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Shots - Health News
10:25 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Common Test For Bladder Infections Misses Too Many Cases

Urine tests are the gold standard for diagnosing bladder infections. But one common test, the urine culture, can easily miss infections.
Ian Hooton http://www.sciencesource.com/

Most women know all too well the pain and discomfort of a urinary tract infection. They also know they'll probably have to trek to the doctor for a urine analysis so they can get a prescription for antibiotics.

Surely there's got to be a better way.

The first step for women with a history of urinary tract infections may be skipping a standard test isn't that good at spotting bladder infections anyway.

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The Two-Way
9:33 am
Thu November 14, 2013

What Amazing Thing Did Toronto's Mayor Say Today?

Mayor Rob Ford was wearing a Toronto Argonauts football jersey when at City Hall on Thursday. He was also making some rather crude comments in response to some of the latest allegations about his behavior.
Mark Blinch Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 10:59 am

After admitting to smoking crack, to buying illegal drugs and to more than once being in a drunken stupor, it would seem like Toronto Mayor Rob Ford couldn't say anything else that would really shock anyone.

Well ...

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The Two-Way
9:22 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Judge Sentences 'Whitey' Bulger To Two Life Terms In Prison

James "Whitey" Bulger, in a 2011 U.S. Marshals Service photo, has been sentenced to two life terms in prison for his role in 11 killings.
EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 9:32 am

James "Whitey" Bulger has been sentenced to two terms of life in prison, to run consecutively, plus five years for his role in the murder of 11 people. Bulger, 84, is also being punished for racketeering and other crimes. Before announcing the sentence, U.S. District Judge Denise Casper read aloud the names of Bulger's victims.

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The Two-Way
9:18 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Obama Moves To Delay Cancellations Of Insurance Plans

President Barack Obama speaking at the White House on Thursday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 11:18 am

  • LISTEN: The president's news conference and NPR coverage of it

President Obama announced Thursday that Americans who have had their health insurance plans canceled because of his Affordable Care Act can keep those plans for another year if they wish.

Those cancellations — most effective on Jan. 1 — have sparked intense criticism of the ACA, in part because the president pledged many times that if Americans liked the health plans they had, they wouldn't have to give them up under the terms of his program.

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The Protojournalist
9:12 am
Thu November 14, 2013

How It Sounds: To Be 31

Kai McMurtry

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 12:16 pm

Kai McMurtry, 31, is a marketing specialist for a bicycle company. He lives with his wife, Elizabeth, in San Francisco. "I work mostly from home," Kai says, "cook vegan dinners with my wife and ride a bicycle everywhere I go."

**

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The Two-Way
8:23 am
Thu November 14, 2013

JPMorgan's Payments To China's Elite Being Probed: Report

Wen Jiabao, when he was China's premier, at a banquet in 2010.
Barbara Walton/pool AFP/Getty Images

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn, N.Y., are looking into $1.8 million that JPMorgan Chase paid to a two-person firm in China from 2006 to 2008, The New York Times reports.

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It's All Politics
7:51 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Obamacare Fallout Hits Senate Democrats, But Not Equally

Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 12:18 pm

The Republicans have dubbed them the "Obamacare Dozen," the 12 Democratic senators up for re-election in 2014, all of whom voted for the president's health care and insurance overhaul law.

In GOP world, each one of those senators managed to provide the "deciding vote" for the Affordable Care Act.

And each one, in the wake of the law's online rollout debacle, is in a "panic" — the GOP buzzword of the week — over its political implications.

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The Two-Way
7:41 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Secret Service Shaken By New Report Of Misconduct

Secret Service agents stood watch earlier this month as President Obama arrived at Dallas Love Field airport.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 8:35 am

A Secret Service supervisor has been removed from his post on the team that protects President Obama and another supervisor has been shifted to a different position after allegations of misconduct that have "sent tremors through an agency still trying to restore its elite reputation," The Washington Post reports.

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It's All Politics
7:19 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Thursday Political Mix: Obamacare's Data Dump Fallout

Insurance agents in Miami, Fla. help people with information about policies that are available to them under the Affordable Care Act on Nov. 5, 2013.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 8:25 am

Good morning, fellow political junkies.

Well, the Obama administration warned us that the enrollment numbers for the Affordable Care Act would be low and (surprise!) they were.

Still, it's one thing to get an abstract, data-free warning, another to see actual numbers, 27,000 people enrolling for private insurance through the federal portal, 106,185 overall if you throw in the states.

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Parallels
7:18 am
Thu November 14, 2013

With Echoes Of France, Debate On Religion Divides Quebec

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois stands to support a motion regarding the controversial values charter at the Parti Quebecois Convention in Montreal on Sunday.
Christinne Muschi Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 11:56 am

The government in Canada's Quebec province has proposed a "secularism charter" that would, among other things, ban government workers from wearing religious symbols.

A similar debate played out in France nearly a decade ago and has now traveled across the Atlantic to the French-speaking Canadian province.

Here's more from Al-Jazeera:

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The Two-Way
7:07 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Yellen To Say Economy Needs Support, New Data Seem To Agree

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 8:28 am

As Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen prepares to tell the Senate Banking Committee that she supports continuing the central bank's policy of buying billions of dollars' worth of bonds to boost the economy, there's fresh evidence that the relatively slow economic recovery continues to be ... relatively slow.

The Employment and Training Administration said Thursday that there were 339,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits filed last week, down by just 2,000 from the week before.

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The Two-Way
5:31 am
Thu November 14, 2013

One Week After Typhoon, 'The Mood Here Is Very Desperate'

In Tacloban, the Philippines, on Thursday, some survivors waiting in a line to charge cellphones covered their faces because of the lingering smell of dead bodies.
Philippe Lopez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 3:48 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Tacloban, the Philippines
  • On the NPR Newscast: Anthony Kuhn reports from Tacloban, the Philippines
  • On 'Morning Edition': Typhoon survivor Marcelo Maloon and a report from NPR's Jason Beaubien

The 220,000 residents of Tacloban — and millions more across central and southern Philippines — were hunkered down one week ago as Typhoon Haiyan bore down on them.

A week later, "the mood here is very desperate," NPR's Anthony Kuhn said Thursday as he reported from Tacloban for Morning Edition.

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Europe
5:12 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Happy Birthday Prince Charles

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Never having taken the job he was destined for, Prince Charles is ready to retire. Today the prince turns 65, making him eligible for his government pension. Now a grandfather, Charles is the longest reigning heir in Britain's history, even longer than Queen Victoria's son Bertie, or Edward VII. Obviously Charles won't be living on his pension of $175 a week. The prince says he will donate it to charity. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
5:09 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Fake Cop Devours Real Doughnuts In Florida Shop

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 8:16 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Dunkin Donuts offers a discount for police. That plays off a stereotype, but gives little thanks for their service. The trouble came when a Florida cop seemed to overuse the privilege. He showed a badge, returned several times, and even brought his family before the manager began suspecting that Charles Chuck Berry was no cop. Real police set up surveillance and caught the impersonator with a badge, a gun and presumably powdered sugar on his hands.

Politics
4:53 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Rep. Waxman Weighs In On Affordable Care Act Problems

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Let's hear next from a defender of Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act. Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman of California is on the line. Congressman, welcome back to the program.

REPRESENTATIVE HENRY WAXMAN: Thank you. Pleased to be with you.

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Asia
4:22 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Grim Details Reveal Brutal Effects Of Philippine Typhoon

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 7:25 am

The official death toll from the typhoon is expected to keep rising — thousands are still missing. Aid continues to come into the Philippines from around the world, but its flow is being hampered by poor logistics. The central government is being blamed for not doing more.

Politics
4:22 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Senate Panel To Hear From Fed Chief Nominee Janet Yellen

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 4:53 am

The first woman to be nominated to head the Federal Reserve takes the witness chair on Capitol Hill Thursday morning for her confirmation hearing. Janet Yellen's challenge will be to reassure her Democratic supporters that she's focused on job creation, while convincing at least a few Republicans that she'll keep inflation in check.

Asia
4:22 am
Thu November 14, 2013

U.S. Military Helps Transport Typhoon Survivors

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 7:26 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Stories of survival are emerging from the Philippines after the devastation brought by Typhoon Haiyan. Twenty-three-year-old Marcelo Maloon(ph) was studying nursing in Tacloban, the city hardest hit by the storm. And on the day of the typhoon, Maloon took shelter in a hotel with friends.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Parallels
3:25 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Afghan Farmers: Opium Is The Only Way To Make A Living

An Afghan farmer collects raw opium as he works in a poppy field in Nangarhar province on April 29. Poppy cultivation reached a record high this year despite Western efforts to reduce it.
Noorullah Shirzada AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 6:33 pm

Lashkar Gah is the capital of the volatile province that alone grows half of Afghanistan's opium poppy. Cultivation here grew by 34 percent over last year.

On Fridays, hundreds of men gather at the bazaar along the Helmand River, the lifeblood of this arid province. Vendors sell everything from livestock to boxes of artisanal medicine.

There's no sign of poppy here. In fact, the farmers we talk to like 26-year-old Khairullah, who goes by one name, say they are actually too poor to grow it.

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Health Care
3:25 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Health Care Registration Numbers Are Revealed

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 4:53 am

The Obama administration says just about 100,000 people managed to choose health plans through the federal and state health exchanges during their first month of the program. Critics say that shows the law is failing. But most analysts say the first month's numbers wouldn't have meant very much, even if the federal website had been working properly.

Business
3:25 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Will Bitcoin Ever Rival U.S. Dollar?

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 5:15 am

Bitcoin is an online currency backed by nothing except faith that others will accept it. A young American couple wondered how far could they could push it. The Wall Street Journal reports the couple traveled to three continents, and managed to persuade merchants everywhere to accept the currency. Almost everywhere — they did go hungry for a night in Stockholm.

All Tech Considered
1:08 am
Thu November 14, 2013

How The Sharing Economy Is Changing The Places We Work

Co-workers at Denver's Galvanize, a tech hub in Colorado's capital.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 12:43 pm

This week, we've been reporting on the sharing economy — a term that describes the couch-surfing, car-sharing and community-garden-growing world where so many people are using their existing talents, space or tools.

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Science
1:07 am
Thu November 14, 2013

As Climate Warms American West, Iconic Trout In Jeopardy

Native Westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout swim in the cool waters of the Flathead River near Glacier National Park, Montana.
Jonny Armstrong USGS

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 4:53 am

In the mountain streams of the American West, the trout rules. People don't just catch this fish; they honor it. And spend lots of money pursuing it.

But some western trout may be in trouble. Rivers and streams are getting warmer and there's often less water in them. Scientists suspect a changing climate is threatening this iconic fish.

I joined two such scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey as they drove up a mountain road in Montana, in the northern Rockies, a place dense with stands of Douglas fir and aspen trees and braided with mountain streams.

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All Tech Considered
1:06 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Plastic Guns Made With 3-D Printers Pose New Security Concerns

An all-plastic gun fires a bullet in this screenshot from a video made by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
ATF

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 10:30 am

Technology helps police solve crimes every day. But some innovations can also present new public safety concerns — and such is the case with guns built using 3-D printers.

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It's All Politics
1:02 am
Thu November 14, 2013

6 Ideas Being Floated To 'Fix' Obamacare Sign-Up Woes

On Sept. 28, just days before enrollment opened for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, this outreach event was hosted by Planned Parenthood for the Latino community in Los Angeles. But in the first month of the troubled HealthCare.gov website saw just a fraction of those expected to sign up had managed to do so.
Jonathan Alcorn Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 4:53 am

As technical problems with the government's new health insurance marketplace slow the pace of sign-up, a variety of "fixes" have been proposed. But some of these would create their own challenges. In rough order from least to most disruptive, here are some of the ideas:

1) Fix the website on schedule
This is everyone's favorite idea. The Obama administration says it hopes to have HealthCare.gov working smoothly for most users by the end of November, though it's not clear that target will be met.

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Music Interviews
12:00 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Omar Souleyman: America's Favorite Syrian Wedding Singer

Omar Souleyman's new album, Wenu Wenu, is out now.
Hisham Bharoocha Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 4:53 am

The growing Syrian diaspora streaming out of a country being torn apart includes one of its most popular singers: Omar Souleyman. The musician combines songs of love and desire with driving techno beats, performed on a synthesizer.

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All Tech Considered
5:04 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Print Your Own Revolutionary War Boat, In 3-D

Even visitors to the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., can't see the Gunboat Philadelphia from every angle. But online, viewers can flip the boat in every possible direction using the Smithsonian Institution's new 3-D viewer.
Smithsonian Institution

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:01 pm

Have you ever wanted to see a woolly mammoth skeleton? How about Amelia Earhart's flight suit (one worn before her fateful last flight, mind you)?

To see them in person, you can visit the Smithsonian's Natural History and Postal museums, respectively, in Washington, D.C. But now you can take a closer look — in 3-D — on the Smithsonian website, too. The institution has made 20 digitized objects from among its vast holdings available online to the public for viewing from every possible angle.

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Movie Reviews
4:59 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Chasing Money, And Meaning, In 'Nebraska'

After receiving a dubious letter, the aging Woody (Bruce Dern) heads off on a quest to collect $1 million, dragging his son David (Will Forte) along with him.
Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:32 pm

Woody Grant has white hair, a cranky disposition and a stubbornness that just won't quit. When we meet him, he's being stopped by a highway patrolman as he's walking down the shoulder of a Montana interstate. His son David picks him up at the police station, and it turns out Woody was on an 850-mile stroll to Nebraska, to collect the million dollars promised to him in a letter.

David points out gently that the letter is an ad for magazine subscriptions, but he's no sooner got the older man back to his house then he gets a call from his mom: Woody has hit the road again.

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It's All Politics
4:05 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

How Obama's Response To NSA Spying Has Evolved

President Obama's response to the NSA spying revelations has changed over the past five months.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:01 pm

A team of surveillance experts on Wednesday delivered preliminary recommendations to the White House on whether and how to amend U.S. spying policies.

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The Two-Way
4:02 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

'Holy Cow' And 'Kangaroo Court': Panel Grills HealthCare.gov Officials

Todd Park, U.S. chief technology officer, answers questions in a House Oversight Committee hearing about problems with the federal HealthCare.gov site. One Democrat on the committee called the hearing "a kangaroo court."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 4:46 pm

A House oversight hearing examining the troubled start of HealthCare.gov was contentious from the start Wednesday, as Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., sought to cut short the opening remarks of one of the first officials to speak, Frank Baitman, the deputy assistant secretary for Information Technology in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, asked Baitman to conclude his statement, noting that the panel's time was short. The interruption came as Baitman discussed the work of his agency to save taxpayers money.

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