U.S. News

The Salt
12:41 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Philadelphia Children's Hospital Bars Herbs And Supplements

Dietary supplements are generally defined as vitamins, minerals, herbs and extracts. They're regulated as a unique category of food by the Food and Drug Administration.
iStockphoto.com

One of the nation's largest and oldest children's hospitals is cracking down on parents who bring their kids herbs, extracts or other dietary supplements.

In what it describes as a break from other hospitals, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, or CHOP, last month removed most dietary supplements from its list of approved medicines, and established new policies for administering them.

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Health Care
11:23 am
Thu November 14, 2013

The Road Ahead For Obamacare

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we're in the thick of football season but increasingly, fans are worrying about how their favorite players are faring after their playing days are over. Now, there's a new plan to address that, and the head of the NFL Players Association will be joining us later in the program to tell us more about that - as well as, of course, his take on the allegations of bullying in the Miami Dolphins locker room. That's later.

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Shots - Health News
10:25 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Common Test For Bladder Infections Misses Too Many Cases

Urine tests are the gold standard for diagnosing bladder infections. But one common test, the urine culture, can easily miss infections.
Ian Hooton http://www.sciencesource.com/

Most women know all too well the pain and discomfort of a urinary tract infection. They also know they'll probably have to trek to the doctor for a urine analysis so they can get a prescription for antibiotics.

Surely there's got to be a better way.

The first step for women with a history of urinary tract infections may be skipping a standard test isn't that good at spotting bladder infections anyway.

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All Tech Considered
1:08 am
Thu November 14, 2013

How The Sharing Economy Is Changing The Places We Work

Co-workers at Denver's Galvanize, a tech hub in Colorado's capital.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 12:43 pm

This week, we've been reporting on the sharing economy — a term that describes the couch-surfing, car-sharing and community-garden-growing world where so many people are using their existing talents, space or tools.

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All Tech Considered
1:06 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Plastic Guns Made With 3-D Printers Pose New Security Concerns

An all-plastic gun fires a bullet in this screenshot from a video made by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
ATF

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 10:30 am

Technology helps police solve crimes every day. But some innovations can also present new public safety concerns — and such is the case with guns built using 3-D printers.

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

'Holy Cow' And 'Kangaroo Court': Panel Grills HealthCare.gov Officials

Todd Park, U.S. chief technology officer, answers questions in a House Oversight Committee hearing about problems with the federal HealthCare.gov site. One Democrat on the committee called the hearing "a kangaroo court."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 4:46 pm

A House oversight hearing examining the troubled start of HealthCare.gov was contentious from the start Wednesday, as Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., sought to cut short the opening remarks of one of the first officials to speak, Frank Baitman, the deputy assistant secretary for Information Technology in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, asked Baitman to conclude his statement, noting that the panel's time was short. The interruption came as Baitman discussed the work of his agency to save taxpayers money.

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Intelligence Officials Aim To Pre-Empt More Surveillance Leaks

U.S. Army Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, speaks during a conference at the Ronald Reagan Building, in October.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 4:12 pm

NSA officials are bracing for more surveillance disclosures from the documents taken by former contractor Edward Snowden — and they want to get out in front of the story.

In a recent speech, NSA Director Keith Alexander said Snowden may have taken as many as 200,000 NSA documents with him when he left his post in Hawaii. If so, the vast majority of them have yet to be released.

Intelligence officials tell NPR they believe Snowden's secrets fall into four categories:

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It's All Politics
3:52 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

The Map Of Gay Marriage: Hawaii Becomes Latest To Legalize

Proponents of gay marriage rally outside state House chambers at the Hawaii Capitol in Honolulu on Nov. 8.
Oskar Garcia AP

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:49 pm

Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed legislation Wednesday making Hawaii the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

Abercrombie, who called a special session in August to address the issue, moved quickly after the state Senate passed the bill, 19-4, Tuesday. The House approved it by a 30-19 vote Friday. Gay and lesbian couples in Hawaii will be eligible for marriage licenses starting Dec. 2.

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Law
3:07 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Supreme Court Questions Labor-Management 'Neutrality' Pacts

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:01 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court, which has been somewhat hostile to unions in recent years, on Wednesday examined a key union organizing tool. At issue: neutrality agreements, under which employers pledge to remain neutral during union organizing campaigns, and in exchange, the union promises not to picket, boycott or strike.

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All Tech Considered
3:07 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

The Tech Stats We Now Know About HealthCare.gov

Todd Park, the U.S. chief technology officer, testifies before the House oversight committee about problems implementing the health care program.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:01 pm

The big numbers out today are the administration's counts of how many people actually enrolled in health exchanges between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2. More than 106,000 Americans selected health plans in the first month, the government said.

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National Security
3:07 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Who Gets The Blame For NSA Spying? NSA Says Not Us

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Over at the NSA, officials say they welcome the president's policy review on surveillance. But they and other intelligence leaders bristle at the idea that they've overstepped their bounds in gathering information, both here and abroad. For months, the NSA has been on the defensive as a result of the Snowden disclosures.

NPR's Tom Gjelten says the agency is now trying to get out in front of the story.

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Around the Nation
3:07 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Chicago Public Schools Safety Program's Working, But For How Long?

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In Chicago, the mayor and school officials say that they're making good on a promise to keep students safe after closing nearly 50 schools. Parents worried about children having to cross rival gang territory to attend new schools. But now, two and a half months into the school year, the district says its program, Safe Passage, is living up to its name.

NPR's Cheryl Corley reports.

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Around the Nation
3:07 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Can Math Help Contestants Beat The Odds On 'The Price Is Right'?

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Finally, this hour, "The Price is Right" and how to get it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

CORNISH: We're talking about the popular daytime game show, of course. Sure, you could study up on the cost of canned goods, living room sets and big screen TVs to win or you could tip the odds in your favor and apply game theory. That's what Ben Blatt did for a recent article in Slate. He joins us now. Hey there, Ben.

BEN BLATT: Hey, it's great to be here.

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Politics
3:07 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Obama's Choice For Homeland Security Chief Testifies In Senate

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Obama's nominee to lead the Department of Homeland Security faced some tough questioning today about the nation's borders. During his confirmation hearing, Jeh Johnson told the Senate panel his top priority was filling some of the many vacancies at the sprawling agency. He would not answer questions about how the department measures border security, leading one Republican senator to say he won't support Johnson until he does.

NPR's Brian Naylor reports.

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Around the Nation
3:07 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Critics Say Mob Boss's Trial Has Been A Disappointment

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The sentencing hearing of convicted mobster James Whitey Bulger began in federal court in Boston today. Bulger was convicted in August of taking part in 11 murders while running a massive criminal enterprise going back to the 1970s. Sentencing takes place tomorrow, but no matter what jail time he gets, it's pretty clear that the 84-year-old Bulger will spend the rest of his life in prison.

As NPR's Tovia Smith reports, it is an anti-climactic end to a long, expensive trial that has left many frustrated by what it didn't accomplish.

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The Two-Way
2:08 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

More Than 106,000 Chose Health Plans Under Affordable Care Act

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a report Wednesday revealing that 106,185 Americans selected a health plan in the new marketplace from Oct. 1 to Nov. 2.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 4:47 pm

More than 106,000 Americans selected health plans in the first reporting period of open enrollment for the new health insurance marketplace, according to data released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services.

That number is only "about 20 percent of the government's October target," as NPR's Scott Horsley reports for our Newscast unit.

Less than 27,000 people used the federal HealthCare.gov site to select a plan. The overall number includes enrollments made via federal and state marketplaces from Oct. 1 to Nov. 2, the agency says.

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Beauty Shop
10:03 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Online Dating: Asian Women Preferred

Race influences most people's online dating preferences.
iStock

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 2:30 pm

When it comes to dating the rules aren't always black and white. And when you add race into the equation things can become even more complicated.

The online dating website "Are You Interested" analyzed over 2.4 million interactions on their site and found that Asian women are more likely to get a message from a man of any race—unless those men are Asian.

AYI also found that white men are pursued the most by women of all races—except black women, who are least likely to get a message from anyone.

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Around the Nation
9:55 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Peace First Prize Encourages Youth To Seek Change

The group Peace First is handing out $50,000 in prizes to young people who promote peace in their communities. Host Michel Martin speaks with Eric Dawson, the co-founder and president of Peace First, and recipient Babatunde Salaam.

Law
3:11 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Victims' Relatives To Face Whitey Bulger At Sentencing Hearing

James "Whitey" Bulger was captured in June 2011 in Santa Monica, Calif., with his longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig.

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 8:59 am

It's the moment many victims of former Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger have been waiting decades for: In federal court in Boston, relatives of those killed by Bulger will face the former gangster and describe their pain.

Bulger was convicted in August of taking part in 11 murders while running a massive criminal enterprise for decades. There is little suspense around Bulger's sentencing — even the minimum would be enough to send the 84-year-old away for the rest of his life.

To many victims, Wednesday's sentencing hearing is less about Bulger than it is about them.

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Health Care
3:11 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Democrats Join Calls To Rectify Canceled Health Insurance

People protest President Obama's "If you like your insurance you can keep it" comment during a presidential visit to Dallas last week.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 12:57 pm

In Washington this week, calls to fix the problem of people getting insurance cancellation notices are getting louder and coming from all sides. But turning back the clock on health insurance cancellations turns out to be a lot harder than it sounds.

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U.S. Commutes: The Way We Get To Work
1:21 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Forget The Car Keys — This Commute Requires A Paddle

Stephen Linaweaver has been kayaking from Oakland, Calif., to work in San Francisco for four years.
Courtesy of Dan Suyeyasu

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 11:41 am

This story is part of a project on commuting in America.

We all know what it's like to be stuck in traffic. But what about paddling under it?

For kayak commuter Stephen Linaweaver, there is no rush hour or gnarly gridlock. His biggest commute worry is a really big ship.

Linaweaver kayaks from Oakland, Calif., to his job as a sustainability consultant in San Francisco. His hourlong commute begins at the Port of Oakland each morning at 7.

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Shots - Health News
3:43 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Shift In Cholesterol Advice Could Double Statin Use

Statin drugs to lower cholesterol have become among the most widely prescribed prescription medications in the United States.
Bill Gallery ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 12:57 pm

After decades of cajoling Americans to know their cholesterol level and get it down as low as possible, the nation's leading heart specialists are changing course.

Cholesterol is still important. But new guidelines published Tuesday afternoon throw out the notion that a specific blood cholesterol level should automatically trigger treatment with cholesterol-lowering drugs.

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Politics
3:31 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

A Week After Polls Closed, Va. AG Race Still Too Close To Call

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 3:56 pm

Discouraged by the Republican candidate for governor's showing in the polls, GOP donors begin pouring money into the Virginia attorney general race. Now, that contest is showing a 117 vote margin with Democrat Mark Herring ahead, though there have been several lead changes as provisional ballots have been tallied.

Energy
3:31 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Ethanol Is Center Stage In Fight Over American Fuel Tanks

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 3:56 pm

Two large industries — agriculture and oil — are fighting a pitched battle over access to your car's fuel tank. Americans are buying less gasoline, but a federal law requires the country to include an increasing amount of corn-based ethanol in the country's fuel supply. Facing billions of dollars in lost sales, the oil industry wants the government to reverse course on ethanol.

Business
3:16 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Airline Antitrust Deal Seen Boosting Competition At Airports

An American Airlines jet passes the Washington Monument as it lands at Ronald Reagan National Airport. That's one of seven airports where American and US Airways must now make room for low-cost competitors under a settlement with the Justice Department.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 2:21 pm

From the start, airline analysts had been predicting that an antitrust lawsuit would not stop the $11 billion deal to combine US Airways and American Airlines.

They saw the suit, filed in August, as a government negotiating tactic, not a deal-breaker.

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The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Administration Invites HealthCare.gov Users To Try Again

A woman looks at the HealthCare.gov insurance exchange internet site October 1, 2013.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 6:11 pm

If at first you don't succeed, try again.

That's the message from the White House on Tuesday, with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) asking more than 275,000 people who tried and failed to sign up for health plans on the stalled HealthCare.gov website to give it another shot.

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Shots - Health News
2:46 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Medicaid Questions Slow Insurance Purchases On Colorado Exchange

Click right this way for Medicaid.
Connect for Health

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 3:39 pm

If you want to meet somebody who's really happy with the Affordable Care Act, then say hello to Sue Birch, Colorado's Medicaid director.

Nearly 40,000 Coloradans signed up for health coverage on the state's new marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado, rather than HealthCare.gov.

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NPR Story
2:46 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Obama Taps Treasury's Bailout Lawyer To Lead Derivatives Watchdog

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 3:56 pm

Timothy Massad is nominated to head the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. He would replace Gary Gensler, whose four-year tenure was marred by questions of his professional ties to Jon Corzine and the downfall of MF Global.

It's All Politics
2:31 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Close, Closer, Closest: A Guide To Election Photo Finishes

Democrat Al Franken, with his wife, Frannie, meets reporters and a small gathering of supporters at their house in Minneapolis on June 30, 2009, after the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Democrat in the Senate race against Republican Norm Coleman.
Andy King AP

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 3:36 pm

The Virginia attorney general's race, which cut a relatively low profile heading into Election Day, now has a chance to end up as part of history.

With more than 2.2 million ballots cast and Democratic state Sen. Mark Herring leading Republican state Sen. Mark Obenshain by a mere 117 votes, the election is shaping up as one of the closest statewide contests in decades.

With a recount looming, the winner isn't expected to be officially declared until December. But in the meantime, here's a look back at some of the closest statewide elections of the past five decades:

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Nigerian Pirates Free Kidnapped U.S. Mariners

Fighters with the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), pictured in 2008. The rebel group claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.
Pius Utomi Ekpei AFP/Getty Images

Two U.S. crewmembers seized last month from a ship off the coast of Nigeria have been released by their pirate captors, the State Department said Tuesday.

The captain and engineer from the U.S.-flagged C-Retriever, a 222-foot offshore resupply, were abducted on Oct. 23 when gunman boarded the vessel.

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