Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 6:59 pm
It's an old joke, repeated every year around nurses' stations, examination rooms, and operating theaters: Whatever you do, don't get sick in July.
That's when hundreds of just-graduated medical students begin their residencies. The logic goes that, come summer, you're all but guaranteed to be treated by a novice physician, especially in teaching hospitals. Better to wait a few months, until the new docs have settled in a bit, to be seen about that suspicious lump.
Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 6:37 pm
The U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) says it released several hundred detainees in an effort to prepare for the across-the-board budget cuts scheduled to go into effect March 1. More people may be released in the coming days.
If you have good health insurance, you've probably never even seen a full hospital bill. Count yourself lucky.
For a giant article in this week's Time, Steve Brill went line by line through a handful of bills from hospitals around the country. On today's show, he tells us about the crazy thicket of high prices and hard-to-decipher codes that he discovered, and we talk about what it means for the price of health care in America.
It was another day of protest in the West Bank. Palestinians are demanding the release of prisoners held in Israeli jails after one prisoner died on Saturday. NPR's Larry Abramson reports.
(SOUNDBITE OF YELLING)
LARRY ABRAMSON, BYLINE: Outside Ofer Prison in the occupied West Bank, young men play cat and mouse with Israeli troops. They get as close as they dare, shoot a few rocks with slingshots, then retreat when the Israelis shoot tear gas canisters.
There's been a tug of war between aesthetically pleasing and safe when it comes to American embassies around the world.
Many embassies have been slammed as bunkers, bland cubes and lifeless compounds. Even the new Secretary of State John Kerry said just a few years ago, "We are building some of the ugliest embassies I've ever seen."
Another round of negotiations on Iran's suspect nuclear program got underway Tuesday in the Kazakhstani city of Almaty. Iran's envoys are pushing for relief from a vast array of economic sanctions while the U.S. and its partners in the so-called P-5 plus Germany are looking for signs that Tehran is prepared to roll back its nuclear program.
If I wrote operas, my next work would be called DSKNY. That's a snazzy abbreviation for Dominique Strauss-Kahn New York. The idea came last night when colleagues invited me for cocktails at the Sofitel Hotel, the site of DSK's alleged sexual assault of a hotel maid in 2011, and the beginning of his fall from grace.
There's reason to be optimistic about the market for recorded music around the world, according to a new report released by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. For the first time since 1999, the report says, the global trade value for the recorded music industry (a slightly vague/confusing term for record sales) went up last year by about 0.3 percent.
Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:18 pm
General Motors Co. said today that its Chief Executive Dan Akerson will not take a pay raise this year.
Documents filed with the House Committee On Oversight and Government Reform showed that GM was asking the U.S. government to OK a $2.1 million raise for Akerson. The government still owns part of GM and when the automaker took a $49.5 billion bailout, it agreed to have executive pay approved by government.
A new round of international talks on Iran's nuclear program is under way in Kazakhstan, where the U.S., Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany are asking Iran to give up any thought of building a nuclear weapon in exchange for relief from sanctions.
Western leaders do not predict a breakthrough, but they say small steps could be taken that would increase confidence on both sides.
Still, it's hard to imagine how such negotiations could proceed with lower expectations for progress.
Between them, Google Android and Apple's iOS account for more than 90 percent of U.S. smartphone sales, with Windows Phone, BlackBerry and a few smaller players rounding out the mobile market. But the tech world never stands still and other players are making a run for a piece of the growing mobile pie.
Gretta Harley arrived in Seattle in 1990, when grunge was redefining the city. Bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden were turning Seattle into the epicenter of the music world. Harley was a punk rock guitarist searching for her tribe, and in Seattle's thriving music scene, she found it.
Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 6:15 pm
A government agency in Quebec, Canada, has come under intense criticism after attempting to get pasta stricken from a restaurant's menu. The move had nothing to do with the food: Officials said Italian words such as pasta, calamari, and antipasto should be replaced with French words to conform with the law.
Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 3:39 pm
In "Escape Artist," the new video from Canadian pop duo The Zolas, the band plays around with audience expectations about race, culture and sexuality. As frontman Zach Gray sings about his mysterious alter ego, a group of kids kick around their neighborhood, playing basketball, chatting up girls and passing the hours. One of them clearly feels like an outsider.
It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Last week, we talked about violence in Chicago after the death of Hadiya Pendleton, the teenager shot and killed just a week after she visited Washington for the inauguration. Gun laws in Chicago are more restrictive than it its suburbs and in surrounding states like Indiana.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. So far, the fighting in Syria's bloody civil war has almost entirely been contained inside Syria. But plenty of outsiders are involved there, including al-Qaida in Iraq, Iran's al-Quds Force, and the Israel Air Force. No country is more deeply involved than Syria's smallest and most vulnerable neighbor, Lebanon.