NPR Blogs

Shots - Health News
3:58 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Why Bill Gates Thinks Ending Polio Is Worth It

There's no better deal than getting polio cases down to zero, philanthropist Bill Gates says.
Marie McGrory NPR

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 4:28 pm

Some critics say that ending polio has become Bill Gates' "white whale."

Why not just settle for the huge drop in polio cases that we've seen over the past decade and then spend money on other things that kill so many more kids, like diarrhea and malnutrition?

"Polio is special," Gates tells NPR's Robert Siegel on All Things Considered. "Once you get it done, you save $2 billion a year that will be applied to those other activities. There's no better deal economically to getting to zero."

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The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Carnival Triumph Heads Back To Gulf Of Mexico, Under Power

The cruise ship Carnival Triumph, seen here as it arrived in Mobile, Ala., in February, has now disembarked for the Bahamas. The powerless ship was towed to port with 3,143 passengers aboard in February.
Dave Martin AP

The Carnival Cruise ship Triumph is traveling again, having left the terminal in Mobile, Ala., where it was forced to dock in February after severe problems with its engines led to its being towed across the Gulf of Mexico.

The odyssey of the ship, whose 3,143 passengers endured days without consistent running water and electrical services, attracted national attention as it drifted at sea before heading to the Alabama coast.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Several Dead After Ship Crashes Into Dock In Italy

Rescuers search what is left of the control tower of the port of Genoa, northern Italy, on Tuesday.
Francesco Pecoraro Associated Press

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 3:42 pm

A cargo ship slammed into a dock in Genoa, Italy, on Wednesday, killing at least seven people and toppling the control tower at one of the country's busiest ports.

The Associated Press reports that divers had found seven bodies in the wreckage. Four others have been hospitalized and two were still unaccounted for, Luca Cari, a spokesman for the fire rescue teams at the scene, told The Associated Press.

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The Two-Way
2:22 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Syria Gets Its Internet Back

Syrians check e-mails, chat and connect to their Facebook accounts in 2011 at an Internet cafe in Damascus.
Muzaffar Salman AP

Internet access appears to be returning in Syria after an outage hit most of the war-torn country, according to web monitoring firm Renesys.

It estimates the web blackout began Tuesday night and lasted for nearly 20 hours but tweeted Wednesday afternoon that "platform traffic to the country is increasing."

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The Two-Way
2:19 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Air Force Strips 17 Officers Of Nuclear Missile Launch Authority

A Minuteman III missile inside its silo about 60 miles from Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D.
USAF Getty Images

Seventeen Air Force officers with control over nuclear missiles have had that authority suspended after receiving poor reviews on their mastery of launch operations, The Associated Press reports in an exclusive.

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Monkey See
1:12 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Yippee-Kai-Yay, Mr. President: 'White House Down' Looks Very Familiar

Channing Tatum stars in White House Down.
Reiner Bajo Sony Pictures

Look, I like Channing Tatum. I like Jamie Foxx. And heaven knows, I love Die Hard.

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The Salt
12:37 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

With Warming Climes, How Long Will A Bordeaux Be A Bordeaux?

A worker harvests cabernet sauvignon grapes at a vineyard near Bordeaux, France, in September.
Caroline Blumberg EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:25 pm

Bordeauxs and Burgundys haven't changed much since the days when famous wine-lover Thomas Jefferson kept the cellars of his Parisian home well-stocked with both wines.

But now, some worry that the regional rules and traditions that have defined top winemaking regions like Champagne, Burgundy and Chianti for centuries could melt away as climate change takes effect.

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Monkey See
12:07 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

If Jeff Probst Were President

Jeff Probst, seen here in the summer of 2012, is a TV host, and is not actually the president.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 1:38 pm

Note: It is 100 percent true and 51 percent relevant that this entire story was written inside my brain while I was in the dentist's chair under the influence of anesthesia. I began to think, "Jeff Probst [the host of Survivor] will not be happy until he is more important than tribal council. Until he is king of CBS. Until he is President of the United States. President Jeff Probst." So the entire thing is numbness-induced in so many ways. Make of that what you will.

President Jeff Probst's State Of The Union Address, delivered Feb. 2 [xxx]

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
11:30 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Portrait Of A Physicist As A Young Man

Quantum entanglement: a little bit like dancing twins connected by unseen forces.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 9:42 am

When I was starting my PhD studies at King's College London, I had the opportunity to meet the famous physicist John Bell. His work established that quantum mechanics — and the bizarre kind of reality it entails — happens to be the way the world is. My conversation with Bell says a lot about how the physics community at large deals with the strange predictions from quantum mechanics. It's mostly with a combination of forced indifference and fear.

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The Two-Way
11:23 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Alex Ferguson: A Legendary Manager For An Iconic Franchise

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson celebrates after his team wins the English Premier League at Blackburn, England, on May 14, 2011.
Tim Hales AP

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 5:55 pm

The resignation of veteran Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is an event causing ripples that go way beyond the island where the Scotsman spent his long and illustrious career.

Walk into a bar pretty much anywhere from Buenos Aires to Bangkok, mention Ferguson or his star-studded team of Red Devils, and you can be sure of a lively conversation — and perhaps a heated argument.

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The Two-Way
11:12 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Kurdish Militants Begin Historic Withdrawal From Turkey

Today marks the beginning of the pullback of thousands of militant PKK fighters from Turkey back to Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq. It's an important milestone in a delicate effort to end nearly three decades of bloodshed that have killed an estimated 35,000 people since 1984.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:48 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Wildlife That Isn't Wild And Isn't Alive

YouTube

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 2:33 pm

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Shots - Health News
9:50 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Medicare Pulls Back Curtain On Hospital Bills

Average hospital charges for a major joint replacement, such as an artificial hip, vary widely, as this map from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services shows.
HHS

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 8:28 am

When it comes to health care, the biggest of the big data are all about Medicare.

So, it's kind of a BIG deal when the government releases what individual hospitals charge Medicare — and what they actually get paid — for the most common diagnoses and treatments.

In a first, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services made those figures from more than 3,000 hospitals public Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Wed May 8, 2013

'Do Me A Solid,' Diplomat Rodman Says To North Korea's Kim

Dennis Rodman, in black hat and shades, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a Feb. 28 basketball game in Pyongyang.
KCNA EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 12:52 pm

America's unlikeliest link to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reached out to his friend in a bid to have an American citizen released from one of the communist nation's notorious labor camps.

"I'm calling on the Supreme Leader of North Korea or as I call him 'Kim', to do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose," former basketball star Dennis Rodman tweets.

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The Two-Way
8:47 am
Wed May 8, 2013

31 Suspects In 3 Nations Nabbed In $50 Million Diamond Heist

Yves Herman Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 5:55 pm

Remember that brazen, right-out-of-the-movies diamond heist at Brussels' international airport on Feb. 18?

Now there's word from The Associated Press that "police on Wednesday claimed a major breakthrough in their investigation ... detaining 31 people in a three-nation sweep."

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