There is one sport in the Winter Olympics you can do with your eyes closed. To be precise, you have to do a few seconds of work, after which you can close your eyes and hope for a gold. I am referring to the brakeman in bobsled. That's the athlete who pushes the sled. Tonight, the woman's two-person bobsled starts in Sochi.
NPR's Robert Smith introduces us to the team.
ROBERT SMITH, BYLINE: Let's get this out of the way. The women call themselves brakemen. Not brake women or brake person.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning. For years we've been hearing horror stories from North Korea about mass starvation, torture, slavery, political killings. It's a long list that is hard for many of us to imagine. Well, now a new report from the United Nations Human Rights Commission presents almost 400 pages of eyewitness testimony from victims and also at least one perpetrator.
Inside one in a series of abandoned homes along a blighted block of Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood, filmmaker Tom McPhee walks through the remnants of a life — broken furniture, scattered knickknacks and a flooded basement.
"This is fresh water that's coming into the basement here," McPhee points out. "All of that plumbing has been ripped away 'cause someone found a value in it, so they don't care that it's running. This is all over the city."
During New York City's mayoral race last year, then-candidate Bill de Blasio promised to fix big-picture problems, like income inequality and universal pre-K.
So he raised some collective eyebrows when he announced what one of his first initiatives as mayor would be:
"We are going to quickly and aggressively move to make horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape in New York City," he said. "They're not humane; they're not appropriate to the year 2014; it's over."
With spring fast approaching, many American high school seniors are now waiting anxiously to hear whether they got into the college or university of their choice. For many students, their scores on the SAT or the ACT will play a big role in where they get in.
That's because those standardized tests remain a central part in determining which students get accepted at many schools. But a first-of-its-kind study obtained by NPR raises questions about whether those tests are becoming obsolete.
The new play “All The Way” is now in previews on Broadway. Written by Robert Shenken and commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare festival, it tells the story of a year in the life of President Lyndon B. Johnson, who is played by former “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston.
Beginning in November 1963, when Johnson took office after President Kennedy was assassinated, “All the Way” focuses on Johnson’s push to pass Kennedy’s civil rights legislation and get reelected at the same time.
Two drug companies, Roche Holding and GlaxoSmithKline, have announced they’ll ramp up research into antibiotics. They join a handful of other companies. This comes after pharmaceutical companies largely stopped working on antibiotics, citing high costs and little payoff.
But with drug-resistant “superbugs” killing more than 23,000 people each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been calls for more research in the field.
It was one of the strongest storms ever recorded at landfall. Typhoon Haiyan clocked at 190 miles an hour when it struck the Philippines late last year. More than 6,000 were killed, nearly 2,000 more are missing and millions were displaced when their homes were destroyed or washed away.
Authorities are still struggling with the simplest tasks like clearing away debris, rebuilding houses and counting the dead. NPR’s Kelly McEvers recently traveled to Tacloban, the Philippines city that bore the brunt of the typhoon.
Legal marijuana sellers across the country now have an easier place to deposit those wads of cash.
The Obama administration has issued guidelines to banks on doing business with licensed marijuana operators, giving them the green light to finance and set up checking and savings accounts with marijuana businesses.
And there may be a lot of money to deposit. According to the National Cannabis Industry Association legal U.S. industry is expected to reach $2.57 billion dollars in sales this year.