Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 1:37 pm
When you take a pill, you and your doctor hope it will work — and that helps it work.
That's not a new idea. But now researchers say they know just how much of a drug's effect comes from the patient's expectation: at least half.
When patients in the midst of a migraine attack took a dummy pill they thought was a widely used migraine drug, it reduced their pain roughly as much as when they took the real drug thinking it was a placebo.
Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 11:33 am
Death seems one of life's few certainties, but the cases of a girl and a young woman who are being kept on life support even though they are legally dead show how difficult it still can be to agree on the end of life.
After it was revealed that he used his Baseball Hall of Fame voter ballot to pass along the suggestions of readers of the sports site Deadspin, Dan Le Batard has been stripped of his membership in the Baseball Writers Association of America. He is also banned from all future Hall of Fame votes.
Le Batard is a columnist for The Miami Herald who is also on ESPN radio and TV. He said Thursday that he worked with Deadspin to turn his ballot over to sports fans for many reasons, emphasizing a need for reform in Hall of Fame voting.
Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 4:05 am
In what's being called one of the largest U.S. anti-corruption settlements on record, Alcoa and an affiliate it controls have agreed to pay millions in fines and criminal and civil penalties. The companies acknowledge paying bribes to royal family members in Bahrain.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has found the George Washington Bridge in his way on the road to a potential 2016 presidential run. Right now, it's still an open question whether he'll get over it.
Thursday's marathon news conference was certainly an important moment in that journey. The heretofore 2016 Republican frontrunner apologized and took responsibility for members of Team Christie exacting political revenge on the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., by closing lanes to the nation's busiest bridge in September, causing major traffic snarls.
Fifty years after President Lyndon Johnson declared his "War on Poverty," President Obama issued his own plan to combat poverty Thursday with the nation's first five "Promise Zones."
All "Promise Zones" will receive a competitive advantage when applying for federal grants, on-site support from federal officials, and, pending congressional approval, tax incentives for businesses hiring and investing in the community.
Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 4:47 am
FBI Director Jim Comey says he's "confused" by reports that characterize NSA contractor Edward Snowden as a "whistleblower" or a "hero" because, he says, all three branches of America's government have approved the bulk collection of U.S. phone records, one of the most important revelations in Snowden's cascade of leaks.
"I see the government operating the way the founders intended," Comey said, "so I have trouble applying the whistleblower label to someone who basically disagrees with the way our government is structured and operates."
Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 4:34 pm
In his new memoir, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates made a fairly serious charge against Hillary Clinton that likely will hound her if she decides to run for president in 2016: that she admitted in his presence that there were political considerations in her opposition to the U.S. military surge in Iraq.
As soon as the first excerpts of Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War surfaced, many Republicans pounced on Gates' recollection of the Obama-Clinton Iraq surge conversation.
Georgia is fighting the health care law at every political turn.
Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, chose not to expand Medicaid, despite the increased federal funding made possible by the Affordable Care Act. And Ralph Hudgens, the state's insurance commissioner, publicly vowed to obstruct the law.
But that doesn't mean that Georgia isn't seeing some financial benefits from the law.
Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 8:06 am
Maybe your bucket list includes taking a hot air balloon ride. Sounds lovely. But before floating aloft, please note that coming back to Earth can hurt.
Almost half of the 169 hot air balloon crashes reported from 2000 to 2011 in the U.S. involved tourist flights, and 83 percent of the 78 tourist crashes caused at least one serious or fatal injury, a study finds. Five people died.
Deadlines to apply for colleges are coming up - and some experts say a lot of qualified minority students won't be applying to the top schools. Host Michel Martin speaks with Donald Fraser, Jr., of CollegeSnapps, Inc. and Caroline Hoxby, an economist at Stanford University about why some students of color aren't trying to get into prestigious schools.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. This is the time of year when we've been talking a lot about resolutions and goals and what it takes to see them through. I think most people would agree that one of the traits successful people seem to share is the willingness to press on, even when success is not assured. Well, that could be the story of Maysa. After more than 20 years in the music business, she has been nominated for a Grammy this year in the category of Best Traditional R&B Performance.
Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 7:56 pm
Saying that "zero tolerance" discipline policies at U.S. schools are unfairly applied "all too often," Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is urging officials to rethink that approach. The Obama administration issued voluntary guidelines today that call for more training for teachers and more clarity in defining security problems.
Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 1:51 pm
Tired of reading about intensely cold temperatures? Here's some news that might help take your mind off this week's deep freeze. It could even give you an excuse to hang around outside Thursday.
An intense solar flare is being blamed for disrupting a NASA mission and could force airlines to reroute some flights. That's the bad news. The good news is that the flare is also expected to expand the viewing field of the aurora borealis southward, perhaps down to Colorado and Illinois.
In Fort Worth, Texas, a tragic and unusual medical ethics case is making headlines. Five weeks ago, a man found his wife unresponsive in their bed. A brain embolism is suspected. She was 14 weeks pregnant. Since then, the 33-year-old woman has lain unresponsive. But the hospital says Texas law requires they keep her alive until she delivers the child.
The New York Times unveiled a major redesign of its digital offerings Wednesday. With a new scroll feature, readers will never again have to click to read the second half of a story, and the site is crafted to appeal to a mobile audience.
But the redesign has also embraced a controversial shift in journalism: Some posts on the site that look like articles are reported and written by people working for the paper's advertisers.
Cold weather this week has boosted demand for heating fuels across the country. Natural gas prices are up, especially in the Northeast. At one point prices for natural gas into New York City jumped nearly tenfold from an average winter price of $5.68 per million BTU to $55.49, according to Bentek Energy, an analytics company.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
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The Obama administration says schools need to rethink their disciplinary policies because they're doing more harm than good. To deal with serious offenses like physical assaults or drug possession, many states and school districts developed zero tolerance policies. But the administration says those policies were being applied too often, even for small offenses. NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports.
Utah is instructing state officials to put services and paperwork for same-sex couples on hold, reflecting a recent U.S. Supreme Court order that halted gay marriages in the state. Utah is appealing a district court's ruling last month that its ban on same-sex marriage is not constitutional. The state was granted a stay as it pursues the matter.
Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson stood before Congress and declared an "unconditional war on poverty in America." His arsenal included new programs: Medicaid, Medicare, Head Start, food stamps, more spending on education and tax cuts to help create jobs.
In the coming year, NPR will explore the impact and extent of poverty in the U.S., and what can be done to reduce it.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Finally today, we want to take a look at the world of Internet media. Now we often hear that the Internet is the brave new world where things like race and gender don't matter. Everybody can be who they want to be and have equal access and equal say. But we also know that there is an ugly side to the Internet, and that's something you may have experienced yourself, particularly if you are a girl or a woman.
Hundreds of thousands of marine mammals are injured or killed every year by fishermen around the world. And because most seafood in the U.S. is imported, that means our fish isn't as dolphin-friendly as you might expect.
Under pressure from conservation groups, federal regulators are preparing to tighten import standards to better protect marine mammals.
There was a time, more than 40 years ago, when U.S. fishermen killed millions of dolphins while fishing for tuna. After a public backlash, fishermen figured out how to minimize that so-called bycatch.