Senate lawmakers, this week, are announcing a bipartisan plan to overhaul the nation's mortgage market. The stock prices of the government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac plunged on the news.
The shale oil boom is having a major impact on cities across the U.S. In Philadelphia, trains bringing crude oil from North Dakota have helped revived refineries there. Plus, other businesses are now eagerly looking for ways to tap into Pennsylvania's own vast supply of natural gas.
A special election for a congressional seat on Florida suggests trouble ahead for Democratic candidates who backed Obamacare in swing districts. Republican David Jolly claimed victory last night in a congressional district that includes part of St. Petersburg, beating a strong Democratic candidate, Alex Sink. As NPR's Greg Allen reports, the results aren't encouraging for Democrats looking ahead to the fall midterm elections.
Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 8:23 am
Childhood obesity has made it to the forefront of public health issues, both in the United Kingdom and in the United States.
Now researchers at the Universities of Dundee, Strathclyde, Georgia and Bristol say that not only does obesity affect a child's overall health, but it may also lead to poorer school performance among teenage girls. Among boys, the link is less apparent.
Another 940,000 people signed up for health insurance in February under the Affordable Care Act, bringing the total to 4.2 million since the troubled HealthCare.gov website was launched, the Department of Health and Human Services reports. The number is still well short of the administration's goal for March 31, when open enrollment ends.
To reach 6 million sign ups under the ACA, as the White House had hoped for, another 1.8 million people would need to enroll by the end of the month.
Eliot Ness, the famed Prohibition-era agent often credited with bringing down the empire of Chicago mobster Al Capone, is perhaps best known to many from fictional portrayals on the big and small screens.
Although Ness is a legendary figure, some politicians are debating whether the headquarters of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Washington should bear his name.
Ness began his career as a Prohibition agent in 1926. Four years later, he was the special agent in charge of going after Capone's bootlegging operation.
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 6:58 pm
With 20 days left for people to sign up for private health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, the number of people who have completed that task rose to 4.2 million through the end of February, the Obama administration reports.
The next evolution of science is not happening in a lab, but in a basement in a rural Florida county. Thanks to online crowdsourcing, thousands of non-scientists can visit a site called Notes From Nature and lend a hand to university researchers cataloging their collections, from bark to bugs.
A plan in New York state to eliminate all wild mute swans there by 2025 has drawn protests and petitions on all sides. While some see elegant white birds gliding across the water, others see a dangerous aggressor destroying the local ecosystem.
Long-time fans of the comedy website, "Funny or Die," know this already. But for the rest of you, this is the theme song of "Between Two Ferns." The Web series mimics a low-budget, cable-access interview program.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
It's the brainchild of actor and comedian Zach Galifinakis. He plays an unprepared host who fumbles through awkward conversations with celebrities. But the guest of his latest episode, released today, was a little different.
Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 8:24 am
What can doctors do to help kids stay away from drugs?
There's not much evidence to say one way or the other, it turns out.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which issues guidelines on what doctors should and shouldn't do, said there aren't enough reliable studies around to come up with any solid advice. So the task force gave the interventions an "I" for insufficient evidence. The kids might call it an incomplete.