If you want a mani-pedi - that's a manicure and pedicure to the uninitiated - you don't have to walk very far here in California. There are about 48,000 nail salons throughout the state. A new study by the state government now says some products used in those salons contain toxic substances, even though the products are billed as nontoxic. That sounds scary for salon owners and workers and clients, but representatives of the nail care industry say the study is nonsense. NPR's Ted Robbins reports.
After months of relentless shelling and gunfire, activists in Syria reported a quieter daybreak Thursday, as a ceasefire arranged by U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan appeared to be largely holding.
Opposition figures said rebel fighters inside Syria would abide by the truce as long as the Syrian military does, while the government says its forces will return fire if attacked. Annan is hoping to progress from the cease-fire to getting humanitarian assistance into the country, and eventually to political negotiations.
Some other news: Tax day is rapidly approaching, and it turns out that day can hazardous to your heath.
As NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports, researchers found a rise in fatal auto accidents on the day taxes are due.
WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: Back in 1789, Ben Franklin wrote: Nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes. He couldn't possibly have foreseen the linkage reported in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association: 6 percent more people than usual are killed on the roads on tax day.
NPR's business news starts with a big fine for Johnson & Johnson.
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INSKEEP: So much for no more tears. A judge in Arkansas ordered the company most famous for its baby shampoo to by more than a billion dollars in fines yesterday over its marketing for a very different product. That would be an antipsychotic drug, Risperdal.
As the Titanic was sinking and women and children climbed into lifeboats, the cellist and violinist from the ship's band stood and played. They died when the ship went down. Men stood on the deck and smoked cigars. They died, too.
This behavior is puzzling to economists, who like to believe that people tend to act in their own self interest.
"There was no pushing and shoving," says David Savage, an economist at Queensland University in Australia who has studied testimony from the survivors. It was "very, very orderly behavior."
Palestinian children play next to Israel's separation barrier in the West Bank town of Abu Dis in 2011. As peace talks between Israel and Palestine remain at a standstill, people are looking to other possible solutions.
Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians are at a standstill and have been for almost two years. The stated aim of those negotiations is what is known as the "two-state solution," which means the establishment of a viable, independent Palestinian state existing in peace alongside Israel.
But as hopes for an agreement diminish, Palestinians — and even some Israelis — are now talking about other solutions to the conflict. Among them, the so-called "one-state solution."
Mike Huckabee fell short four years ago in his quest to become the Republican presidential nominee. As of this week, the former Arkansas governor has a new job: national radio talk show host.
The Mike Huckabee Show started Monday with an anticipatory flourish.
"Welcome to the community of conversation. You've just made a right turn, and you've arrived at the corner of conservatism and common sense," he said. "In this show, we're going to be confronting the issues — not the listeners."