Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 10:09 am
For years I've had a patient who is a gym teacher. As you might expect, he's pretty fit. Well into his 60s, he can do an impressive number of pushups, as he demonstrated one morning in our exam room.
He surprised me in a different way at an appointment several months ago. He pulled out results from medical tests that he'd had done at his church. He and many of his fellow congregants had each paid about $150 for screening tests that they were told could see if they were at risk for strokes, clogged leg arteries and other problems.
Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 1:41 pm
A federal judge in Austin struck down part of a Texas law that would have required all abortion clinics in the state to meet the same standards as outpatient surgical centers. The regulation, which was set to go into effect Monday, would have shuttered about a dozen abortion clinics, leaving only eight places in Texas to get a legal abortion — all in major cities.
Regulations passed in Texas, which affected clinics that perform abortions there, were set to go into effect on Sept. 1. On Friday, a federal judge blocked those regulations, on the grounds that they unconstitutionally restricted access to legal abortion.
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The White House is working behind the scenes to develop a strategy for fighting the Islamic State in Syria, a strategy that could include airstrikes and other military action there. But there are already lots of questions in political and national security circles about the legal authority the Obama administration might use to justify those actions.
In the days after the Sept. 11 attacks, Congress authorized the White House to use military force — broad authority to strike against al-Qaida.
Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 6:41 pm
A worker in southern China was left hanging from 100 feet up the side of a high-rise apartment building when a 10-year-old boy, apparently annoyed at the construction racket outside his window, decided to cut the safety line on the man's rappelling apparatus.
Xinhua says the boy was watching cartoons in his eighth-floor apartment in Guizhou province as the worker was outside installing lighting. So, the boy took a knife and sliced through the rope that allows the worker to move up and down.
On Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans and gutted most of its public schools. Even before the storm, the district was one of the most troubled in the nation.
Today, the New Orleans school system is unlike any other anywhere in the U.S. More than 9 in 10 students this fall are attending charter schools run by dozens of private, nonprofit organizations. Families choose the schools their children will attend, and the neighborhood school is a thing of the past.
While most of America is thinking burgers and swimming this Labor Day weekend, I can't stop thinking about earthquakes.
Last Sunday, a shaker registering magnitude 6.0 struck the Napa Valley in Northern California. It injured dozens and caused about $1 billion in damages. National media coverage focused on how the quake affected the area's famous wine industry — because America needs to know that our stock of cabs and zinfandels is safe.
Myles Bess, a reporter and producer with Youth Radio, has been reporting in Ferguson, Mo., where Michael Brown was shot by a police officer on Aug. 9. Bess lives in Oakland, Calif., and in 2009, he lived through the aftermath of the police shooting of another unarmed young black man, Oscar Grant.
I was 14 years old when Oscar Grant was killed just a few miles from where I live. Grant was unarmed and lying facedown on the BART platform when a transit cop shot him in the back.
How does a deal like the $1.5 billion buyout of Market Basket work? What did it take Arthur T. Demoulas to gain total control of the 71-store supermarket chain from warring relatives? It was complicated — from start to finish.
As a young scientist in Belgium, Peter Piot was part of a team that discovered the Ebola virus in 1976.
He took his first trip to Africa to investigate this mysterious disease. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, he met people who had contracted it. "I'll never forget the glazed eyes, the staring and the pain ... this type of expression in the eyes ... telling me I'm going to die," says Piot. "That I'll never forget."
Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:52 pm
Some good news heading into the long weekend: Labor Day gas prices are at their lowest level in four years.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration says the nationwide average for retail regular was $3.45 per gallon on Aug. 25 — that's the lowest average price for a Monday ahead of Labor Day since 2010, and it's about $0.25 per gallon less than at the end of June this year. The current price is down from the record average of $3.83 for the 2012 holiday.