National News

Hospital agrees to pay $190 million for recorded exams

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-07-22 07:00

Johns Hopkins Health System has agreed pay $190 million to 8,000 women who were patients of a gynecologist found to be secretly recording their exams.

The women’s faces aren’t visible in the recordings and police don’t believe the images have been shared, but they have been traumatized nonetheless, says plaintiffs’ attorney Jonathan Schochor.

“They stopped seeing their doctors,” he said at a press conference on Monday. “They stopped taking their children to see doctors. They refuse to see a male OBGYN. Many refuse to see any OBGYN.”

If the settlement were divided equally, each woman might receive roughly $24,000, but compensation will be made after reviewing each patient’s case.

“T­­­he question is how do [they] allocate that fairly among the victims?” says J.B. Silvers, a former insurance executive and a professor at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management.

Counseling costs or lost wages might be taken into account. But Silvers says it’s a tricky, delicate problem trying to determine the amount of trauma each women may have suffered, especially with so many victims.

“We’ve done this with the World Trade Center, for instance, so this process isn’t new,” Silvers says. 

The doctor accused of making the recordings committed suicide after being discovered last year.

U.S. Appeals Courts Issue Conflicting Decisions On Obamacare Subsidies

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-22 06:37

One panel threw out subsidies in the 36 states that did not set up their own insurance exchanges. Another said the IRS rule that set them up was legal.

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U.K. Orders New Inquiry Into Ex-KGB Spy Litvinenko's Death

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-22 06:22

Alexander Litvinenko, a critic of Vladimir Putin, died in 2006 after drinking tea laced with radioactive polonium-210. The inquiry would identify "where responsibility for the death lies."

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States Experiment With Health Savings Accounts For Medicaid

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-22 05:43

People who contribute up to $25 a month would be exempt from cost-sharing requirements. But some consumer advocates say the health savings accounts add a needless layer of complexity to Medicaid.

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The Immigrant Kids Have Health Issues — But Not The Ones You'd Think

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-22 05:34

Some politicians say that the nearly 60,000 unaccompanied minors who've come to the U.S. could put the nation at risk for everything from TB to mumps. Health officials tell a different story.

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Detroit Pensioners Approve City's Bankruptcy Plan

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-22 05:27

The vote marked a major step in moving the city's bankruptcy forward. Retired police and firefighters overwhelmingly approved some cuts in their pensions.

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Gaza Conflict Day 15: Here's What You Need To Know

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-22 04:18

During day 15 of the current conflict, Secretary of State John Kerry was in Cairo pressing for a truce modeled after the 2012 cease-fire, while Israel continued its offensive.

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Getting Things Done At The Workshop School

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-22 04:03

An innovative approach to learning amid turmoil in the Philadelphia School District.

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Where Europe stands on Russian sanctions

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-07-22 04:00

The European Union met on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of further sanctions on Russia after the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. The U.S. says a missile fired from separatist territory brought down the plane. Russia's defense ministry says it sees no evidence of a missile, and suggested Ukraine's military could be at fault. 

With tensions mounting, President Obama has called on the EU to take a bolder stance -- Britain, France, and Germany say they would be ready to increase sanctions against Russia, but reaching a concensus could prove difficult. Given a disputed delivery of a warship to Moscow from France, some point out that stronger actions, not words, are needed.

Click the media player above to hear BBC Economics Correspondent Andrew Walker in conversation with Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio.

Jakarta Gov. Widodo Wins Indonesian Presidency, Tally Shows

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-22 03:57

The former furniture maker who entered national politics only two years ago won 53 percent of the vote. His rival, former Gen. Subianto, called the election unfair and undemocratic.

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PODCAST: American-made jobs

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-07-22 03:00

More on news that Johns Hopkins Hospital will pay $190 million in a settlement to victims of a gynecologist who secretly filmed patients' exams. Plus, a look at sales of existing homes in June -- With that number having increased in May, it's expected to continue an upward trend. Plus, a conversation with Beth Macy, author of "Factory Man," which tells the story of an American furniture company that managed to stay open even in the face of the competition shipping jobs overseas.

Train Carrying MH17 Victims' Remains Arrives In Government-Controlled City

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-22 02:53

Ukrainian officials said they hoped to fly the remains to the Netherlands for identification. Most of the passengers who died on the plane were Dutch.

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Other cities feel sting of Detroit bankruptcy

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-07-22 02:00

When a community needs to build a new school or a jail, it sells bonds on the municipal bond market. The bonds are a city’s promise to pay. But if one city doesn’t pay up in full, does bond money dry up for everybody else?

“I think it depends a lot on the city,” says Kim Rueben, a public finance economist at the Urban Institute. 

Rueben says some Michigan cities have to pay a premium in the bond market because they’re in the same state as Detroit. Many of them have the same problems. Ditto for some rustbelt, Midwestern cities:

"So, other places that are seeing similar demographic trends, in terms of aging populations and declining populations,” says Rueben.

What about cities without these problems? They can still sell bonds, but they have to work harder, according to Lisa Washburn, managing director of Municipal Market Advisers, a bond research company.  

Washburn says investors are justifiably skeptical: “So you want to know ahead of time what kind of risk you’re taking on.”

Still, Washburn says, there is a lot of demand for municipal bonds. Once investors decide they’re safe, that is.

 

 

More schools offer free lunches, but who's paying?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-07-22 02:00

The Community Eligibility Provision, part of the National School Lunch Program, was signed into law by Barack Obama in 2010. It enables school districts in which 40 percent of children or more are eligible for free lunches to skip paperwork requirements and offer free meals to all students, regardless of their household income. Some educators say the provision could lower stress levels for low-income kids and help them focus on learning.

"Sometimes they worry about not having enough money to pay for their meal," says Dora Rivas, Executive Director of the Food and Child Nutrition Program for the Dallas Independent School District. "I think this is going to be a great benefit to them."

Rivas adds that paying for meals for all students in the district means officials will no longer have to spend time and money processing papers for families applying for the lunch benefits.

"Our funds are going to producing the meal instead of all the paperwork," she says.

The National School Lunch Program costs the government nearly $12 billion a year, a reflection of a troubled economy in which many working parents are unable to make ends meet.

"Most of the kids in the free and reduced price meals program are kids whose parents are working, working full time at very low wages, or working part time," says Jim Weill, president of the Food Research and Action Center. On an average school day, Weill says, some 21.5 million kids eat a free or reduced-price lunch.

Long-term unemployed suffer shaky re-employment

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-07-22 01:00

Even though the economy is improving, there are still about 3 million Americans who have been out of work for six months or more. Plus, research indicates that the longer they are out, the tougher it will be for them to get back into the workforce. Making matters worse: when they do find work, it often doesn't last.

Lori Barkley Struckman knows what that's like. At the end of 2011, she lost her job as an office administrator. For the next two years, she bounced around jobs that were temporary or part-time.

"I had five different jobs. But nothing full-time," she says.

Struckman finally landed a full-time position as an office administrator at a Twin Cities law firm earlier this year. Her rocky road to recovery would not surprise researchers like Alan Krueger, a professor of economics at Princeton University and former White House chief economist.

"The long-term unemployed, when they do find work, it's often inconsistent, it's often part-time, they often find a job that doesn't last very long," says Krueger.

Krueger and fellow researchers looked at government surveys of Americans who said they'd been out of work for six months or longer at some point between 2008 and 2012. When those individuals were surveyed again more than a year later, only 36 percent had landed work. Of that group, only 11 percent had steady, full-time jobs.

Krueger says a lot of these folks end up suffering the same setbacks, and unsteady employment, as new workers.

"If you look at workers just starting out, a lot of the jobs they find don't work out, they're transitory, it's a mismatch," he says. "They don't get along with the employer or their skills aren't right for the job."

And sometimes the stress of  having been out of the workforce for a long time persists, making it hard to hold onto a new job. 

"There's a lot of spiralling of all sorts of things, trouble with the children, trouble with finances, which affects every piece of your life. Do you still have health insurance? Were you able to keep your house? All those things are so stressful; you're just treading water," says Mary White, a job counselor with a nonprofit called HIRED in St. Paul.

Lori Barkley Struckman is familiar with some of those stresses. A layoff she suffered a decade ago, well before her more recent jobless spell, coincided with her divorce. When she returned to work back then, she was easily distracted.

"You're still thinking about all the other turmoil that's going on in your life. It's hard for you to concentrate. So that is a real task to just make yourself go, 'Okay you're here to work. Give it up,'" she says.

Faced with poor job prospects or additional layoffs, many long-term unemployed give up looking for work. Krueger's collaborator, Judd Cramer, a doctoral student in economics at Princeton University, says the expiration of extended unemployment benefits has contributed to that trend.

"We've seen the rate at which the long-term unemployed have exited the labor market has risen," Cramer says. 

Kerry's Aim In Egypt: First, Get Israel And Hamas To Cease Fire

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-22 00:44

Secretary of State John Kerry is in Cairo trying to help forge a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

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Energy Concerns Complicate Potential EU Action Against Russia

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-22 00:44

Renee Montagne talks to Anton La Guardia, who covers the European Union for The Economist, about the possibility of deep EU sanctions against Russia at Tuesday's foreign ministers meeting.

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Other Cities Poach Police From Detroit's Low-Wage Force

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-22 00:44

From Toledo to Houston, cities are courting Detroit cops, who are seen as battle-tested from routinely dealing with high crime rates — and fed up from years of low pay and cuts in benefits.

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Some Food Companies Are Quietly Dumping GMO Ingredients

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-22 00:44

Many mainstream companies are creating GMO-free foods, but they're not publicizing the changes. Meanwhile, some are also fighting state initiatives that would require them to label GMOs ingredients.

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