China's sports bureaucracy threatened this week to standardize dancing in public squares. Government committees have for decades drafted standardized eye exercises for squinting school children, calisthenics for office workers and Tai Chi routines for retirees.
The president of the University of Oklahoma says two dozen students from the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity have been disciplined for taking part in a racist chant about African-Americans and lynching that was videotaped and went viral earlier this month.
The current upheaval in Yemen is a sharp reminder of the fragility of the global oil market. Airstrikes by Saudi Arabia against Houthi rebels in Yemen has stoked fears of a disruption to the supply market.
Yemen and Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, share a long border. While Yemen is only a small producer of crude oil, it controls the Bab el-Mandeb Strait at the southern entrance to the Red Sea.
Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 5:45 pm
By Colin Dwyer
In a stroke of irony fit for fiction, an effort by two Idaho parents to clean up their daughter's books has dredged up a fairly messy controversy. Clean Reader â€” an e-reader app designed to ferret out, and block, profanity in novels and nonfiction â€” drew significant pushback from some authors amid its recent launch.
In the face of that criticism, the folks behind Clean Reader have now backed down, announcing their intentions to stop selling books directly through the e-reading platform.
Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 8:07 pm
Melinda Townsend-Breslin keeps a photo of herself on her refrigerator standing with her mother, MaryLou Townsend, in the front of the Unique Thrift Store in Louisville, Ky. They're side by side in the parking lot, both wearing white shirts and sporting short, practical haircuts.
Mom is proudly showing her discount card. "For the thrift store!" said Townsend-Breslin, laughing. "The discount for the thrift store!"
When word came of Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid's decision to retire, various observers and Democratic constituencies quickly emerged with their choices for his successor as the party's Senate leader.
There were those who touted Patty Murray of Washington, the proven problem-solver and veteran legislator who has worked her way up the ladder of Senate succession. Others talked up Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who in just two years has emerged as a star in the caucus and who has also joined the leadership in a junior role.
An Alabama police officer has been indicted on one charge of using unreasonable force against an Indian man in February.
A federal grand jury decided there was enough evidence to bring charges against Officer Eric Parker.
"Parker's actions deprived the man in Madison of his right under the U.S. Constitution to be secure from unreasonable seizures, which includes the right to be free from unreasonable force by someone acting under color of law," the Justice Department said in a press release.
Harry Reid, the wily Democratic Senate leader, was likely â€” once again â€” to be one of the most vulnerable incumbents up for re-election in 2016.
Few, though, would have bet the house against Reid â€” a sharp-elbowed campaigner â€” especially in a presidential year when demography will favor Democrats in a state where almost 3 in 10 people are Hispanic.
"Do you really want to go up against Harry Reid?" said one national GOP operative, pointing out Reid's bare-knuckles style of campaigning.
Longtime Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, 75, who announced Friday he would not run for re-election in 2016, isn't exactly known for his charisma on Capitol Hill. But he has become known as someone who will always put up a fight.
That toughness can be seen throughout his life and political career. It was an essential quality during his hardscrabble childhood and time in the boxing ring. And it's what he later brought to fighting organized crime in Nevada and, more recently, taking off his gloves against the Tea Party Republicans.
Harry Reid's exit could have ignited a scramble to fill the power vacuum among Senate Democrats.
But the Nevada senator is doing his best to avoid what he called a "knock-down, drag-out fight" by endorsing Charles Schumer, the New York Democrat better known as Chuck, who has been Reid's top lieutenant for years.
"He will be elected to replace me in 22 months," Reid told KNPR about Schumer. "One reason that will happen is because I want him to be my replacement."
Reid called Schumer "a brilliant man" and "a tremendous asset."
In The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, Siddhartha Mukherjee chronicled how our understanding of cancer has evolved. Starting Monday, Ken Burns' three-part documentary will air on PBS. Terry Gross talked with Mukherjee in 2010.
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Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who has announced that he won't seek re-election in 2016, says he is backing Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the Senate's No. 3 Democrat, to succeed him in the leadership position.
"He [Schumer] will be elected to replace me in 22 months," he told Nevada Public Radio. "One reason that will happen is because I want him to be my replacement."
Saudi Arabia unleashed another round of airstrikes today on its southern neighbor, Yemen. The warplanes targeted Houthi rebel targets, including air bases, in a bid to neutralize the militants' air defenses.
Hoping to reverse a steep increase in HIV infections in southern Indiana, Gov. Mike Pence has temporarily suspended state law and his own anti-drug policies to implement a short-term needle exchange program for addicts.
Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 3:45 pm
The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into the French Alps earlier this week appears to have been a deliberate act carried out by a co-pilot.
It is too soon to put the label "suicide" on the co-pilot's actions. Not enough is known yet about his state of mind or what his motivation might have been. But as investigations continue, the incident raises questions about whether better mental health screening can prevent a person with suicidal tendencies from taking charge in the cockpit in the first place.
The global aviation industry is moving swiftly to change policies to reassure the traveling public in the wake of the apparently deliberate crash of airliner into the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard.
Airlines from around the world have announced that they will begin requiring two crew members in the cockpit at all times after investigators on Thursday announced that the crash of Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 occurred when the co-pilot locked the pilot out of the cockpit and placed the Airbus A320 into a deliberate descent.
A stack of research suggests that all the classroom technology in the world can't compare to the power of a great teacher. And, since we haven't yet figured out how to clone our best teachers, a few schools around the country are trying something like it: Stretching them across multiple classrooms.
Prosecutors in Duesseldorf, Germany, say Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight FU 9525, who appears to have deliberately crashed the plane carrying 150 people into the French Alps, concealed a medical condition from his employers.
Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 4:36 pm
Nigerian voters go to the polls Saturday to elect their next president and lawmakers in a vote delayed since February, partly due to the insecurity brought on by the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram.
In the past six weeks, Boko Haram has been pushed out of a huge zone in the northeast by Nigerian forces backed by troops from the neighboring countries of Chad, Niger and Cameroon. While the group has lost ground, it is still a dangerous force.