Chinese leaders and lawmakers are huddled in Beijing for the annual session of parliament, and one man towers above the rest. That's because he's seven feet, six inches tall. The former Houston Rocket center Yao Ming is one of China's best-known athletes. He's also in his second year as a member of China's nominal Upper House of Parliament.
NPR's Anthony Kuhn has this report from Beijing on the former basketball star's foray into law and politics.
The Obama administration's announcement of sanctions comes as Crimea's parliament voted to unite with Russia. It's also called for a referendum on the issue in 10 days. At the same time, lawmakers in Russia began taking steps that could streamline the process of making Crimea a part of Russia.
NPR's Corey Flintoff joins us on the line from Moscow. And, Corey, how has this sanctions announcement from the U.S. been received there?
This Carnival season, residents of Sao Paulo are taking to the streets in unprecedented numbers, but unlike the massive demonstrations that swept the city last summer, it's to party and not to protest.
Rio de Janeiro is well known as the queen of Carnival for its lavish parades broadcast live from the Sambadrome. Sao Paulo is the biggest city in South America and the economic engine of Brazil, but it's not known for its bacchanalian abandon.
In fact, it was the epicenter violent demonstrations over Brazil's plans to host the World Cup this summer and the Olympics in 2016.