NPR Blogs

Shots - Health News
10:10 am
Tue April 1, 2014

HealthCare.Gov Woes Frustrate Last-Minute Shoppers And Helpers

Loretha Cager talks with an applicant at MNSure's call center in St. Paul, Minn., Monday. Monday was the open enrollment deadline for signing up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Ann Heisenfelt AP

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 3:30 pm

Last-minute health insurance shoppers turned up in record numbers Monday, both online and in person at clinics, county health departments and libraries. They were there to sign up for Obamacare on the last official day of open enrollment.

Public radio reporters checked out the scene in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Houston — three of the 36 states that are using HealthCare.gov — as well as in Minnesota, which has one of the most troubled state-run marketplaces.

Congested In Cleveland

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The Two-Way
9:57 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Report: British Army Sniper's Single Shot Kills 6 Taliban

British Army Gurkha snipers in Helmand province, Afghanistan, in November 2007.
Steve Lewis Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 2:07 pm

A shot fired by a British Army sniper at a suspected Taliban fighter in Afghanistan last December ended up killing not just the man in the marksman's sights but also five other men who were thought to be militant soldiers, The Telegraph reports.

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Monkey See
9:18 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Oh, 'Mother': An Awful End To A Long Love Story

Josh Radnor and Cristin Milioti, as Ted and the mother, deserved better on the series finale.
Ron P. Jaffe CBS

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 2:55 pm

[WARNING: If you haven't seen the series finale of How I Met Your Mother, don't watch it. Just kidding! Sort of. This piece, at any rate, contains plot details from that finale.]

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Missing Malaysian Jet May Never Be Found, Head Of Search Warns

Angus Houston, the retired Australian air chief marshal who is leading the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Lui Siu Wai Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 1:02 pm

"The head of the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has raised the possibility that no wreckage from the passenger jet may ever be found, revealing authorities have a very poor understanding about how fast or far it traveled," The Sydney Morning Herald writes.

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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Book News: Jane Goodall Blames Carelessness For Lifted Passages

Jane Goodall holds a baby Cebus capucinus monkey during a 2013 visit to a primate rescue center in Chile.
Hector Retamal AFP/Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
8:18 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Congress Passes Bill To Stop Payment Cuts To Medicare Doctors

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 7:21 am

For the 17th time, Congress has passed legislation to a very a deep pay cut to doctors who see Medicare patients.

As NPR's Julie Rovner reports, this is a one-year delay that doesn't deal with the problem permanently. Julie filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
7:43 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Reports: U.S., Israel Discussing Release Of American Spy

Israeli protesters call for the release of Jonathan Pollard (portraits), a Jewish American who was arrested in 1985 for giving Israel thousands of secret documents about U.S. espionage in the Arab world.
Gali Tibbon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 9:14 am

Update at 9:15 a.m. ET, April 1: Agreement Is "Near":

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The Two-Way
6:38 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

I'm Darth Vader, And I Approve This Message

A man dressed as Darth Vader announced his candidacy for office, representing the Internet Party of Ukraine. The dark lord spoke at his party's conference in Kiev on Saturday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 10:12 am

Ukraine's presidential election season took an interesting turn over the weekend, as Darth Vader declared his candidacy for the nation's highest office, promising that he knows what it takes to rebuild an empire.

"I alone can make an empire out of a republic to restore former glory, to return lost territories and pride for this country," said Vader, according to Agence France-Presse.

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The Two-Way
6:20 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Authorities Raise Number Of Dead In Mudslide To 24

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 9:47 pm

Update at 9:38 p.m. EDT

Snohomish County authorities say they believe 22 people are still missing in the deadly March 22 mudslide near Oso, Wash.

It's a tiny bit of good news in a heartbreaking story: The number is down from the 30 they had previously thought were missing.

The death toll remains at 24.

Our Original Post

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Monkey See
5:52 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

10 Absolutely True Stories About Writing For Television Without Pity

Tubey, the Television Without Pity mascot, rendered as a plush toy.
NPR

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 8:13 pm

[What follows is a personal reflection. Please indulge me.]

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The Two-Way
5:45 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

D.C. Mayor Signs Bill Decriminalizing Some Marijuana Use

Marijuana plants in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren AP

Washington, D.C., Mayor Vince Gray signed a bill, today, that decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

As we reported, the D.C. city council voted to join 16 other states in decriminalizing some use last month.

What makes D.C. interesting is that any laws passed by the local government must be reviewed by Congress and this particular bill pits local laws against federal statutes, which make any marijuana possession illegal.

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Shots - Health News
5:36 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

British Drugmaker Funds Research On Chronic Disease In Africa

Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, says that better control of infectious diseases in Africa is allowing chronic diseases to come to the surface.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 3:31 pm

One of the world's largest drugmakers says it will invest more than $200 million in Africa over the next five years in a push for better treatment of noncommunicable diseases there.

GlaxoSmithKline said the funding would be focused on sub-Saharan Africa, where the company already employs about 1,500 people and operates three factories. The money would go toward building five more factories and funding of research and development focused on the region.

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Shots - Health News
5:22 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

How Your Face Shows Happy Disgust

Can you name the 10 emotions conveyed above? The first six are basic emotions. The last four are complex emotions that combine two of the basic ones. (Check at the bottom for the answers.)
Courtesy of Aleix M. Martinez

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 3:31 pm

We smile when we're happy. But how does a face strike the proper look to show, say, happy surprise? Or happy disgust, like when you're laughing at a really gross joke?

A new report, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that we instinctively mix and match actions from the six basic emotions to stitch together more subtle expressions.

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The Two-Way
5:19 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

WATCH: For The First Time, An Ump's On-Field Call Is Overturned

Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers singles in the bottom of the fourth inning against the Atlanta Braves during Opening Day.
Mike McGinnis Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 8:23 am

A big first happened in today's opening day game in Milwaukee.

The Atlanta Braves were playing the Brewers when Ryan Braun hit a slow rolling grounder to third base. Braun was called safe at first, but the Braves challenged the call and instant replay found the ump was wrong.

The play marks the first time an umpire's on-the-field call has been overturned during baseball's brand-new extended replay era. Previously, only home run calls could be challenged by replay. Courtesy of MLB.com, here's the video:

We'll let sports writer Wes Hodiewicz make the jokes:

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