Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 1:12 pm
While human rights groups and other watchdogs have put the civilian death toll in the hundreds, Pakistan's Ministry of Defense announced Wednesday that just 3 percent of the deaths from U.S. drone strikes since 2008 were noncombatants.
The ministry says 317 drone strikes have killed 2,160 Islamic militants and 67 civilians in the last five years.
Health insurers are ending policies for what could turn out to be millions of Americans. The moves have rattled consumers and stoked new debate about the health care law.
No one knows for sure right now how many of the estimated 14 million people who buy their own insurance are getting cancellation notices, but the numbers appear to be big. Some insurers report discontinuing 20 percent of their individual business, while other insurers have notified up to 80 percent of policyholders that they will have to change plans.
Joseph Kony, the Ugandan leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, is being pursued by U.S. Special Forces and African armies. If he can raise enough money, adventurer Robert Young Pelton will be tracking him, too.
Credit STR / AP
Pelton waves after he was freed from captors in Colombia in 2003. Pelton, who has been traveling to war zones for the past two decades, now wants to find Kony.
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 12:23 pm
U.S. Special Forces haven't found Joseph Kony. Several African governments have searched in vain for the notorious Ugandan warlord. And a social media campaign among young Americans, which last year focused attention on Kony's atrocities and went viral, has waned.
But Canadian Robert Young Pelton, an adventurer/journalist/entrepreneur, thinks he can track down Kony in central Africa — and he's prepared to do it if he can raise $450,000 from crowdfunding.
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 11:36 am
In its October/November issue, Running Times has a piece by distance running great Bill Rodgers. Among the most compelling of his reflections are the details on his diet while training for the 1976 New York City Marathon:
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 11:30 am
We've all grumbled about the growing ranks of phone-gazing zombies, drifting along the sidewalk or holding up the checkout line. Texting while walking, distracted walking, the smartphone sidewalk scourge — whatever you call it, this phenomenon has rapidly become a nearly inescapable frustration of modern life.
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 10:30 am
As lawmakers grill Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the botched startup of HealthCare.gov and other issues related to the Affordable Care Act, nonpartisan fact checkers are giving failing grades to President Obama's oft-repeated pledge to Americans that "if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan."
Afghan National Army Commandos attend their graduation ceremony in Kabul in July. Foreign combat troops are set to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014 after handing over all security responsibilities to Afghan forces.
As he prepared to deploy earlier this year, Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, the No. 2 commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, found that people seemed to have forgotten about Afghanistan.
"The opinion that he gathered was nobody was interested anymore," explains Col. Chris Garver, a spokesman for ISAF Joint Command in Kabul. "[Gen. Milley] came over here with the goal to say, 'Well, let's try and get people interested; let's try to explain to people where we are.' "
And, with that, this past summer ISAF launched a new offensive in the war to inform.
In a photo originally posted to a county government website, local officials purportedly visit a 100-year-old woman in Anhui province. They sure are tall, aren't they? And what happened to the legs of the guy on the right?
Credit Ningguo Civil Affairs Department via Chinanews.com
Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt (left) and <em>Wall Street Journal</em> editorial board member Stephen Moore argue in favor of the motion "For A Better Future, Live In A Red State" at an <em>Intelligence Squared U.S.</em> debate on Oct. 18.
Credit Rob Andrew / Intelligence Squared U.S.
Former California Gov. Gray Davis argues against the idea that people are better off living in red states.
When it comes to things like the economy, taxes, health care and education, is it better to live in a red state or a blue state?
Some argue that red-state tendencies toward lower taxes and less regulated, more free-market systems make them ideal places to work and raise a family. But others counter that residents of blue states are wealthier, have more educational opportunities and benefit from a commitment to a social safety net.
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 2:15 pm
Poetry is important. And the hope for this standing feature of The Protojournalist is that by searching for a poetic nugget in the constant rush of news we can slow down for a moment and contemplate what the news story really means.
Like finding a lovely pebble in a mountain stream. Or a dropped earring on a crowded sidewalk.
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 12:17 pm
Two wily veterans of Congress' fiscal wars will lead the budget talks scheduled to start Wednesday: Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the heads of the House and Senate budget committees.
As the 29 lawmakers on the budget conference committee — 22 from the Senate and seven from the House — sit down to begin negotiations, they'll have in Ryan and Murray two lawmakers who from most accounts get along well despite their many differences.
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 8:41 am
A year ago, public health officials were scrambling to figure out why people across the country were suddenly coming down with life-threatening cases of meningitis.
The outbreak eventually was traced back to contaminated steroids produced by the New England Compounding Center. All told, 751 people contracted fungal meningitis and other infections from the tainted shots; 64 died.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. More hearings come today on the messy rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will face questions from the House, Energy and Commerce Committee. Now, yesterday, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid testified before a different committee. Marilyn Tavenner offered consumers an apology for the problems at the health care.gov website.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
Today, something uncommon is happening on Capitol Hill. Not one, but two conference committees are meeting to work out the differences between House and Senate on the budget and the farm bill. This is the way Congress was designed to work. These days, those sorts of committees are quite rare.
To talk about what's at stake, we're joined by NPR congressional correspondent, Tamara Keith. Good morning.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
A family from a village in Pakistan traveled all the way to Capitol Hill this week to tell lawmakers the story of how they lost their grandmother in a deadly attack. She was killed by a U.S. drone strike one year ago. Speaking through an interpreter, her grandchildren's testimony, along with that of her son, marked the first time civilians victimized by drone strikes appeared at a congressional briefing.
A vehicle from the Chinese police special tactical unit guards the sidewalk Tuesday where it is believed a car drove up before it plowed through a crowd and crashed and burned in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 9:18 am
We interrupt this blog to bring you a special bulletin:
Martians have invaded New Jersey!
OK, as far as we know that hasn't happened.
But we wanted to issue that faux alert because 75 years ago tonight, as our friend Korva Coleman pointed out on the NPR Newscast, Orson Welles and his troupe of radio actors interrupted the Columbia Broadcasting System's programming to "report" that our planet had been invaded.
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 2:18 pm
What does the concert-ticket buyer want? If we're accepting that the market for albums — physical and digital — won't ever rebound, that digital singles will never make up for the loss in revenue and that streaming can't be profitable under current licensing laws, professional musicians (and the labels that love them) need to figure this out. Rap music, with its younger audience, has been more flexible in this regard than other genres: Rap acts now run the multi-genre summer festival gamut after infiltrating smaller cities' club circuits long ago.
President Obama would like you to remember that Obamacare was based on Massachusetts legislation signed in 2006 by then governor and Republican Mitt Romney, pictured at the signing ceremony. And that rollout started slowly, too.
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 9:40 am
Good morning, fellow political junkies.
The Affordable Care Act should dominate Wednesday's news cycle thanks to scheduled high-profile appearances by President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to defend the law.
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 12:37 pm
Welcome to SymboGen, your friendly neighborhood medical company; have you stopped by for your tapeworm implant? Fair warning: There have been some unusual side effects ...
Health care has swallowed American headlines in recent years; besides the arguments over who deserves treatment to begin with, issues are emerging in pharmaceutical brand ethics, anti-vaccination activism, and the overuse of antibiotics. The war against disease is spreading against the smallest enemies of all.
Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 7:48 am
Each week, we highlight a design or product innovation that you might not have heard about yet. Many of them come through your submissions (here's the form), but this week's idea came to us from our NPR Two-Wayblogger, Eyder Peralta, who thought this was pretty cool. We did, too.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Secretary Sebelius on who's responsible for 'this debacle'
(We last added to this post at 4:10 p.m. ET.)
"You deserve better. ... I apologize. ... I'm accountable to you."
That's what Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Americans on Wednesday morning during a Congressional hearing into problems with the Obama administration's HealthCare.gov website and Republicans' concerns about the Affordable Care Act.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Police cars in Iowa and Florida are testing a secret weapon: a small cannon embedded in the grille. It shoots tracking bullets containing tiny GPS devices that can stick to the trunk of a suspect's car. Police could then follow a suspect at a leisurely pace instead of embarking on a dangerous high-speed chase. The weapon, very James Bond, except American police would need to get a warrant before attaching a GPS to a car. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.