Americas

News and reports from North, Central and South America.

How a 20-foot inflatable rodent became a union label

From Hollywood picket lines in Los Angeles to nonunion construction sites in Chicago and New York, a 20-foot inflatable rat has become one of the most recognized symbols of the labor movement.

Nasty knockoffs: Dangerous fake products enter US at record pace

Fake cigarettes, brake parts and condoms are only some of an increasing number of dangerous counterfeit goods now on the US market.

With body language, presidential candidates say a lot

Barack Obama has the finger point. Hillary Clinton has the karate chop. John McCain is ground into the floor. Voters can tell a lot about presidential candidates from their body language. Experts explain how.

At last a no-stick gum? Corn farmers have a formula

The chewed-up gum that befouls American sidewalks costs taxpayers millions of dollars in cleanups. Now researchers in Illinois say they have developed an alternative that doesn't stick to shoes. Will consumers bite?

Black History Month

As recipient in 2007 of a Congressional Gold Medal for his service with the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II, 84-year-old Dabney Montgomery has had a heavy speaking schedule around the country.

At 50, the peace symbol is still going strong

The peace symbol, one of the world's most famous symbols, is turning 50, and, as often happens by that age, it's gotten a few facelifts.

Collectors wired for the barbs that won the West

As a collectible, barbed wire has everything it needs - a wire guru, annual conventions and a special kind of wire that is the crown jewel of every collection, the coveted Dodge Star. But recent wildfires in Texas have threatened the supply of collectible antique wire.

Seniors learn to loosen up through improv

As learning improv becomes a popular pastime for nonactors, classes have also sprouted up for seniors, encouraging them to loosen up, have some fun and build new social networks in their latter years.

Caffeine-free Lent practice grows in Oregon

Some Pacific Northwest Christians are giving up their Starbucks - and their sodas and energy drinks too - in a novel Lent observance that has its roots in ancient custom and is making a difference in developing countries.

Study finds parents who listen help children learn

A new study from Vanderbilt University says parents can help their children learn by simply listening, instead of providing all the answers.

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