Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 4:31 pm
Even a careful psychiatric examination of the co-pilot involved in last week's Germanwings jetliner crash probably would not have revealed whether he intended to kill himself, researchers say.
"As a field, we're not very good at accurately predicting who is at risk for suicidal behavior," says Matthew Nock, a psychology professor at Harvard. He says studies show that mental health professionals "perform no better than chance" when it comes to predicting which patients will attempt suicide.
Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 6:58 am
Low oil prices are forcing Venezuela to cut a generous subsidy program to Cuba and a dozen other Caribbean nations.
Venezuela is Latin America's largest oil producer, and its economy depends heavily on oil exports. It's been been hit hard by the tumbling oil prices.
"Venezuela is in desperate straits. The oil sector has been deteriorating, and now with the slumping oil prices, they needed cash desperately," says Michael Shifter, the president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington, D.C.-based group that studies the region.
Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 8:27 am
A trial about who owns a 840-pound emerald will continue despite international protest.
The ownership of the Bahia Emerald, as the massive rock is known, has been hotly contested for years. But in September, the stone became the subject of international controversy, when Brazil said all the ownership questions were irrelevant because the 180,000 carat, $372 million rock was illegally exported.
Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 7:16 pm
The largest pharmacist association in the country has voted to discourage its members from participating in executions.
The move could make executions harder for states that have been ordering their drugs from compounding pharmacies. As we've reported, some states like Texas turned to the pharmacies after big pharmaceutical companies â€” under pressure from death penalty opponents â€” decided to stop selling their drugs to U.S. prisons.
Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 5:23 pm
NPR's Michel Martin speaks with professors Phillip Atiba Goff of UCLA and Harry Holzer of Georgetown University about how fears of African-American men are manifested in the criminal justice system and the labor market, and what that means for the broader African-American community.
Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 9:22 pm
About 2 billion people on earth have a smartphone with a decent Internet connection, but 5 billion are largely or entirely offline, according to global figures by the ITU.
That gap is (surprise, surprise) a big opportunity for Silicon Valley. Google and Facebook are already on high-profile campaigns to connect the unconnected. And they're betting they can make billions of dollars getting people without electricity or toilets to pay for the Internet.
Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 7:15 pm
In Detroit, tens of thousands of people are facing a deadline Tuesday that could cost some of them their homes. That's when homeowners have to make arrangements to either pay delinquent property taxes â€” or risk losing their home at a county auction.
When Detroit emerged from bankruptcy last year, it did so with a razor-thin financial cushion. It desperately needs every bit of tax revenue it can muster.
Saudi-led airstrikes intensified against Houthi rebels in Yemen. International aid agencies say one strike hit a camp for displaced people and refugees in the north of the country, killing at least 29 people and wounding many others.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says the strike hit the Al Mazraq refugee camp in an area controlled by the Houthis. The aid agency says at least 34 people were taken to a nearby hospital, and an additional 29 people were dead on arrival.