National

Business
5:14 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Insurers Picked For California Health Exchange

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 8:01 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

More, now, on the new federal health care law. States are preparing for that law to take effect. In California, officials have now unveiled plans - and prices - for millions of residents who will be using a new health insurance exchange to purchase their coverage next year. This is a key test of the federal health law's ability to draw competitive bids from insurance companies. Sarah Varney reports.

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Shots - Health News
7:07 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Abortion Opponents Try to Spin Murder Case Into Legislation

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., has introduced a federal bill to ban most abortions after 20 weeks' gestation — six weeks into the second trimester. This is the second straight Congress he's done so, but this time he's broadened his bill to encompass all 50 states, not just D.C.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 8:23 pm

As predicted, abortion opponents on Capitol Hill are wasting no time in their efforts to turn publicity over the recent murder conviction of abortion provider Kermit Gosnell to their legislative advantage.

Their latest goal: a federal ban on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

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The Two-Way
7:02 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Boy Scouts Vote To Admit Openly Gay Members

Members of Scouts for Equality hold a rally to support inclusion for gays in the Boy Scouts of America on Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 7:35 pm

The Boy Scouts of America has agreed for the first time to allow openly gay boys as members, but a vote of the organization's National Council left in place a ban on gay Scout leaders.

The Associated Press reports that of the local Scout leaders voting at their annual meeting in Texas, more than 60 percent supported the proposal. The policy change approved by the 1,400-member National Council would take effect Jan. 1, 2014, the organization said.

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Shots - Health News
6:27 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Why You Have To Scratch That Itch

The origin of itch has confounded scientists for decades.
Oktay Ortakcioglu iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 11:20 am

Everybody itches. Sometimes itch serves as a useful warning signal — there's a bug on your back! But sometimes itch arises for no apparent reason, and can be a torment.

Think of the itchy skin disorder eczema, or the constant itching caused by some cancers. "A very high percentage of people who're on dialysis for chronic kidney disease develop severe itch that's very difficult to manage," says Dr. Ethan Lerner, an associate professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School.

Scientists now say they've got a much better clue as to how itch happens.

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The Two-Way
6:05 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

After The Storm: Students Gather For One More School Day

Students and teachers from Eastlake Elementary and Plaza Towers Elementary schools gathered Thursday to say goodbye for the summer. This was a chance to reconnect after the devastating tornado brought an abrupt end to the school year at Plaza Towers in Moore, Okla.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 6:08 am

Under cloudy skies and through intermittent showers, 4-year-old Kamrin Ramirez holds in her little hands two cards, one addressed to Ms. Patterson, the other for Ms. Johnson, her two preschool teachers at Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla.

"I write thank you so much," she says.

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Shots - Health News
6:03 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

The Weight Of A Med Student's Subconscious Bias

More than a third of medical students in a North Carolina study had a bias against overweight people.
iStockphoto.com

Quite a few medical school students have something against obese people, and most of those who have such a bias are unaware of it.

That's the conclusion of study appearing in the July issue of Academic Medicine. It was conducted at the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. The study's author says the subconscious judgments could affect how patients are treated.

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The Salt
5:47 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Inside A Tart Cherry Revival: 'Somebody Needs To Do This!'

At Michigan State University's Clarksville Research Station, researchers apply pollen by hand to tart cherry blossoms, in order to breed new varieties.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 11:29 am

Some fruits, like apples, you can find anywhere. But others have gotten a little bit lost in today's global food business.

Take tart cherries, also known as sour cherries. Unlike sweet cherries, America's tart cherries are too fragile to ship very far, so most people never get to taste a fresh one.

They're typically frozen, then baked into that iconic American dessert, the cherry pie — and cherry pies aren't as popular as they used to be.

Yet the humble sour cherry is experiencing an unlikely renaissance — and the best may be yet to come.

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Politics
5:39 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Health Officials Decry Texas' Snubbing Of Medicaid Billions

Texas Gov. Rick Perry addresses the opening session of the Texas Legislature in Austin earlier this year.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 8:23 pm

The state of Texas is turning down billions of federal dollars that would have paid for health care coverage for 1.5 million poor Texans.

By refusing to participate in Medicaid expansion, which is part of the Affordable Care Act, the state will leave on the table an estimated $100 billion over the next decade.

Texas' share of the cost would have been just 7 percent of the total, but for Gov. Rick Perry and the state's Republican-dominated Legislature, even $1 in the name of "Obamacare" was a dollar too much.

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The Salt
4:47 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

This 9-Year-Old Girl Told McDonald's CEO: Stop Tricking Kids

Hannah Robertson, 9, and her mom, blogger Kia Robertson — with the makings for kale chips, of course.
Jamie Robertson Courtesy Jamie Robertson

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 11:28 am

It's not every day that a 9-year-old girl chastises the CEO of one of the world's biggest fast-food chains.

Yet that's exactly what young Hannah Robertson did Thursday morning at McDonald's annual shareholders meeting in Chicago. When the meeting opened up to questions, Hannah was first up at the mic with a pointed criticism.

"It would be nice if you stopped trying to trick kids into wanting to eat your food all the time," she told McDonald's CEO Don Thompson.

Ouch.

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Around the Nation
4:44 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

In La., Families Still Searching For Storm-Scattered Remains

Lionel Alverez stands at a family tomb in Plaquemines Parish, La. Hurricane Isaac's storm surge split the double-decker tomb in half, leaving his aunt's and sister's caskets on the bottom but washing away his mother's, which was on top.
Keith O'Brien for NPR

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Lionel Alverez is in the Promised Land Cemetery again, taking inventory. He has been coming to this cemetery in Plaquemines Parish, La., all his life. The graveyard is hemmed in between the Mississippi River and the marsh on a lonely stretch of highway.

Promised Land has been the final resting place for the Alverezes for generations. Alverez, 61, points out several graves, one by one. "Albert Alverez. Huey Alverez and Harold Alverez. My brother Allen is near the rear, back there."

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Around the Nation
4:44 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Okla. Family Must Rebuild Tornado-Damaged Home A Second Time

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Authorities in Moore, Oklahoma say that 12,000 homes were damaged in Monday's tornado. In this next story, we're going to meet one family that was affected, and not for the first time. The Phillips lost their home in a tornado that hit Moore on May 3rd, 1999. They loved the community and bought another house two miles away, a house flattened by Monday's tornado.

Rachel Hubbard, of member station KOSU, toured what's left of their home to try to understand how a family can cope with such a loss twice.

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Around the Nation
4:44 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Boy Scouts Vote On Whether To Allow Openly Gay Members

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Members of the Boy Scouts of America will vote on Thursday on whether to allow gay members.

Shots - Health News
3:49 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Researchers Find Bird Flu Is Contagious Among Ferrets

Of ferrets, men and bird flu.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 3:52 pm

Scientists have completed the first assessments of how readily the H7N9 flu virus in China can pass among ferrets and pigs. The mammals provide the best inkling of how dangerous these bugs may become for humans.

The news is both bad and good. They've found the new bird virus is easily passed between ferrets sharing the same cage.

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Television
3:36 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Douglas, Damon Illuminate HBO's 'Candelabra'

Michael Douglas stars as the flamboyant pianist and entertainer Liberace in Steven Soderbergh's new HBO biopic, Behind the Candelabra.
Claudette Barius HBO

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 6:43 pm

Before you see any of Behind the Candelabra -- when you just consider the concept of the TV movie and its casting — this new HBO Films production raises all sorts of questions: How much will be based on verifiable fact, and how much will be fictionalized? On an anything-goes premium-cable network such as HBO, how graphic will the sex scenes be?

And the most important questions involve the drama's two leading men, playing an ultra-flamboyant piano player and the wide-eyed young man who becomes his behind-the-scenes companion for five years. Michael Douglas? Matt Damon?

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Shots - Health News
2:43 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Hardly A Haven: Home Can Be Deadly In Natural Disasters

Floodwaters from Superstorm Sandy destroyed the first floor of this house in Staten Island, New York. Most of the people who drowned during the storm died in their homes in low-lying areas of New York and New Jersey.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Home can be a refuge. But when natural disaster strikes, hunkering down at home can be a deadly mistake.

All told, 32 of the 53 New Yorkers who died in last fall's Superstorm Sandy drowned, and most of them died at home, according to a report published today in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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