National / International News

Prince George appears on royal tour

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-09 01:47
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge take their son to meet his contemporaries on their tour of New Zealand.

Hard disk pioneer wins tech prize

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-09 01:39
A British scientist who made it possible for hard disks to become radically bigger and cheaper wins a one million euro technology award.

VIDEO: Miller: I wish I could have stayed'

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-09 01:34
Maria Miller said she hoped she could have kept her ministerial post, but she felt she had to leave because the row over her expenses claim had detracted attention from the "government's achievements".

VIDEO: Pistorius faces tough questions

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-09 01:32
South African athlete Oscar Pistorius says he "made a terrible mistake" when he shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his home.

Talks over Games tower explosions

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-09 01:32
Talks are to be held next week over controversial plans to demolish Glasgow tower blocks as part of the city's Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

Call over forces widows' pensions

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-09 01:29
Campaigners call on ministers to change rules that mean forces widows have to give up their spouse's pension if they remarry or cohabit.

These are the highest paid doctors in Medicare

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-09 01:26

As of today, we know a whole lot more about how much Medicare pays doctors. The government has released huge amounts of data on which doctors, got paid how much, for what procedures. The data show payments to more than 800,000 doctors and health care organizations. It includes information for thousands of procedures. 

If you want to look up a specific doctor, to find out how much she was paid by Medicare in 2012.  You can look it up.  The Wall Street Journal has created an easy to use interactive search tool here. Researchers are at the very beginning of trying to make sense of all the numbers.  But, we have been able to pull out a few interseting tid-bits.

According to a New York Times analysis:

Much of Medicare spending is concentrated among a small fraction of doctors. About 2 percent of doctors account for about $15 billion in Medicare payments, roughly a quarter of the total.

Medicare paid 344 doctors and health care providers more than $3 million in 2012. At the top of the list is an opthamologist in Florida who was paid nearly $21 million.

So who are these well paid doctors? Where are they?

Here are the top 5 states where those 344 doctors and health care providers do business:

 And here's a breakdown of the $3 million-plus club by the type of medicine they practice.

 Some doctors aren't happy with the data dump.  According to the Wall Street Journal, it's the end of a fight that's been going on since the 1970s. As my colleague, Nancy Marshall-Genzer points out, many physicians groups worry the numbers, out of context, could be misleading: 

"Sixty percent of all Medicare patients actually have three or more medical conditions. Our patients are extremely complex" Dr. Reid Blackwelder,  president of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Proponents of the database say it will allow patients to figure out which doctors do a good job of providing good quality care while limiting costs.  And, it should help us all better understand what goes into the $2.8 trillion dollar U.S. health care industry.

Custody death 'charges considered'

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-09 01:17
The Crown Prosecution Service is to consider whether criminal charges should be brought against two officers after a man died in police custody in south London.

Benefit claims take 'double time'

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-09 01:14
The head of a company assessing people in Wales for a new disability payment says they are taking double the time anticipated.

If these dolphins could talk

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-04-09 01:00

Researchers in Florida have developed an interface that aims to translate dolphin sounds into words that humans can understand. As Dr. Denise Herzing, the founder of the Wild Dolphin Project, puts it:

"Think of it like an acoustic keyboard underwater. The system has four artificially designed whistles that we created. We made them specifically because they aren’t in the dolphin’s normal repertoire."

With their ability to mimic sounds, dolphins can learn how to make whistling noises which they have been trained to associate with designated objects in the water. Underwater computer CHAT (Cetacean Hearing and Telemetry) can hear the whistle sounds being made by the dolphins, and then translate them into words that are transmitted into a researcher's ear piece. 

Dr. Herzing is encouraged by an instance in which a dolphin's whistle was translated by CHAT into the word "Sargassum," which is a kind of brown algae. Though, she warns of celebrating success too soon.

"Let’s remember that when a dolphin mimics a whistle, it doesn’t necessarily mean the dolphin understands what the whistle means."

Still, it's an exciting development in dolphin-to-human communication. And no, we're not referring to this kind of communication.


Patsy Palmer to leave EastEnders

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-09 00:54
Actress Patsy Palmer, familiar to millions as EastEnders' Bianca Butcher, is to leave the BBC soap after 31 years.

AUDIO: Miller resignation 'her own decision'

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-09 00:40
Education secretary Michael Gove discusses culture secretary Maria Miller's resignation over expenses.

Why Co-op's woes are deepening

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-09 00:40
Why Co-op's woes are deepening

Venezuela formal talks 'to go ahead'

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-09 00:40
After weeks of anti-government protests in Venezuela in which 39 people have been killed, the administration and opposition agree to formal talks.

Pistorius: Reeva died in my arms

BBC - Wed, 2014-04-09 00:22
An emotional Oscar Pistorius returns to court to recount how he found his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp after shooting her on Valentine's Day 2013.

'Yes' vote 'could hit energy sector'

BBC - Tue, 2014-04-08 23:57
An independent Scotland could expect to lose subsidies to green energy investment from the rest of the UK, the UK government warns.

In Eastern Ukraine, Normality Rules Except At Ground Zero

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 23:39

Protests in eastern Ukraine are the focal point of the country's crisis with implications that stretch beyond its borders. Yet life in most of Donetsk seems untouched by the turmoil.

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States, Lawmakers Want Feds To Use New Math For FEMA Calculations

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 23:37

As a new tornado season begins, Illinois officials say they need more help from the federal government, and Sens. Kirk and Durbin have reintroduced a bill proposing changes to the disaster formula.

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Time To Root, Root, Root For Final Innings

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 23:35

A baseball odd couple ends their careers this year: Commissioner Bud Selig and Yankees' shortstop Derek Jeter.

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An Education Reporter Puts Himself To The (Standardized) Test

NPR News - Tue, 2014-04-08 23:34

New Common Core teaching standards mean new standardized exams. NPR's Cory Turner took one himself and reports on what's changed.

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