World

Parallels
2:32 am
Tue March 11, 2014

In Tsunami's Wake, Fierce Debate Over Japan's 'Great Wall'

Workers build a concrete barrier along the coast of suburban Kesennuma, northeastern Japan, which was hard hit by the devastating tsunami in 2011. Nationwide, Japan has poured concrete to defend nearly half of its shoreline. Critics say much of it is unnecessary.
Lucy Craft for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 9:28 am

Three years after the massive tsunami that ravaged northeastern Japan, the government is building the biggest anti-tsunami barriers ever.

The vast network of supersized sea walls, mocked by some as "the Great Wall of Japan," is already underway and would stretch 230 miles and cost nearly $8 billion.

The wall is designed to protect places like the small port city of Kesennuma in Miyagi prefecture. With its dramatic hills, white fishing boats and seafood market, Kesennuma has the pleasant nautical feel of Seattle.

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National Security
2:26 am
Tue March 11, 2014

U.S. Checks For Stolen Passports, But Other Nations Fall Short

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 9:28 am

One of the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines jetliner on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing is the appearance of two men on the flight manifest who were apparently traveling with stolen passports.

On U.S.-bound flights there are safeguards aimed at preventing that from happening. Interpol, the international police organization, issued a statement criticizing Malaysia for allowing the passengers to board the flight.

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The Two-Way
5:20 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

How An Aircraft Can Fall From The Sky Midflight

Brazil's navy sailors recover debris from Air France Flight 447 in the Atlantic Ocean on June 8, 2009. It took until 2012 to detail what happened in that crash.
AP

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 6:54 am

There's always a risk in flying, but the phase in which a plane is cruising at high altitude is widely considered to be safe. And that's what makes the mystery of what happened to Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 so confounding.

"Whatever happened happened quickly and resulted in a catastrophic departure from the air," Mark Rosenker, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board who is now a consultant with CBS news, told NPR's Melissa Block.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
4:57 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Plane Lost, Uncertainties Regained

Uncertainty is the order of the day as officials in Kuala Lumpur brief the media on a missing Malaysia Airlines jet.
How Foo Yeen Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 9:56 am

We are rarely lost anymore.

In a foreign city or just a drive out of town, our GPS-enabled smartphones pin our positions on digital maps to within a few meters. We are rarely without facts anymore. Any question that has an objective answer — from the last day of the Civil War to the maximum speed of a Boeing 777 — is as close as Google. For a broad class of experience in modern life we have become very used to "knowing." Events a world away may be subject to our opinions, but rarely anymore are they cloaked in an enveloping darkness.

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The Salt
4:43 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

What Pepsi Can Teach Us About Soft (Drink) Power In Russia

Pepsi was the first American consumer product to be manufactured and sold in the former Soviet Union. In 1991, Russians could buy the soda for 20 kopeks, about 10 cents.
Peter Dejong AP

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 8:09 pm

The United States has threatened economic sanctions against Moscow, but America is light on financial leverage in Russia: The country represents less than 1 percent of U.S. trade, and few major U.S. companies have significant investments there.

But one company with a long history in Russia is Pepsi.

So how did the American soft drink giant get its foot in the door to build a major market in Russia?

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