NATO commanders say the mantra of the Afghan alliance has been "in together, out together." That means keeping combat forces in the country through 2014 — even though some member countries like France plan to bring their troops home sooner.
Astronomy buffs in the western U.S. were treated to an eclipse known as the Ring of Fire over the weekend. Technically, it's an annular solar eclipse, during which time the moon passes between the earth and sun. The moon blocks out much of the sun's light and casts a giant shadow on the earth.
Douglas Harlow Brown, 80, of East Lansing, Mich., watches birds inside a medical rehab facility.
Credit Bill Serne for NPR
Marty Clear, 60, is a freelance writer based in Tampa, Fla., who has no health insurance. Last November, Clear went to an emergency room, and doctors discovered a cancerous tumor on his kidney. He's fine, but he says he'll never be able to pay off the resulting bills.
Credit Tom Smart / NPR
Andrew Dasenbrock, 32, was sent to two separate health care facilities owned by the same network and had to submit to, and be billed for, the same tests twice because of their inability to communicate.
Credit David Sanders / For NPR
Aimee Snyder, 28, had a blood clot in her leg that could have killed her. She's fine now, but she's had to pay more than $15,000 in medical bills so far.
Credit Courtesy of Jacki Bronicki
Douglas Harlow Brown, 80, of East Lansing, Mich., with his daughter Jacki Bronicki. After Brown was hospitalized with broken ribs, Bronicki says, his doctors failed to communicate about his medication.
To get a feeling for what being sick in America is really like, and to help us understand the findings of our poll with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, NPR did a call-out on Facebook. We asked people to share their experiences of the health care system, and within 24 hours, we were flooded with close to 1,000 responses.
In the lull between the Supreme Court arguments over the federal health overhaul law and the decision expected in June, we thought we'd ask Americans who actually use the health system quite a bit how they view the quality of care and its cost.
Most surveys don't break it down this way.
When the results came back, we found that people who have a serious medical condition or who've been in the hospital in the past year tended to have more concerns about costs and quality than people who aren't sick. No big surprise there.
Karlton Hill was only 12 years old when when he found out he had diabetes. Even though he was only in seventh grade, Karlton knew what diabetes was; he had watched the disease destroy his great-grandmother's life.
"I was really upset. I cried," he says. "I didn't want any of this to happen to me. I was like, 'Why is this happening to me?' "
Public health experts have been worrying for years that the obesity epidemic would lead to an epidemic of Type 2 diabetes among kids.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
Twelve countries joined to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, 63 years ago. The purpose: to keep Soviet expansion in check. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first supreme commander.
And if you're just tuning in, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
Here's a terrible statistic: Once a veteran is home from Iraq or Afghanistan, he or she is more likely to die by suicide than from injuries sustained in the combat theater. There is new research that suggests those injuries may actually be contributing to the suicides.
At first, Deborah Kogan of New York says, she thought it would pass. Her 4-year-old son's fever had been on the rise for hours, and he was looking puffy. Kogan took Leo to the pediatrician, who thought it might be strep throat. It wasn't.
A few days later, Leo "woke up, and he looked as if he was one of the characters in The Nutty Professor. His face ballooned about twice its normal size." She posted a photo of Leo on Facebook. That's when the crowdsourced diagnosis took shape.
World leaders are meeting with President Obama in his hometown of Chicago for a two-day NATO summit focused heavily on Afghanistan.
Obama warned of the difficulty ahead as the summit confronted questions about Afghanistan's future. The summit kicked off on Sunday with a meeting between Obama and Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, the two key players to determine that future.
"We still have a lot of work to do and there will be great challenges ahead," Obama said. "The loss of life continues in Afghanistan and there will be hard days ahead."
When a bookmobile broke down last winter in rural Vermont, patrons, especially preschoolers, really missed it. Then a donor, who heard an NPR story about the rolling library's demise, came up with over $100,000 for a replacement. The town can't believe its good fortune. Vermont Public Radio's Charlotte Albright reports.
If life is a ballgame, then NPR's Mike Pesca is the guy in the stands, carrying his own stat-sheet and searching out empirical evidence. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Pesca about what the numbers have to say about injuries.
Out West Sunday, it will start getting dark earlier than normal, but just for a little while. A major solar eclipse, although not quite total, will spread across the skies in a 200-mile swath from Oregon into west Texas. Longtime Washington, D.C., meteorologist Bob Ryan has traveled the world chasing eclipses with his wife. He joins host Rachel Martin.
Host Rachel Martin takes a moment to remember William Henderson Foote, a black federal agent in Mississippi in the late 1800s. He was honored this week by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Last fall, Abe Lincoln lost his sword. A copper blade went missing from atop President Abraham Lincoln's burial site in Illinois. Authorities eventually recovered it, but in two pieces. Now, as Rachel Otwell reports, the artifact has been replaced.
RACHEL OTWELL, BYLINE: Lincoln's tomb is at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. It's a massive structure with statues of Union soldiers that reach far into the sky. Mikle Siere works at the historic site. He describes the statue the sword was taken from.