One year ago, the clothing manufacturing industry suffered its deadliest accident in history. An eight-story building in Bangladesh collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people. Many were garment workers making cheap clothes for U.S. and European manufacturers. At the time, those corporations came under intense pressure for lax safety standards. To find out if and how the industry has responded, I'm joined by Steven Greenhouse. He's a labor and workplace reporter for the New York Times. Thanks so much for being with us.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. For the first time since a ferry capsized and sank off the coast of South Korea Wednesday, divers have begun to recover bodies from inside the sunken vessel. The death toll has passed 50 with more than 250 still missing. Most of the passengers were students from a single high school outside the capital city. NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports on the community and how they're coping.
April is National Poetry Month here in the United States. But in Japan, poetry is also big this time of year when a popular poetry contest sweeps the country. It offers modest prizes and absolutely no fame whatsoever. Entries are by pen name only, but the event is as closely watched as a celebrity sighting or a speech by the prime minister. Competitors use a style of verse that is virtually unknown outside Japan. Lucy Craft looked for rhyme and reason behind the country's love affair with this special style of poetry.
Author Ann Brashares became a young adult superstar more than a decade ago with the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, a feel-good series of books about the adventures of four best friends and a really great pair of jeans. It was eventually made into a couple of movies.
In the UK, Simon Mayo is a household name. Countless people grew up listening to him as the breakfast show host of BBC Radio One and BBC Radio 5 Live, where he was on air during 9/11. He still broadcasts a daily show for the B, but has in the last few years turned his hand to writing. The second book in his children's series is called "Itch Rocks." It is out now in the United States. And he joins us from our studios in London. Mr. Mayo, thanks so much for being with us.
Actor John Turturro is known for his work in films like "Quiz Show" and "The Big Lebowski." With his long face and hang-dog look, he's probably not what you'd call a matinee idol. But he went ahead and cast himself as the title character in his new movie, "Fading Gigolo." And he cast Woody Allen as his pimp. Critic Bob Mondello says it's easy to imagine ways this concept might go terribly wrong, but it doesn't.
So you thought smoking in restaurants was out. Well, you are right, of course. Smoking cigarettes in restaurants and bars is definitely taboo, but another kind of smoking is pretty popular in the culinary scene these days. WEEKEND EDITION food commentator Bonny Wolf tells us more.
Now to a topic you may be intimately familiar with, the office - the paperwork, the cubicles, the potentially awkward social dynamic. It is an almost universal experience that's been baked into our pop-culture, like in the movie "Office Space."
(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "OFFICE SPACE")
GARY COLE: (As Bill Lumbergh) Hello, Peter. What's happening? Uh, we have sort of a problem here. Yeah, you apparently didn't put one of the new cover sheets on your TPS reports.