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Shots - Health News
1:50 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

FDA Seeks To Tighten Controls On Hydrocodone Painkillers

Hydrocodone, sold as Vicodin and other brand names, may face tighter restrictions on prescribing and use.
Toby Talbot AP

The Food and Drug Administration Thursday announced that it wants the federal government to impose tough new restrictions on some of the most widely used prescription painkillers.

The FDA said it planned to recommend that Vicodin and other prescription painkillers containing the powerful opioid hydrocodone be reclassified from a "Schedule III" drug to a "Schedule II" drug, which would impose new restrictions on how they are prescribed and used.

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Guy On Train Live Tweets Former CIA Chief's On-Background Interview

Ret. Gen. Michael Hayden, right, and Tom Matzzie.
Twitter

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 3:25 pm

You'd think he'd be more careful: The man who was once responsible for the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency was giving a background interview during a train ride, but he didn't notice that a fellow passenger was live tweeting the highlights.

In truth, we didn't learn any secrets from Ret. Gen. Michael Hayden, but Tom Matzzie, who used to work for the liberal group MoveOn.org, provided a riveting — and funny — account of the ordeal on his Twitter feed.

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The Salt
1:25 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Almonds For Skinny Snackers? Yes, They Help Curb Your Appetite

The protein, unsaturated fat composition and fiber in almonds all very likely play a role in helping to curb appetites.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 9:54 am

Americans seem to have a love affair with snacking.

As a society, we eat twice as many snacks as we did a generation ago. Women, on average, nosh on upwards of 400 snack calories per day, according to federal survey data. And men consume almost 600 calories a day in between meals.

So, if nibbling is our new pastime, researchers have a suggestion for one satiating snack that seems to help control our appetites: almonds.

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U.S.
12:22 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Abuse Allegations Leave Twin Cities Archdiocese In Turmoil

Jennifer Haselberger, former top canon lawyer for the archdiocese, found stored files detailing how some priests had histories of sexual abuse. She resigned in April.
Jennifer Simonson Minnesota Public Radio

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 1:25 pm

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been rocked in recent weeks by revelations from a top-level whistle-blower. The former official says church leaders covered up numerous cases of sexual misconduct by priests and even made special payments to pedophiles.

The scandal is notable not only because of the abuse but also because it happened in an archdiocese that claimed to be a national leader in dealing with the issue.

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Music Interviews
12:22 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

The Life Of Doc Pomus, Songwriter To The Stars

Doc Pomus, pictured here in the 1980s, was an obscure, yet prolific songwriter who died in 1991. A.K.A. Doc Pomus is a documentary about his life.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 2:40 pm

His name would spin around and around on the vinyl, the writer of a thousand songs: Doc Pomus. As the man behind smash records including Elvis Presley's "Viva Las Vegas," Ray Charles' "Lonely Avenue" and The Drifters' "This Magic Moment," he shaped the early sound of rock 'n' roll.

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All Tech Considered
12:14 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

A Diagram Of HealthCare.gov, Based On The People Who Built It

An attempt to draw out the various parts of HealthCare.gov's tech system, based on the testimony of its contractors.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 7:52 am

One of the major issues that's emerged since the failed rollout of HealthCare.gov is that there was no lead contractor on the project. (CGI Federal was the biggest contractor — awarded the most expensive contract — but says it did not have oversight over the other parts of the system.) Instead, the quarterbacking was left to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a subagency of the Department of Health and Human Services.

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The Two-Way
11:49 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Twitter Sets Its IPO Price, Valuing Company At Around $11 Billion

In this Nov. 8, 2011, photo, NASA fan David Parmet signs his name on a Twitter logo during a tweetup event for about 50 of NASA's Twitter followers at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.
Brock Vergakis AP

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 12:03 pm

Twitter announced today that it plans on selling 70 million shares at $17 to $20 each, during its initial public offering.

Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal did the math and it means that the company is looking to raise about $1.4 billion and values itself at about $11 billion at the high end. This is the biggest tech IPO since Facebook went public in May of 2012.

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Sports
11:23 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Reversed Call Gives Sox Opening To Win World Series Game One

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 1:25 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The St. Louis Cardinals hope to come back against the Boston Red Sox in game two of the World Series tonight. In game one, well, just about nothing went right with the Cardinals. NPR's Mike Pesca joins us. He's covering these games from Boston. Hey there, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hi.

CORNISH: So, in the first inning, there was this big mistaken call by the umpire at second base and then a reversal of that call. What happened?

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Politics
11:23 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Outside Political Money Floods Virginia Races

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 1:25 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Virginia holds elections next month for state offices, including governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. But what was historically a pretty sedate affair is, this year, drawing millions of dollars from all over the country.

NPR's Peter Overby reports.

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Europe
11:23 am
Thu October 24, 2013

News Stories Dredge Up Old Stereotypes Of Europe's Roma

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 1:25 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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Shots - Health News
11:22 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Dangerous Fungus Makes A Surprise Appearance In Montana

Histoplasma capsulatum is common in soil in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. So how did it get a rancher in Montana sick?
CDC

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 1:53 pm

What life-threatening illness can you get from repotting plants, attending a rodeo or going spelunking? If you didn't guess histoplasmosis, you're not alone.

This week's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, chronicle of all things infectious, reports on the surprising appearance of histoplasmosis, a lung infection caused by a fungus, in four people in Montana.

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The Two-Way
11:08 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Guardian: U.S. Monitored Calls Of 35 Foreign Leaders

German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Markus Schreiber AP

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 1:29 pm

The United States spy agency monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders, The Guardian reports today, based on a classified memo given to the paper by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The paper reports that the NSA encouraged others in the U.S. government to share their contact numbers for world leaders, that way the agency knew whom to target. The Guardian adds:

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Shots - Health News
10:55 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Slaying 'Little Dragons': Guinea Worm Moves Toward Eradication

Hawah Alhassan, 5, contracted Guinea worm in a village near Tamale, Ghana, in 2007. The country eliminated the parasite in 2011.
Wes Pope MCT/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 9:22 am

The world has eradicated just one human disease: smallpox. But another illness is getting tantalizingly close to elimination.

No, we're not talking about polio; that virus also has its back against a wall. But a report Thursday puts a parasitic worm ahead of polio in the race to extinction.

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It's All Politics
10:45 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Texas Vs. Utah: A Tale Of Two Government Shutdowners

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah (left), and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, walk to the Senate floor on Oct. 16 to vote on a bill to raise the debt ceiling and fund the government.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 11:01 am

Two Tea Party-backed, defund-Obamacare-or-we'll-shut-down-the-government Senate leaders. Two very different outcomes.

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Around the Nation
10:25 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Is Eastern State Penitentiary Really Haunted?

Inmates once were hooded so they would not be recognized by guards or other inmates, allowing for anonymity upon release. Eyeholes were allowed in hoods circa 1890, but prisoners were still not allowed to communicate.
Courtesy of Eastern State Penitentiary

With its looming, gloomy high stone walls, crumbling corridors, and stark cells that once housed thousands of hard-core criminals, Eastern State Penitentiary certainly looks haunted. Its 142-year history is full of suicide, madness, disease, murder and torture, making it easy to imagine the spirits of troubled souls left behind to roam its abandoned halls.

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Shots - Health News
9:46 am
Thu October 24, 2013

What's The Real Deadline For Buying Health Coverage?

Which date should be circled on your insurance calendar?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 4:56 am

Under the Affordable Care Act, nearly everyone will be required to have health insurance. If they don't, they'll have to pay the federal government a tax penalty.

But it turns out this is a case where there are deadlines, and then there are hard deadlines.

And with the federally run health insurance exchange at HealthCare.gov so mired in technology problems, figuring out the what counts as a real deadline has become a very hot topic.

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Thu October 24, 2013

VIDEO: In Space, A Single Hair Can Move You

Afghanistan
8:50 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Are Afghanistan's Schools Doing As Well As Touted?

An Afghan child writes on a blackboard at a school built by German troops in a refugee camp on the outskirts of Mazar-e-Sharif. The number of students enrolled in Afghan schools has skyrocketed since the fall of the Taliban at the end of 2001.
Farshad Usyan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 1:25 pm

It's one of the most touted "positive statistics" about Afghanistan: Today, there are 10 million Afghans enrolled in school, 40 percent of them female.

Under the Taliban, about 1 million boys and almost no girls were attending schools. Western officials routinely point to the revived education system as a sign of success and hope for the future.

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Parallels
8:45 am
Thu October 24, 2013

In Almost Every European Country, Bikes Are Outselling New Cars

A mechanic repairs a bike at Calmera bike shop in Madrid in September. As car sales slump across Europe, bicycle sales in Spain are outpacing cars — a trend seen across much of the Continent.
Pablo Blazquez Dominguez Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 11:11 am

We know that Europeans love their bicycles — think Amsterdam or Paris. Denmark even has highways specifically for cyclists.

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Parallels
8:42 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Saudi Women Go For A Spin In Latest Challenge To Driving Ban

A woman drives a car in Saudi Arabia on Sunday. Saudi Arabia is the only country where women are barred from driving, but activists have launched a renewed protest and are urging women to drive on Saturday.
Faisal Al Nasser Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 2:39 pm

Activists in Saudi Arabia tried once, they tried again and now they're making a third challenge to the kingdom's long-standing ban on female drivers.

Some women have recently made short drives, posting videos on social media sites, and many more are planning to get behind the wheel on Saturday.

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Thu October 24, 2013

VIDEO: Russell Brand And His Call For Revolution

A BBC interview with comedian/actor Russell Brand is getting attention today because, it's said, he speaks for many younger adults who are fed up with politics and politicians.

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It's All Politics
7:40 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Government Shutdown Makes Its Debut In Campaign Ads

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., speaks in Stuttgart, Ark., in August. Pryor's latest ad in his re-election campaign hammers his GOP opponent's position on the government shutdown.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 8:19 am

The federal government shutdown ordeal only recently ended, but candidates on both sides of the aisle are already on the air with ads aiming to turn the impasse to their advantage.

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Economy
7:07 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Economic Mobility: America's Frontier Blocked?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We are going to talk a bit today about people on the move. Around the world and throughout time, people have moved from one place to another in search of better lives. But how they're doing it and how much they're doing it are changing. Coming up, we'll look at how thousands of Central Americans are trying to pass through Mexico to the U.S. border every year by clinging to the tops of rusty cargo trains.

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Health Care
7:07 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Obamacare Website Mess: Whose Fault Is It?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, it's no secret that it's getting harder to move on up in this country, to achieve upward mobility that is. Last week, we asked whether the ability of Americans to literally move to different parts of the country is playing a role in this. We heard from so many listeners about this that we decided to dig into the story a bit more, and we'll have that in just a few minutes.

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Shots - Health News
7:06 am
Thu October 24, 2013

A View Of Insurance Marketplace Problems From 4 States

Despite major problems with health exchanges, a few people have been able to sign up for insurance.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 8:33 am

As snafus with the federal health insurance website have multiplied, some states are making halting progress getting people signed up for coverage. But the picture isn't pretty.

Mississippi and Alaska are depending on the federal government for their sites, and they haven't managed to sign up many people. California and Oregon built their own exchanges, but even those sites are having problems. Here is a roundup from NPR member stations in those four states.

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The Two-Way
5:51 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Did Bullying Claim After 91-0 Game Do More Harm Than Good?

A.J. Rich iStock

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 7:15 am

Sports talk shows and news outlets have been all over the story of a Texas parent who filed a complaint about bullying after his son's high school football team lost a game last week by the score of 91-0.

If you haven't heard about what happened during that game, here's how Fort Worth's Star-Telegram sums up the story:

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The Salt
5:00 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Report: Meat Producers Ignore Pleas For Health, Environmental Reform

Chickens in a mechanized hatchery in Monroe County, Ala.
Buyenlarge/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 5:41 am

Five years ago, a landmark report excoriated the animal agriculture industry's practices and laid out a road map for how it could do better. But in the years since, the problems are just as bad — and maybe even worse.

That's the conclusion of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. This week, the center scolded the industry again with a review of how it has fared in the years since the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production released its original report.

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The Two-Way
4:10 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Report: Memos Unmask Pakistan's Approval Of Drone Strikes

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with President Obama at the White House on Wednesday.
Dennis Brack/pool Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 6:08 am

While it is been "one of the more poorly kept national security secrets in Washington and Islamabad" that Pakistani leaders privately endorse U.S. drone strikes aimed at terrorists in their country, The Washington Post says that:

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It's All Politics
3:51 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Thursday Morning Political Mix: Healthcare Techs In Hot Seat

Good morning.

This is Washington, so there will be hearings.

Today's centerpiece of congressional inquiry bears the title, "Affordable Care Act Implementation Failures: Didn't Know or Didn't Disclose?" See where this is going?

The morning gathering will be the first in a promised series of GOP-led House Energy and Commerce Committee hearings into the implementation of Obamacare and its well-documented challenges.

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The Two-Way
3:46 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Jobless Claims Dipped Last Week

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 4:00 am

There were 350,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance filed last week (the period ending Oct. 19), down 12,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration said Thursday.

A broader measure — the "4-week moving average" — rose by 10,750, to 348,250. That gives a sense of the pace of claims over the course of a month.

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