Calls for better equipment and protection for players grew louder in the NFL this year. It follows growing evidence of the damage caused by repeated blows to the head, and some high-profile suicides by former players.
It now appears that the militants who stormed a gas plant in Algeria last month, resulting in the deaths of dozens of hostages, ultimately wanted to create a giant fireball by blowing up the plant. They just couldn't figure out how. David Greene talks to Adam Nossiter of The New York Times, who recently went to the plant and gathered accounts of some former hostages.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
President Obama is taking his campaign against gun violence to the country, beginning today with a trip to Minneapolis and a visit to that city's police department. Many police organizations favor tougher gun laws. The president leaves behind a new Congress that's getting down to business. And consuming most of lawmakers' time: the budget and the deficit.
A protester holds a petrol bomb during clashes with riot police after a demonstration against new austerity measures outside the parliament in Athens, Greece, on Nov. 7.
Credit Aris Messinis / AFP/Getty Images
Members of the Pakistani community in Athens carry the coffin of Shehzad Luqman, the victim of what appears to have been a racist attack, on Jan. 19. It's the latest in a wave of violence associated with the right-wing, anti-immigrant Golden Dawn party.
Escalating political violence from both the left and right is raising fears of political instability in debt-burdened Greece. The conservative-led government is cracking down on leftist groups, vowing to restore law and order.
But the opposition says authorities are trying to divert people's attention from growing poverty and despair.
Take the latest explosion in Athens — a firebomb at a crowded suburban mall last month that slightly injured two security guards.
Refrigerators, foam buoys and even ketchup bottles are piling up on Alaska's beaches. Almost two years after the devastating Japanese tsunami, its debris and rubbish are fouling the coastlines of many states — especially in Alaska.
At the state's Montague Island beach, the nearly 80 miles of rugged wilderness looks pristine from a helicopter a few thousand feet up. But when you descend, globs of foam come into view.
Home health care aides are waiting to find out if they will be entitled to receive minimum wage. A decades-old amendment in labor law means that the workers, approximately 2.5 million people, do not always receive minimum wage or overtime.
The Obama administration has yet to formally approve revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act that would change that classification.
As Malian forces backed by French and African troops have retaken the West African nation's contested northern region, there have been allegations of human rights abuses. Human Rights organizations accuse the Malian army of summary executions, among other abuses.
The placebo effect, in which patients perceive an effect from a fake drug, is even stronger than once believed. Host Laura Sullivan talks to Ted Kaptchuk, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, about his research on how sham treatments affect the way we feel.
Drug-resistant bacteria are a growing problem at hospitals across the country. The bacteria, such as Staphylococcus and Clostridium difficile, are difficult to prevent and impossible to treat.
"The problem is expanding, and it's going up and up and up," explains Dr. Trish Perl of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. "We're running out of antibiotics to treat, and so the challenge is can we prevent?"
Moaz al-Khatib sent waves through the Syrian activist community this week when he announced via Facebook that he was open to talks with representatives of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime on two conditions: that political prisoners, thought to number in the tens of thousands, be released; and exiled Syrians be able to renew their passports at embassies abroad.