National News

Budget Bomb-Throwing Resumes With Party Line Vote

General Motors CEO Mary Barra testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, last Wednesday.

GM To Take $1.3 Billion Charge Linked To Recall

General Motors said on Thursday it will take a charge of $1.3 billion in the first quarter to cover its recall of more than 2 million vehicles, primarily for ignition switch problems.

The announcement comes on the same day that the Detroit automaker said it would need to make additional fixes to the ignition switch mechanism on some of the 2.2 million cars it has already recalled. GM also said it was suspending two engineers with pay in a disciplinary move related to the problem.

Alphansine Uwimana writes an order at Inzozi Nziza, or Sweet Dreams, Rwanda's first and only ice cream shop. There are logistical challenges, like power cuts, as well as cultural ones in a country where ice cream is not traditionally popular and women don't often run businesses.

How Rwanda's Only Ice Cream Shop Challenges Cultural Taboos

Rwanda has a warm climate, and the people love milk. You'd think ice cream would be an easy sell.

But mention ice cream to Chantal Kabatesi, and she rubs her jaw like she's at the dentist with a toothache. When she first tasted ice cream at the age of 35 "it was like eating hailstones," the kind that fall on her childhood village once or twice a year.

"I thought, 'Oh no, what are we serving to our customers? Is it dangerous?' " she said.

Street vendors sell chickens at a market in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in early 2013. Last year Cambodia reported more cases of H5N1 bird flu than any other country.

Scientists Publish Recipe For Making Bird Flu More Contagious

The Dutch virologist accused of engineering a dangerous superflu a few years ago is back with more contentious research.

In 2011, Ron Fouchier and his team at Erasmus Medical Center took the H5N1 flu virus and made it more contagious. Now the team has published another study with more details on the exact genetic changes needed to do the trick.

President Obama pauses while speaking at the LBJ Presidential Library, on Thursday in Austin, Texas.

Obama: 'The Story Of America Is The Story Of Progress'

Things have changed.

That was the message delivered during a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act on Wednesday.

Rep. John Lewis, a prominent figure in the civil rights struggle, said there is probably no greater symbol of that change than the fact that he was introducing Barack Obama, the country's first black president.

Obama took the stage at the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, to great applause. Then, he went on to deliver a nuanced study of Johnson and the power of the presidency.

Kent Stephenson, a research participant at the University of Louisville's Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, has his level of muscle activity and force measured by Katelyn Gurley.

Even A Very Weak Signal From The Brain Might Help Paraplegics

A report that four young men who are paralyzed below the waist were able to move toes, ankles or knees when their lower spine was electrically stimulated was hailed as a breakthrough.

But it's hard not to be skeptical about anything labeled a medical breakthrough these days, and that's especially true when it comes to spinal cord regeneration, which has seen more than its share of hype. For the quarter of a million people with spinal cord injuries, dashed hopes can be devastating.

How Bad Is Brazil's Crime? Watch This Mugging On Live TV

Brazil's Globo TV set out to do a simple story about how bad street crime is in Rio de Janeiro, and it quickly got an answer.

As you can see in the video at the top, the reporter is conducting a live interview and asks the woman, who is not named, if she is scared of all the crime in the center of Rio. She starts to answer when suddenly a young man sneaks up from behind and rips the gold necklace from her neck.

The Shanghai government has banned the use of taxi-booking apps such as Kuaidi Dache during rush hour. Here, a Shanghai resident displays the app on his smartphone in Shanghai, on Jan. 23.

What A Ban On Taxi Apps In Shanghai Says About China's Economy

The Chinese mega-city of Shanghai has been cracking down on popular taxi-booking apps, banning their use during rush hour. The government says apps discriminate against older people and those who don't have smartphones.

But economists and some customers see the crackdown as a small, textbook case of something much bigger: the battle between the government and market forces in the world's second-largest economy.

Riot police launch tear gas toward activists in downtown Albuquerque, N.M., last month following a 10-hour protest around the city, in response to a deadly police shooting.

Justice: Albuquerque Police Show 'Pattern Of Excessive Force'

The Justice Department says it has found "patterns of excessive force" in the Albuquerque Police Department.

Justice said it found "reasonable cause to believe that APD engages in a pattern or practice of excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution."

Arun Venugopal hand-ate in public for the first time in March.

Is Everything More Delicious When You Eat With Your Hands?

My wife Meera and I often have non-Indian guests over for dinner – typically a sumptuous Indian meal that she makes.

Everyone digs into their rice and daal, hariyali chicken and prawn curry with silverware. Then my daughter clears her throat and quietly asks if she can please just eat with her hands.

And why wouldn't she? She's now 12 and has mostly grown up in Queens, the most diverse patch of land in the known universe. She's as comfortable taking a ham sandwich to school as steamed idlis with coconut chutney.

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