7:03am

Thu April 11, 2013
Books

Oil, Chavez And Telenovelas: The Rise Of The Venezuelan Novel

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 9:55 am

Venezuelan author Romulo Gallegos (1884-1969), circa 1950.
Edwin Karmiol Getty Images

Marcela Valdes is the books editor of The Washington Examiner and a specialist in Latin American literature and culture.

For more than 40 years, the most important book prize in South America has been bankrolled by the region's most famous petro-nation: Venezuela. Yet Venezuelan novelists themselves rank among the least read and translated writers in the entire continent. Over and over again as I worked on this article, I stumped editors and translators with a simple question: Who are Venezuela's best novelists?

Read more

7:03am

Thu April 11, 2013
The Two-Way

'He Saved Hundreds': Army Chaplain Gets Medal Of Honor

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 10:15 pm

In this copy of a photograph on display at Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School in Wichita, Kan., a wounded soldier is helped by Army chaplain Emil Kapaun (on the soldier's left) during the Korean War. The Kansas native died a prisoner of war in 1951.
Mike Hutmacher MCT/Landov

It took more than 60 years, but an Army chaplain who died as a prisoner during the Korean War will be awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama on Thursday.

Capt. Emil Kapaun was a Catholic priest serving with the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division who died at age 35 in 1951. And he's not only a war hero — the Catholic Church is also looking into whether he should be made a saint.

Read more

6:37am

Thu April 11, 2013
The Two-Way

Wild Weather Warning: Tornadoes, Heavy Snows, High Winds

Where is spring? Icy branches partially blocked a city street Wednesday in Sioux Falls, S.D. More wintry weather is expected there Thursday.
Dirk Lammers ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • From St. Louis Public Radio: Tim Lloyd reports on the severe weather

While a "Minnesota winter that won't end is expected to dump up to a foot of snow in the Twin Cities by Thursday night," people in Missouri and Arkansas are "grappling with the aftermath of a series of storms that spawned at least two tornadoes."

And the wild weather is spreading to other parts of the nation:

Read more

6:15am

Thu April 11, 2013
The Two-Way

Book News: NYC To Pay Occupy Wall Street For Destroyed Books

Books from the Occupy Wall Street library damaged in the November 15 eviction of Zuccotti Park and recovered from a New York city sanitation depot.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Read more

4:45am

Thu April 11, 2013
Latin America

How Hugo Chavez's Policies Affected Ordinary Venezuelans

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 12:46 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.

Read more

2:23am

Thu April 11, 2013
Latin America

Venezuela's Next Leader Faces Tough Choice On Oil Program

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 9:59 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.

Read more

2:21am

Thu April 11, 2013
Business

Texas Contractors Say Playing By The Rules Doesn't Pay

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 7:35 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.

Read more

6:17pm

Wed April 10, 2013
Shots - Health News

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

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 2:16 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.

Read more

6:05pm

Wed April 10, 2013
Shots - Health News

A New Way To Make The Most Powerful Malaria Drug

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 6:39 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.

Read more

5:06pm

Wed April 10, 2013
It's All Politics

Michelle Obama Steps Into Gun Control Debate

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 6:19 pm

First lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday speaks about 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was shot and killed on the South Side of Chicago earlier this year.
Paul Beaty AP

First lady Michelle Obama gave a personal and emotional speech Wednesday in Chicago as she stepped into the debate over gun control.

"Right now, my husband is fighting as hard as he can and engaging as many people as he can to pass common-sense reforms to protect our children from gun violence," she said.

The first lady was in her hometown to encourage business leaders to donate millions of dollars to programs for at-risk youth.

Read more

Pages