National / International News

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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Major NI housing fraud revealed

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-11 01:00
Homeless families in Northern Ireland are being denied a place to live because of benefit cheats, a BBC Spotlight investigation discovers.

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?

Obesity 'link to lower exam results'

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-11 00:30
A study involving two Scottish universities suggests obesity in adolescent girls is link with lower academic attainment.

Sutherland offers to resign

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-11 00:27
Co-op boss Euan Sutherland offers to resign

India Maoists kill 16 policemen

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-11 00:24
Maoist rebels kill at least 16 policemen in an ambush in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh, police say.

Council tax benefit plan 'perverse'

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-11 00:19
Changes to council tax benefits have weakened work incentives for "up to 225,000" people in England, MPs say.

Skull fragments reveal new crocodile

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-11 00:13
Two fossilised fragments from a crocodile skull found on the Isle of Wight indicate the discovery of a new species, researchers say.

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.

Man is injured in city gun attack

BBC - Mon, 2014-03-10 23:57
A man in his 20s is shot in both legs in an attack at a house in the Brandywell area of Londonderry.

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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£280m race circuit in cash request

BBC - Mon, 2014-03-10 23:39
Developers building a £280m racetrack in Ebbw Vale are asking the Welsh and UK governments to commit up to £50m towards the scheme, BBC Wales learns.

VIDEO: 'Spying setting fire to internet'

BBC - Mon, 2014-03-10 23:39
Global mass surveillance conducted by the US and other governments is "setting fire to the future of the internet", says Edward Snowden.

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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Soldier held over barracks murder

BBC - Mon, 2014-03-10 23:21
A soldier is arrested on suspicion of murder after a corporal is found dead at an army barracks in Shropshire.

Japan: Weak demand will dent exports

BBC - Mon, 2014-03-10 23:19
The Bank of Japan says exports have levelled off due to disappointing external demand, after a strong performance in February.

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