5:45am

Thu April 11, 2013
Latin America

How Hugo Chavez's Policies Affected Ordinary Venezuelans

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 1:46 pm

Maria Colmenares lives in a concrete-block house on a mountainside overlooking the presidential palace in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas. Her story says much about the oil-rich and turbulent Latin American nation.
Nishant Dahiya NPR

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.

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5:05am

Thu April 11, 2013
NPR Story

Tiger Woods Favored To Win Masters

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 10:59 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Well, the first round of golf's first major tournament of the year tees off today. And if people are not excited enough about the Masters, there is added drama this year. The most recognizable golfer on the planet, Tiger Woods, is a bonafide favorite to win his fifth green jacket. NPR's Tom Goldman has been wandering, strolling the grounds of golf's most storied course. He joins us now from Augusta, Georgia. And, Tom, how did you get this assignment?

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hard duty, David.

GREENE: Really.

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5:05am

Thu April 11, 2013
NPR Story

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 10:59 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now to Paris, France - where a walkout briefly shut down one of the world's most visited museums. Our last word in business: Pickpocket Protest.

The Louvre is famous for its priceless works of art - think the Mona Lisa - which it protects with high-tech security. But apparently, the Paris museum is less effective at protecting the valuables of patrons and staff.

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5:05am

Thu April 11, 2013
NPR Story

Stroke Patient To Meet Bob Seger

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 10:59 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Tonight, in Flint, Michigan, a limousine is going to pull up to a nursing home and take a 79-year-old patient for a long-awaited night out on the town. Seven years ago, Evie Branan suffered a stroke that left her in a semi-coma. In May of 2011, she tumbled out of her bed, bumped her head and woke up, and her very first words were a request.

EVIE BRANAN: I said I wanted to go to a Bob Seger concert.

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3:23am

Thu April 11, 2013
Latin America

Venezuela's Next Leader Faces Tough Choice On Oil Program

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 10:59 am

Venezuela's acting president, Nicolas Maduro, fist-bumps a worker of the state-run oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., last month. Maduro faces opposition candidate Henrique Capriles in Sunday's presidential election. Whoever wins will have to tackle the legacy of Chavez's oil programs.
Miraflores Presidential Press Office AP

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.

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3:21am

Thu April 11, 2013
Movies

Painting 'Renoir' In Finely Detailed Strokes

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 10:59 am

In director Gilles Bourdos' biopic Renoir, Christa Theret plays Andree Heuschling, who served as a muse for both the aging Impressionist master and his young filmmaker son.
Samuel Goldwyn Films

The French painter Renoir, one of the creators of impressionism, is the subject of a French film that's in release across the U.S. It imagines the last years of the painter's life — surrounded by glorious rolling hills, doting housemaids and a new young model who becomes his muse. It's at least the second film to capture the master in motion.

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3:21am

Thu April 11, 2013
Business

Texas Contractors Say Playing By The Rules Doesn't Pay

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 8:35 pm

This story is part of a two-part series about the construction industry in Texas. Find the first part here.

Homes in Texas are cheap — at least compared with much of the country. You can buy a brand new, five-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot house near Fort Worth for just $160,000.

But that affordability comes at a price — to workers, many of whom are in the country illegally and make $12 an hour or less, but also to business owners.

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7:41pm

Wed April 10, 2013
The Two-Way

The Immigration Movement: Without A Unified Leader, But On The Cusp Of Success

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 8:00 pm

A man dressed as Uncle Sam poses for photos at the demonstration.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

The atmosphere was different today.

"We have hope," Elsa Flores said. She was demonstrating with thousands of other protesters in Washington on Wednesday, demanding a path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants.

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7:17pm

Wed April 10, 2013
Shots - Health News

How Much Does It Hurt? Let's Scan Your Brain

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 3:16 pm

A technique for imaging the brain allowed researchers to distinguish between physical and emotional pain.
Courtesy of Tom Wager

Scientists reported Wednesday that they had developed a way to measure how much pain people are experiencing by scanning their brains.

The researchers hope the technique will help doctors treat pain better, but the work is also raising concerns about whether the technique might interfere with doctors simply listening to their patients.

Now, when someone is in pain, a doctor has no way to judge its severity except to ask questions, a method that often is inadequate.

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7:05pm

Wed April 10, 2013
Shots - Health News

A New Way To Make The Most Powerful Malaria Drug

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 7:39 pm

An extract of sweet wormwood has been used in China for thousands of years to treat malaria, but being able to make mass quantities of the extract has been elusive, until now.
Sarah Cuttle Getty Images

Researchers in California described Wednesday their new method for mass-producing the key ingredient for the herbal drug artemisinin, the most powerful antimalarial on the market. Already, the French drugmaker Sanofi is ramping up production at a plant in Italy to manufacture the ingredient and the drug.

Global health advocates say they expect this new method of producing artemisinin will at last provide a stable supply of the drug and cut the overall cost of malaria treatment.

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