U.S. News

Shots - Health News
4:03 am
Sat March 15, 2014

House Passes Payment Fix For Medicare Docs, But At What Cost?

Medicare's payments to doctors will likely be slashed April 1, unless the U.S. Senate can quickly get a derailed compromise back on track.
iStockphoto

Bipartisan support dissolved this week for compromise legislation that would have fixed a longstanding problem with the way Medicare pays physicians. Though the bill passed the House of Representatives Friday, it now contains a provision almost certain to invite veto unless a Senate version can quickly nudge the ultimate bill back toward compromise.

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It's All Politics
5:49 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Breakthrough On Jobless Benefits May Lead To Blind Alley

Republican senators Rob Portman (left), Dean Heller and Susan Collins worked with a bipartisan group to reach a deal to extend long-term jobless benefits for five months.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The bipartisan agreement in the Senate over a five-month extension of federal unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless may seem like a breakthrough.

But for Sister Marge Clark, senior lobbyist for NETWORK — a national Catholic social justice lobby that welcomes the news, the fact that the agreement is seen as a progress shows just how far the political situation in Washington has deteriorated.

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It's All Politics
5:27 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Hispanic Activists Vow To Keep Pressing White House Over Deportations

Demonstrators protest the Obama administration's deportation policies in Phoenix last year.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 2:52 pm

Five months before his 2012 re-election, President Obama announced that his administration would stop deportations of more than a half-million young adults, often referred to as "Dreamers," brought illegally to the U.S. as children.

Latinos subsequently turned out to vote in record numbers that fall. More than 70 percent marked their ballots for Obama — helping him win the popular vote and triumph in key battleground states.

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

U.S. To Relinquish Remaining Control Of The Internet

A screen shows a rolling feed of new generic top-Level domain names (gTLDs) that have been applied for.
Andrew Cowie AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:54 pm

The United States announced its intention on Friday of relinquishing its remaining control of the Internet.

In a statement, the U.S. Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration said it wants to relinquish its oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

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The Two-Way
3:42 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

FDIC Sues 16 Big Banks, Accusing Them Of Fixing Interest Rates

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:41 pm

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has filed a lawsuit against 16 of the world's biggest banks, accusing them of fixing the London interbank offered rate and costing smaller, failed American banks money.

Bloomberg explains it like this:

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Around the Nation
2:06 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

For The Poor, Warmth In The Winter Comes At A Steep Price

Christopher Sessums Flickr

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 4:05 pm

Even as signs of spring emerge around the country, one particular remnant of winter remains: high energy bills. For low-income residents, a hefty heating bill can be an especially big burden, and not just in traditional cold-weather states.

In January, as temperatures dipped to record lows in eastern Tennessee, the Knoxville Utilities Board urged its customers: If you think you cannot pay your bill, call us. On average, gas bills were 29 percent higher than they were a year ago. And the poor have suffered even more, says Jeanie Fox, a customer counselor.

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Race
2:06 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

'I, Too, Am Harvard': A Mantra For Recognition Becomes An Anthem

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 4:05 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

You might expect students at one of the world's top universities to have occasional moments of doubt about their studies. But at Harvard, some minority students say they feel discomfort that has nothing to do with academics. It has to do with being black on an overwhelmingly white campus. A new photo montage about being black at Harvard has gone viral. NPR's Tovia Smith reports it is giving new momentum to an old issue.

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News
2:06 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Lawmakers Seek To Lay Roadblock To Powerful Painkiller

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:33 pm

Sen. Joe Manchin is introducing a bill to force the Food and Drug Administration to ban potent new painkiller Zohydro, backed by a bipartisan effort to get the FDA to remove its approval of the drug.

News
2:06 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

With Russian Minister, Kerry Kicks A Soccer Ball And Talks Ukraine

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:33 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meet in London Friday for talks about the crisis in Ukraine.

Commentary
2:06 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Week In Politics: Florida 13 And The CIA

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:33 pm

Regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and David Brooks of The New York Times, discuss the Florida special election and Sen. Feinstein's dispute with the CIA.

News
2:06 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

After Record Deportations, Obama May Turn To More 'Humane' Options

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:33 pm

The White House announced the president is willing to review his stance on deportations, a policy that's drawn objection from Hispanics and other groups the president depends on politically.

Shots - Health News
8:11 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Young Women Increasingly Turn To ADHD Drugs

Have daunting to-do lists contributed to the rise in ADHD drug prescriptions?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 5:16 am

Use of ADHD drugs continues to rise in the United States, but the group whose use is increasing the most may come as a surprise: young women.

An analysis of prescriptions filled from 2008 to 2012 through Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefit management company, found that use of ADHD medications rose 35.5 percent overall. The company's database includes 15 million people with private insurance.

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Technology
3:09 am
Fri March 14, 2014

U.S. Monitors For Cyber Operations In Crimea Standoff

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 9:27 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On a Friday, this is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

In its standoff with Ukraine, Russia has imposed its will but it's tried to hide its hand. Russian troops moved into Crimea but in uniforms bearing no Russian insignia. And there are other tools Russia's is believed to have used that leave virtually no trace: cyber operations. They're part of the modern arsenal. Now U.S. officials want to know if the use of cyber weapons could lead to cyber war.

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The Salt
5:10 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

States' Rebellion Against Food Stamp Cuts Grows

States are taking an out provided by Congress to avoid cutting food stamp benefits to families, many of whom already depend on food banks like the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, Calif.
Antonio Mena Courtesy of Alameda County Community Food Bank

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 11:41 am

When Congress passed a farm bill earlier this year, it expected to save $8.6 billion over 10 years by tightening what many say is a loophole in the food stamp, or SNAP, program. But it's not going to happen.

You see, Congress left states an opening to avoid the cuts. And so far, nearly half of the states participating have decided to take that option — a move that could erase the promised savings.

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Around the Nation
4:43 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

A Terrible Winter Wreaks Havoc On Roads, Pipes And City Budgets

Potholes on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive, one of which is about half-a-car-length long and at least a foot deep. The city of Chicago says it has filled an estimated 240,000 potholes this winter, 100,000 more than last winter, at a cost of more than $2.8 million.
David Schaper NPR

Bitter cold has returned to parts of the Midwest, mid-Atlantic and Northeast, following another heavy snowstorm that left 1 to 2 feet of snow from Ohio to New England.

And when all this snow finally melts, it'll expose the physical toll of this brutal winter: potholes, broken water mains, collapsed catch basins and other infrastructure problems.

"This winter's crazy, crazy busy," says John Polishak, a foreman for the Chicago Department of Water Management. "Everybody's been working 16 hours a day, seven days a week. It's exhausting."

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The Two-Way
4:34 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Takes White House To Task Over Privacy

Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg speaks during his keynote conference as part of the first day of the Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.
David Ramos Getty Images

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg published an open letter on Thursday in which he takes the White House to task over "the behavior of the U.S. government."

While he does not say so explicitly, Zuckerberg is clearly referring to the reports of widespread surveillance undertaken by the National Security Agency.

Zuckerberg, 29, who has built the world's most successful social network, writes that the Internet works because companies like Facebook strive to make it secure. He adds:

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History
4:03 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

A Farewell To Carrot Cake (And Other Things Lost Without World War I)

As one listener points out, we might not have carrot cake today if Germans weren't forced to bake with ersatz materials during World War I. This little girl might have had to settle for chocolate instead.
Fox Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 1:18 pm

This is the conclusion to an All Things Considered series that imagines a counterfactual history of World War I.

This year marks the centennial of the outbreak of World War I. What started as a beef between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Serbia unleashed a clash that brought in Russia, Italy, France, Germany, England and eventually the United States.

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Environment
4:02 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Oil Industry Gets An Earful As It Eyes Florida's Everglades

Drilling companies have new interest in southern Florida's Big Cypress preserve. The prospect of large-scale operations and possibly fracking worries environmentalists and residents.
Sue Cocking MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 4:35 pm

As oil production goes, Florida isn't much of a player. The state produced less than 2 million barrels last year, which is how much oil Texas pumps from its wells each day.

That's about to change as the revolution in oil drilling technology comes to Florida.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Pew Study: Many Technophiles Also Love Libraries

Julie Ball at a newly renovated computer lab at Shute Park Branch Library in Hillsboro, Oregon. The new lab is set to open on Saturday.
Benjamin Brink The Oregonian/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 3:30 pm

You might think that in a world of Google and Wikipedia, people who love technology wouldn't care much about the musty old local public library. But, according to a new report by the Pew Research Internet Project, you'd be wrong.

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It's All Politics
2:46 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Will Democrats Change Their Health Law Message After Florida Loss?

Democrats may have lost the battle in a Florida special election, which Republican Rep. David Jolly (right) won and in which the Affordable Care Act figured prominently. But they don't think they have lost the health-law messaging war.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 8:35 am

Congressional Democrats' messaging on the Affordable Care Act obviously didn't work as they had hoped in the Florida special election for a vacant House seat, since Republican David Jolly won the Tuesday vote.

But does that mean Democrats should abandon the "fix it, don't nix" it message delivered by Democrat Alex Sink, who narrowly lost a race that Republicans sought to nationalize and turn into a referendum on the health law?

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., certainly isn't saying so.

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Around the Nation
2:21 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

For A New View On The West Virginia Spill, Follow The Elk River

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 4:35 pm

In early January, West Virginia's Elk River was contaminated by a chemical spill near Charleston. NPR's Noah Adams returns to the Elk nearly two months later to follow the course of the river.

Technology
2:21 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

With 3-D Printing, Affordable Prosthetics Are In Reach

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 10:37 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Next, we're going to meet a little girl in Huntsville, Alabama. She was born without fingers on one hand. And now, thanks to 3D printing technology, she has an affordable prosthetic.

As Dan Carsen of member station WBHM reports, her story is one example of life-altering changes on the horizon.

DAN CARSEN, BYLINE: Kate Berkholtz is a smiley, active two-year-old who's happy to have a new tool that helps her pick things up. Right now, she's trying very hard to hold still before a gymnastics class. Can you tell me your name?

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News
2:21 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Holder Steps Forward For Shorter Drug Sentences

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 4:35 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder is before the U.S. Sentencing Commission to support changes in sentencing for drug offenses, which could shave time off prison terms and reduce federal prison populations.

Around the Nation
2:21 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Months Later, West Virginians Remain Wary Of Water That Smells

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 4:35 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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Economy
2:16 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

The World Bank Gets An Overhaul — And Not Everyone's Happy

Jim Yong Kim joined the World Bank as president in 2012.
Michel Euler AP

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 4:35 pm

The World Bank, the largest international development institution, is undergoing a sweeping reorganization, the first of its kind for the bank in nearly a generation.

The bank, based in Washington, has laid out a new set of goals, but they're accompanied by deep budget cuts and the elimination of a whole layer of senior management jobs.

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Shots - Health News
10:00 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Statins Might Not Cause Aching Muscles, But Diabetes Risk Is Real

Statins are widely prescribed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, but we may not be getting a clear picture of side effect risks.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 2:22 pm

People taking cholesterol-lowering statins often report having muscle pain and other side effects. Many quit taking the pills as a result.

But the statins aren't to blame, according to an analysis that found muscle problems no more likely with statins than with a placebo pill.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
8:08 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Debate: Should The President Be Able To Order Citizens Killed Abroad?

Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU's National Security Project, argues against the motion, "The president has constitutional power to target and kill U.S. citizens abroad."
Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 9:49 am

  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen To The Broadcast Version Of The Debate

There are intense debates underway in the United States over the question of targeted killings of terrorist suspects abroad – particularly when those individuals are U.S. citizens.

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Sports
1:40 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Who's The Best In College Basketball? Let's Look At The Numbers

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 7:22 am

In just a few days, college basketball fans will celebrate the sport's biggest day: Selection Sunday. As soon as the bracket unveiling ends, the speculation will begin over who will be this year's Cinderella.

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The Two-Way
5:30 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

U.S. Judge Throws Out Charges Against Indian Diplomat

Devyani Khobragade at an India Studies Stony Brook University fundraiser in Long Island, N.Y., on Dec. 8, 2013.
Mohammed Jaffer Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 7:53 am

A federal judge dropped charges on Wednesday against an Indian diplomat because she enjoys diplomatic immunity.

As Krishnadev reported back in January, the case of Devyani Khobragade, who was indicted on charges of falsifying visa documents for her Indian maid, "sparked a diplomatic row between India and the U.S."

According to a grand jury indictment, Khobragade said she was going to pay her maid $9 an hour. She actually paid her $3.

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The Two-Way
4:09 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

New Jersey Judge Rules Women Can Keep Fathers Out Of Delivery Room

The case of whether a woman could keep the biological father of her child out of the delivery room was argued while she was in the hospital to give birth.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 6:39 am

A New Jersey judge likely made history this week when he released an opinion that found women can keep the biological father of their children out of the delivery room.

NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports that the ruling involves a couple who got engaged after the woman became pregnant but later broke up. The man sued for the right to be present at the birth of his child. Jennifer filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"The case was argued by telephone — while the New Jersey woman was in the hospital to give birth.

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