We knew it couldn't last. We've been reporting some good news about the economy lately. The housing market has been doing quite well. Unemployment is high, but it's been falling. But today, the government released some key economic data and it suggests things are not quite as good as they seemed. Adam Davidson with NPR's Planet Money team joins us to explain. And, Adam, what did we learn today?
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Melissa Block. With the civil war raging in Syria, the U.S. and Russia are making another attempt to get on the same page about how to stop it. Diplomats meet in Geneva next week to try to salvage plans for a June peace conference. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, have run into problems ever since they announced that conference.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Robert Siegel. The weather is heating up across much of the country, and that must mean it's time get really serious when it comes to ice hockey. Just four teams remain in pursuit of the Stanley Cup. They are the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Boston Bruins, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Los Angles Kings. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis joins us now to talk about the National Hockey League semifinals. Hi, Stefan.
Rio's Operations Center brings together more than 30 agencies and allows them to coordinate on daily issues such as traffic, as well as on emergencies such as the frequent flash floods in hillside slums.
Credit Raphael Lima / Courtesy of the Operations Center, City of Rio De Janeiro
Rescue workers carry the body of a victim after a building collapsed in Rio on Jan. 26, 2012. The city's Operations Center was built to allow for a coordinated response during such emergencies.
We are standing in front of a huge bank of screens, in the middle of which is a glowing map that changes focus depending on what the dozens of controllers are looking at.
The room looks like something straight out of a NASA shuttle launch. The men and women manning the floor are dressed in identical white jumpsuits. With a flick of a mouse, they scroll through dozens of streaming video images coming into the center.
Cities like Houston are dotted with air-sniffing monitors that measure levels of benzene and other potentially unhealthy air pollutants. But those monitors can't answer the question we care about most: Is the air safe?
That's because there's no simple relationship between toxic air pollutants and health risks. Researchers at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill are trying to get a leg up on that problem. They are building an instrument that uses human lung cells to measure health hazards in the air more directly.