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When Cuban bikini maker Victor Rodríguez visited Miami this month, he was on a pilgrimage — not just for bathing suits but for bandwidth.

The most important stop on Rodríguez's schedule was lunch in Wynwood, Miami's high-tech district, with Mel Valenzuela, who owns the online swimwear store Pretty Beachy.

As Valenzuela showed Rodríguez how to do business online, his awestruck expression seemed to evoke José Arcadio Buendía in One Hundred Years of Solitude, who when he first touches ice declares it "the great invention of our time."

Malaysia Airlines, which last year had one of its planes disappear off the face of the earth and another shot down over Ukraine, is about to undergo an overhaul — one that means layoffs for as many as one-third of its 20,000 employees.

In an interview with Reuters, the company's new CEO, Christoph Mueller, said he plans to run the restructured airline like a "startup." The news service reports:

Like lots of little kids, Jeremiah Nebula — the main character of a children's book called Large Fears — has big dreams. He wants to go to Mars.

But Jeremiah is also pretty different from the characters that Myles Johnson, the author of the Kickstarter-backed book, met in the stories he read when he was growing up. Jeremiah is black, and he really, really likes the color pink.

A couple of extra minutes attached to the umbilical cord at birth may translate into a small boost in neurodevelopment several years later, a study suggests.

Children whose cords were cut more than three minutes after birth had slightly higher social skills and fine motor skills than those whose cords were cut within 10 seconds. The results showed no differences in IQ.

To some social observers, petting parties of the 1920s were a natural, post-First World War outgrowth of a repressed society. To others, the out-in-the-open hug-and-kissfests were blinking neon signposts on the Road to Perdition.

More than 10 months after Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian was detained on vaguely defined espionage charges, his trial began Tuesday in a closed court in Tehran. Rezaian is a citizen of both Iran and the U.S.

Noting the trial's start, Iran's Islamic Republic News Agency notes that Rezaian, 39, "is accused of espionage for the US government and activity against the Islamic Republic of Iran."

Actress Rita Wilson, who was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy, told People magazine in April that she expects to make a full recovery "because I caught this early, have excellent doctors and because I got a second opinion."

Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET

The city of Cleveland has reached an agreement with the Justice Department over allegations that the city's police department engaged in a pattern of using excessive force, violating the civil rights of its residents.

U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach of the Northern District of Ohio said the agreement, once approved, "will not only serve as a roadmap for reform in Cleveland but as a national model for any police department ready to escort a great city to the forefront of the 21st Century."

How do you help a country struggling to provide quality health care, particularly to its rural citizens?

More doctors would be great. New and better clinics would help. But in some places, community health workers are an important part of the solution.

Community health workers live where they work. They're not trained medical professionals, but they do have "training that is recognized by the health services and national certification authority," according to the World Health Organization.

Just How Big Is The Asia Trade Deal Obama Wants? It's A Beast

May 26, 2015

One of the most basic facts about the Trans-Pacific Partnership is also the most important: It's huge.

The trade deal got over a big hurdle Friday when the Senate voted in favor of giving the Obama administration "fast-track" authority to negotiate the deal with Canada and 10 Asian nations.

That leaves the U.S. House, and it's unclear it has the votes yet. If it passes, though, TPP, which has angered many in the president's party, would be by far the largest free trade agreement the U.S. has in effect.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Italy holds regional elections Sunday, and one politician trying to make a comeback is the scandal-plagued former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi.

Taking his cue from Italy's digitally savvy young Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Berlusconi has opened an Instagram account, posting more than 60 photos on the first day alone.

We see the 78-year-old media tycoon holding trophies of his soccer team, A.C. Milan; addressing rallies; and posing with his 29-year-old girlfriend, Francesca Pascale — as well as hugging his white poodle Dudu.

Updated at 4:38 p.m. ET

Storms continued to move through Texas and Oklahoma, bringing tornadoes and dumping torrential rains that led to deadly flooding.

Game For Ancient Grain: Palestinians Find Freekeh Again

May 26, 2015

In early May, Nasser Abufarha drove through the rural farmlands around Jenin in the northern West Bank and noticed the timeless features of village life. Young boys harvested cauliflower bigger than their heads, a sun-beaten old man passed on foot with a hoe propped against his shoulder and middle-aged women strolled to their modest homes on a path between waving wheat fields.

But there was one new element, says Abufarha, a Palestinian-American businessman and the founder of the largest fair trade exporter for Palestinian produce.

Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications announced Tuesday that they had reached a merger deal.

The Rick Perry that Iowans were promised in 2012 may have finally shown up — four years too late.

The former Texas governor's much-heralded first presidential run quickly cratered four years ago, beset by stumbles from a candidate who was still recovering from back surgery and never seemed to find his footing on a national stage.

But last week in campaign stops in Northwest Iowa, the likely GOP presidential hopeful was back to his gregarious, confident self on the first of three days he spent barnstorming a state that could make or break his 2016 comeback hopes.

In 2013, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ordered state agencies to do whatever it took to build an engineered dune system along the entire Jersey Shore to protect from storms like Sandy.

Most oceanfront property owners have signed the necessary easements and dune-building is finally starting this spring on Long Beach Island.

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base."

Caring for the nation's veterans at the end of their lives can be a complex task. Service members — especially combat veterans — can struggle with guilt, abandonment and regret.

It's a warning sign at art museums around the world: "Don't touch the artwork."

But Spain's famous Prado Museum is changing that, with an exhibit where visitors are not only allowed to touch the paintings — they're encouraged to do so.

The Prado has made 3-D copies of some of the most renowned works in its collection — including those by Francisco Goya, Diego Velazquez and El Greco — to allow blind people to feel them.

It's a special exhibit for those who normally can't enjoy paintings.

Cameras are ubiquitous — from the ones in our cellphones to the security cams in parking lots and shops. And just when you thought it couldn't get harder to hide, live-streaming video is raising new questions about privacy.

Streaming video cameras aren't new, but new apps have made it super easy to stream from a smartphone. Periscope is popular because it can be streamed on Twitter, which recently purchased the app.

There's a scene in the television series The Office that says all you need to know about the paper industry's image these days. That sad sack of a company Dunder Mifflin is launching an advertising campaign — and just in time, says one of the sad sack employees. Whenever he tells people he works for Dunder Mifflin, they assume the company make mufflers or muffins or mittens, but "frankly all of those sound better than paper, so I let it slide."

The Chicago Bears released defensive end Ray McDonald Monday after he was arrested on charges of domestic violence in California — his second arrest in the past nine months.

The Chicago Tribune adds:

"McDonald was arrested for misdemeanor domestic violence and child endangerment, the Santa Clara, Calif., police department said. It's the second time since Aug. 31 that he's been arrested as a result of women claiming he assaulted them.

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base."

It was the spark that led to America's first overseas war. After an explosion sank the battleship USS Maine in Havana Harbor in 1898, the cry rose up in the U.S. to "Remember the Maine."

The event was commemorated across the country — sometimes in unexpected places — like the city of East Chicago, Ind.

California's drought is turning neighbor against neighbor, as everyone seems to be on the lookout for water wasters.

Take Los Angeles resident Jane Demian, for example. She recently got a letter from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's Water Conservation Response Unit, about an unverified report of prohibited water use activity at her home in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of L.A. Demian says she was called out for water runoff onto the sidewalk, driveway and gutter, and the unauthorized "washdown of hardscapes" like the walkway to her house.

It's early evening in Friendship Cemetery, the local graveyard in Columbus, Miss. The white tombstones are coated with that yellow glow you only see right before dusk.

Students from the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science are spread out among the gravestones. They're dressed up in costumes: A tall brunette is wearing a dark maroon dress her grandmother made. A young man wears a top hat and leans on a walking cane.

Soccer fans are replacing their favorite club jerseys for national colors as the best female players in the world prepare to face off in Canada for World Cup 2015, which starts on June 6.

The American Outlaws, considered the biggest U.S. national soccer fan association, has already been rocking red, white and blue to cheer on the women's national team.

Charter Communications, the No. 4 U.S. cable company, is reportedly close to buying Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest, for $55 billion, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times are reporting.

Americans are paying tribute today, Memorial Day, to the sacrifices of service members in the nation's earliest conflicts and the newest.

President Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, just outside Washington.

Some 5,000 people were at the grounds of the cemetery, which Obama called "more than a final resting place for fallen heroes." It is, he said, "a reflection of America itself. A reflection of our history, the wars we've waged for democracy, the peace we've laid to preserve it.

Updated at 1:04 p.m. ET

Iraq and Iran are refuting U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter's assertion that Iraqi forces lacked the "will to fight" the self-declared Islamic State, resulting in the loss last week of Anbar Province and its capital, Ramadi.

Saad al-Hadithi, a spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, told The Associated Press that Ramadi's loss was due to mismanagement and poor planning by some senior military commanders.

Police in Malaysia say they have uncovered more evidence of human smuggling, with the discovery of at least 139 graves along the country's border with Thailand.

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