
As the world waits for what's expected to be another ballistic missile test by North Korea sometime in the next few days, NPR's Frank Langfitt reports there's reason to think that tensions on the Korean Peninsula might soon ease.
In the days before elevators, there was no such thing as a penthouse on the top floor. The highest floors of a building had cheaper rents because the stairs were hard to climb.
Caracas, Venezuela, is organized roughly the same way, with many poor neighborhoods climbing up the sides of a mountain valley. Some of the poorest homes are among the most remote, accessible not by any road but by alleyways and long flights of stairs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 5:38 pm
Until well into the 19th century, if you lived in the U.S. and wanted to heat your house, fire your forge, or whatever, you did what people had done for thousands of years: You chopped down a tree and burned it.
It wasn't until the rise of the railroads in the mid 19th-century that coal became a significant energy source in this country. As industrialization continued in the second half of the century, the use of coal continued to rise, powering heavy industry (think U.S. Steel), heating urban homes, and generating electric power.
Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 7:19 pm
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In Mexico, people are rushing to see a new film that pokes fun at the country's rich. The movie has been breaking box office records. It's the first feature for the director who comes from Mexico's elite.
But as NPR's Carrie Kahn reports from Mexico City, he says he learned humbling life lessons during his time at an American film school.
For the first time in 14 years, Hugo Chavez is not on the ballot for a presidential election in Venezuela. The firebrand leftist died last month at 58 after a long fight with cancer.
Pollsters say the sympathy vote and the state's huge resources will translate into a big victory in Sunday's election for Chavez's hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro, a 50-year-old former bus driver turned government minister who had been a Chavez loyalist for 20 years.
Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 4:26 pm
Rand Paul going to one of the top historically black colleges in the U.S. and trying to school students on who founded the NAACP?
Rand Paul going to one of the top historically black colleges in the U.S. and trying to make a case for his Republican Party as a historic and continuing defender of the civil rights of African-Americans?
And, judging from the reaction the Kentucky senator received Wednesday at Washington's Howard University, less than persuasive.
Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 1:14 pm
I first met Thao Nguyen in 2008, in the earliest days of the Tiny Desk Concert series. I was a big fan of her witty, catchy songs. After she finished playing the Tiny Desk, Thao said something that has endeared me to her forever. Walking toward the elevators on her way out of NPR, she said, "That was intimate and awkward ... a lot like my last boyfriend!"
Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 6:03 pm
Virtually everyone writing about the Tokyo String Quartet's final tour this year is drawn to the word "bittersweet," and with good reason: After 43 seasons, the group gave its farewell Boston concert last week at WGBH. The quartet is rising to the emotional occasion by playing with heightened finesse and dimension, sounding better than ever.