World

Health Care
4:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

90-Day Grace Period Under New Health Law Has Insurers Flustered

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 6:28 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

If you're late paying your health insurance premium, how long can you delay before your policy is canceled? Most insurance companies will give customers a 30-day grace period on the faith that they'll pay up by the end of the month. But that is changing under the Affordable Care Act. The law extends that grace period to 90 days for some new insurance policies. And as Eric Whitney reports, insurance companies, doctors, and state regulators are all confused about what exactly that means.

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News
4:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

After Oil Spill, Ships Start Moving — But Cleanup Has Just Begun

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 7:28 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Vessels are moving once again in the Houston ship channel. The waterway was closed after a barge crash over the weekend spilled thousands of gallons of oil. The Coast Guard now says the channel on the Gulf of Mexico had been cleared enough to allow barge traffic to enter and exit. Still, the cleanup of one of the world's busiest waterways, which is also a sanctuary for birds and other wildlife, continues.

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Shots - Health News
3:44 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Tuberculosis Roars Back With A Deadly Edge

Nokubhega, 12, had to move away from her family and into a hospital for treatment against drug-resistant tuberculosis.
Screenshot from PBS/YouTube

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 11:44 am

Two weeks ago, 12-year-old Nokubheka's mother died from drug-resistant tuberculosis.

"I love singing and dancing to the song," Nokubheka says as she marches around in a hot pink skirt and sweatshirt. "When I'm dancing, I forget that my mother passed away."

Now the young girl from Swaziland has learned she has the same disease.

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Music Reviews
3:34 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

A Tuneful Conversation With A Sometimes-Distant God

New Gods is Scottish songwriter Dan Willson's second album as Withered Hand.
Laura Lewis Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 7:28 pm

The wry and tuneful Withered Hand is Dan Willson, a graphic artist from Edinburgh who drifted away from the Jehovah's Witnesses as a teenager — but not, you get the feeling, with a satisfied mind. His moniker is a scriptural reference, and he named his 2009 debut Good News, one way Christians refer to the New Testament. (More to the point, its key track is called "Religious Songs.")

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Krulwich Wonders...
3:32 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

You Yawn. She Doesn't Yawn Back. Uh-Oh

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 6:44 pm

You are at a table for two, sitting with your girlfriend or boyfriend, when, for no good reason (you can't help it, you didn't mean to do it), you yawn. It's a big, gaping, jaw-extending, embarrassing yawn and because you didn't cover your face, oh, God, she/he sees it. A second or two goes by, and then ... something doesn't happen. Your girlfriend/boyfriend doesn't yawn back.

Should you be alarmed?

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Parallels
3:32 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

With Ribbons, Russians Show Support For Takeover In Crimea

Russian lawmaker Leonid Slutsky wears a ribbon to show support for Russia's takeover of Crimea. The same symbol is used to mark the Soviet victory in WWII and dates back centuries.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

It's hard to keep up with the vast array of colored ribbons that convey causes around the world, especially when the same color has multiple meanings. Red ones, for example, represent AIDS awareness but also drunk driving prevention, among other things.

Last week, deputies in the Russian parliament, or Duma, adopted their own ribbon to signal approval for Russia's takeover of Crimea – ones with black and orange stripes.

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Mountain Stage
3:12 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Ed Kowalczyk On Mountain Stage

Ed Kowalczyk.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 4:44 pm

Ed Kowalczyk makes his first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at West Virginia University's Creative Arts Center in Morgantown.

The founding member, songwriter and former lead singer of Live, Kowalczyk is responsible for some of the biggest hits of the 1990s. "I Alone" and "Lightning Crashes" were inescapable staples on radio and MTV, as well as countless mix tapes.

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The Two-Way
3:08 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

IRS Says It Will Treat Bitcoins As Property, Not Currency

A photo of tokens representing bitcoins.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 3:29 pm

In a new rule released on Tuesday, the Internal Revenue Service says it will treat bitcoin and other virtual currencies as property.

The Wall Street Journal reports this means any profits made on the currency will be taxed at the capital-gains rate and that investors will have to keep extensive records.

The Journal adds:

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Shots - Health News
3:07 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Pollution From Home Stoves Kills Millions Of People Worldwide

Many people like these Tibetans in Qinghai, China, rely on indoor stoves for heating and cooking. That causes serious health problems.
Courtesy of One Earth Designs

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 4:35 pm

Air pollution has become the world's largest environmental risk, killing an estimated 7 million people in 2012, the World Health Organization says.

That means about 1 out of every 8 deaths in the world each year is due to air pollution. And half of those deaths are caused by household stoves, according to the WHO report published Tuesday.

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All Tech Considered
2:56 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

The Security Cracks In Your Smartphone

Stephen Krow iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:25 pm

Law enforcement's ability to get past your phone password depends on "exploits," hacker tricks that take advantage of vulnerabilities in the phones' operating systems. Many exploits are kept quiet, to be sold to criminals or security companies. Others leak out. Here's a list of some of the known cracks in the security of the two major types of smartphone.

Apple/iOS

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Shots - Health News
2:45 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Wal-Mart Recalls 'Cuddle Care' Dolls Because They Can Burn

She coughs and sometimes burns.
CPSC

You had better not cuddle up with the My Sweet Love/My Sweet Baby Cuddle Care Baby Doll from Wal-Mart.

First of all, she gets sick on cue. The battery-powered doll coughs and babbles. Her cheeks flush, too.

You can make her better with a medical kit that includes a syringe, stethoscope and thermometer. After you give her a shot and a spoonful of medicine, she's as good as new.

But it turns out that she could give you symptoms of your own.

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The Two-Way
2:28 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Cleanup Continues After Oil Spill Near Houston Ship Channel

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 4:47 pm

This post was updated at 4:47 p.m. ET.

The cleanup of an oil spill near the Houston Ship Channel is continuing today, and authorities say they have opened one of the country's biggest ports in a limited capacity this afternoon.

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Europe
2:05 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

How Crimea's Annexation Plays To Russians' Soviet Nostalgia

An activist carries a Russian flag during a rally on Sunday in eastern Ukraine.
Sergei Grits AP

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 9:13 pm

According to political scientist Kimberly Marten, Russia's decision to annex Crimea from Ukraine may have changed its relationship with the outside world for many years to come.

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Theater
1:57 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Repeat Offenders On The Great White Way

Kelli O'Hara and Steven Pasquale co-star in the new Broadway production of The Bridges of Madison County. It's the third time they've played opposite each other.
Joan Marcus

Caissie Levy and Will Swenson were so used to playing lovers that they weren't sure how to play enemies.

They first got romantic in the 2009 revival of Hair, as the doomed couple Sheila and Berger. Then last year, they cast forbidden sparks as the adulterous leads in the rock musical Murder Ballad.

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Code Switch
1:46 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Redskins' Team Owner Launches Program For Natives, Flotilla Of Side-Eyes

Daniel Snyder, the Washington Redskins' owner, pointed to support from Native officials: "They have genuine issues they truly are worried about, and our team's name is not one of them."
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 1:51 pm

On Monday, Daniel Snyder, the Washington Redskins' polarizing owner, doubled down.

Snyder sent a letter to the team's fans in which he announced that he was starting a philanthropic project to aid Native American communities. He said he'd spent months traveling through Indian country, getting to know tribal leaders and becoming more cognizant of the challenges faced by many Native communities. (You can read the whole letter here.)

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All Songs Considered
1:03 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Mr Little Jeans, 'Good Mistake'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 11:51 am

Don't let the precious name fool you. Mr Little Jeans, a.k.a. Norwegian singer Monica Birkenes, makes propulsive, sometimes epic pop music with gnarled synth lines and alluring textures. In this brand new Mr Little Jeans video, for the moody song "Good Mistake," a trucker hopped up on meds finds himself traversing the haunted backroads of his past.

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Parallels
12:53 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Joseph Kony Is Back In The News. Do Teenagers Still Care?

Joseph Kony, the Ugandan leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, is being pursued by U.S. special forces and African armies. A 2012 video about him became an Internet sensation. The U.S. government has stepped up its hunt for Kony, but the story is attracting much less attention today.
STR AP

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 3:58 pm

You can learn from failures as well as successes. The story of the Joseph Kony video provides both.

Two years ago, a 30-minute video about Kony became one of the biggest viral sensations in Internet history, turning a little-known central African warlord — briefly — into a household name among American young people.

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The Salt
12:45 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Food Giants Want 'Sustainable' Beef. But What Does That Mean?

Customers order food from a McDonald's restaurant in Des Plaines, Ill. The company has promised to start buying "verified sustainable beef" in 2016.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 3:07 pm

McDonald's made a big green splash a few months ago by announcing that it will start buying "verified sustainable" beef in 2016.

A chorus of voices responded, "What's 'verified sustainable' beef?"

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All Songs Considered
12:11 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

New Mix: The Black Keys, Swans, Metronomy, More

Clockwise from upper left: The Black Keys, Tiny Ruins, Winged Victory For The Sullen, Dylan Shearer
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 3:09 pm

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Parallels
11:35 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Afghanistan's Election Heats Up — And So Do The Attacks

Afghan Special Forces converge on an Independent Election Commission office after the Taliban launched an assault on the compound Tuesday in Kabul. Two suicide bombers detonated their vests outside the offices while gunmen stormed the building.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 12:53 pm

Afghanistan's election for a new president is less than two weeks away. That means the candidates are busy campaigning — and the Taliban are busy attacking.

The latest attack came Tuesday morning in Kabul when two suicide bombers detonated themselves outside one of the offices of the Independent Election Commission. Moments later, several gunmen ran inside and waged a three-hour gunbattle with dozens of Afghan police.

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