NPR Blogs

Shots - Health News
9:58 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Vaccine Refusals Fueled California's Whooping Cough Epidemic

A student gets vaccinated against pertussis at a Los Angeles middle school in 2012. The state required that students be immunized to halt an epidemic of whooping cough.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 11:22 am

When the whooping cough vaccine was invented in the 1940s, doctors thought they had finally licked the illness, which is especially dangerous for babies. But then it came roaring back.

In 2010, a whooping cough outbreak in California sickened 9,120 people, more than in any year since 1947. Ten infants died; babies are too young to be vaccinated.

Public health officials suspected that the increased numbers of parents who refused to vaccinate their children played a role, but they couldn't be sure.

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The Two-Way
9:12 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Multiple Car Bombs Wreak Havoc In Baghdad, Killing Dozens

Iraqis look at the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad, where at least 10 car bombs were detonated during the city's rush hour Monday.
Khalid Mohammed AP

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 1:30 pm

A spate of car bombs exploded during Baghdad's morning rush hour Monday, killing at least 47 people and wounding dozens more. Most of the bombs struck areas with large Shiite populations; various news agencies are reporting that from nine to 14 separate bombs were detonated.

Many of the car bombs resulted in far more injuries than deaths. But at least one explosion was especially deadly. According to the BBC and Reuters, an attack in Baghdad's Sadr City district killed at least seven people.

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Monkey See
9:03 am
Mon September 30, 2013

'Breaking Bad' Lands Its Finale A Little Too Cleanly

Bryan Cranston wrapped up his run Sunday night as Walter White in Breaking Bad.
Ursula Coyote AMC

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 3:27 pm

[Hopefully, we don't have to point out that a piece about the Breaking Bad finale contains information about the Breaking Bad finale. But here we are.]

Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan signaled in interviews leading up to Sunday night's series finale that those who craved some redemption for Walter White were the ones most likely to leave happy.

"We feel it's a satisfying ending," Gilligan told Entertainment Weekly. "Walt ends things more or less on his own terms."

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Remembering Lee Thornton, Who Broke Barriers In Journalism

Lee Thornton.
University of Maryland / Philip Merrill College of Journalism

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 11:08 am

The news media has lost another trailblazer.

Two months after the death of Helen Thomas, another woman who broke important barriers in Washington's press corps has passed away.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Popes John Paul II, John XXIII To Become Saints Next April

Pope John Paul II in 1982
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 11:06 am

The Vatican said Monday that it has set April 27, 2014, as the date that popes John Paul II and John XXIII will be "raised to sainthood."

Their canonization will come on "the Second Sunday of Easter and Divine Mercy," the Holy See added.

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The Two-Way
6:53 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Book News: Marcella Hazan, Italian Cookbook Author, Dies

Marcella Hazan and her husband, Victor, in the kitchen of their home in Longboat Key, Fla.
Laura Krantz NPR

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

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Shots - Health News
3:37 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Insurance Exchange 101: Here's What You Need To Know

The audience concentrates on a presentation by Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger's office about the federal health care overhaul at the University of Kansas satellite campus in Overland Park, Kan., earlier this month.
John Hanna AP

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 9:36 am

The Affordable Care Act has been through two years of legislative wrangling, a presidential election and a Supreme Court test that took it to the brink.

Now, after yet another round of debate and argument, major pieces of the federal health law are expected to kick in Tuesday.

If all goes as planned, people who don't have insurance or who buy it on their own will be able to shop online or at various locations in their communities for coverage that will take effect Jan. 1.

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The Salt
3:35 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Kombucha: Magical Health Elixir Or Just Funky Tea?

Kombucha made by artisan tea brewer Bill Bond in Akron, Ohio, comes in an array of flavors, such as lemongrass, ginger, blueberry and watermelon.
Peggy Turbett The Plain Dealer /Landov

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 12:34 pm

Chances are, you've seen it in your local grocery store. Maybe you've even mustered the courage to taste it — or at least take a whiff.

Once mostly a product of health food stores and hippies' kitchens, kombucha tea is now commercially available in many major grocery stores.

And people aren't necessarily scooping it up for its flavor. Its taste has been described as somewhere between vinegar soda and carbonated apple cider.

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The Salt
3:34 am
Mon September 30, 2013

To Get The Benefits Of Olive Oil, Fresh May Be Best

Experts say lots of factors determine how quickly an oil deteriorates — from the variety of the olives, to how the oil is produced and stored.
Matthias Schrader AP

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 6:17 pm

The Mediterranean diet is a pattern of eating that lately has become a darling of medical researchers. It includes vegetables and grains, not so much meat and, of course, generous portions of olive oil.

Mary Flynn, an associate professor of medicine at Brown University, says the evidence that olive oil is good for your heart has never been more clear. "Olive oil is a very healthy food," she says. "I consider it more medicine than food."

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The Two-Way
3:49 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

In Kenya, Questions Arise Over Reported Warnings Of Attack

The upper parking lot entrance to the Westgate Mall is seen above vehicles that plunged during the collapse of the upper level. Kenyan officials are urging patience with the pace of the flow of information about the attack.
Ben Curtis AP

Kenyan authorities say they've made another arrest in the deadly attack on an upscale mall that shocked Nairobi last week. But officials are also facing questions over reports of intelligence that may have given warnings about the attack, which ended with at least 67 deaths.

According to the Kenyan Red Cross's last update which came on Friday, 59 people who are believed to have been in the mall remain unaccounted for.

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The Two-Way
1:37 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

The $142,000 Pickup: Truck With 1.3 Miles Tops Vintage Car Auction

This 1958 Chevrolet Cameo pickup truck with 1.3 miles and a three-speed transmission sold for $140,000 at Saturday's auction of vehicles stockpiled for decades by car dealership owner Ray Lambrecht.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 5:00 pm

A car auction unlike any other is going on this weekend in Pierce, Neb., where hundreds of cars that were stockpiled by a Chevrolet dealer are finally being sold — many for the first time. The Lambrecht Chevrolet collection stretches back to the 1950s and has drawn bids and interest from around the world.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Sun September 29, 2013

Militants Kill Students In Dorms At Nigerian College

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 12:28 pm

As many as 50 students may be dead in Nigeria, after gunmen attacked an agricultural college's dormitories in the country's northeast. The attack, which occurred as many students slept, is being blamed on the group Boko Haram, which wants to form an Islamic state.

From The Associated Press:

"As many as 50 students may have been killed in the assault that began at about 1 a.m. Sunday in rural Gujba, Provost Molima Idi Mato of Yobe State College of Agriculture, told The Associated Press."

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Sun September 29, 2013

Remarks On Women's Ovaries Expose Saudi Cleric To Ridicule

A file image taken from a video released by Change.org shows a woman driving a car as part of a 2011 campaign to defy Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving.
AP

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 12:24 pm

A Saudi cleric who warned women against driving cars by saying it could harm their ovaries is facing criticism and mockery. The comments of Sheikh Saleh al-Luhaydan came a month before a planned day of disobedience, with activists encouraging women to drive — a right they do not have in Saudi Arabia.

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Sun September 29, 2013

Market Bombing In Peshawar Leaves Dozens Dead

Pakistani rescue workers, police officers and civilians look for people who were wounded and killed at the site of a car bomb explosion in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday.
Mohammad Sajjad AP

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 12:12 pm

A powerful explosion has killed at least 37 people in Peshawar, Pakistan, where authorities say they suspect a car bomb was detonated in a market district near a police station. The explosion left a scene of devastation, with casualties and severe damage to nearby buildings in the city's historic Qissa Khawani market.

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