The HPV vaccine was created to protect women against the virus that causes cervical cancer. But it also helps prevent genital warts, a common sexually transmitted disease caused by the same virus, a study finds.
Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 6:58 am
In a story that you'd think was ripped straight from the headlines of America's foremost made-up-news website, The Onion said it's coming up with ads to promote health insurance for young people in Illinois.
But it's true.
Get Covered Illinois, the state's health insurance exchange, has hired Onion Labs, The Onion's in-house ad team, to develop banner ads, a video and other online material to persuade people to sign up for insurance coverage.
Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 2:04 pm
It took 50 years — and for Erin Hamlin, three Olympics — but an American has finally won a singles medal in the sport. Erin Hamlin took bronze behind two powerful Germans in the women's final Tuesday.
Natalie Geisenberger's winning margin of 1.139 seconds was the largest at the Olympics since 1964, the sport's first year at the games. She set a track record on her first run Monday and did the same again on Tuesday, in a run that saw her top 84.5 mph.
In an event that came down to a dramatic final run, American snowboarder Shaun White finished in fourth place in the men's halfpipe Tuesday, falling just short of the podium with a score of 90.25. White needed a score of better than 94.75 to take gold.
The margin was close – the top four men all finished with scores above 90. But Switzerland's Iouri Podladtchikov moved from third to first place on his second run, in the event in which only the best score is counted.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. With all the talk about Hillary Clinton possibly running for president again and the first woman CEO was just named at one of the big three automakers - that's General Motors - women like Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook telling women to lean in, it might seem as if the glass ceiling has finally shattered or is about to and that the biases that have long plagued women at work are long gone.
Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 3:11 pm
Carl Bechdel and Dan Miller started looking for a family plan on the Pennsylvania health insurance marketplace last fall.
After submitting their application for a bronze-level plan to Highmark Blue Shield in early December, the couple became concerned when the end of the month approached and they hadn't heard from the insurer.
Bechdel called customer service and finally learned the reason: The company doesn't offer family coverage to same-sex couples.
Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 2:53 pm
Update at 4:15 p.m. ET: Leaping Into History
When American Sarah Hendrickson launched herself down the 90-meter jumping hill in Sochi, she flew into history, becoming the first woman to ski jump in Olympic competition. She ultimately finished in 21st place.
Carina Vogt from Germany brought home the gold. Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria took silver, and France's Coline Mattel, 18, won bronze.
Some other news here this morning. Shirley Temple Black has died. She was 85. She spent her entire life in a way as a child star because of early films that made her so famous and a face of hope during the Great Depression. Alison Bryce reports.
ALISON BRYCE, BYLINE: A bigger star never came in a package so small. She sang and danced her way to super-stardom by the impossible age of six years old. In the year 1934, she acted in nine films, one called "Stand Up And Cheer."
Let's say you're skiing in the backcountry, looking for some powder — but instead, you trigger an avalanche.
If you have an avalanche air bag pack strapped to your back, you just yank the cord. That deploys the air bag, which keeps you close to the surface and easier to dig out, says Andy Wenberg with Backcountry Access, one of several companies making the devices. When deployed, his company's version of the air bag comes out like wings.
"The whole idea when you deploy that thing in an avalanche is you're avoiding burial death," he says.
Tyson Gay, the U.S. sprinter whose comeback was derailed by failed drug tests in 2013, is believed to have used a cream containing banned substances he obtained from an Atlanta chiropractor and anti-aging specialist, according to a report by ProPublica and Sports Illustrated.
Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 5:59 pm
The Winter Olympics brings up many questions about the sports themselves. But people are also wondering whether announcers might use the big time difference between Sochi and the U.S. to improve their coverage.
That idea came up over at Quora, the question-and-answer site:
On Monday, Norwegian Ole Einar Bjoerndalen came a ski-length away from winning a 13th Olympic medal and becoming the most decorated athlete ever at the Winter Games.
The biathlon pursuit Olympic event — cross-country skiing with rifle shooting — is a pretty devious race. The fastest man goes first, and then everyone else in the race tries to catch him before the finish line. And in Monday's competition, Bjoerndalen went first.
Much of the attention on the slopestyle events in Sochi has been focused on snowboarders like Shaun White. But Devin Logan and her other American teammates twist and soar down mountains, too — on skis.
I first met Logan at an Olympic qualifier event in Colorado back in December. We were hanging out at the base of the halfpipe watching the competition. She's 20. She smiles a lot. We bonded over Instagram and 2 Chainz. I told her I'd look for her in Sochi — but she didn't know then if she'd even make the U.S. team.
Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 6:27 pm
When the federal government hits its debt ceiling at the end of the month, don't expect another big red-on-blue confrontation.
The appetite in the House Republican conference for that kind of debt-defying standoff isn't what it was last fall when the nation was hit by the double whammy of the debt limit and partial federal government shutdown.
And the House GOP can't even agree on what points to negotiate with President Obama — who has said he's not willing to negotiate on the debt ceiling anyway.
Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 6:50 pm
The Obama administration says businesses employing 50-99 people now have until Jan. 1, 2016, to provide health insurance, rolling back part of the requirement known as the employer mandate. Under the Affordable Care Act, larger companies must offer the coverage in 2015.
NPR's Julie Rovner filed this update for our Newscast desk:
A Mexican national has been sentenced to 30 years in prison over the shooting death of border patrol agent Brian Terry.
If you remember, Terry's death resulted in the uncovering of a botched gun-walking scheme known as "Fast and Furious." Weapons, which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed criminals to buy, were found at the scene of the shootout.
There is a fake John Kerry wandering around Jerusalem these days. He stars in several satirical videos criticizing the U.S. effort to negotiate a peace agreement between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. The State Department suggests it is just the latest sign that Kerry has put real pressure on Israel to move toward a peace deal. NPR's Emily Harris reports.
Is the water safe to drink? As we've just heard, that's the question still plaguing hundreds of thousands of West Virginians who live in and around Charleston. I spoke earlier today with the other U.S. senator from West Virginia, the senior senator, Democrat Jay Rockefeller.
Senator Rockefeller, welcome to the program.
SENATOR JAY ROCKEFELLER: Thank you, Melissa. I wouldn't drink that water if you paid me.
BLOCK: Really? Well, that was my first question, would you drink the water? And you say no.
Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 3:11 pm
If you're happily in love, Mom and Dad may have helped.
Teenagers' relationships with their parents have a small but measurable impact on their romantic relationships up to 15 years later, according to researchers at the University of Alberta.
People who had a tumultuous relationship with Mom and Dad in their teens were more likely to face heartache down the road. And those who felt close to their parents during adolescence tended to feel more emotionally and physically satisfied in their adult romantic relationships.
Now we go behind closed doors. That's the part of the program where we talk about issues that people usually keep private. And today, we are focusing on miscarriage. And if you've ever gone through it or know someone who has, then you know it's devastating and surprisingly common. The National Institutes of Health report that 15 to 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage.
In inner cities and poor rural areas across the country, public health advocates have been working hard to turn around food deserts — neighborhoods where fresh produce is scarce, and greasy fast food abounds. In many cases, they're converting dingy, cramped corner markets into lighter, brighter venues that offer fresh fruits and vegetables.
If you've ever tried to drink something through one of those little red coffee stirrers instead of a full-sized straw, you know what it's like to breathe with asthma.
Twenty-five million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma. And for 10 percent of them, medications like inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta agonists aren't enough to keep them out of the hospital.
Forest Lawn is a big name in the funeral business, and it has funeral homes all across Southern California. Most are stately, sprawling estates. But the Glendale location is a little different.
First off, it's tiny — the size of a typical funeral home bathroom. Second, there aren't any coffins or headstones for sale. There is an attendant, but he can't sell you anything: The urns are only on display. The place feels pretty inconspicuous. It could as easily be marketing homemade pottery as end-of-life planning.
Wayne Warren shakes wet dirt out of a plastic bucket and into a metal chute, tossing aside bigger rocks. For him, California's drought is golden.
Yes, golden. Warren is knee-deep in the San Gabriel River, an hour outside of Los Angeles. That chute next to him is a sluice box. The water washes away the dirt in a muddy cloud, and he leans over the box. Out of the creek, he taps his findings into a green, plastic gold pan and gives it a few swirls. What's left ...
Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 3:19 pm
In Sochi this week, athletes are competing in a display of human grace and skill. Many will win. Many more will lose, and many tears will be shed.
In New York on Saturday night, athletes of a different breed competed in a display of canine finesse and dexterity. Many won. If any lost, none knew it. Not one shed a tear.
At the Westminster Dog Show's Masters Agility Championship, 225 exuberant dogs dove through tunnels, flew through hoops, leaped over hurdles and wove in and out of poles with the focus of the highest-level Olympic champion.