When smoking is banned in bars and workplaces, the number of people who suffer heart attacks and die drops within months, according to two new studies.
They found benefits not only in saving lives, but in lowering the cost of medical care for heart attacks, stroke and other smoking-related illnesses. It's the best evidence yet demonstrating big, swift health improvements when secondhand smoke is banished.
As the presidential campaign has unfolded, the candidates have traded polemics about wealth, class warfare, dependency and the role of government.
And while it may be uncomfortable to admit, some Americans are simply more financially successful than others. But why do some achieve wealth, while others struggle? And what do we think explains our prosperity — or lack thereof?
Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 8:17 am
Hurricane Sandy may be grinding closer to the East Coast with 90 mph winds and torrential rains, but the most devastating aspect is likely to be storm surge.
Simply put, storm surge is wind-driven water that is forced against the shore, piling up in low-lying areas where it can cause dangerous flooding. A number of factors can make storm surge worse: a massive storm with high winds headed straight for a region full of shallow coastal bays and inlets.
Sandy seems to have them all, says Chris Landsea, science and operations officer at the National Hurricane Center.
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 7:58 pm
Wherever you look these days, it seems labels that strive to send a message about our food are on the table. In California, there's a vote coming up on whether genetically modified foods should be labeled. A few weeks ago, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission updated its guidelines for "green" labeling.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. We've followed Sandy for more than a week now as the late-season storm developed in the Caribbean, pounded Cuba, Haiti and other islands, brushed past Florida and headed up the East Coast.
Unusually, it's taken a sharp turn to the west. Even more unusually, it's combined with a more winter-like system to become an enormous event that's already dumping snow in the Appalachians, surging water ashore in Lower Manhattan and slashing winds and rain from Virginia to Massachusetts.
Early voters fill out ballots in Miami. Voting experts say Hurricane Sandy isn't likely to cause major disruptions — but that it would have been a far different matter had Florida taken a direct hit from the storm.
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 3:57 pm
As Hurricane Sandy continues its slow progress toward the East Coast, thoughts of voting aren't uppermost in most people's minds. Nevertheless, state and local officials are scrambling to accommodate early voters as best they can.
Depending on how the storm ultimately plays out, Sandy isn't expected to have much effect on the outcome of the presidential race. Most of the states in its path are not considered competitive.
We're always looking for new angles on health news. And now we're trying a new angle on Shots: a podcast.
This is an experiment, so I should ask for your informed consent. Are you prepared for some unorthodox audio from an ink-stained wretch still working on the transition to online journalism from print? If so, click away.
Here are a few reasons government forecasters at the National Hurricane Center and emergency management officials are so concerned about Sandy:
1. Sandy is one of the largest hurricanes ever to strike the U.S. Sandy's winds cover an area of more than 1,000 miles in diameter. That's enormous by hurricane standards. So instead of affecting an area a couple of hundred miles across, Sandy will cut a huge swath. That means many millions of people are probably going to be exposed to high winds, heavy rains, and, for those on the coast, powerful storm surge.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, you have no doubt heard about the religious violence that's been plaguing northern Nigeria but you might not have heard about how a new university, led by an American educator, is hoping to play a role in bringing peace to that country as well as other difficult conflicts on the continent. We'll tell you more about it later in the program.
Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 12:34 pm
The 2010 elections, in which Republicans had a net gain of 63 seats in the House, was one for the record books. It was the most impressive showing by the GOP since 1938, when their net House pick up was 80 seats, and the best showing by any party in the House since 1948, when the Democrats added 75 seats. The sweep of two years ago more than wiped out the gains made by the Democrats in the House of 2006 (31 seats) and 2008 (20 more).