National / International News

Two men face Belfast murder charges

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 14:58
Two men are charged with the murder of 35-year-old Eamonn Ferguson in north Belfast at the weekend.

A Bittersweet Goodbye: White House Pastry Chef To Move On

NPR News - Tue, 2014-03-18 14:57

Bill Yosses had to learn to make leaner, more healthful versions of his recipes when Michelle Obama moved in. He says those lessons have inspired his next venture in New York.

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Obama's Foreign Policy: More Second-Term Misses Than Hits

NPR News - Tue, 2014-03-18 14:47

Second-term presidents who find themselves limited by congressional constraints often see foreign policy as an arena for success. But it seems to be giving President Obama more fits than achievements.

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Debate 'not a credit to Scotland'

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 14:46
The debate on Scotland's future has not been a credit to the nation, Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney says.

Woods is injury doubt for Masters

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 14:35
Tiger Woods pulls out of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a back injury and is a doubt for the Masters.

US child sex images ring broken

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 14:32
Officials in the US dismantle one of the largest online networks sharing indecent images of children, the Department of Homeland Security says.

Police car death 'shocks Brazil'

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 14:18
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff offers her condolences to the family of a woman who died after being dragged by a police car along a Rio street.

Meat 'contained wrong animal DNA'

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 14:14
Half of all meat samples tested by Leicester City Council contained the DNA of other animals, a report finds.

Dissident 'IRA' claims mortar attack

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 14:12
The dissident republican group which calls itself the IRA has said it was responsible for a mortar attack on a police Land Rover in west Belfast on Friday night.

Signing up new patients is just the beginning

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-03-18 14:05

Uninsured Americans have just 15 days left to enroll for health coverage through one of the exchanges before the Affordable Care Act’s March 31 deadline.  

But when it comes to Medicaid – the health plan for people with low-incomes – there is no deadline. People can, and are, signing up. In Camden, New Jersey – the community Marketplace is watching throughout the ACA's first year – thousands of applications are pouring in every month, and all three of the city’s hospitals are serious about enrolling uninsured patients in some kind of insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

The plan at Cooper University Hospital is to make it as easy to sign up for coverage as possible.

Back in December, Cooper rigged up their computers so any uninsured patient who came to the hospital or ER would get a call after discharge. That’s why Edwin Vazquez is here today– he was just in and out of the ER for kidney stones.

The 21 year-old understands he can’t afford to go without insurance.

“Hopefully they give me this so I can get everything I need and not have to pay out of pocket and go to the emergency room," he says. "Because I don’t have a doctor.”

The American Hospital Association says thousands of hospitals are taking similar steps. But Cooper is not only helping Vazquez with insurance, the hospital also scheduled him for a free primary care visit. For Cooper, it’s a no-brainer; the hospital knows there’s a good chance Vazquez will come back, and a primary care visit is a whole lot cheaper than another trip to ER.

“I got hope right now," Vazquez says. "I feel blessed. I feel like they care when they sent me over here. Give me a chance. They didn’t leave me out there, [saying], OK...'you deal with everything'."

Vazquez is one of the lucky ones in the city of Camden. Since October, in the city and surrounding county, more than 9,000 people have applied for Medicaid. Shawn Sheekey, the Director of the Camden County Board of Social Services estimated about 7,000 people are still waiting. Promised technology hasn’t gotten off the ground and options are being discussed, he says, but there’s no immediate solution in sight.

“We are struggling a bit, quite frankly," he says. "It’s a lot of applications. We’ve not added staffing, and it’s presenting a problem."

“More or less, there are backlogs everywhere,” says Matt Salo, who runs the National Association of Medicaid Directors.

Salo says since the federal exchange,, launched last fall, states have struggled to get the necessary information from Washington. For people trying to get Medicaid, that means delays. 

“You know there haven’t been enough staff or enough funds to pay for overtime to be able to process this backlog as quickly as we would like,” says Salo.

But there is a workaround. Salo says people must remember Medicaid coverage is retroactive. If you’re sick, he says go to the doctor, go to the hospital; get treatment. And under the Affordable Care Act, it’s now much easier for hospital to get people signed up for Medicaid.

Stan Dorn, with the Urban Institute, says there’s a simple reason why: "Hospitals get paid if their patients are put on Medicaid, if their patients are uninsured, hospitals don’t get paid."

Eventually the Medicaid backlogs are expected to clear. But until they do, Cooper’s Dr. Jeff Brenner says hospitals should go beyond signing people up.

“Knowing those are Medicaid eligible patients, it makes sense for hospitals all across the country to go the extra mile and start giving patients primary care even before the card has arrived in the mail,” he says.

Otherwise the same uninsured patient's coming in and out of the ER continues – the same old expensive and demoralizing loop. Brenner says getting uninsured patients in the door signals that a hospital cares about patients' health. Often, he says, that’s an essential first step to helping patients care about their own health.

Oklahoma Court Delays 2 Executions Because Of Drug Shortage

NPR News - Tue, 2014-03-18 13:57

The court said it did not have confidence that Oklahoma could procure the drugs used in executions.

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Duke and Duchess help flood victims

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 13:54
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge donate £5,000 to help flood victims in a Denbighshire town.

Only half of us will accept robot domination

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-03-18 13:51

A study at the Human Computer Interaction lab in Manitoba, Canada shows people would perform a task they didn't want to do about half the time if a robot asked them to do it.

In other words, to take it to its logical conclusion, about half of us will be sold into human slavery when the robots eventually rise up, and about half of us will lead the resistance.

Chelsea 2-0 Galatasaray (3-1 agg)

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 13:50
Chelsea reach the Champions League quarter-finals after easily beating a poor Galatasaray side.

Study: The Chicken Didn't Cross The Pacific To South America

NPR News - Tue, 2014-03-18 13:42

An analysis of DNA from ancient and modern chicken bones from the Pacific islands shows they are genetically distinct from South American birds.

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Restaurant blaze 'under control'

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 13:39
A fire which ravaged an Italian restaurant and damaged flats in the centre Harrogate is brought 'under control'.

Frozen foods: not your dad's Hungryman

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-03-18 13:28

Self Magazine tells readers what foods to eat and what recipes to follow. Now it’s also doing the cooking. The Conde Nast title has launched its own line of frozen foods.

At its icy core frozen food has always been about convenience, but technology has changed and so have consumers -- we demand a lot more taste from four minutes on high in the microwave.

And the frozen food industry has delivered. According to Euromonitor International, it’s now worth $37 billion a year in U.S. sales. But companies like Con Agra, which produces everything from Slim Jims to fancier brands like Alexia French Fries, have to do some pretty cool marketing to keep their profiles hot on the frozen food aisle.

Ukraine officer 'killed in Crimea'

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 13:27
Ukraine's military says an officer has been killed at a military base in Crimea, shortly after Moscow signed a treaty on Crimea joining Russia.

VIDEO: Budget 2014: The numbers that matter

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 13:26
Newsnight's policy editor Chris Cook looks at the economic data George Osborne must obey in Wednesday's Budget.

Mapping racism in Tokyo

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-18 13:19
How Google Maps is being used to track racism in Japan

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