Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 11:14 am
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.
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.
Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 5:19 pm
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You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
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.
The man whose research led to the world's first test-tube baby more than three decades ago, has died at age 87.
Robert Edwards, who later won the Nobel Prize, began experimenting with in vitro fertilization, or IVF, in the late 1960s. His work, controversial at the time, eventually led to the birth of the world's first "test tube baby," Louise Brown, on July 25, 1978.
Since then, IVF has resulted in about 5 million babies worldwide, according to the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology.
Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 2:37 pm
Roasted fish on a stick is OK, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to cook up some fish soup?
That's what might have crossed the minds of hunter-gatherers who made the world's first cooking pots. A new analysis of pottery made 15,000 years ago in what's now Japan reveals that it was used to cook seafood, probably salmon.
Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 11:41 am
A young man is parading the streets of the city of Glasgow with a slogan daubed onto the back of his black leather jacket in big, freshly painted white letters. "We're havin' a party," it declares. "Thatcher's dead."
In what was the coal belt of northern England, a burly former miner lights up an enormous cigar and takes a satisfied puff. He says he's looking forward to a few celebratory drinks.
Hundreds of miles to the south, in Brixton, south London, a boisterous crowd prances around, joyously boozing and setting off fireworks under the wary gaze of police in riot gear.
This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. The CIA and the military have been transformed in ways that have blurred the boundaries between them. The shape of the new military intelligence complex is the subject of my guest Mark Mazzetti's new book, "The Way of the Knife." He writes: The CIA is no longer a traditional espionage service, devoted to stealing the secrets of foreign governments. The CIA has become a killing machine, an organization consumed with man-hunting.
Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 9:23 am
North Korea's next provocative move — the test firing of a medium-range ballistic missile — could happen at any moment, according to South Korean officials.
Bloomberg Businessweek reports that "the possibility of a ballistic missile launch is 'very high' and 'may materialize anytime from now,' South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung Se told lawmakers in Seoul today."
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep in Caracas, Venezuela. This country is about to hold a presidential election. Voters are replacing the late Hugo Chavez, who shouldered this oil-rich republic onto the world stage. He often denounced the United States as an oppressive empire - even as he sold Americans oil - and imported gasoline from U.S. refineries. The election of his successor this weekend gives us a chance to listen to a changing Latin America.
The Focus is the best-selling "nameplate" worldwide, followed by the Toyota Corolla, new data shows. Ford's sales have jumped in recent years as it dropped unsuccessful models and adopted a single global manufacturing system.
Secretary of State John Kerry left Israel today with plans to return soon. He spent the past couple of days going back and forth between meetings with Palestinian and Israeli officials in his bid to restart peace talks. Kerry said he got a lot of constructive suggestions from both sides and that everyone has homework to do. From Jerusalem, NPR's Emily Harris has our story.
Adm. Samuel Locklear, speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, was asked by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., if the U.S. had the ability to intercept a North Korean missile launched "within the next several days."
In November, Razan Shalab Al-Sham, the daughter of a wealthy Syrian family, led the way to the Syrian farming village of Khirbet al-Joz to deliver an unusual kind of aid: police uniforms. A cold winter rain turned the frontier forest between southern Turkey and Syria into a muddy march up a mountain ridge along a smugglers' trail. She climbed the mountain to make the delivery herself.
Nearly two decades ago, a North Korean official threatened to turn Seoul into a "Sea of Fire." South Koreans responded by cleaning out the shelves of supermarkets and preparing for an attack that never came.
Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 10:05 am
The culling of candidates in the run-up to Pakistan's May 11 election is providing the country some badly needed levity.
The "Pakistani Inquisition," as it's been dubbed, has election commission officials grilling office-seekers on their Islamic bona fides.
Many have stumbled badly, only to be disqualified.
But not Mussarat Shaheen, who performed impeccably. The former dancer — fabled for her Pushto films — was asked by an official in the city of Dera Ismail Khan to recite a verse of the Holy Quran, to test her mettle as a candidate for the National Assembly.
Beer lovers might be alarmed to hear that beer can pick up small amounts of arsenic as it's filtered to be sparkly clear.
But researchers in Germany reported Sunday that they've found arsenic in hundreds of samples of beer, some at levels more than twice that allowed in drinking water.
When we checked in with experts about arsenic and the filtering process, which is also widely used in the wine industry, they weren't too surprised. That's because the filtering agent in question, diatomaceous earth, is a mined natural product that contains iron and other metals.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
Well, in recent weeks, we have heard that Seoul, the capital of South Korea, will become, quote, a sea of fire. North Korea has said its enemies' windpipes will be, quote, totally cut. Today, North Korea urged tourists and foreign companies to leave South Korea in case of war. These are just some of the threats North Korea has been hurling. But instead of scaring South Koreans, all this blood-thirsty rhetoric seems to be mostly boring them.
Now, as we consider the legacy of Margaret Thatcher, the question arises about her significance as the only woman to serve as British prime minister, and the first woman to lead a government of a major Western nation. Kim Campbell, who briefly served as Canada's first woman prime minister in the early 1990s, put it this way last night on the "PBS NewsHour."
People in Pakistan will go to the polls next month to select a new parliament, and election fever is already building. The country faces chronic energy shortages, deepening economic problems and the specter of violence, as entrenched militants threaten to disrupt the vote. NPR's Julie McCarthy brings us this report from a very active campaign trail in Pakistan.
Buckle up — climate change could make this a bumpy flight.
That's according to a newly published study by two British scientists who say increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will make "clear air turbulence" — which can't be easily spotted by pilots or satellites — more common over the North Atlantic. That means the potential for gut-wrenching flights between the U.S., Europe and points east.