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Takata Air Bag Recall Could Take Years

May 23, 2015
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Whether they're in a posh London school or in the slums of Kenya, in the midst of war or in a battle against bullies, kids take playtime very seriously.

That's what photographer James Mollison learned after spending five years photographing school playgrounds around the world. The project began in 2009, and took him to more than 50 schools in 17 countries.

Each photo tells a different story.

Editor's note: A version of this story was originally published in May 2012.

If there's one grilling tip to remember this Memorial Day weekend, it should be this: Flame is bad.

"Flame does nasty things to food," food historian and science guy Alton Brown tells NPR's Scott Simon.

Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET

Ireland has become the first-ever country to approve same-sex marriage by referendum, voting overwhelmingly to approve it despite opposition from clergy in the heavily Catholic nation, according to official results announced today.

Reuters says in Friday's vote "more than 60 percent of eligible voters cast their ballot, the highest turnout at a referendum there in over two decades."

Earlier, both sides in the debate acknowledged that the "yes" vote had succeeded.

On a gusty Friday evening in Manhattan's Union Square Park, Francisco Ramirez is setting up his chairs and a big sign that yells, "FREE ADVICE."

The park is packed with street musicians, chain-smoking chess players and preachers yelling predictions

Ramirez just wants to talk.

The Senate worked late into the night Friday and early Saturday, but still failed to agree on extending government surveillance programs under the USA Patriot Act before the Memorial Day holiday.

Lawmakers blocked votes on both a House-passed bill and a short-term extension of the Patriot Act provisions that allow government surveillance programs.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says lawmakers will try again on May 31, the day before the provisions expire.

There is a joke among Brazilians that a Brazilian passport is the most coveted on the black market because no matter what your background — Asian, African or European — you can fit in here. But the reality is very different.

I'm sitting in café with two women who don't want their names used because of the sensitivity of the topic. One is from the Caribbean; her husband is an expat executive.

"I was expecting to be the average-looking Brazilian; Brazil as you see on the media is not what I experienced when I arrived," she tells me.

TLC has pulled 19 Kids and Counting, the reality show featuring Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's family, from its schedule amid reports of sexual misconduct against John Duggar, their oldest son, when he was 15.

Here's TLC's statement:

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Last weekend, while drivers practiced just hours before the start of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, a crash occurred that seemed eerily familiar.

Driver Ed Carpenter spun around backwards, heading into the Turn 2 wall. Wind got underneath his car, and flipped it into the air and upside down.

Try to order "pork roll" in most of the country and you'll probably get a blank stare. But in New Jersey, pork roll is a staple at diners, restaurants and food trucks from Cape May to the Meadowlands. And this unsung meat product is now the star of not one, but two competing festivals on Saturday in Trenton.

To the untrained eye, pork roll looks like Canadian bacon. But New Jersey residents know better.

Updated at 6:09 p.m. ET

The man convicted of killing Washington intern Chandra Levy in 2001 will get another day in court after prosecutors agreed not to oppose a new trial for Ingmar Guandique.

Vincent Cohen, the acting U.S. attorney, and Leslie Ann Gerardo, the assistant U.S. attorney, asked the Superior Court of the D.C. Criminal Division for a status hearing to be scheduled in two weeks, "by which time the government will have completed an assessment of the time needed to prepare for a retrial in this case."

Camden, N.J., has long been known for its poverty and violence. But President Obama gave it a new label this week, calling the city, "a symbol of promise for the nation."

He praised the Camden County Police Department's effort to improve community relations. The city still has a high crime rate, but the president says progress so far makes it a model for others.

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

Robert Gates, the president of the Boy Scouts of America, tells NPR his organization will have a decision on its ban on gay adults no later than October. His comments come a day after he told the Boy Scouts that a ban on gay adults was "unsustainable."

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(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MIKE BREEN: Topped to Howard, back to Harden, Harden tied up, knocked loose, picked up and the game is over. Golden State hangs on.

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Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to fill the streets of the capital of El Salvador on Saturday to celebrate as one of Latin America's most revered and controversial religious figures is beatified — the last official step before sainthood.

They will gather to pay tribute to former Archbishop Oscar Romero, a beloved priest and staunch defender of the poor, who was murdered while celebrating Mass in 1980.

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The Future Of Cardiology Will Be Shown In 3-D

May 22, 2015

How can you tell ­the difference between a good surgeon and an exceptional one?

You could start by looking for the one who has the rare ability to visualize a human organ in three dimensions from little more than a scan.

"The handful of the top surgeons in the world are like sculptors," said Dr. Deepak Srivastava, a director at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease in San Francisco.

One year after an army-led coup toppled Thailand's elected government, authorities detained more than a dozen student activists in the capital and elsewhere for gathering to protest the putsch.

"We invited them to talk but they would not back down so we are sending them to the police," a soldier in the area who declined to be identified was quoted by Reuters as saying.

A branch of the self-declared Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing of a Shiite mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia that has killed at least 19 people, a move that could represent a significant escalation of the extremist group's operations in the kingdom.

NPR's Leila Fadel reports from Cairo that the online statement from ISIS "named and praised the Saudi suicide bomber who detonated himself amongst a congregation of Shiite Saudis praying in a mosque in the village of al Qudaih in Qatif province."

In his column this week, Charles Blow of The New York Times broke down the difference between "bikers" and "thugs" in the wake of the deadly biker gang shootout in Waco, Texas:

It looks like dogs might well have been man's (and woman's) best friend for a lot longer than once thought.

The long-held conventional wisdom is that canis lupus familiaris split from wolves 11,000 to 16,000 years ago and that the divergence was helped along by Stone Age humans who wanted a fellow hunter, a sentry and a companion.

Now, DNA evidence suggests that the split between dogs and their wild ancestors occurred closer to 30,000 years ago.

Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

Emails released Friday by the State Department appear to confirm Hillary Clinton's assertion that she received no classified information on her personal email account while she served as secretary of state. Still, some of the emails were classified at the FBI's request after the fact — something the White House says is not uncommon.

A Desk That Can Take A Ton Of Earthquake Rubble

May 22, 2015

Call it the little school desk that can.

At 57 pounds, the desk in question is light enough for two students to carry and move around the classroom. At $35 per student, it's affordable enough for many school districts to buy in bulk. And oh yes, tests have shown it can survive a crushing weight of 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) or more.

In other words, this desk can withstand an earthquake — and potentially save students' lives in the process

If you're in the hospital or a nursing home, the last thing you want to be dealing with is bedbugs. But exterminators saying they're getting more and more calls for bedbug infestations in nursing homes, hospitals and doctor's offices.

In recent years, expensive specialty medicines used to treat cancer and chronic illnesses have forced some very ill Americans to choose between getting proper treatment and paying their rent.

To ease the financial burden, the California agency that governs the state's Obamacare plans issued landmark rules Thursday that will put a lid on the amount anyone enrolled in one of those plans can be charged each month for high-end medicine.

Like lots of young married couples, Kholoud Succariyeh and Nidal Darwish love to show their wedding video. They go all misty-eyed remembering that day two years ago.

"Very beautiful," says Succariyeh. "Everything is nice."

Their wedding was special, not only as a personal milestone for the couple. It was a political milestone, as well.

Darwish says their union was a challenge to the state: It was Lebanon's first civil marriage.

It could be months before investigators can determine what caused a pipeline leak that has fouled a stretch of coast in Southern California, the company that operates the oil conduit says.

Since the leak was discovered earlier this week, more than 9,000 gallons of oil have been raked, skimmed or vacuumed from a 9-mile stretch of California shoreline near Santa Barbara, officials say.

"We have not even uncovered the pipe yet," said Patrick Hodgins, senior director of safety for Texas-based Plains All American, according to The Associated Press.

The AP reports:

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