NPR News

After Elizabeth Moreno had back surgery in late 2015, her surgeon prescribed an opioid painkiller and a follow-up drug test that seemed routine — until the lab slapped her with a bill for $17,850.

A Houston lab had tested her urine sample for a constellation of legal and illicit drugs, many of which Moreno says she had never heard of, let alone taken.

"I was totally confused. I didn't know how I was going to pay this," said Moreno, 30, who is finishing a degree in education at Texas State University in San Marcos, and is pregnant with twins.

In her late 20s and attending college in Texas, Elizabeth Moreno suffered from debilitating back pain caused by a spinal abnormality. "I just could not live with the pain," she says. "I couldn't get dressed by myself, I couldn't walk across my house, let alone to class, and nothing, no drug that had been prescribed to me, even dulled the pain."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Investigators are trying to piece together what led a 19-year-old to open fire in a Florida high school this week. They're asking questions about the shooter's mental health, and that is something President Trump alluded to yesterday.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Today, at the Winter Olympics, Team USA did not get the results it was hoping for, in skiing or in men's figure skating. We have two reports from our Olympic team in Pyeongchang, beginning with NPR's Tom Goldman.

Intelligence Infighting

Feb 16, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Well, the Senate's debate on immigration didn't really go anywhere. Yeah, this was a test of bipartisanship, and it appears to have failed with various proposals falling short of 60 votes. This is how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put it.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Today marks the start of the Year of the Dog. The Lunar New Year is celebrated in China, Vietnam and many other countries and by ethnic Asian communities all around the world. NPR's Anthony Kuhn has this story from the Chinese capital, Beijing.

It's one delight of doing a lot of TV criticism: Some shows really sneak up on you. It's just so much fun when it happens.

NPR and Kaiser Health News are undertaking a project to investigate and dissect real-life medical bills.

We expect that examining the bills will shed light on the often surprising prices for health care in the U.S.

Along the way, we're hoping to help people learn how to be more active and successful in managing the costs of their care.

Do you have a medical bill or explanation of benefits that you'd like us to see and scrutinize? Submit it here and tell us the story behind it.

We may use it, with your permission, in one of our monthly features.

A scandal that erupted last week in Australia over an affair between Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and one of his female staffers has devolved into an open conflict between Joyce and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that threatens to take down the coalition government.

In an extraordinary news conference on Thursday, Turnbull announced a ban on government ministers having sex with staff amid pressure over Joyce to step down over the affair with his former press secretary, Vikki Campion.

Thousands gathered for a candlelight vigil in Parkland, Fla., to honor the memory of the 17 people killed on Wednesday when a gunman opened fire at a local high school.

There were tearful remembrances at the Pine Trails Park Amphitheater, as well as open sobbing, and at one point, some in the crowd erupted into a chant of "No more guns!"

Cyril Ramaphosa has waited for this moment a long time.

The 65-year-old tycoon was elected president of South Africa by parliament Thursday, an elevation that was guaranteed after Jacob Zuma resigned the presidency the night before.

Following Thursday's vote in the National Assembly, Ramaphosa took words of praise from supporters and overt electoral threats from opposition leaders — then stood at the same podium where, 22 years ago, he shepherded the ratification of South Africa's constitution.

Female inmates in Arizona had their allotment of free sanitary napkins increased threefold, after protesters denounced the 12-pad-per-month policy through an online campaign and by sending a state lawmaker tampons in the mail.

Updated at 10:50 p.m. ET on Friday

In the shooting Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, 17 people were killed. Three were on the staff as coaches or teachers; 14 were students. On Thursday afternoon, the Broward Sheriff's Office identified them.

Here are their names.

Alyssa Alhadeff

President Trump expressed grief Thursday over the school shooting in Florida and sought to comfort victims and their families in his first public address since the mass killing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left 17 people dead and many others injured.

"To every parent, teacher and child who is hurting so badly, we are here for you whatever you need, whatever we can do to ease your pain," he said.

Jeffrey Tambor, Emmy-winning star of Transparent, will not be returning to the cast for the show's upcoming fifth season. Amazon Studios confirmed his firing to NPR on Thursday.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Updated Feb. 15 at 5:30 p.m. ET

President Trump's inaugural committee raised twice as much as any of its predecessors, but its final filing with the IRS shows it spent most of the money on events that were significantly scaled back from past years.

In the shooting Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., 17 people lost their lives.

Two of those who were killed were beloved coaches. Aaron Feis was an assistant football coach and security guard at the school, while Chris Hixon was the athletic director and wrestling coach.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The Kurdish soldiers stand watch at this rustic outpost, nothing more than sand bags and hardened earth, like some sort of prehistoric fortress. Some of the fighters carry AK-47s, others hold machine guns. And all are looking to the south and the front line with ISIS in northeast Syria.

It's a vast open plain.

Gen. Hassan commands these troops. He's a short, squat man with salt-and-pepper hair, and he points out in the distance where the enemy is located, just a couple of mud huts on the horizon.

On Christmas Day last year, a 68-year-old woman in southern China came down with the flu. A week later she was hospitalized.

The woman eventually recovered, but she spent three weeks in the hospital.

The culprit? H7N4, a new type of bird flu.

"This is the first case of human infection with avian influenza A (H7N4) in the world," the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection said Wednesday in a statement.

Comic book and superhero fans in the U.S. are anxiously awaiting the opening of Marvel’s “Black Panther” in theaters Friday. Early reviews call it “exhilarating,” but also “groundbreaking.” That’s because “Black Panther” stars a black superhero.

Texas Standard’s Laura Rice (@LauraRiceKUT) reports from Austin.

American Mikaela Shiffrin won the gold medal in the women’s giant slalom Thursday. Meanwhile, the U.S. women’s hockey team lost to Canada 2-1 but remains alive in the tournament.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with Here & Now sports analyst Mike Pesca (@pescami) about the results.

North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer has reversed course and will challenge Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, finally giving Republicans a top recruit in a state that President Trump won by more than 30 points and making it a prime pickup opportunity for the GOP in 2018.

On Facebook, Cramer posted he will be announcing his Senate candidacy on Friday in Bismarck.

Pages