NPR Blogs

Shots - Health News
10:28 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Change In Donors Is Remaking Global Giving

Bill Gates watches as a child is vaccinated at the Ahentia Health Centre in Ghana in March.
Pius Utomi Ekpei AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 1:06 pm

The face of international aid for health and development is changing.

Less money is now coming from wealthy, industrialized nations and more is flowing from private foundations, corporations and even countries that only a few years ago were recipients themselves.

First, let's be clear. The United States government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, remains the largest donor on the planet — doling out more than $30 billion each year.

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The Two-Way
10:12 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Why Can Lance Armstrong Race At A Swim Meet?

Lance Armstrong warms up for the swimming leg of the 2011 Xterra World Championship triathlon in Kapalua, Hawaii (before he was banned from most competitions). This weekend, he'll swim in a Texas meet for masters swimmers.
Hugh Gentry Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 11:27 am

Update at 11:15 a.m. ET. Armstrong Pulls Out:

After an objection was raised Thursday by FINA, swimming's international governing body, Lance Armstrong has withdrawn from a masters swim meet being held this weekend in Austin, Texas, The Associated Press and other news outlets are reporting.

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Lululemon's Product Chief To Depart; See-Through Pants Have Been A Problem

Lululemon clothes at a store in Pasadena, Calif.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 12:03 pm

Two weeks after being embarrassed by the news that some of its yoga pants were way too sheer, there's word from Lululemon that chief product officer Sheree Waterson will be leaving the company April 15.

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Book News: Hillary Clinton's New Memoir To Cover Arab Spring, Killing Of Bin Laden

Former U.S. Secretary of State — and much-speculated about 2016 presidential candidate? — Hillary Clinton.
Astrid Riecken Getty Images

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

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Jobless Claims Rise; Employment Report Likely To Show Slow Job Growth

Will there be more signs like this? An automotive service shop in El Cerrito, Calif., was looking for workers last month.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:24 am

There were 385,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 28,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

The news follows Wednesday's report of slower-than-expected job growth in the private sector: The ADP National Employment Report estimated that businesses added just 158,000 jobs last month.

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Monkey See
8:21 am
Thu April 4, 2013

'Arrested Development' Comes Back On Netflix On May 26, So Get Extra Sleep Now

Jeffrey Tambor, left, and Jason Bateman appear in a scene from the comedy Arrested Development, which returns with new episodes on Netflix on May 26.
AP

Netflix has announced that the new "anthology" season of Arrested Development will arrive — all 15 episodes at once — on May 26. The show, which ran on Fox from 2003 to 2006 and won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, will bring back its entire cast, including Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Jeffrey Tambor, Michael Cera, David Cross, and many, many more.

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The Two-Way
8:18 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Top Stories: Conn. Gun Law; North Korea's Threats; Rutgers Firing

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 10:20 am

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Thu April 4, 2013

North Korea Moves Missile, Threatens To Close Factories Used By South

On Thursday, a South Korean security guard kept watch as South Korean trucks waited to enter the Kaesong industrial complex in North Korea. For the second day, the North blocked the trucks and workers from the South from entering its territory.
Kim Hong-ji Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 2:02 pm

Bear in mind that, as NPR's Louisa Lim has said, North Korea's regime is skilled at making threats. And fortunately, the most ominous of those threats have not been followed by action in recent decades.

With those caveats in mind, here are Thursday's developments in the latest round of provocative moves by the communist state. From Beijing, Louisa tells our Newscast Desk that:

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The Salt
5:11 am
Thu April 4, 2013

A Political War Brews Over 'Food For Peace' Aid Program

Pakistani aid workers offload USAID food supplies from an Army helicopter in Kallam Valley during catastrophic flooding in 2010.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 3:47 pm

Washington is awash in rumors this week that the White House is planning major changes in the way the U.S. donates food to fight hunger in some of the world's poorest countries.

It has set off an emotional debate. Both sides say they are trying to save lives.

America's policies on food aid are singularly generous — and also unusually selfish. On the generous side, the U.S. spends roughly $1.5 billion every year to send food abroad, far more than any other country.

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The Two-Way
7:02 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Award-Winning Novelist And Screenwriter, Dies

This undated publicity photo provided by Merchant Ivory Productions shows Oscar-winning screenwriter and award-winning novelist Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (center) with film director and producer Ismail Merchant (left) and director James Ivory in a studio. Jhabvala, 85, died in New York on Wednesday.
AP

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 4:46 am

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, the Oscar-winning screenwriter and Booker Prize-winning novelist, has died at her home in New York. She was 85.

NPR's Bob Mondello reported on her career for NPR's Newscast Desk:

"With the films of Merchant/Ivory, you tend to think first of period-perfect costumes and settings, but it was Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's scripts that gave them substance. She was witty, cultivated and could be wonderfully precise about class and propriety in her adaptations of, say, E.M. Forster.

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The Two-Way
6:57 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Brian Banks, Who Was Cleared Of Rape Conviction, Is Signed By Atlanta Falcons

A tear of relief: Brian Banks after his rape conviction was dismissed Thursday.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 8:04 pm

We've told you the story of Brian Banks. He served five years in prison and then five years of probation for a rape conviction that was thrown out in May 2012.

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The Salt
5:57 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

What Do We Lose, And Gain, When Reducing A Life To A Recipe?

Detail of The Autumn, a painting of a man made of food by 16th century Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo.
Vittorio Zunino Celotto Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 11:39 pm

What is the essence of a life? Is it our career accomplishments? Our devotion to friends and family? Our secret little talents and foibles? Is it, perhaps, our killer recipe for beef stroganoff?

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The Two-Way
5:16 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

West Virginia Sheriff Shot, Killed Near County Courthouse

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 5:21 pm

Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum was shot and killed on Wednesday as he ate his lunch inside his vehicle.

The Charleston Gazette quotes one eyewitness as saying he saw a man pull up to Crum's car and shoot him "right in the head."

The paper adds:

"Tennis Melvin Maynard, 37, of Delbarton, has been arrested in connection to the shooting, according to West Virginia State Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Baylous.

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Shots - Health News
5:03 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Side Effects Prompt Patients To Stop Cholesterol Drugs

Lipitor and other statin drugs are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 2:57 pm

With one-quarter of adults over age 45 taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, it figures that more than a few people would have trouble sticking with the program.

More than a few, actually.

A big new study of statin use in the real world found that 17 percent of patients taking the pills reported side effects, including muscle pain, nausea, and problems with their liver or nervous system.

That's a lot higher than the 5 to 10 percent reported in the randomized controlled trials that provided evidence for regulatory approval of the medicines.

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The Two-Way
4:24 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Responding To North Korea, U.S. Sends Missile Defenses To Guam

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks at the National Defense University at Ft. McNair in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong Getty Images

The United States said it was sending its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System to Guam in the coming weeks.

The move to deploy the missile defense system comes in response to continued heated rhetoric from North Korea. The BBC reports:

"The Pentagon said in a statement the missile system would be moved to Guam as a 'precautionary move to strengthen our regional defence posture against the North Korean regional ballistic missile threat.'

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