U.S. News

Shots - Health News
11:54 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Overlooked Virus May Be Cause Of Paralyzing Disease In California

Sophia Jarvis, 4, of Berkeley, Calif., is one of the few children diagnosed with the polio-like disease, which left her arm paralyzed. She attended a press conference Monday at Stanford University with her dad, Jeff.
Martha Mendoza AP

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 6:26 am

Doctors in California are puzzled by an illness that has paralyzed at least five children and may have affected about 20 others.

Sick children had symptoms similar to polio. They lost muscle function in an arm or a leg over a few days.

So far, the children haven't responded to any treatments and the paralysis has been permanent, doctors from Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco, said in statement Sunday.

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Shots - Health News
10:21 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Can A Doctor Really Demand An Extra $75 Upfront?

Insurers prohibit doctors from charging more than a copayment or other amount specified in your plan.
Douglas W Allen iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 2:25 pm

This week, I answer readers' questions about what doctors can ask for in advance and the nuances of switching insurance plans, both on and off the health exchanges.

Q. After signing up for a gold level plan on the health insurance marketplace, my physician, who is part of my plan, asked for $75 up front. My copayment is $25. His office also wants to keep a credit card on file. Is this legal?

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Governing
9:45 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Who's Paying For Detroit's Recovery Plan?

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 10:45 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We've been following circumstances in Detroit for some time now as the city tries to figure out how to deal with its massive and mounting financial problems. Now there is a new plan to restructure the city's 18 billion dollars of debt, and this plan may have a lot to do with shaping the Detroit of the future. Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley is back with us to tell us more. Welcome back, Rochelle. Thanks so much for joining us once again.

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Law
9:45 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Do Religious Freedom Bills Discriminate Against LGBT?

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 10:45 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. You might have heard about controversial new legislation aimed at the LGBT community being debated in the U.S. and abroad. The specifics are different, but there are some similarities and connections. So we're going to talk about these issues today and tomorrow. And we start the program today talking about a controversial bill in Arizona. The so-called religious freedom bill would let business owners deny services to customers based on religious conviction.

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Parenting
9:45 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Paternity Leave: Why Men Don't Take It, But Should

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 10:45 am

New mothers usually take at least some time off after delivering a baby, but dads are less likely to take leave. Advocates are pushing more dads to take paternity leave, and employers to offer it.

Code Switch
9:18 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Are Americans Tired Of 'Arrogant British' TV Personalities?

Piers Morgan poses for a portrait backstage during a 2011 press tour.
Chris Pizzello AP

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 1:24 pm

When the interviewer for BBC Radio finally reached me Monday to talk about the failure of Piers Morgan's 9 p.m. interview show on CNN, she basically had one question, asked many different ways.

Are Americans finally tired of arrogant British TV personalities?

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Shots - Health News
1:40 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Doctors' Offices Get Put On Hold Trying to Find Out Who's Insured

Filling out the forms is part of the ritual of going to the doctor. But with the Affordable Care Act, it's more complicated.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 12:56 pm

Sheila Lawless manages a small rheumatology practice in Wichita Falls, Texas, about two hours outside Dallas. She makes sure everything in the office runs smoothly — scheduling patients, collecting payments, keeping the lights on. Recently she added another duty — incorporating the trickle of patients with insurance plans purchased on the new Affordable Care Act exchanges.

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It's All Politics
4:03 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

The Lessons Of John Dingell's Departure

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., whose House career stretches nearly 60 years, will retire at the end of his term as the longest-serving member of Congress in history.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 5:23 pm

Nearly every news account Monday of Rep. John Dingell's retirement announcement made mention of his amazing longevity — the Michigan Democrat is the longest-serving member in the history of Congress.

While his durability is the stuff of legend, it's also remarkable that an accomplished, heavyweight legislator like Dingell stayed so long into an era of congressional dysfunction.

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All Tech Considered
2:47 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

4 Takes On Netflix's Streaming Deal With Comcast

Netflix cut a deal with Comcast on Sunday to help boost streaming performance.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 6:25 pm

If you are in the middle of a House of Cards binge, the news from Netflix over the weekend is good — video streaming quality will improve. After reports of declining performance in recent months, Netflix — which accounts for 30 percent of broadband traffic — cut a deal with Comcast to pay the cable provider for direct access to its systems.

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Law
2:20 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Wearable Cameras, Tailored To The Legal Details

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 6:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It wasn't so long ago that for someone to video your image and record your voice required a crew; a cameraman, a sound man, and maybe someone else who set up the lights. They probably worked for a television station and the likelihood of such a crew filming you was limited by the sheer expense of doing it.

Today, a child with a Smartphone, and maybe a mono-pod, can do what that crew did. And with streaming video and a Facebook page or a Twitter account, that kid can also do a lot of what the television station did.

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Africa
2:20 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

How Will Ugandan Gay Refugees Be Received By U.S.?

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 6:02 pm

A Ugandan law punishes "offenders" of homosexual acts with prison terms. Aaron Morris, legal director at Immigration Equality, explains the U.S. track record of granting asylum in such situations.

Europe
2:20 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Will Ukraine Do What It Takes To Unlock International Aid?

Ukrainians line up to get their money from a bank machine in the western city of Lviv last week. Clashes in Independence Square in Kiev and the resulting political turmoil caused a financial panic.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 6:55 pm

The United States, hoping to avert economic chaos in Ukraine, is prepared to send financial support to supplement aid from the International Monetary Fund, the White House said on Monday.

"The United States, working with partners around the world, stands ready to provide support for Ukraine as it takes the reforms it needs to, to get back to economic stability," White House spokesman Jay Carney told a news briefing.

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National Security
2:20 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Hagel Proposes Cuts To Size And Spending of Armed Forces

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 6:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

And we begin this hour with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's plan to cut the military. At the Pentagon today, he called for a smaller Army and Marine Corps. He also suggested grounding a vintage Cold War plane and asked troops to pay more for health care and other benefits. Hagel said his budget plan offers a new post-war vision for the Pentagon. But as NPR's Tom Bowman reports, it's a vision that veterans groups and many in Congress don't share.

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Around the Nation
2:20 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Alice Herz-Sommer, Pianist And Holocaust Survivor, Dies At 110

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 6:02 pm

Renowned concert pianist Alice Herz-Sommer, once thought to be the oldest living Holocaust survivor, has died at age 110. Her story is told in the Oscar-nominated film, The Lady in Number 6.

Politics
2:20 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

After Nearly Six Decades In Office, Dingell Decides Not To Run

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 6:02 pm

John Dingell of Michigan, the longest-serving congressman in U.S. history, announced he won't run in 2014. As Tracy Samilton reports, Dingell's state will lose more than an icon when he retires.

Around the Nation
2:20 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Older Americans' Breakups Are Causing A 'Graying' Divorce Trend

The divorce rate for Americans over 50 doubled between 1990 and 2010.
Alexander Abramov iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 7:04 am

For baby boomers, divorce has almost become, like marriage, another rite of passage. The post-World War II generation is setting new records for divorce: Americans over 50 are twice as likely to get divorced as people of that age were 20 years ago.

But just because it's more common, doesn't mean it's not still painful.

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Around the Nation
2:19 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

From Mexico To Midwest, A Visit To El Chapo's Chicago

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 6:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's a very different story in Chicago where Joaquin Guzman made life remarkably less safe, dominating the city's heroin trade. In fact, Chicago served as the Midwestern hub for his cartel.

Patrick Smith, of member station WBEZ, reports on what Guzman's arrest means for the drug war there.

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Shots - Health News
1:46 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Mammogram Uncertainty Gives Patients, Doctors More Reason To Talk

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 5:46 am

I am 51 years old and have had a yearly mammogram, more or less, since the age of 40.

I got them despite the fact that there is no history of breast cancer in my family. I did it because that was what my doctor and others, including the American Cancer Society, recommended.

Three years ago, I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma in situ breast cancer after a screening mammogram. I underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy. The doctors say my prognosis is good.

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Shots - Health News
12:39 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Legal Drinking Age Of 21 Saves Lives, Even Though It's Flouted

Students drink outside the Rose Bowl during the NCAA BCS national championship game in January.
Gregory Bull AP

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 5:46 am

Eighty percent of college students say they drink, despite laws making it illegal for anyone under 21 to drink alcohol. Critics of that drinking age say that lowering it would reduce binge drinking and alcohol-related deaths.

But that might be wishful thinking, a study says. Researchers from Boston University reviewed scientific literature published since 2006 and concluded keeping the legal drinking age at 21 reduces rates of drunk driving and crashes, and reduces rates of underage drinking.

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Shots - Health News
10:24 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Why Pediatricians Want To Check 9-Year-Olds' Cholesterol

Joscelyn Benninghoff, 10, goes over the results of her cholesterol test with her mother Elizabeth Duruz (right) and Dr. Elaine Urbina at Cincinnati Children's Hospital in 2011.
Al Behrman AP

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 2:15 pm

The yearly pediatrician's visit can seem like the same old thing: height, weight, shots. But the rules for well child visits are changing, and the nation's pediatricians want to make sure that parents and doctors are up to speed on the changes.

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Code Switch
7:03 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Quick! What Are The Origins Of 'Chop-Chop'?

A photograph of the Pearl River in Canton or Guangzhou, China, taken around 1870-1880.
UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 9:43 am

It takes a special kind of actor to mix bombast and fatuousness to comic effect — think Alec Baldwin in 30 Rock or Will Ferrell in Anchorman. But the all-time King of Pomposity was the late Ted Knight. He played the role of newscaster Ted Baxter in the Mary Tyler Moore Show and Judge Elihu Smails in Caddyshack.

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Around the Nation
3:05 am
Mon February 24, 2014

U.S. Authorities Want Mexico To Extradite 'El Chapo'

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 5:34 am

Joaquin Guzman remains the focus of intense law enforcement interest. The man who occupied a prominent place for years on the DEA's most-wanted list is still wanted to face trial in a U.S. courtroom.

Shots - Health News
1:35 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Orphans' Lonely Beginnings Reveal How Parents Shape A Child's Brain

In the Institute for the Unsalvageable in Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania, shown here in 1992, children were left in cribs for days on end.
Tom Szalay

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 10:07 am

Parents do a lot more than make sure a child has food and shelter, researchers say. They play a critical role in brain development.

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Around the Nation
4:25 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

No Easy Answers For DUI Concerns As Marijuana Gains Support

A customer smells a strain of marijuana while being helped by employee Billy Archilla inside the retail marijuana shop at 3D Cannabis Center in Denver.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 7:14 am

The Lodo Wellness Center in Denver has been selling medical marijuana for several years. But since Jan. 1, when marijuana in Colorado officially moved from underground to behind the counter, the center has also been selling legal, recreational pot.

A majority of Americans now say they support full legalization, and the trend is spreading to other states.

Meanwhile, the public health community is warning of a potential safety problem: more people driving while stoned. But health officials and law enforcement don't yet have the data or the tools to address the concern.

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The Two-Way
4:14 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

With Nets, Jason Collins Will Be NBA's First Openly Gay Player

Jason Collins, who played for the Boston Celtics in 2012, signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday. Collins came out as gay in an article in 2013.
Bruce Bennett Getty Images

Jason Collins, who announced last year that he was gay, will be the first active openly gay player in NBA history when he takes to the floor for the first time with the Brooklyn Nets.

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Law
3:12 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

With Expanded Definition, Rape Is Reported More Often

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 5:00 pm

Two years after the Justice Department rewrote the official definition of rape, reports of rape have increased in most cities. Under the old definition, however, the number of rapes between 2012 and 2013 were down.

The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

American Held In Israel For 1997 Murder Is Killed In Prison Shootout

Samuel Sheinbein, 18, arrives at the Tel Aviv District Court in this March 22, 1999 file photo. He was killed in a prison shootout on Sunday after being imprisoned for 17 years.
STAFF Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 7:50 am

Samuel Sheinbein, an American who fled to Israel after murdering a Maryland teenager 17 years ago, was killed in a prison shootout on Sunday during an apparent escape attempt near Tel Aviv.

The Associated Press reports:

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

Taliban Break Off Negotiations On U.S. Soldier Held Since 2009

A Taliban-affiliated website shows Bowe R. Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier captured by the Taliban in southeastern Afghanistan in June, 2009, sometime after his capture by Taliban militants.
Reuters/Landov

The Afghan Taliban said it was cutting off talks with Washington to trade long-time captive U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five of the prisoners held at Guantanamo.

The Associated Press says it's received via email "a terse Pashto language statement" from Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid blaming the "current complex political situation in the country" for suspending the discussions.

The AP says a U.S. official confirms that the talks have been suspended.

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Law
7:49 am
Sun February 23, 2014

N.Y. Becomes Largest Prison System To Curb Solitary Confinement

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 9:57 am

New York made sweeping changes this week to the way prisons use solitary confinement.

The deal, signed by a federal judge on Wednesday, was prompted by a federal lawsuit filed by critics who say thousands of inmates — some of them pregnant or mentally ill — are being held for months and even years in isolation, often for minor infractions.

Years Spent In Solitary

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The Edge
6:51 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Russia, With Home-Field Advantage, Wins Sochi Medal Race

Russia RUS-1 bobsled team, with Alexander Zubkov, Alexey Negodaylo, Dmitry Trunenkov, and Alexey Voevoda, jump onto the medal stand after winning gold on Sunday. On the last day of the Sochi Games, Russia had already secured the top spot in the overall medal count.
Dita Alangkara AP

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 8:08 am

Just two medals remain to be awarded at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, as Canada and Sweden face off on the hockey ice. If the Canadian men take gold, Canada will have swept all four traditional team sports. Canadian teams have already won gold in men's and women's curling and women's ice hockey.

[Add at 10:00 a.m. ET: Canada's men's hockey team has won the gold]

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