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In the little more than a week since the Cesar Chavez movie came out, there have been as many complaints as kudos about the handling of the complex story about the Mexican-American union organizer and civil rights leader. Some pointed out that Filipinos were left out of the story, others mentioned Chavez's views about undocumented immigrants went unsaid and still others noted the role of women in the movement was downplayed.

Another concern that was aired had to do with the background of the film's director, Diego Luna. He is of Mexican, not Mexican-American, origin. Chavez's youngest son Paul Chavez told NPR that the family was initially concerned about "a Mexicano telling a story that is really about a Mexican-American Chicano in the United States," but that they were eventually won over by Luna's passionate commitment to the story and willingness to learn.

Luna was able to push through a project that had circulated around Hollywood without success for decades because he is considered "bankable." And "bankability" is the most elusive and valuable currency in the notoriously risk-averse industry (Fast & Furious 7, anyone?).

A quick scan of other "Latino" members of the Tinsel Town A-list quickly reveals that most immigrated from Latin America or Spain: Luna and his compadre Gael Garca Bernal, Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, the so-called "Three Amigos" directors Alejandro Gonzalez-Iarritu, Guillermo del Toro and Oscar-winner Alfonso Cuarn, Penelope Lopez and Javier Bardem, Sofia Vergara, Jennifer Lopez, Robert Rodriguez, George Lopez. Only the last three individuals on that list were born in the U.S. The rest migrated to the U.S. after making a name for themselves in their home countries.

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As winter loosens its grip, employers are taking on more help.

Hotels, bars and restaurants added 33,000 workers, while retailers tacked on 21,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists say those increases suggest employers are growing more confident that Americans will be spending more this year.

"Consumers still have the wherewithal to make discretionary purchases and were just waiting for the snow to be plowed and the temperatures to rise to resume spending," IHS Global Insight chief U.S. economist Doug Handler wrote in his analysis.

The Labor Department report showed that all together, employers added 192,000 jobs in March.

That hiring boost encouraged people to resume their job hunts, pushing up the labor force participation rate to 63.2 percent, from 63 percent the previous month. With more people filling out job applications, there was no improvement in the unemployment rate. It held steady at 6.7 percent.

Still, that was a big improvement over last year's 7.6 percent.

This year's pace of hiring is "consistent with a moderately growing economy at present and a faster-growing economy later this year," Handler said.

The sense that the economy is thawing out after "a long, harsh winter" was echoed by Matthew Shay, who heads the National Retail Federation, a trade group for store owners. "Merchants are eager to move forward with their spring hiring and operational plans," he said in a statement.

The positive momentum also showed up in the construction sector, where employers added 19,000 jobs. Over the past year, construction employment has risen by 151,000.

That hiring helped March mark a milestone: private-sector employment returned to the pre-recession level of 2007.

There's news today about the 2016 presidential campaign that has nothing to do with the growing list of would-be candidates with White House aspirations.

It's about the big nominating conventions the Democrats and Republicans hold every four years. Legislation the president signed Thursday afternoon means those huge political extravaganzas will no longer receive millions of dollars in taxpayer support. It's not the only change that's likely for conventions.

Let's start with a little time travel:

"I'm Walter Cronkite, and this is our anchor desk for our CBS News Westinghouse coverage of this 1956 Democratic Convention. This is the dramatic high point of the convention ..."

Back then and for years afterward, there was around-the-clock coverage of conventions by television networks. Big news could hit at any time, and did.

At the 1964 GOP convention, bitter party divisions were front and center. Then-New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, the man beaten by nominee Barry Goldwater, issued a stern warning: "I warn that the Republican Party should reject extremism from either the left or the right."

At the 1980 convention, former President Gerald Ford shocked everyone when he revealed a possible co-presidency if he joined the ticket with nominee Ronald Reagan.

It was a bombshell story until CBS went to Lesley Stahl on the convention floor.

"Walter, a top lieutenant just came and said it's not Ford ... they're coming all around me to tell me it's not Ford ... they're all yelling 'Bush' all around me. Someone told me it's Bush. They're all yelling "Bush" all around me ... everyone is yelling 'Bush,' " Stahl reported to CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite.

Cronkite was surprised and amused: "Who's writing the script for this one? That's what I want to know," he said.

That moment may have been the last instance of truly unexpected and substantive drama at a nominating convention. And that's exactly the problem.

"Conventions became theatrical productions," says Don Fowler, a member of the Democratic National Committee for four decades and the man who managed the 1988 Democratic National Convention.

These days, news organizations — especially the big commercial broadcast networks — continue to question the worth of devoting prime time space to events with no suspense. Live daytime coverage is long gone except on cable.

Fowler says he got complaints from the networks in 1988.

"We fussed with them for weeks about how much of the convention they were going to cover. They reduced substantially in '88, and they've been trying to do that since then. I think in 2012 both conventions received as little coverage as any conventions previous," he says.

Meanwhile, Republicans are planning another big change in 2016. They will hold their gathering months earlier than usual — perhaps in June, in hopes of quickly wrapping up what could be a no-holds-barred fight for the nomination, and to give the GOP nominee a head start on the general election.

There's even talk about scaling back events to as few as two days.

But Daniel Kreiss, a professor at the University of North Carolina, says these changes in scheduling and coverage don't mean conventions are unimportant.

"I still think conventions become a very significant way that voters can tune in to and see sort of the best arguments from each party for why they should elect a particular candidate," he says.

Still, it's no wonder — in a time of budget battles and questions about the relevance of big party nominating conventions — that spending some $18 million in federal money per convention has now come to an end with the president's signature. The money will instead be used to finance research on childhood diseases.

As winter loosens its grip, employers are taking on more help.

Hotels, bars and restaurants added 33,000 workers, while retailers tacked on 21,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists say those increases suggest employers are growing more confident that Americans will be spending more this year.

"Consumers still have the wherewithal to make discretionary purchases and were just waiting for the snow to be plowed and the temperatures to rise to resume spending," IHS Global Insight chief U.S. economist Doug Handler wrote in his analysis.

The Labor Department report showed that all together, employers added 192,000 jobs in March.

That hiring boost encouraged people to resume their job hunts, pushing up the labor force participation rate to 63.2 percent, from 63 percent the previous month. With more people filling out job applications, there was no improvement in the unemployment rate. It held steady at 6.7 percent.

Still, that was a big improvement over last year's 7.6 percent.

This year's pace of hiring is "consistent with a moderately growing economy at present and a faster-growing economy later this year," Handler said.

The sense that the economy is thawing out after "a long, harsh winter" was echoed by Matthew Shay, who heads the National Retail Federation, a trade group for store owners. "Merchants are eager to move forward with their spring hiring and operational plans," he said in a statement.

The positive momentum also showed up in the construction sector, where employers added 19,000 jobs. Over the past year, construction employment has risen by 151,000.

That hiring helped March mark a milestone: private-sector employment returned to the pre-recession level of 2007.

Alan Partridge

Director: Declan Lowney

Genre: Comedy

Running time: 90 minutes

Rated R for language, brief violence and nudity

With Steve Coogan, Colm Meaney, Tim Key

A court in India has sentenced three convicted rapists to death by hanging under a new law that seeks to crack down on attacks on women in the country.

According to Al-Jazeera, "The men are the first to be tried and convicted under a recently revised law that carries the death penalty for those convicted of multiple sexual assaults."

The news agency says:

"The anti-rape law is aimed at repeat sexual offenders and puts in place a host of new provisions and punishments, including criminalizing stalking, voyeurism and acid attacks.

"It stipulates the death penalty for repeat offenders and those whose victims are left in a vegetative state."

Behind all of the mass-produced food that's churned out by fast-food restaurants and cafeterias is a hidden army of workers — professional taste testers, or "sensory panelists." Their job is to evaluate every aspect of a food product — from the texture to the spice combination to the salt levels — before it hits consumers' plates.

Spend the day sampling food and get paid for it — doesn't sound so bad, does it? But as one former professional food tester recently interviewed by The Billfold, the work often is not all that appetizing.

Matthew, a freelance illustrator, spent eight months testing frozen fried foods – from French fries and Chinese food to jalapeno poppers – at a big frozen food company that counts several major fast food chains among its clientele. "I'd come home with huge blisters in my mouth from the salt," he told The Billfold.

Taste experts like Matthew have to go through intense training to be able to talk about food objectively, says Tanya Ditschun, the director of sensory science at Senomyx, a company that develops flavor ingredients.

During training, which can take months, panelists are taught descriptive words and to measure the intensity of each characteristic.

"We were taught a trade-secret flavor intensity scale that we used as a metric to judge all other foods against," Matthew told Billfold reporter Mike Dang. "At the low end is oil, and at the high end is a strong fruit juice."

Matthew's training, Ditschun says, seems pretty typical.

But getting everyone to agree can prove quite challenging. "We'd be eating slices of pizza, and trying to agree exactly how many points to give each element and have hour-long arguments," he said.

Matthew said he spent more than half of his four-to six-hour days testing dozens of products, taking large bites of potato and swishing it around in his mouth while taking note of all the different characteristics before spitting everything out.

And then he'd repeat.

"We'd be doing eight to 15 products a day, so to save time you'd end up swallowing some of it," he said in the interview. "There were countless hours with mushed up potatoes swirling around your mouth."

Related NPR Stories


Why Do Fries Taste So Good? A Brief History

Last year, New York became the first state to require newborn screening for a genetic disorder called Adrenoleukodystrophy, or ALD. The disorder rapidly attacks the nervous system. The most common form of ALD mainly affects young boys and can be fatal within a year.

But if ALD is detected in newborns, a bone marrow transplant can help them survive. The legislation is known as "Aidan's Law" for Aidan Jack Seeger, who died from ALD in 2012 at age 7.

"Aidan had curly dirty-blond hair, giant blue eyes," his mother, Elisa Seeger, says on a visit to StoryCorps with her husband, Bobby Seeger Jr. "He always liked to be 'fancy,' as he called it — dress shirts and ties. And he had a really strong personality and he could not be told what to do."

"We'd find him at 7:30 in the morning, watching cartoons with a bowl of M&M's, and he'd be drinking a can of Coca-Cola," Elisa laughs.

Aidan's Law And The Hunter Family

When newborn screening under Aidan's Law began, Nick and Lindsay Hunter's son, Matthew, was among the first to test positive for ALD. When Lindsay first read about Aidan, she said, 'We have to find Aidan's mom and just hug her.'

Aidan's mom, Elisa Seeger, interviewed the Hunters at StoryCorps.


Saving for retirement is a challenge facing most Americans. Research shows the challenge is made harder by our basic human impulses. We know we should be saving. But we don't. We consistently make bad financial decisions.

One thing that leads us astray is what behavioral economists call "loss aversion." In other words, we hate losing. And that gets in the way of us winning — if winning is making smart financial decisions.

How A Smashed Car Is Like A Smashed Nest Egg

A few months ago I got rear-ended and my Jeep Cherokee was totaled. It's the first new car I ever bought. (That was 15 years ago, so it wasn't new anymore.) But I loved that car. And I hated losing it.

Insurance didn't give me much money to replace it. But still, I ran out with that $3,000 and impulsively bought the first cheap car that looked like my old one to replace it. The problem is, the underside of it was really rusty. I should have known the car would be more trouble than it was worth.

But it was like my primitive brain took over. I just wanted my car back. And I bought it anyway. Fast-forward 3 months, and three other things have broken on the car. It won't start. And I've discovered "frame rot." Ken Lucas, the owner of Elite Bodyworks in Boston, took a look at the car and said the rust is "extremely bad." He adds, "I wouldn't recommend you drive it."


I cover financial stuff as a reporter and I've always saved a lot for retirement. So why did I make this rash decision to buy such a clunker?

Well, it turns out a lot of Americans make all kinds of bad financial decisions for exactly the same reason.

We Hate Losing More Than We Love Winning

Professor Brigitte Madrian teaches behavioral economics at Harvard. "You experienced this loss of your car, and you wanted to make the loss go away," she says.

Madrian says this human instinct to avoid loss — she calls it "loss aversion" — is very powerful. In fact, once we have something, we hate losing it more than we enjoyed getting it in the first place. "It hurts twice as bad," she says. "The literature suggests that people are twice as sensitive to losses as they are to gains."

In other words, we hate losing twice as much as we love winning. And that gets us into trouble with financial decisions because it gives us the wrong impulses. These can lead us to make bad choices, involving a lot more money than a cheap, rusty car.

The Mistake Of Buying High And Selling Low

Generally, people understand that to make money investing in the stock market you want to buy low and sell high. But our instincts can lead us in the other direction. Take the stock market crash in 2008. A lot of people felt that loss so intensely, they did what they should never do. They sold all their stock after the market had already crashed and lost half its value.

Madrian says the sense of loss is very powerful in a situation like that. And they wanted to act, to stop the bleeding, to make the pain go away. So people lose sight of the more rational idea that if you are in the market for the long haul, if history is any guide, the market has always recovered.

So why sell after stocks crash? It's a human, emotional decision. Not a considered, analytical one.

Saving isn't losing. But it feels like it.

People know they should save. But most of us still just don't like writing a check to squirrel money away for the future. Madrian says that feels like a loss from our checking account. And our aversion to that is very strong and it often irrationally wins out. So, Madrian says, the best advice by far is to take advantage of things like an automatic payroll deduction.

In other words, getting your employer to put part of your pay into a retirement account before it ever shows up in your checking account. That sort of tricks us into feeling like we never had the money in the first place. And that saves us from ourselves. "The money you don't see is the money you don't miss," Madrian says.

Something We Should Fear: Fees

Usually, mutual funds and financial advisers don't ask you to write a check to pay them. They just take a percentage out of the money they're holding and investing for you. But that's often very expensive over time. People agree to it, though, because the cost — and the loss — isn't as visible. In this case, Madrian says, "the loss you don't see is the loss you don't feel."

She says if you find a good financial adviser, you'd be better off paying them by the hour to sit down once a year to give you advice — the same way you pay someone to do your taxes. Paying 1 or 2 percent of your entire life savings every year in fees could potentially cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost profits over the course of 30 years.

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Amid all the of necessary analysis of what Russia's move into Crimea means geopolitically and strategically, it might also be good to remember Reshat Ametov.

Mr. Ametov was buried this week. He was 39 years old, married and the father of three young children.

He was last seen at a demonstration on March 3 in Simferopol, where he joined other Crimean Tatars held a silent protest before the pro-Russian armed men in unmarked uniforms who surrounded the cabinet ministers building.

Tatars make up more than 10 percent of Crimea's population. Many Tatars, who are primarily Sunni Muslim, were brutally deported by Joseph Stalin in the 1940s, and scattered over the deserts of central Asia and Siberia. As many as 200,000 Tatars died in that government removal. Some Tatar families began to come back after Ukraine became independent in the 1990s.

Video from ATR, a local Crimean television channel, shows two armed men in green uniforms, and one in a black uniform, surrounding Reshat Ametov, taking him by the arms, and leading him away.

"He was just standing there and they took him away," Ametov's mother, Refika Ametova, told the Kyiv Post, an independent newspaper. "He stood there for about an hour and a quarter, and I suppose they were waiting for him to leave. But he didn't."

His family called the police, who said they could find nothing. Two weeks later, people in a village about 28 miles away found a man's body in a nearby forest. Local media reports suggested there was clear tape wrapped around his head and hands, and signs of torture.

Reshat Ametov's wife identified the body as her husband's.

Human Rights Watch has called for an investigation into Reshat Ametov's disappearance and death, and they're concerned the crime is not isolated.

"For weeks, armed, masked men who refuse to identify themselves have harassed and intimidated people," says Rachel Denber, deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. And Crimean Tatars living in Brooklyn and Queens told the New York Daily News that relatives in Crimea report that X's have been slashed in paint on the doors of some Tatar families.

Enver Ablakimov was at Reshat Ametov's funeral. He is 21 years old and told the Kyiv Post, "There were always people here who didn't like us, but before, they hid it. Now with the appearance of the Russian army, they feel protected and understand that no one will do anything."

It's that past that may make Tatars in Crimea apprehensive about the future.

Would March Madness be terribly different if the players were paid?

Probably not. The college basketball tournament might become more professionalized, but it wouldn't look much different from what we're seeing right now.

"I don't see it changing one iota," says ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas.

Last week's National Labor Relations Board ruling that football players at Northwestern University should be able to form a union triggered dire warnings from the NCAA that the ideal of the student-athlete would be forever corrupted if players were treated as employees and paid as such.

But for fans, the reality is that the game wouldn't change. The real question is how the pie would be sliced, with players suddenly demanding a share of the take.

"It's another NCAA scare tactic," says Bilas, who played basketball at Duke University. "They're saying it's going to crumble when they talk about giving the athletes a penny over their expenses, and it's wrong."

The Game's Already For Sale

It's hard to imagine March Madness getting any more commercial.

The tournament is already a billion-dollar event, with as many Burger King and AXE body wash commercials as television can carry.

"Any time we cover an NCAA tournament event, the NCAA will not allow you to sit courtside with beverages that do not have the label from one of their sponsors," says Kevin Blackistone, a sportswriter who teaches journalism at the University of Maryland.

Fans would still be able to buy jerseys emblazoned with team names and the numbers of their favorite players — with those players maybe seeing a cut.

It's possible that ticket prices could go up, but that's been happening for years anyway, as coaching salaries have soared into the multi-million-dollar range.

And it's not like the pro version of the sport will suddenly be dominated by big-money programs — the Stanford Facebookers or the Kansas Koch Brothers — or at least no more than it's dominated by big money programs already.

The Two-Way

Labor Board Rules Northwestern University Players Are Employees

There were 326,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, up by 16,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reported Thursday morning.

While they rose, claims remained at the lower end of the range they've been in for the past year and were running at a pace close to where they were before the economy sank into its last recession in December 2007.

It was the last major data dump before Friday's Bureau of Labor Statistics report on job growth and the unemployment rate in March. According to Bloomberg News, economists expect to hear tomorrow that there were 200,000 jobs added to public and private payrolls last month. The unemployment rate likely stayed around the 6.7 percent level it touched in February.

On Wednesday, the ADP National Employment Report indicated that there were 191,000 jobs added to private companies' payrolls last month. That report sometimes signals what the BLS will say in its broader look at job growth.

A new bipartisan NPR poll shows approval numbers rising for Obamacare —which is now slightly more popular than its namesake.

Our survey of likely voters, conducted for Morning Edition by Democrat Stan Greenberg and Republican Whit Ayres, shows the president's health care law is still unpopular but it might not be as heavy a millstone for Democrats as expected.

“ [W]e need to at least get some people out of their trucks to make room for the rest of us.

Charles H. Keating Jr., the notorious financier who served prison time and was disgraced for his role in the costliest savings and loan failure of the 1980s, has died. He was 90.

A person with direct knowledge of the death confirmed on Tuesday that Keating had died but didn't provide further details. The person wasn't authorized to release the information and spoke on condition of anonymity.

When Keating's Phoenix-based home construction company, American Continental Corp., bought Lincoln Savings & Loan in 1984, the multimillionaire elevated its worth from $1.1 billion to $5.5 billion in a four-year period.

But his financial empire crumbled with state and federal convictions for defrauding investors. Keating allegedly bilked Lincoln customers by selling them $200 million of unsecured "junk" bonds. They became worthless when Keating's company became bankrupt.

The thrift's collapse cost taxpayers $2.6 billion and tarnished the reputations of five senators who became known as the "Keating Five." One of them was Republican U.S Sen. John McCain of Arizona, and the scandal re-entered the spotlight during the 2008 presidential campaign.

As the public heard testimony of elderly bondholders who had lost their life savings, Keating became a national poster boy for corporate greed. Keating was convicted in both state and federal court, but the convictions were thrown out and he agreed to a federal plea deal that freed him after nearly five years in prison.

Though Keating insisted he was a symbol of the common man, he was known more for an extravagant lifestyle. Keating received $19.4 million in salary, stock purchases and other compensation over five years, ending in 1988. His company provided luxuries like the use of a $5 million refurbished Florida estate. The corporation picked up the tab for lavish events like a 1986 Christmas party at which nearly $2,000 was spent on Silly String alone.

American Continental also paid to maintain three corporate jets. Keating was known to take long trips to Africa, Europe and elsewhere.

As the savings and loan institution's profits rose, the Federal Home Loan Bank in San Francisco began looking into investment activity in 1986. The examination was the beginning of numerous conflicts between Keating and federal regulators.

By April 1989, American Continental filed for bankruptcy protection — one day before federal regulators seized Lincoln for alleged bad business practice. The government claimed Keating made land swap deals to fabricate real estate profits.

Through a tax-sharing agreement, American Continental was then able to siphon off $94 million of federally insured deposits in the form of deferred taxes never actually paid to the Internal Revenue Service.

The financial fallout triggered investigations and multiple lawsuits from all sides.

Keating filed a lawsuit, accusing the government of illegal seizure. In turn, the government slapped Keating, as well as several family members and associates, with a $1.1 billion fraud and racketeering civil lawsuit.

Several of the 23,000 investors who purchased junk bonds also filed suit against Keating.

The scandal also shook the political world. Five senators who received campaign donations from Keating — McCain, Democrat Alan Cranston of California, Democrat John Glenn of Ohio, Democrat Donald W. Riegel Jr. of Michigan and Democrat Dennis DeConcini of Arizona — were accused of impropriety for appealing to regulators on Keating's behalf in 1987.

In 1991, the Senate Ethics Committee formally reprimanded Cranston for "improper and repugnant" dealings with Keating. DeConcini and Riegle received rebukes from the committee but no further punishment for creating the appearance of impropriety. Glenn and McCain were criticized less severely; the panel said they "exercised poor judgment."

McCain later called his involvement with Keating "the worst mistake of my life" and said having his honor questioned was in some ways worse than the torture he endured in Vietnam. During the 2008 presidential campaign, then-Sen. Barack Obama revisited McCain's role in the scandal in a campaign Web video.

McCain said in an emailed statement Tuesday, "My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Charles Keating, a loving father and grandfather."

Throughout Keating's 1991 trial in California on state securities fraud charges, he stuck to his claim that he was an innocent target of a power-hungry federal government.

The four-month trial ended with a jury finding Keating guilty of 17 of 18 charges. Two years later, Keating and his son, Charles Keating III, were convicted of multiple federal charges of racketeering, fraud, conspiracy and transporting stolen property. He started serving a 12-year federal and 10-year state prison sentence concurrently in 1993.

In all, Keating served nearly five years in prison. His state convictions were overturned a second time in 1998 when a federal court judge ruled the trial judge, Lance Ito, had not properly instructed the jury.

That same year, an appeals court judge threw out Keating's federal securities charges. The judge said jurors had improperly learned of his state convictions. Keating then made a plea deal with federal prosecutors, pleading guilty to three counts of wire fraud and one count of bankruptcy fraud in exchange for time served, with no fines or restitution. Charges were also dismissed against his son.

State prosecutors decided in 2000 not to retry Keating.

"I had the honor to represent him over many years, and I got to see a side of him many others did not," Stephen C. Neal, chairman of Cooley LLP and Keating's longtime attorney, said in a statement Tuesday night. "Though his controversies were many, he faced adversity with great dignity, wit and courage. Charlie never wavered in his faith."

Post-prison, Keating moved into his daughter's home in the wealthy Phoenix enclave of Paradise Valley. In 2006, he quietly began work as a business consultant in Phoenix.

Born in 1923, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Keating had a middle class upbringing as the son of Charles Sr., a dairy company worker, and Adele, a homemaker. His family had financial difficulties when the senior Keating was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Educated in Roman Catholic schools, Keating studied business at the University of Cincinnati. After the first quarter, he enlisted in the Naval Air Corps and trained to fly in combat. Keating was honorably discharged in 1945.

He later returned to the university, where he achieved an NCAA gold medal in swimming. Keating then attended law school and joined a law firm in 1947.

He is survived by wife Mary Elaine, daughter Mary, son Charles and grandson Gary Hall Jr., who was an Olympic swimming champion.


When disease strikes in the developing world, like the current Ebola outbreak in Guinea, doctors, nurses and epidemiologists from international organizations fly in to help.

So do anthropologists.

Understanding local customs – and fears – can go a long way in getting communities to cooperate with international health care workers, says Barry Hewlett, a medical anthropologist at Washington State University.

Shots - Health News

Why Is Guinea's Ebola Outbreak So Unusual?

“ ...we need to at least get some people out of their trucks to make room for the rest of us.

“ ...we need to at least get some people out of their trucks to make room for the rest of us.

With no wreckage found yet that can be linked to Flight MH370 and time beginning to run out for a homing beacon on the 'black box' flight data recorder, Malaysia's police chief says the mystery of the missing airliner may never be solved.

Khalid Abu Bakar says the criminal investigation into the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines flight could "go on and on and on.

"We have to clear every little thing," he told reporters. "At the end of the investigations, we may not even know the real cause. We may not even know the reason for this incident."

His remarks follow a similar assessment on Tuesday from the head of the Australian-led search effort, retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston.

In comments on Wednesday, Bakar said the investigation is now focused on pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, and the cabin crew after police had "cleared" all passengers on the plane's manifest.

Meanwhile, the British submarine HMS Tireless has arrived in the southern Indian Ocean to join in the search of some 85,000 square miles far off the west coast of Australia, but fog and thunderstorms in the area were complicating efforts to find the Boeing 777 that disappeared seemingly without a trace on March 8.

Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Centre, or JACC, issued a statement on Wednesday saying "up to 10 planes and nine ships" were engaged in the search.

"The weather forecast for today's search is for marginal conditions, with areas of broken cloud, sea fog and isolated thunderstorms, reducing visibility," the statement said.

On Tuesday, Malaysia authorities released a full transcript of communications between the flight and the control tower in Kuala Lumpur.

The extent of the damage isn't yet clear and the six deaths reported so far may be followed by news of other fatalities.

But on the morning after a massive, 8.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of northern Chile there are sighs of relief there and in neighboring Peru.

"At a time when horrific natural disasters have become an everyday part of the news cycle, it appeared one finally missed," The Washington Post writes.

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The birth mother of Amber Marie Rose, the teen whose 2005 death was the first linked to an ignition switch problem that's triggered a massive recall of General Motors vehicles, says that through a Facebook group for families of victims, she's identified at least 29 fatalities due to the defect. GM only acknowledges 13 deaths.

"I found 29 so far myself," Laura Christian tells All Things Considered. She said she's determined the additional fatalities using crash data, police reports or eyewitnesses [who reported] the airbags did not deploy."

GM has announced the recall of 2.6 million vehicles to search for the faulty ignition switches.

Christian was reunited with Amber, her biological daughter, a year before the girl's fatal accident at age 16.

Amber's accident was attributed to a faulty ignition switch in her Chevrolet Cobalt, which apparently shut off the engine while the car was in motion – cutting power to the air bags, which didn't inflate when the car hit a tree in Dentsville, Md.

But alcohol and excessive speed were also cited as factors in the crash, although Christian insists she's "very confident" that her daughter would have survived if airbags had deployed as designed.

"I spoke to the EMTs shortly after [the accident] and they told me that had the airbags deployed that she would have been injured, but she would have been alive today," she tells ATC host Robert Siegel.

Christian believes that Congress should increase the maximum of $35 million penalty for delaying the reporting of potentially life-threatening problems.

"That may sound like a lot to us as individuals, but to a corporation like GM, who made over $3 billion last year, that's nothing. It's hardly a deterrent," she says.

She also wants passage of a bill sponsored by Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey and Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal to require earlier reporting of defects to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, or NHTSA.

"It shouldn't come to a fatality, especially when it's coming from a car that has a defective part," Christian says. "GM knew about this defect, they knew about it in 2001, they OK'd it going forward. They should have been required to pass on that information to the NHTSA from day one."

In testimony on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, GM CEO Mary Barra expressed "sincere apologies to everyone who has been affected by this recall ... especially to the families and friends of those who lost their lives or were injured."

"I cannot tell you why it took years for a safety defect to be announced," Barra said in her opening testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "I can tell you that we will find out."

On how Brad Katsuyama — who worked in New York for the Royal Bank of Canada — discovered the system was rigged

He has 25 traders working for him, he deals in hundreds of millions of dollars of shares every day, he takes risk in the market — and it's in early 2008 he senses something's wrong. What he senses is, when he looks at his trading screens ... his screens will tell him say, that there are 10,000 shares of Microsoft offered at $30 a share if he wanted to buy them.

And normally, up to this point in his life, if he hit his button and said "buy" he'd get the shares for $30 a share, but all of a sudden, when he hits the button on his computer terminal, the shares disappear. It's like someone knows he's trying to buy Microsoft and the price of Microsoft goes up before he can get it. He doesn't understand why this is happening and that's the beginning of the story.

More On High-Frequency Trading

All Tech Considered

The Mystery Of $600 Million Traded In The Blink Of An Eye

China's anti-corruption campaign has expanded its reach to the country's military, with a former top general being charged and news that widespread wrongdoing had been uncovered at key units of the People's Liberation Army.

Former Gen. Gu Junshan, who served as the PLA's deputy logistics chief, has been charged of "suspicion of corruption, bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power," state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Monday. Until now, it has been extremely rare for high-ranking military figures to be caught up in such probes. A guilty verdict is considered a near certainty.

The BBC quotes Chinese investigative magazine Caixin, as reporting that Gu's apparently lavish lifestyle includes "several properties, including a home in Henan province modelled on China's former imperial palace, with several gold art pieces or statues."

The ex-general's indictment was followed on Tuesday by a statement from China's Defense Ministry that inspectors, working on orders of China's President Xi Jinping, found evidence among Beijing-area units of problems with the handling of promotions, poor discipline of officers, illegal land transfers, and corruption in construction and military medical services.

According to the AP:

"The ministry said those cases would be further investigated and publicized 'for their deterrent effect,' raising the likelihood that offenders would be brought before military courts.

"The PLA has long been dogged by a culture of bribery, corruption and power abuse. Promotions and plum assignments are sometimes secured by providing payments or favors to higher ranking officers and military assets, especially land, used for private economic benefit.

"Officers enjoy official vehicles, housing and generous benefits in return for pledging their loyal to the ruling party, rather than to the Chinese state."

The web site slowed, but it did not buckle as it did Dec. 31, the last big deadline for enrolling in coverage. On that day, frustrated Minnesotans who needed coverage to start Jan. 1 overwhelmed the call center.

But Monday's rush showed that the MNsure website has improved. MNsure also followed a consultant's advice and added 100 representatives to its call center.

"We've added additional capacity for the surge to the site to ensure that people are able to get in and that the system itself can handle additional volume," interim CEO Scott Leitz said. "Beyond that, we're monitoring by the minute the stability of the site and where things are at."

MNsure officials say there are still hundreds of people stuck in insurance limbo, whose cases are deemed "pending."

One of them is Susan Leem of St. Paul, a married mother of two whose current insurance expires in April. On March 6, when she first applied, the site said she and the children qualified for Medicaid, but Leem doubts that because of her income. She needs coverage to begin Tuesday, but her case is still pending.

"For me it's the not knowing," she said. "If I get into a car accident and I need emergency surgery and they ask my husband where is your medical card, can he say, 'pending MNcare?'" she asked. "Maybe they'd reimburse me later; maybe they wouldn't if my paperwork was not deemed eligible or correct." — Elizabeth Stawicki, MPRnews

This story is part of a reporting partnership that includes NPR, member stations and Kaiser Health News.

The novel itself shows a lot of leg, dancing back and forth between the few days before the murder (in which we get to see the growing friendship between the two women) and the days after (in which Blanche tries to figure out the mystery of her dear new friend's death). This sets a jaunty pace, and emerging from it is a portrait quite compelling of two strong, if eccentric, women and the city they live in: raucous, violent, charming, filthy, plague-ridden San Francisco. And what turns out to be a portrait — complete with explicit scenes of intense fornication and blazing fisticuffs — of their brief affair.

Though Donoghue poses the book as a mystery — who killed Jenny Bonnet? — it's equally a celebration of love despite hardships galore, and the rising call of motherhood against near impossible odds. With, I should add, a soundtrack on the page of vintage music hall songs, some of which are the raunchiest you'll ever hear. Cock your head! Listen! Ah! Frog music!

Read an excerpt of Frog Music

Misha Kostin, a 21-year-old construction engineer in eastern Ukraine, loves The Simpsons. He's loved it for 10 years. He says the animated series "illustrates everyday life problems in humorous ways, and offers a useful moral at the end of each episode."

And though Kostin and most of the people in eastern Ukraine are native Russian speakers, he prefers to download episodes dubbed not in Russian but in his second language, Ukrainian. All his friends in the city of Donetsk prefer the version dubbed in Ukrainian.

"They talk in Russian, they think in Russian," and even their parents speak only Russian, he says of his friends. "But Simpsons? They like in Ukrainian."

Vladimir Lykov, creative director of an animation studio in Donetsk, agrees that The Simpsons is more popular in Ukrainian than are some other shows, like Family Guy.

In the recent crisis in Ukraine, much has been made of the divisions between Russian speakers, who are the majority in the east and the south, and the Ukrainian-speakers, who are dominant in the western part of the country.

But Lykov says language in Ukraine has always been more a political tool of division than an actual divide. People in eastern Ukraine — especially those under 35, who came of age after the Soviet Union collapsed — like being bilingual, he says.

"Unfortunately," he says, "The media likes to show that only Russians live here and only Ukrainians live in western Ukraine. Actually people here have no trouble understanding both languages. And Ukrainian is even funnier for Russian-speakers [because] it's got cleverer slang."

He blames the media, controlled by oligarchs and Ukrainian politicians, for exaggerating the language divide. He says it has always been easier to stoke language fears than address real problems, like the lack of jobs or the stumbling economy.


The new head of General Motors, Mary Barra, goes to Capitol Hill Tuesday to begin two days of testimony.

It's the first time she'll be questioned about a safety defect that's been linked to at least 13 deaths and has sparked a 2.6-million-vehicle recall.

At issue for the Detroit CEO is the classic question: What did GM know about the problems with ignition switch problems in its cars, and when did the company know it?

And just as important for GM and government regulators is the follow-up question: Why did no one act sooner?

In the recent history of General Motors, there's one car that sort of symbolizes the problems of the old GM: the Chevy Cobalt.

'A Moment Of Panic'

The car is currently the subject of about a half-dozen investigations. Even if more than 1 million Cobalts were not being recalled, the cars would still have a bad reputation, simply for not being a quality vehicle.

Scott Oldham of Edmunds.com says that's hindsight. "At the time, in the context of what GM was making before the Cobalt, it was seen, for the most part, as a giant leap forward," he says.



A History Of GM's Ignition Switch Defect

One great mystery of sport is why they call the place that the general manager rules over the front office. Obviously, it's the box office that's out front. What they call the front office is really the "office office."

The front office has grown exponentially. Once it was pretty much just the general manager. Now it's added scouts and assistant GMs and statisticians. Another change: The general manager is usually called president. And once GMs started to be called presidents, the law of unintended consequences set in and that made an owner think that to one-up his president, he had to do more than just own.

Coaches get famous, but as a general rule, coaches don't make good general managers. Different talents. It's like the best assistant coaches usually don't make good head coaches. Different talents.

Recently, the New York Knicks named brilliant coach Phil Jackson to be general manager, er, president. What made Jackson so successful as coach was that he could relate to his players, actually coach them. He had a shtick that was hyped as sort of a trickle-down zen. However, these talents are pretty useless in the front office. Jackson will surely get a disciple to coach the team. Everybody will say Jackson has installed so-and-so as his coach, which sounds to the players like they just put in a new washing machine. It never works.

Click on the audio link above to hear Deford's take on the issue.

Get recipes for Couscous With Dried Cranberries, Cashews And Orange, Chicken Snow-Pea Stir-Fry With Tangerine Peel and Orange, Almond And Pine Nut Tartlets.


As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Long before Cesar Millan became the "Dog Whisperer," with TV shows and a best-selling series of books, he had to learn how to ask for a job in English.

The first phrase Millan learned, soon after he arrived poor and desperate in the United States, was: "Do you have application for work?"

Millan, whose show Cesar 911 is currently airing on the Nat Geo Wild channel, grew up on a farm in the Mexican state of Sinaloa.

"We were the family that had more dogs than anybody else," Millan says of his childhood. "I never saw a dog with a leash on."

He found inspiration watching Lassie and The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin on TV.

"When I was 13 years old," he recalls, "I told my mom, 'Mom, you think I can be the best dog trainer in the world?' And she said, 'You can do whatever you want.' "

Eight years later, Millan borrowed money from his parents and spent it all illegally crossing the border into the United States. (Millan became a U.S. citizen in 2009.)

Initially, he landed in San Diego with no money, no friends, and almost no understanding of English.

"I was homeless in the streets of San Diego," he says, "and my home was under a freeway."

For food, he says, he survived on hot dogs from local convenience stores.

"They will sell you two hot dogs for 99 cents," he remembers. "That means you only have to make $1 to survive in America."

At the same time, Millan made use of that first sentence in English, asking for job applications. He found intermittent employment at a grooming salon in San Diego, where he impressed the owners with his calm, assertive handling of more aggressive dogs.

When Millan moved to Inglewood, Calif., and began walking dogs in the neighborhood, he set himself apart by foregoing the leash.

"I didn't know it was illegal to walk dogs off leash in the land of the free," he says, "especially [in a place] where dogs have birthday parties."

But his unusual style boosted his reputation.

"People started calling me 'the Mexican guy who can walk a pack of dogs,' " he says. "I didn't have business cards, so my business card was the referral."

Over time, Millan built up his dog-walking business, and eventually founded what he called the Dog Psychology Center in South Central Los Angeles, where he focused on rehabilitating dogs with behavioral problems.

As his reputation grew, Millan got more attention from the media, including a lengthy — and crucial — profile in the Los Angeles Times.

"The newspaper came on a Sunday, and by Monday, [there] was a line of [television] producers outside," he says. "That's how Dog Whisperer was born."

Panh was not alone in the work, though. He worked with two screenwriters and has a group of longtime collaborators whose contributions are essential. He says he struggled to make The Missing Picture until he learned that his assistant could sculpt figurines of clay. Another collaborator, musician Marc Marder, has scored 18 of Panh's films.

"I think the music for Rithy's films has to be like these clay figurines in fact," says Marder. "It is the soul of the people. And it's not really a music, it's never an illustrative music. But this score, as for all of Rithy's films, I think I'm trying to [compose] music as soul of the people who are not there."

“ I like people who have the capacity to forget. I think that to forget is a good thing. Forgetting is good. But sometimes I cannot. For me I cannot. I continue to talk with those who died every night, every day.

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