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Shots - Health Blog
1:50 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

Insurance Brokers' Fees Won't Count As A Health Care Expense

A broker's fee for insurance coverage isn't a medical expense, the feds have decided.
iStockphoto.com

The Obama administration ruled today that fees paid to health insurance brokers and agents won't count as medical care expenses, under limits imposed on insurers in the 2010 federal health law.

That decision, in one of the regulations for implementing the health overhaul, is sure to disappoint insurance agents, as you might have guessed. But it's more important than you might have imagined.

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

Cain To Make Announcement Saturday; Wife Leads 'Women For Cain' Effort

There's word from Rock Hill, S.C., that Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain says he'll be making an announcement on Saturday about the future of his presidential bid, The Associated Press reports.

Meanwhile, here's a related bit of news to consider: His campaign just launched a "Women for Cain" effort, chaired by the candidate's wife Gloria.

As the webpage says:

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The Salt
1:05 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

To Kill Or Not To Kill Horses That Others May Eat?

Since the ban on U.S. slaughterhouses in 2006, tens of thousands of unwanted or aging horses were exported to Canada and Mexico for slaughter.
Nate Jenkins AP

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 4:52 pm

The thought of eating Mr. Ed or Seabiscuit is likely to pull the heartstrings of most Americans. But there are plenty of people around the world who see our horses as just another source of protein and energy.

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

Egyptian Elections: 62 Percent Turnout

Nov. 28: Women place their votes in a ballot box at a polling station in a girls school in Cairo.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Results from the first round of voting in Egypt's parliamentary elections are being announced this hour. Already, according to al-Jazeera and other news outlets, there's word from the head of Egypt's Elections High commission that 62 percent of eligible voters cast ballots.

The Associated Press adds that Abdel-Mooaez Ibrahim called the number "the highest since the time of pharaohs."

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The Two-Way
12:41 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

Online Gaming Company Zynga Says Target Valuation Is Around $7 Billion

As we've noted before, 2011 has been a great year for Internet companies seeking to go public. Today, Zynga said it hoped to price its shares at $8 to $10 per share during its initial public offering later this month. Depending on whose math you trust, that means the company will try to raise about $1 billion and the debut could value the company at $7 billion. (Some news outlets are putting that number as high as $9 billion.)

What is Zynga you ask? They're the makers of social games like Farmville and Cityville.

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Economy
12:01 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

Jobless Dip May Overstate Economic Improvement

NPR

The unemployment rate dropped unexpectedly to 8.6 percent in November, in part because hundreds of thousands of Americans stopped looking for work. But analysts said the modest increase of 120,000 jobs created last month points to an economy that's generally still limping.

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Health
12:00 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

Hitting The 'Off' Switch On Antibiotic Resistance

Doctors are running out of effective antibiotics, as bacteria evolve ways to evade one drug after another. Now DARPA has called for alternatives to conventional antibiotics. Nanotechnologist Chad Mirkin discusses one such weapon--tiny globs of DNA and RNA that can switch off the bugs' antibiotic resistance. Nanotechnologist Chad Mirkin discusses next-generation antibiotics that target a bacterium's DNA.

Medical Treatments
12:00 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

Combating Depression With Meditation, Diet

In his book Spontaneous Happiness, Dr. Andrew Weil writes of an 'integrative' approach to mental health, warding off mild and moderate depression with an anti-inflammatory diet, exercise and activities such as yoga and meditation, rather than antidepressants.

Research News
12:00 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

Flight Of The Wild Pigeon

Pigeons may not be known for their flying prowess, but they are actually pretty good at maneuvering right angles. Andrew Biewener and colleagues at Harvard's Concord Field Station caught pigeons in a parking garage, made a flying course in the lab and filmed the birds with high speed cameras to see how pigeons make tight turns.

Architecture
12:00 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

Deconstructing A Skyscraper

In her new book, The Heights: Anatomy of a Skyscraper, author Kate Ascher sheds light on the infrastructure and services that make life and work possible in a modern skyscraper. She examines everything that goes into designing, building and maintaining these towering buildings.

Author Interviews
12:00 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

The Beauty and Brains Behind 'Hedy's Folly'

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 12:46 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, the hidden life of a Hollywood siren.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE HEAVENLY BODY")

WILLIAM POWELL: (as William Whitley) Scientist, mathematician, physicist, bacon-eater, yes, but not astrologer.

HEDY LAMARR: (as Vicky Whitley) Oh, I'm sorry.

POWELL: (as William Whitley) Darling, astronomy and astrology may sound alike, but that's all. Astronomy is a science, astrology, a superstition.

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Samsung, HTC And Carrier IQ Face Suit Over Logging Software

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 12:02 pm

The first lawsuit has been filed against Samsung, HTC and Carrier IQ over software installed on millions of phones that can capture a wide range of data including key strokes.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Why Burma? Why Myanmar? Why Both?

Aung San Suu Kyi, right, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton embraced today when they met at Suu Kyi's home in Yangon, Myanmar (also known as Burma).
Saul Loeb AP

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 1:10 pm

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's visit to Myanmar, where she has pledged with opposition leader Aung Sang Suu Kyi to continue the push for democracy and respect for human rights there, has focused attention on that long-oppressed Asian nation.

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NPR Story
11:31 am
Fri December 2, 2011

'Lost In A Dream': Low, Loose And Slow

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 11:37 am

Fresh Air begins its remembrance of drummer Paul Motian with an archived review of his trio album. (The original review is below.)

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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Movie Reviews
11:23 am
Fri December 2, 2011

For Fassbender, Two Perspectives On The Perils Of Sex

Fassbender's Carl Jung — Sigmund Freud's protege — struggles to reconcile theory and practice in A Dangerous Method.
Sony Pictures Classics

The Irish actor Michael Fassbender stars in two current films that revolve around the perils of sex — which means you see him have a lot, so he'll have something to regret.

You know how the sex will play out in Shame, because of, well, the title. Fassbender plays a sex addict, Brandon Sullivan, born in Ireland, raised in New Jersey, and he seems to work in advertising, which is unfortunate since he resembles Mad Men's John Hamm.

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The Fresh Air Interview
10:56 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Fresh Air Remembers Jazz Drummer Paul Motian

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 11:37 am

Paul Motian, a jazz drummer and composer who spent more than 50 years in the music industry, died November 22, from complications of multiple myeloma. He was 80.

The New York Times' Ben Ratliff once called Motian "one of the greatest drummers in all of jazz." The rare drummer who disliked drum solos, Motian recorded some of his most memorable work with pianist Bill Evans and bassist Scott LaFaro. Their recordings include the classics Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Portrait of Jazz.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:09 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Working Moms Multitask, And Stress, More Than Dads

A Kansas City family prepares a meal together. A new study finds that working mothers log more hours — and get more stressed — than working fathers while multitasking at home. (This family wasn't part of the research.)
Allison Long MCT /Landov

A new study in the December issue of the American Sociological Review comes up with some findings that lots of women may feel they already know too much about: Working mothers spend significantly more time multitasking at home than working dads. And those mothers aren't happy about it.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:08 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Apps Can Help You Take A Pill, But Privacy's A Big Question

Melissa Forsyth NPR

The American Medical Association just rolled out a shiny new iPhone app, My Medications, that you can use to keep track of your meds.

Mobile medical apps are a hot market, but unlike "Angry Birds," they're not just harmless fun. Some come with real privacy risks.

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The Two-Way
9:12 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Some Combat Dogs Suffer Post-Traumatic Stress Too

A U.S. Army soldier with the 10th Special Forces Group and his military working dog jump off the ramp of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment during water training over the Gulf of Mexico as part of exercise Emerald Warrior 2011 on March 1, 2011.
Tech Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez defense.gov

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 2:17 pm

Dogs who have served alongside U.S. military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan now typically go on to live with their handlers in the civilian world after their service days are over, as All Things Considered reported in August.

That's a change from the past, when many combat dogs were euthanized once they were done working with the military.

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The Picture Show
7:53 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Russia By Rail: Setting Off From Moscow

Sergei Tarkhov, a geology professor and Trans-Siberian veteran, stands near the zero kilometer mark at Yaroslavsky Rail Station in Moscow.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:13 am

Seven time zones, nearly 6,000 miles, and a lot of tea and borscht. That only begins to describe the long journey by David Greene, NPR's Moscow correspondent. He's been in Russia for just over two years and for his last reporting trip, he's riding the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Moscow to Vladivostok.

While crossing the world's largest country and bridging two continents, he'll make stops to capture the mood and the culture of Russia at an important milestone, two decades after the fall of the Soviet Union.

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The Two-Way
7:34 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Unemployment Rate Drops To 8.6 Percent; 120,000 Jobs Added

A job fair in San Francisco last month.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 10:46 am

The nation's unemployment rate fell to 8.6 percent in November from 9 percent in October as payrolls went up by 120,000 jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Fri December 2, 2011

'Freakishly Powerful Winds' To Ease In Southern California, Utah

Toppled trees in the Highland Park section of Los Angeles did some heavy damage to vehicles parked along a street.
Mike Meadows AP

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 7:01 am

The worst is over in Utah, where winds that topped 100 mph Thursday toppled trucks trees and power lines.

And things should be calmer in Southern California too, where "freakishly powerful winds" on Thursday stunned people and left behind shredded rooftops and "yards littered with downed trees," as the Los Angeles Times says.

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The Two-Way
6:30 am
Fri December 2, 2011

U.S. Officials Say Pakistan Gave Go-Ahead For Airstrikes

The airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers have sparked protests. In Peshawar, Pakistan, on Thursday students shouted anti-U.S. slogans.
A. Majeed AFP/Getty Images

"Pakistani officials at a border coordination center gave the go-ahead to American airstrikes that inadvertently killed 24 Pakistan troops, unaware that their own forces were in the area, according to U.S. officials briefed on the preliminary investigation," The Wall Street Journal reports this morning.

A Pakistani official quoted by Reuters says that's not true.

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Around the Nation
6:12 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Bin Laden Capture Celebrated With Expensive Wine

Some time ago, a restaurateur made a bet with Leon Panetta, then head of the CIA, that if the U.S. found Osama bin Laden, he would open a bottle of wine from 1870. Panetta said this week that he has collected on the bet. After the raid, Panetta sent word to Ted Balestreri to watch TV and prepare to deliver the $10,000 bottle of wine.

Business
6:02 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Maker's Mark Battles Jose Cuervo Over Bottle Wax

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 10:30 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with a court battle over trademarked wax. Maker's Mark, the Kentucky bourbon, comes in a bottle sealed by dipping it in red wax. The company considers that a trademark, even though no two bottles are exactly the same. So Maker's Mark was not happy when the makers of Jose Cuervo tequila tried to sell bottles the same way. The two sides have now taken this issue to an appeals court instead of simply settling it over a drink. You're listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Iraq
3:20 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Icon Of U.S. Military Now In Iraqi Hands

Inside palace walls built by Saddam Hussein, U.S. generals plotted the war's course, tracked the mounting death toll and swore in new American citizens under gaudy glass chandeliers.

Just outside the palace, American troops whacked golf balls into man-made lakes or fished for carp while others sat down with a cigar and a can of nonalcoholic beer hoping for a respite from incoming rockets or mortar shells.

Along another lake some distance away, a jailed Saddam tended to tomatoes and cucumbers in a small, walled-off enclosure with guards patrolling overhead.

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Around the Nation
11:01 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Oil Boom Puts Strain On North Dakota Towns

Austin Mitchell walks away from an oil derrick outside Williston, N.D. With what many are calling the largest oil boom in recent North American history, temporary camps to house the huge influx of workers now dot the sparse North Dakota landscape.
Gregory Bull AP

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 10:30 am

The tough economy has taken its toll on most states, putting budgets deep in the red and putting people out of work.

But North Dakota has a low 3.5 percent unemployment rate and a state budget with a billion dollar surplus. That's because of a major oil boom in the western part of the state, a discovery of at least 2 billion barrels to be gained by fracking — the controversial process of injecting fluid deep into underground rock formations to force the oil out.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:01 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Catholic Groups Fight Contraceptive Rule, But Many Already Offer Coverage

New federal regulations require employers to provide no-cost prescription birth control as part of their health insurance plans.
Tim Matsui Getty Images

The Catholic Church says new federal regulations requiring employers to provide no-cost prescription birth control as part of their health insurance plans infringe on their religious liberty.

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StoryCorps
9:01 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Being Positive: Love And Life After An HIV Diagnosis

Chris Whitney (right) spoke to his friend, Erin Kuka, in San Francisco about his life after learning that he was HIV positive.
StoryCorps

Chris Whitney lived in San Francisco in the 1980s, when there wasn't much known about AIDS. But then he tested positive for HIV in 1985. He explains what happened next to his frien Erin Kuka.

"The first person I told was the person I was dating at the time, and that was pretty much the last conversation I had with him," Whitney says. "You know, the fear just took over. That kind of made me really wary about opening up to people.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:59 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Obama Embraces 'End of AIDS,' Promises To Accelerate HIV Treatment

AIDS activists haven't always been happy with Barack Obama. But many of them were on this Worlds AIDS Day.

The president used the occasion to pledge a 50 percent increase in the number of HIV-infected people getting treatment through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR — from around 4 million now to 6 million by the end of 2013.

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