Last year, Joss Whedon put the blockbuster in summer blockbuster. He's the writer-director of "The Avengers," that crew of Marvel Comics superheroes whose story led to a super box office: one and a half billion dollars worldwide. It offered action and also repartee, like this moment of confrontation between Robert Downey, Jr.'s Iron Man and Thor.
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE AVENGERS")
CHRIS HEMSWORTH: (as Thor) You have no idea what you are dealing with.
Attorney General Eric Holder has been a lightning rod for the president's fiercest critics during his four years in office. Lately, he's been back on the hot seat with a crisis of his own making: the Justice Department's aggressive stance toward reporters in national security leak cases.
Holder heads to the Senate on Thursday, where lawmakers are sure to demand an explanation.
Kidnappings and other crime have infiltrated every aspect of daily life in Venezuela, especially the capital, Caracas, which was recently ranked the world's third most violent city.
Credit Rodrigo Abd / AP
German Garcia-Velutini, a banker, was kidnapped in Caracas and held for 11 months in 2009. Now, he says, he is imprisoned by his bodyguards and feels free only when he is out of the country.
Credit Jasmine Garsd / NPR
Two men participate in a kidnapping drill in an intensive self-defense course at the School of Personal Protection in Caracas. In 2011, there were 1,150 reported kidnappings in Caracas alone. It's widely believed that the vast majority of kidnappings aren't reported at all — in large part because many victims believe their kidnappers are police.
German Garcia-Velutini got into his car and left work one day. It took him 11 months to get home.
Kidnappers had nabbed the Venezuelan banker. His abduction is part of a problem that's been getting worse every year for the past decade in Venezuela, which belongs to a region riddled with crime and the most violent cities in the world.
Gracia-Velutini tells his story at an outdoor table at a hotel in Caracas, the capital, with a view of a mountainside that climbs into the clouds.
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The Whitehouse has announced that President Obama's National Security Advisor is resigning and he will be replaced by Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. NPR's Ron Elving is here to tell us more. Ron, some months ago, Ms. Rice was rumored to be nominated Secretary of State - that, of course, did not happen. So why don't you give us a quick fill on the back story.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. It seemed like an odd move. An Ohio police chief publicly directed his officers to target a certain group for ticketing. He set a quota for the officers of Brimfield Township: at least one ticket per shift. And the targeted group? Kids under the age of 12 riding their bikes wearing helmets. Ah, but the fine was a free ice cream cone. Just bicycle safely over to Frank's Drive-In. Tickets good for the summer. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.