National News

Top Stories: Still No Sign Of Missing Plane; Crisis In Ukraine Continues

NPR News - Tue, 2014-03-11 04:43

Also: The Senate passes Sen. McCaskill's bill about sexual assaults in the military; author Joe McGinniss dies; and in Venezuela, a student leader is killed in anti-government clashes.

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Crimean Parliament Passes 'Declaration Of Independence'

NPR News - Tue, 2014-03-11 04:25

Tensions continue to build in advance of a regional referendum on Sunday. Crimeans will be asked whether they wish to split from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation.

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Florida Election Tests Midterm Messaging

NPR News - Tue, 2014-03-11 03:36

A closely contested House special election Tuesday is being viewed by the national parties and big-money interests as an early barometer for Obamacare.

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Missing Jet Was Way Off Course, Malaysian Air Force Gen. Says

NPR News - Tue, 2014-03-11 03:05

The search continues for the plane and the 239 people. Radar shows it turned and flew hundreds of miles in a wrong direction, one defense official says. Another Malaysian official disputes that.

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Quiz: Which countries pay women the most?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-03-11 02:12

It's international quiz time on the Marketplace Morning Report. Stephan Richter, editor-in-chief of the online international affairs magazine, The Globalist, brings us a question that will test your knowledge of pay around the world. Across industrialized countries, women make, on average, 85 percent of what men make, so... 

QUESTION: In which (pick one) of the following do women make closest to the average pay across industrialized countries?

A. South Korea
B. Germany
C. United Kingdom
D. United States

Scroll down the page to see the answer -- and click play on the audio player above to hear our report about the gender pay gap. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANSWER: C. United Kingdom. In South Korea, Germany, and the United States, women's pay falls below the 85% average. 

Trapping And Tracking The Mysterious Snowy Owl

NPR News - Tue, 2014-03-11 01:30

This winter's unexpected arctic bird invasion has given owl researchers a rare opportunity. They're fitting a few of the errant owls with GPS backpacks to track their return to the Arctic.

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PODCAST: Nuclear economics, post-Fukushima

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-03-11 00:35

It’s been three years since the Fukushima disaster prompted Japan to try weaning itself from nuclear power, though that's a position it now seems poised to reverse. In the U.S., four new reactors are under construction after a long lull. Don’t call it a nuclear renaissance: The economics of nuclear power are a tough sell, especially in a time of cheaper natural gas. "The idea that public fearfulness or the resistance of environmental groups is what killed nuclear power in the U.S. has always been nonsense," says Peter Bradford, a former member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

It's international quiz time on the Marketplace Morning Report. Stephan Richter, editor-in-chief of the online international affairs magazine, The Globalist, brings us a question that will test your knowledge of pay around the world. Across industrialized countries, women make, on average, 85 percent of what men make, but do you know in which country women make closest to the average pay across industrialized countries?

Health companies eye predictive software for patient care

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-03-11 00:05

Pharmacy giant Walgreens recently announced it has begun using predictive software to help guide patient treatment.  It’s just one of the latest efforts where healthcare hopes to standardize day-to-day operations.

With estimates that hundreds of billions of dollars is wasted every year on redundant or inefficient services, many industry leaders think healthcare needs to be more like Burger King, where a sandwich in Santa Fe tastes a lot like the sandwich in Seattle.

For some the path to slowing health costs may mean medical care has to look more like factory work.

As far as Walgreens executives are concerned, they think they may be on to something. The pharmacy chain is working with the IT firm Inovalon which, using data from more than 100 million patients, has developed algorithms to predict health problems.

Heather Helle who oversees Walgreen’s clinic business, says that data helps guide a nurse practitioner during a patient’s visit.

“You can think about it almost like a decision where if the answer to a particular question is ‘no,’ the system will guide the nurse practitioner down one particular path," she says. "If the answer to a particular question is ‘yes,’ the system will intelligently guide the nurse practitioner down the second path."

Let’s say a patient’s record shows he’s got multiple symptoms for diabetes but no official diagnosis. The computer flags that, and the Walgreens nurse practitioner zeros right in.

“We are able to streamline the visit, we’re able to reduce variation and we are able to deliver incredible value,” she says.

Whether it’s this predictive modeling, patient safety protocols at Johns Hopkins, or a Camden doctor’s office using new scheduling techniques, many in healthcare say the industry must industrialize. This may sound like some healthcare version of painting by numbers, and former Denver Health CEO Patricia Gabow says executives can over do it when it comes to standardizing care.

“It’s not just any routine, could be a routine that’s very wasteful. Or a routine that doesn’t yield high quality,” she says.

Another concern is if the rules are too rigid, patient care could suffer.  But right now, Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen says a lack of doctor routines is threatening patient safety and driving up costs.

Routines – like Walgreen’s algorithms – may sound scary, says Christensen, but they are really just a way of sharing decade’s worth of doctor’s knowledge with people you don’t have to pay like doctors.

“Nurse practitioners can do even more consistently what doctors do today,” he says.

Christensen says healthcare costs will go down as lower-cost caregivers do more and more.

In Iraq, Anbar Faces Extremists Stronger Than Those U.S. Fought

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 23:40

The extremists now committing a wave of attacks in Iraq's Anbar province are significantly better trained, funded and equipped than the al-Qaida-linked groups American soldiers battled there.

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In Iraq, Anbar Faces Extremists Stronger Than Those U.S. Fought

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 23:40

The extremists now committing a wave of attacks in Iraq's Anbar province are significantly better trained, funded and equipped than the al-Qaida-linked groups American soldiers battled there.

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This Years Snowy Owl Invasion Was Good News For Scientists

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 23:35

An unexpected invasion of the arctic birds has given researchers a rare scientific opportunity. They're fitting a few of the errant owls with GPS backpacks to track their return to the arctic.

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In Tsunami's Wake, Fierce Debate Over Japan's 'Great Wall'

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 23:31

The government wants to build sea walls that will be 30 feet high in places and stretch for more than 200 miles. Some say the $8 billion effort is too costly and will ruin the beaches.

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Holder Speaks Out On Snowden, Drone Policy, Softening Sentences

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 23:27

In an interview, Eric Holder says he's open to talking with Edward Snowden about terms of surrender. And the attorney general is unhappy with the vote to block a nominee to a top Justice Dept. post.

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U.S. Checks For Stolen Passports, But Other Nations Fall Short

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 23:26

Two men apparently boarded Malaysia Airlines flight 370 with stolen passports. The U.S. has safeguards to prevent that from happening on U.S.-bound flights, but other nations are not as diligent.

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After delay, U.S. builds four new nuclear reactors

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-03-10 23:08

It’s been three years since the Fukushima disaster prompted Japan to try weaning itself from nuclear power, though that’s a position it now seems poised to reverse. In the U.S., four new reactors are under construction after a long lull.

Don’t call it a nuclear renaissance: The economics of nuclear power are a tough sell, especially in a time of cheaper natural gas.

"The idea that public fearfulness or the resistance of environmental groups is what killed nuclear power in the U.S. has always been nonsense," says Peter Bradford, a former member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Bradford says nuclear plants are expensive to build and hard to finance. Plus, electricity demand is lower than expected.

N.Y. Governor Says College For Inmates Will Pay Off For Taxpayers

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 23:07

Andrew Cuomo says funding prison college classes will cut recidivism rates. But critics say it's unfair to pay for prisoners' educations while middle-class families struggle with college costs.

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Turning Food Waste Into Fuel Takes Gumption And Trillions Of Bacteria

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 23:06

A Brooklyn waste treatment plant has become an unlikely lab for an ambitious effort to turn millions of tons of food scraps from New York City's apartments and restaurants into renewable energy.

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Customer Surveys Are Here To Stay. Suggestions For Improvement?

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 23:02

Companies want to know what you think of their product — and they're not afraid to ask. Surveys might be annoyingly pervasive to customers, but they provide valuable information for a low price.

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Democrats Are Up All Night Talking About Climate Change

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 22:13

Democrats took to the Senate floor Monday night to talk about global warming and planned not to let up until morning. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid got the dusk-to-dawn talkathon started.

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'Fatal Vision' Author Joe McGinniss Dies At Age 71

NPR News - Mon, 2014-03-10 21:57

McGinniss, who announced last year that he had been diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer, died from complications related to his disease. He died at a hospital in Worcester, Mass., Monday.

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