Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep with the answer to a mystery. It was such an odd day of news. People wrote us asking which of our stories was the April Fool's joke. Well, it was not the museum exhibit on the color pink, that's real. So was the news of the "Pink Panther" starring in a movie. Russians really are watching "Simpsons" episodes in Ukrainian.
However, the hooded sweater for your cat that makes it look like the cat is a very hairy-chested man may be hard to find in stores.
And this is what a protest sounded like a few days ago in Taiwan, more than 100,000 people protesting a new trade agreement building ties between Chinese and Taiwanese businesses. Students are also upset. They've been occupying Taiwan's legislature for almost two weeks now.
NPR's Frank Langfitt explains why people are so angry.
Days after 9-11, the United States issued a famous challenge to Pakistan: you're either with us or against us. Pakistan would be expected to help in the hunt for Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf did help, but the relationship with Pakistan resists clarity. One security analyst summed up the country by saying Pakistan is an ally, but not a friend. A new book but New York Times correspondent Carlotta Gall portrays Pakistan playing a double game, and Renee Montagne sat down with her in Kabul.
Ever since Russia annexed Crimea, NATO has been watching and waiting for Russia's next moves. This morning, NATO's military commander, U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, said Russia has the forces it needs along Ukraine's border to carryout a full scale invasion of the eastern part of that country within a matter of days. Hoping to exert some pressure, NATO announced its suspending what it calls practical civilian and military cooperation with Russia.
Ask Anne Valdez what poverty means for her, and her answer will describe much more than a simple lack of money.
"It's like being stuck in a black hole," says Valdez, 47, who is unemployed and trying to raise a teenage son in Coney Island, New York City. "Poverty is like literally being held back from enjoying life, almost to the point of not being able to breathe."
For years, researchers have complained that the way the government measures income and poverty is severely flawed, that it provides an incomplete — and even distorted — view.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Elsewhere on the program today we heard of President Obama's push to raise the minimum wage. Maybe it will become law; maybe it won't. Either way, Democrats believe it helps them in this election year. Now let's hear about Republicans.
That's what millions of Americans are doing with ranch dressing. A new report says it is the salad topping of choice in cafeterias and restaurants in the United States. Its sales and shipments are doubled that of the number two dressing: blue cheese.
We are using ranch on salads, on broccoli, baked potatoes, chicken wings, even pizza.
A federal criminal investigation is focusing on Duke Energy and a North Carolina state environmental agency. A couple of months ago, as you may recall, a storm water pipe ruptured and poured as much as 39,000 tons of potentially toxic carbon byproduct into the Dan River in North Carolina.
North Carolina Public Radio's Jeff Tiberii reports.
We're deep into Lent, the season when Christians prepare themselves for Easter. For those of you who have been preparing by giving up something — chocolate, or driving, or yelling at the kids — it can feel like a pretty long time.
But, some folks are looking to reframe Lent, with a little madness.
The morning I met Elaine Rich, she was sitting at the kitchen table of her small town home in suburban Maryland trying to estimate refugee flows in Syria.
It wasn't the only question she was considering; there were others:
Will North Korea launch a new multistage missile before May 10, 2014?
Will Russian armed forces enter Kharkiv, Ukraine, by May 10? Rich's answers to these questions would eventually be evaluated by the intelligence community, but she didn't feel much pressure because this wasn't her full-time gig.
Advanced sciences like astronomy require years of study and graduate degrees. And the soaring cost of college can be a heavy obstacle for low-income and minority students hoping to break into those fields.
A program at the City University of New York hopes to lift that burden by providing scholarships and one-on-one mentoring to underrepresented students.
President Obama travels to Michigan Wednesday to tout his proposal to boost the minimum wage.
Raising the wage to $10.10 an hour is one of the top agenda items for Obama and his fellow Democrats during this mid-term election year. The White House says the move would put more money in the pockets of some 28 million workers.
One test of that strategy will be in Arkansas, where proponents are trying to put a minimum wage increase on the ballot in November. Arkansas has some of the lowest wages in the country and it's also home to one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats.
Many of us know the names of some of the big U.S. health insurance companies — like Blue Cross, Aetna and Wellpoint. But what about CoOportunity Health, or Health Republic Insurance of New York? These are among 23 new companies started under the Affordable Care Act. They're all nonprofit, member-owned insurance cooperatives that were begun, in part, to create more competition and drive prices down.
The 369th Infantry Regiment served 191 days under enemy fire in Europe. They returned home one of the most decorated American units of World War I.
"The French called them the 'Men of Bronze' out of respect, and the Germans called them the 'Harlem Hellfighters' out of fear," explains Max Brooks, author of The Harlem Hellfighters, a new graphic novel about the first African-American infantry unit to fight in World War I.