NPR Blogs

Shots - Health News
2:54 am
Fri September 6, 2013

After A Decade, Congress Moves To Fix Doctors' Medicare Pay

I think I see the problem.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 7:59 am

Hear the words health care and Congress, and you think fight, right?

And you'd be forgiven, particularly because the House has now voted some 40 times in the past two years to repeal or otherwise undo portions of the Affordable Care Act.

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The Two-Way
7:16 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

The Other G-20 Drama: Obama And Brazilian President Rousseff

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff attends the first working meeting of the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Thursday.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 7:49 pm

While everyone has been focused on Syria, including the dramatic meeting of two world leaders at odds over the situation, there was another bit of drama unfolding Thursday at the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia:

President Obama was late to dinner apparently because he was busy trying to smooth over a conflict with Brazil.

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The Salt
6:41 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Was Your Chicken Nugget Made In China? It'll Soon Be Hard To Know

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 12:52 pm

Here's a bit of news that might make you drop that chicken nugget midbite.

Just before the start of the long holiday weekend last Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture quietly announced that it was ending a ban on processed chicken imports from China. The kicker: These products can now be sold in the U.S. without a country-of-origin label.

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The Two-Way
6:39 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

German Police Raid Christian Sect For Alleged Child Abuse

View of the village of Klosterzimmern near Deiningen, Germany on Friday. The village is home to the religious community 'Zwoelf Staemme' ('Twelve Tribes').
Daniel Karmann EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 1:31 pm

Two communities affiliated with a U.S.-founded Christian sect have been raided by German police, who removed 40 children after allegations of abuse.

Officials say they acted after receiving evidence of ongoing child abuse at the two communities in Bavaria belonging to the Twelve Tribes, according to Germany's Spiegel Online.

According to the BBC, more than 100 officers were part of the operation to remove the children, who were placed in temporary foster homes.

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The Two-Way
5:12 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Reports: NSA Has Keys To Most Internet Encryption

The National Security Agency headquarters at Fort Meade, Md.
Saul Loeb Getty Images

The National Security Agency has the keys to most Internet encryption methods and it has gotten them by using supercomputers to break them and by enlisting the help of private IT companies, The New York Times and The Guardian are reporting.

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The Salt
5:11 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Japanese Whiskey Teases U.S. Consumers By Playing Hard To Get

Suntory's 30-year-old Hibiki whiskey took home the top award at the International Spirits Challenge in 2003. This unexpected triumph was Japanese whiskey's big coming-out party on the global spirits stage.
Courtesy of Suntory

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 7:31 pm

Scotland is the de facto king of whisky. But now an unlikely challenger — Japan — is making a name for its whiskey far beyond its borders. Unfortunately for Americans, this highly coveted Japanese whiskey is very hard to come by.

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The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

California Rim Fire Was Started By Hunter's 'Illegal' Fire

A firefighter uses a hose to douse the flames of the Rim Fire on Saturday near Groveland, California.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The wildfire still burning north of Yosemite National Park — you know, the one that has charred 237,341 acres and was at one point one of the largest fires in recent California history — was started by a hunter's illegal fire.

The U.S. Forest Service said in a statement that its investigators had concluded that the Rim Fire "began when a hunter allowed an illegal fire to escape."

Authorities, said the Forest Service, have made no arrest and they are not releasing the name of the hunter.

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Shots - Health News
2:53 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

How A Change In Gut Microbes Can Affect Weight

Dreaming of slimming gut microbes?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 1:56 pm

The evidence just keeps mounting that the microbes in our digestive systems are a factor in the obesity epidemic.

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

California Inmates Suspend Two-Month-Long Hunger Strike

Inmates at California's Chino State Prison in December 2010.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

After more than two months, 100 California inmates have suspended a hunger strike they launched to protest prison conditions, including the use of solitary confinement by the state.

In a statement, some of the prisoners said they had "collectively" decided to end the strike, despite the fact that most of their demands have not been met.

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The Two-Way
2:16 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

The Incredible Case Of The Bank Robber Who's Now A Law Clerk

After serving almost 11 years in federal prison for bank robbery, Shon Hopwood is a law student at the University of Washington. He's landed a prestigious law clerk's position with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Sang Cho Courtesy of The Daily of the University of Washington

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 2:03 pm

"I had no prior history with the law other than breaking it."

"I thought, 'this kid is a punk.' "

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Iran's President Wished Jews 'A Blessed Rosh Hashanah.' Or Did He?

Did Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweet a greeting to the world's Jews on Rosh Hashana?
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 10:12 am

It sounded a bit far-fetched, and perhaps it was.

Iran's former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied the Holocaust and threatened to wipe Israel off the map. But his successor, President Hassan Rouhani, considered a relative moderate by contrast, has taken a somewhat softer tone. So, when Rouhani allegedly tweeted the following, it quickly became news:

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
1:43 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

When Did Human Speech Evolve?

Language may have evolved in concert with tool making.
Sergey Lavrentev iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 2:26 pm

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Shots - Health News
1:17 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Kids' Use Of Electronic Cigarettes Doubles

Clouds of nicotine-laced vapor are getting more popular with teens.
Mauro Grigollo iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 8:24 am

The percentage of middle and high school students who have tried electronic cigarettes more than doubled in a year, federal health officials reported Thursday.

The percentage of students in grades 6 through 12 who had ever used e-cigarettes increased from 3.3 percent in 2011 to 6.8 percent in 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Those who reported currently using the devices increased from 1.1 percent to 2.1 percent.

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

IRS To Count Automatic Gratuities As Wages, Not Tips

A waiter serves patrons at Tony's Restaurant, part of the Casablanca Hotel in New York's Times Square. The custom at some restaurants of automatic gratuities for larger parties might change because of an IRS rule change.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 2:51 pm

Gratuity included? A new IRS rule could end, or at least curtail, the practice.

The Internal Revenue Service will soon begin classifying automatic gratuities as service charges that are taxable as regular wages and subject to payroll tax withholding. Currently, they're considered tips, and it's up to the wait staff to report them as income.

The Wall Street Journal says:

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Shots - Health News
11:54 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Tuberculosis Hitched A Ride When Early Humans Left Africa

Signs of tuberculosis have been found in ancient Egyptian mummies, such as this one in London's British Museum.
Klafubra Wikimedia.org

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 1:55 pm

Dogs often get credit for being humans' constant companions. But dogs have nothing on tuberculosis bacteria.

TB and people have been trapped in a relationship that's been going on for thousands of years — perhaps even tens of thousands of years, scientists said earlier this week.

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