National News

A Union For Home Health Aides Brings New Questions To Supreme Court

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-21 00:19

An Illinois case examines whether states may recognize a union for workers who care for disabled adults in their homes instead of state institutions, and whether non-union members must pay for a contract they benefit from.

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After Tragedy At 2010 Games, Sochi Slows Down The Sled Track

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-21 00:19

The Winter Olympics bobsled, luge and skeleton track was designed with safety in mind, not just speed. It was constructed after an athlete died in a violent crash, and others complained of out-of-control speed, at the Olympics four years ago.

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Brain Games: Move Objects With Your Mind To Find Inner Calm?

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-21 00:18

"Hands-free" is taking on a new meaning. Games hitting the market use EEGs so you can move a toy helicopter with your mind or play the brain like a musical instrument. It's the stuff of sci-fi movies, but potentially with an added health benefit.

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Mild-Mannered Stingrays Can Inflict A World Of Hurt

NPR News - Tue, 2014-01-21 00:17

These cousins of the shark send thousands of waders and surfers yelping for medical help each year. A powerful toxin in the barb of the ray's tail triggers a "knifelike pain" that can last for hours. Best prevention? Do the "stingray shuffle."

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2 Nabbed At Texas Border In Credit Card Fraud Case

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-20 23:03

A South Texas police chief said the 2 Mexican citizens used account information stolen during the Target security breach to buy tens of thousands of dollars' worth of merchandise. A federal official said later there currently was no connection between the arrests and the retailer's credit card data theft.

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Wendy Davis' Story May Have Misstated Details

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-20 22:55

In Texas, Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis' rise from a teenage single mother living in a trailer park to Harvard Law School is a centerpiece of her campaign for governor. Some of the details of her personal story, however, may be fuzzier than first thought.

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Soba: More Than Just Noodles, It's A Cultural Heritage ... And Art Form

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-20 21:00

The United Nations has named traditional Japanese cuisine — known as Washoku — an intangible cultural heritage. One of the oldest foods of Washoku is the soba noodle. But what most Americans call soba is a pale comparison to the actual cuisine. One woman in Southern California is trying to keep the true traditional noodle alive in America.

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Two Killed, Others Hurt In Omaha Plant Explosion

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-20 14:29

Authorities say there have been deaths and a number of injuries at the animal feed processing plant, but haven't given specifics.

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Nuclear Inspectors Enter Iran, With Eyes Peeled For Cheating

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-20 14:02

This week in Iran, international inspectors are stepping up surveillance of the country's nuclear program. The inspections are at the heart of a landmark deal that freezes Iran's uranium enrichment in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from sanctions, but they are just a first step.

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Cheap seats anything but at the Super Bowl

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-01-20 13:58

This final note is about football. Nope, not about all that Richard Sherman hubub. C'mon people, this is a business show.

We're talking about ticket prices for the Superbowl.

If you're a Broncos or Seahawks fan and want to check out the big game in New Jersey on February 2, you better start saving now. The cheapest ticket options right now are $2,500 on StubHub. For $200 more, you can pick a pair up on the NFL's second-hand marketplace.

What do you get for that price? Good ol' fashion nosebleed seats at the Meadowlands.

We prefer the couch. It's free, mighty comfortable and the nachos are better.

Mentally Ill Are Often Locked Up In Jails That Can't Help

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-20 13:50

Over the past decade, thousands of mentally ill people have been funneling in and out of the nation's jails, landing in places that are ill-equipped to treat them. Illinois' Cook County Jail has some of the most innovative programs in the country, but staff say it's a far cry from actual treatment.

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The food chain of rodenticide

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-01-20 13:43

Alright, weak-stomached listeners, we've got a story for you now about rats. Well, actually about rodenticide, the chemical products people use to kill rats. Some of them are poised to come off the shelves since the chemicals can affect other wildlife.

Many rodenticides act as anticoagulants, killing pests by making them bleed internally. They're great at killing rats, but they're also killing animals that eat rats.

Stella McMillen, a scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, says lots of animals eat rodents: coyotes, foxes, birds of prey — and the chemicals are making it to the top of the food chain.

Scientists worry the compounds may be making predators more prone to disease or may be hurting reproduction. The most toxic are the second-generation anticoagulants, one of which is brodifacoum.

The products are at the center of a long and messy fight between the company that owns the product and the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA's been trying to restrict second-generation anticoagulants to professional users. All companies but one have complied. Reckitt Benckiser has about a dozen products that would be canceled, and it's been fighting to keep them in homeowners' hands. That fight's been going for more than five years.

Reckitt did not respond to requests for comment for this story. Its appeal to the EPA could take years to decide. In the meantime, it's still on shelves.

 

 

 

New Zealand Quake Shakes Eagle Sculpture From Airport Perch

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-20 13:07

The giant bird was being used to promote The Hobbit film trilogy, which was shot in the Pacific nation. Authorities say no one was hurt when it came crashing down during a 6.3-magnitude temblor.

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Who's enrolling for health insurance? Not the uninsured

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-01-20 13:06

Citing a new survey from McKinsey & Co., the Wall St. Journal reports that only 11 percent of the 2.2 million Americans who have purchased health insurance on state or federal exchanges were previously uninsured. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services hasn’t released any data on this yet.

The insurance companies aren’t thrilled. The industry expects the Affordable Care Act will ultimately lead to millions of new customers.

In a certain way, this could be seen as a positive for the companies. There’s a general concern that the uninsured will get coverage and need lots of procedures and tests, costing lots of money. If the number of uninsured patients remains modest that means that most of the customers have had insurance before. That means a potentially less expensive customer – which is what the insurance companies want.

In the report, 30 percent of consumers sited technical trouble purchasing plans. 52 percent said plans were cost prohibitive. Many healthcare observers expect previously uninsured people to sign up for plans prior to the March 31st enrollment deadline.

Even if they don’t, PricewaterhouseCoopers Ceci Connolly says insurers are well aware the new healthcare law is just beginning.

"They are really viewing 2014 as the learning year. It’s almost as if we’ve got our bicycle and our training wheels because so much of this is brand new territory,” Connolly says.

Another Week, Another Mayor: The Christie Scandal Widens

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-20 13:00

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is facing new allegations about whether he used the powers of his office to punish a local politician. This time, the charge is that he withheld a city's federal recovery money for Superstorm Sandy because the mayor wouldn't support an ally's redevelopment project. Matt Katz of member station WNYC reports on the unfolding accusations.

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T-Mobile CEO Swears (Like A Sailor) That Industry Will Change

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-20 13:00

T-Mobile CEO John Legere enjoys making waves — or perhaps he feels as if there's no choice, because he helms the smallest of the four major telecom companies. Legere is engaged in a feisty battle for market share. In Las Vegas recently, he crashed AT&T's party at a trade show and was summarily kicked out, and T-Mobile is going hard after its competitors in new commercials. But where this all ends is an open question. Many analysts believe T-Mobile will eventually be gobbled up in a merger.

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Silicon Valley Responds To Obama's NSA Proposals

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-20 13:00

On Friday, President Obama delivered a speech outlining his proposed reforms of the National Security Agency's surveillance practices. In All Tech Considered, our weekly look at technology, we explore how the speech was received by many of the big tech companies in Silicon Valley.

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As Protests Renew In Ukraine, Fears Of Violence Return

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-20 13:00

Anti-government protests have shaken Ukraine for two months. With the passage of a new law intended to limit public protests, the crisis is once again intensifying. Protesters in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, clashed with police for a second day on Monday, one day after a massive protest in the city turned violent.

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Surprise Invitation Lands Syrian Peace Talks In Hot Water

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-20 13:00

The long-anticipated Syrian peace conference is again in turmoil. The U.N. secretary-general's surprise decision to invite Iran to attend the conference prompted a boycott threat from Syria's exiled opposition. At issue is the fact that Iran has not publicly committed to the framework for the conference or pledged to withdraw its troops and allied militias from Syria. Under pressure from the opposition groups and the U.S., the U.N. has since withdrawn its invitation to Iran.

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Punctured Tires In Kabul Are The Work Of Police, Not Punks

NPR News - Mon, 2014-01-20 13:00

Car theft is less a crime than a security threat in Kabul: It's feared that militants could use stolen vehicles as car bombs. So the police have started puncturing the tires of cars parked on the street after dark, a policy that's raising ire among those whose cars that have been "protected" this way.

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