U.S. News

Shots - Health News
1:53 am
Sat October 12, 2013

More Evidence Against Vitamin D To Build Bones In Middle Age

If only it was as simple as popping a supplement and being set for life. But alas, no.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 9:51 am

It's not easy being a wonder vitamin these days. Just when it looks like you're the solution to every health problem, some doctors come along and burst your bubble. Now it's happening to vitamin D.

The supplement has been widely promoted to prevent osteoporosis and fight a host of other ills. But recent studies haven't found much benefit, for bones or for general health.

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It's All Politics
4:57 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Worst Since Nixon? Report Slams White House Leak Policy

President Obama arrives to make a statement to the press at the White House.
Charles Dharapak AP

The most open and transparent administration in history? That's not how some veteran members of the press see it.

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The Salt
4:38 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Shutdown Leaves Some Seniors Worried About Their Next Meal

Seniors around the country depend on weekly deliveries of nutritionally balanced food from the USDA's supplemental nutrition program.
tmarvin iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 5:27 pm

You've no doubt heard of Senior Meals on Wheels preparing hot meals delivered to the elderly. But there's a different meal program that's been put on hold because of the partial government shutdown. It's the USDA's Commodity Supplemental Food Program.

In Michigan's western Kent County alone, more than 1,300 low-income seniors depend on the program. For them, it's a nutrition lifeline: They can't just go to a food pantry for similar assistance.

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Business
3:42 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

At Global Gathering, Many Worry About U.S. Strength

The annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank began Thursday in Washington amid a partial government shutdown. Many delegates are concerned that the U.S. budget impasse may threaten global economic stability.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 9:19 am

When you invite guests over, you probably straighten up the house to make a good impression.

This week, the nation's capital is welcoming guests from all over the world. Thousands of finance ministers, central bankers, scholars and industry leaders are in Washington, D.C., for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

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National Security
3:22 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

View Of Snowden's Exile Life As He Gets Whistle-Blower Award

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 4:38 pm

On Thursday, we saw the first image of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden since he was granted temporary asylum in Russia in August. He's shown in a photograph taken in Moscow getting an award for being a whistle-blower. Melissa Block talks to one of the fellow whistle-blowers who gave him the award, Thomas Drake, from Moscow to get a glimpse of Snowden's life of exile in Russia.

Around the Nation
3:22 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Billionaire's Gift Reopens Some Head Start Programs

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 4:38 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The government shutdown means that more than 9,000 children have been shut out of Head Start, which provides meals and preschool programs for low-income children. Last week, we heard from a regional director for Head Start in Alabama, Dora Jones. She told us she had to close programs serving 770 children in six counties.

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Politics
3:22 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

More Meetings But No Deal Yet On Debt Ceiling, Shutdown

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 4:38 pm

President Obama met this afternoon with Senate Republicans. There's no agreement yet but the parties appear to be working towards a deal to raise the federal debt limit and re-open the government.

Shots - Health News
2:50 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Why A Peanut Butter Test For Alzheimer's Might Be Too Simple

University of Florida researcher Jennifer Stamps administers the peanut butter sniff test to a volunteer.
Jesse S. Jones University of Florida

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 10:47 am

Alzheimer's disease can be tough to diagnose, especially early on. Doctors can order brain scans and assay spinal fluids. But existing tests are imperfect and some can be invasive.

So you might understand the appeal of an alternative that researchers at the University of Florida in Gainesville tried. They had asked patients to sniff a dab of peanut butter during a routine test of cranial nerve function. Later, the team wondered if it could help them figure of it someone might be in the early stages of Alzheimer's.

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Education
2:31 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Pledge Of Allegiance Past Its Prime?

Millions of American school children begin the day with the pledge of allegiance. But do they, or their teachers, really understand what it means? Host Michel Martin discusses the issue with journalist Mary Plummer, of KPCC, and Peter Levine, director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.

Books
2:31 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

'Coming Clean' About Growing Up In A Hoarding Household

Kimberly Rae Miller grew up among piles of junk. Doors wouldn't close, stacks of paper turned to sludge, and the pool was filled with brown muck. Her father was a hoarder — in the most extreme kind of way. Host Michel Martin talks to Miller about how she coped, which is detailed in her memoir, Coming Clean. This segment initially aired July 29, 2013 on Tell Me More.

Politics
2:31 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

David Dinkins: Leading New York Is The 'Greatest Job There Is'

David Dinkins served as New York City's first African-American mayor. But his rise through the political ranks came with hard-learned lessons. Host Michel Martin speaks with former Mayor Dinkins about his book, A Mayor's Life: Governing New York's Gorgeous Mosaic. This segment initially aired September 2, 2013 on Tell Me More.

The Salt
1:45 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

McDonald's President Was Caught Off Guard By Low-Wage, Single Mom

McDonald's USA President Jeff Stratton responds to an employee who burst into an event.
YouTube screengrab

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 10:11 am

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The Salt
12:08 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

What's In That Chicken Nugget? Maybe You Don't Want To Know

Chicken Nuggets, from artist Banksy's 2008 installation "The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill" in New York City.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 10:19 am

Chicken nuggets: Call 'em tasty, call 'em crunchy, call 'em quick and convenient. But maybe you shouldn't call them "chicken."

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The Two-Way
11:57 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Air Force Fires Top U.S. Missile Commander

The launch-key mechanism at the deactivated Delta Nine Launch Facility near Wall, S.D., in 2002.
AP

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 2:20 pm

The Air Force two-star general in charge of the country's land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles has been relieved of his command for what's being described as questionable behavior during a temporary duty assignment.

Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, who led the 20th Air Force, headquartered at Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., has been dismissed, according to a statement issued by the Air Force Global Strike Command.

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Shots - Health News
9:03 am
Fri October 11, 2013

California Trains Helpers To Meet Demand For Health Insurance

Edward Avalos, one of the first certified enrollment specialists in California, is a very busy man.
Sarah Varney Kaiser Health News

Luisa Blue, head of the local Service Employees International Union in San Jose, Calif., has five more months to spend $1 million. The union received a grant from Covered California, the state's health insurance marketplace, to educate the public about the exchange.

SEIU is using some of the money to call people in their homes at night and on the weekend. "Over 4,000 (people) have said tell me more about Covered California and how can I enroll to get health insurance," Blue says of the union's first two weeks on the case.

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National Security
2:21 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Snowden's Leaks Lead To More Disclosure From Feds

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 9:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has been exposing the most profound secrets of America's surveillance system, and the Obama administration's response to that? Declassifying lots of other material. The NSA has been under orders to do that from the White House, yet many lawmakers are demanding even more, which raises the question: when do we know enough? NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.

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Around the Nation
12:58 am
Fri October 11, 2013

The Shutdown News Isn't All Bad For A Few American Indian Tribes

Mariluisa and Andrea Caricchia traveled 6,000 miles from Italy to spend their honeymoon at the Grand Canyon. Instead, they are exploring tribal land.
Laurel Morales KJZZ

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 9:16 am

Grand Canyon National Park is closed for the government shutdown, but tourists determined to see it can take in views from reservation land. The Hualapai Tribe owns Grand Canyon West, where visitors can venture onto a Plexiglas horseshoe walkway that stretches out over the chasm below.

On the east side of the Grand Canyon, visitors are flocking to the Navajo Nation, where Nita Rodriguez gives a tour.

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It's All Politics
3:47 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Main Street Frustrated By Washington's 'Total Absurdity'

Local chamber of commerce leaders are frustrated with D.C. and fear that Main Streets like this one in Catskill, N.Y., will suffer economic fallout from the unending bickering.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 7:49 am

Steve Stevens wants politicians in Washington to know that the budget stalemate is having real consequences back home.

"There comes a point where they've got to know about the pain in their district," says Stevens, who is president of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. "We've got to put a real face on it."

That kind of argument isn't having much effect, at least not in his own backyard. The local congressman, Rep. Thomas Massie, is a freshman Republican who has remained an adamant supporter of his party's shutdown strategy.

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Around the Nation
3:45 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Furloughed FDA Worker Hits The Streets To Drum Up Extra Cash

Furloughed FDA worker Jonathan Derr drums outside a Washington, D.C., Metro station to earn cash during the government shutdown
Karen Zamora/NPR

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:33 pm

Ten days into the partial government shutdown, the estimated 800,000 furloughed federal workers have got to be feeling a bit stir crazy.

Congress has agreed to pay back the furloughed workers for the time they are shut out of the office, so for some it's like an unexpected, but paid, vacation of indeterminate length. But the more than a week of shutdown definitely means going without that cash in the short term. And for some of those workers with less of a financial cushion, that means getting creative.

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Around the Nation
3:45 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Former Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick Sentenced To 28 Years In Prison

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:33 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

I really messed up. Those words today from the former mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick, before he was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison on corruption charges. Kilpatrick added: We've been stuck in this town for a very long time dealing with me. I'm ready to go so the city can move on.

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Around the Nation
3:45 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

For DC, Prospect Of Prolonged Shutdown Provokes Anxiety

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:33 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

With no sign of an end to the government shutdown, the economy here in Washington, D.C., is getting walloped. The D.C. region, including parts of Virginia and Maryland, is the biggest hub of federal workers and contractors in the nation. And a local economist projects the region could be losing $200 million a day during the shutdown.

NPR's Allison Keyes reports the impact extends far beyond federal workers and angry tourists.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: You got them coffee?

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Around the Nation
3:45 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Record High Corn Prices Coming Back Down, With Mixed Effects

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:33 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

When it comes to commodities, corn is king. About a third of U.S. cropland is planted with corn and prices have been high but that's changing. As Amy Mayer of Iowa Public radio reports, farmers have seen prices drop to their lowest point in three years.

AMY MAYER, BYLINE: On a clear fall day in central Iowa, Aaron Layman(ph) climbs into the cab of his green combine to do some maintenance. He's hoping his corn has a couple more weeks to grow before harvesting. He says he knew sky high corn prices were temporary.

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The Salt
2:36 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Starbucks Pours Money, And Health Hype, Into Pricey Juice

Starbucks'-owned Evolution Fresh says its method of processing juice delivers more of the flavor and nutrients of raw fruits and vegetables.
Courtesy of Starbucks

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 1:17 pm

Most Americans don't get the 4 to 6.5 cups of fruits and vegetables we're supposed to consume every day, per government guidelines. But companies that make juice, especially high-end, "fresh" juice, are ready to come to our rescue.

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It's All Politics
2:35 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

How Political Miscalculations Led To The Shutdown Standoff

The Capitol is seen under an overcast sky at dawn on Monday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:33 pm

The standoff over the debt ceiling and the government shutdown showed signs of softening Thursday.

House Speaker John Boehner said he would bring a temporary hike in the debt ceiling to the House floor in exchange for negotiations on government spending and taxes. Democrats say if the House votes to raise the debt ceiling and reopen the government, they will negotiate.

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The Salt
1:02 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Catcher In The Fry? McDonald's Happy Meals With A Side Of Books

SerrNovik iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 3:12 pm

Fast-food giant McDonald's is set to become a publishing giant as well — at least temporarily. For two weeks next month, McDonald's says it will oust the toys that usually come in its Happy Meals and replace them with books it has published itself.

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The Two-Way
11:59 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Former Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick Sentenced To 28 Years

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on his way into court in March in Detroit.
Regina H. Boone MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 12:45 pm

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was once a rising star in the Democratic Party, to 28 years in prison over charges of corruption.

As we've reported, "Kilpatrick has faced a small mountain of charges in recent years and already served some time in prison for other crimes."

The AP reports:

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Shots - Health News
11:44 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Want To Feel 5 Years Older? Just Take A Memory Test

Playing this game won't make you feel older, unless you're already getting up there in age.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 2:11 pm

Researchers in a memory lab at Texas A&M University noticed that all the older people coming in as volunteers were really worried about how they'd do.

So the scientists decided to measure how taking a memory test affects a person's subjective sense of age.

Before the test, the 22 participants felt pretty darned good. Even though their average age was 75, they said they felt about 58.

Then they were given a list of 30 nouns, told to study them for two minutes, and then asked to recall as many of them as they could in three minutes.

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Shots - Health News
9:55 am
Thu October 10, 2013

As Health Insurance Choices Multiply, Buyers Face Challenges

Sizing up insurance options can be tricky.
iStockphoto.com

The state health insurance marketplaces that opened Oct. 1 give consumers who are looking for coverage on the individual market a whole new way to shop for health plans. At the same time, health insurance brokers and insurers will also continue to sell plans directly to customers. Sorting out who's selling what can be a challenge.

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All Tech Considered
9:39 am
Thu October 10, 2013

New Numbers Back Up Our Obsession With Phones

You check your phone a lot, even when it's not ringing or buzzing. But just how much? New numbers say it's more than 100 times a day.
Yunus Arakon iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 10:06 am

How's this for a sign of our digitally addicted times: Users swipe their screens to unlock their phones an average of 110 times a day, according to data from the app company Locket.

"We don't think we are unlocking our phones that many times because we don't sit down and count," says Yunha Kim, CEO and co-founder of Locket.

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Planet Money
1:00 am
Thu October 10, 2013

What A U.S. Default Would Mean For Pensions, China And Social Security

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 10:38 am

What would happen if Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling and the U.S. defaults on its debt later this month? The broad economic implications are unpredictable, but a default could cause huge trouble for the global economy.

But whatever happens to the global economy, one thing is clear: People all over the world who have loaned the U.S. government money won't get paid on time.

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