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Shots - Health Blog
1:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

GOP Says Coverage For The Uninsured Is No Longer The Priority

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says covering the uninsured shouldn't be Republicans' top health priority.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 11:44 am

For decades, the primary goal of those who would fix the U.S. health system has been to help people without insurance get coverage. Now, it seems, all that may be changing. At least some top Republicans are trying to steer the health debate away from the problem of the uninsured.

The shift in emphasis is a subtle one, but it's noticeable.

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Inside Rebel-Held Syria
1:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

In Syrian Conflict, Both Sides Vie To Control Message

Most civilians have fled the Syrian town of Derat Azza after protracted shelling by Syrian troops. Shops are closed, and rebels are trying to tightly control any information flowing out of the town.
Bunny Coleman for NPR

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 8:17 pm

Last of five parts

The most striking thing you see when you drive into the Syrian town of Derat Azza is that it's devoid of ordinary people. Shops are closed, shuttered.

The only people you see seem to be rebels.

It seems like the only difference between this town and others in the area is that the regime made up its mind to target it. And once the regime did, there was nothing the people could do.

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StoryCorps
1:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

'I Didn't See The Gun, And I Didn't Hear The Bullet'

Edith Green and her granddaughter visited a StoryCorps booth in 2005, where Edith shared her story of surviving a shooting.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 11:59 am

In 1980, Edith Green, a divorced school teacher, lived alone in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., just north of New York City.

One night, she struck up a friendship with a young man she had met at a friend's house — a relationship that would change her life forever.

"It was a very platonic relationship," she told her granddaughter. "I just didn't see this coming at all."

Edith, 54 at the time, told the man that she would be attending a play with a friend one evening.

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AIDS: A Turning Point
1:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Greece's Latest Crisis: Rising HIV Cases

Nurse Maria Vatista draws blood from a Greek drug addict for an HIV test in a mobile testing van in Athens last year. HIV infection rates are rising, as Greece's financial crisis has led the government to cut health and social services, including a successful needle exchange program.
Yannis Behrakis Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 11:58 am

One of the alarming consequences of the financial crisis in Greece appears to be a sharp rise in the rate of HIV infection.

The country, which is struggling through a historic debt crisis and a deep recession, still has one of the lowest HIV infection rates in Europe. But budget cuts to health and social services seem to be driving a recent and dramatic increase, especially among injecting drug users.

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Planet Money
1:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

How To Set Up An Offshore Company

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 2:51 pm

Setting up an offshore company in a tax haven is surprisingly easy. A simple Google search offers up thousands of companies willing to help you do it.

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Poetry
1:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Honoring The Games, And The Past, With Poetry

Ron Tanovitz

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 10:34 pm

In the days of the ancient Greeks, poetry and sport went hand in hand at athletic festivals like the Olympics. Poets sang the praises of athletic champions and, at some festivals, even competed in official events, reciting or playing the lyre. Here at NPR, we're reviving that tradition with our own Poetry Games.

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Shots - Health Blog
7:50 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Two More Nearing AIDS 'Cure' After Bone Marrow Transplants, Doctors Say

Timothy Ray Brown, shown in May 2011 with his dog Jack in San Francisco, is the only man ever known to have been fully cured from AIDS. Brown is known as the "Berlin patient" because he had a bone marrow transplant in a German hospital five years ago.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 1:28 pm

The so-called Berlin patient is famously the only person in the world who has been cured of HIV. But he may soon have company.

Two people in Boston also seem to be free of HIV after undergoing bone marrow transplants for cancer, just as the Berlin patient did five years ago. The crucial difference is that the Boston patients have not yet stopped taking anti-HIV drugs — although that may happen in the coming months.

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The Two-Way
6:58 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Picking Up The Pieces: Family Remembers Shooting Victim Micayla Medek

Grandma Marlene Kenobbe (L) comforts consoles Kailyn Vigil during Micayla Medek's funeral at the New Hope Baptist Church in Denver, Colorado.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 9:12 pm

The families of the Aurora, Colo. shooting victims continued to pick up the pieces today.

The Denver ABC affiliate reports that the family of Micayla Medek, 23, who was killed in the theater, held a funeral service today.

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The Veepstakes
6:52 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

As A VP Option, Christie's Star May Burn Too Hot

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie greets Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Des Moines, Iowa, on Dec. 30, 2011.
Evan Vucci AP

What people in New Jersey like about Gov. Chris Christie is his candor — the sense that he's speaking from his heart, instead of a script.

Last summer, as Hurricane Irene barreled toward the Jersey shore, the Republican governor offered a particularly memorable moment during a press conference: "Get the hell off the beach in Asbury Park and get out," he said. "You're done. It's 4:30. You've maximized your tan. Get off the beach."

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World
5:58 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Latest Target For Palestinians' Protest? Their Leader

Abbas attends a meeting of his Fatah movement at its headquarters in Ramallah on Jan. 29.
Atef Safadi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 9:20 am

The Kalandia checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah in the West Bank is best known as a flashpoint between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces. Images of masked youths throwing rocks by the painted concrete wall here are ubiquitous.

Protesters gathered at Kalandia again last week, but their focus wasn't Israeli soldiers: It was Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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The Two-Way
5:47 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Ohio Valley, Northeast Brace For Severe Weather

Radar image of the United States at 5:44 p.m. ET.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 11:46 pm

Severe thunderstorms are moving east, this hour. As the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center says, parts of the Ohio Valley and interior southern New England can expect some wild weather this evening, including "widespread damaging winds."

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It's All Politics
5:37 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Romney In London: It's Not Going Swimmingly

Mitt Romney leaves London's 10 Downing Street after meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 6:27 pm

The first stop — Britain — in Mitt Romney's foreign tour certainly is starting out rockier than nearly anyone expected.

First there was the kerfuffle over remarks, attributed by a British newspaper to an anonymous campaign adviser, that Romney understood the shared "Anglo-Saxon heritage" between the U.S. and Britain in a way President Obama didn't. Those comments were viewed as racist by some and were disowned by the Romney campaign.

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The Two-Way
5:08 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Could Ice Cream Trucks Finally Roam Scottsdale?

A Mister Softee ice cream truck makes its way through the streets of Brooklyn, New York in 2007.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 5:47 pm

Ice cream trucks are to summer what apple pie is to America. But residents of Scottsdale, Ariz. haven't heard the tell-tale sign of summer since the 1970s, when the city council banned the trucks.

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The Salt
4:58 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Where Did All The Watermelon Seeds Go?

Watermelon with seeds is getting harder to find at the supermarket.
iStockphoto.com

Many people think of the seedless watermelons popping up at grocery stores and markets everywhere in the last few years as a marvel of modern scientific technology. In fact, more than 60 percent of watermelon shoppers seek this smoother pink flesh, and the numbers are increasing every year, according to a recent survey done for the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

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Election 2012
4:50 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Romney Aims Tough Talk At China, And Obama

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nev., on Tuesday. In the speech, Romney attacked the Obama administration's approach to China.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 6:24 pm

President Obama's national security adviser visited China this week, just as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was attacking the administration's approach to that country.

"The cheating must finally be brought to a stop," Romney said Tuesday in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nev. "The president hasn't done it and won't do it, and I will."

China is the world's largest economy after the United States. It is one of the most important — and complicated — foreign relationships the U.S. has.

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The Torch
4:34 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Maroney Says She'll 'Make The Best' Of Competing On Broken Toe

"It was really fun to get out there and do my vault," McKayla Maroney said, after trying out the apparatus at the North Greenwich Arena in London Thursday. Maroney is coping with the lingering effects of a broken right toe.
John Cheng USA Gymnastics

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 5:42 pm

U.S.gymnast McKayla Maroney will compete in the London Summer Games, despite the lingering effects of a broken toe. Maroney, a gold medal contender, is the reigning world champion in the vault. Early reports suggested that Maroney broke her toe in London. But it appears that she merely tweaked an earlier injury.

On Twitter, NBC producer Alexa Ainsworth clarified that Maroney's toe "was broken before Classic and she just aggravated that here."

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Shots - Health Blog
4:34 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Amid An AIDS Epidemic, South Africa Battles Another Foe: Tuberculosis

A mobile clinic set up to test students for HIV is parked near Madwaleni High School in Mtubatuba, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa on March 8, 2011. Parts of the South African province have HIV rates that are more than twice the national average.
Stephane de Sakutin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 6:24 pm

The province of KwaZulu-Natal has emerged as the epicenter of South Africa's HIV epidemic. South Africa already has more people infected with HIV than any other country in the world, but parts of KwaZulu-Natal have HIV rates that are more than twice the national average.

Now in addition to HIV and AIDS, the province is also dealing with a major tuberculosis epidemic.

In the northeastern part of KwaZulu-Natal, dusty dirt tracks wind through pastures and fields of sugar cane. The hillsides are dotted with small huts made of cinder blocks and field stones.

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U.S.
4:34 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Bypassing College Dreams, A Different Road To Work

Kelly Thompson, a mentor at Siemens, gives apprentices an orientation of the factory. The program provides on-the-job training in manufacturing.
Courtesy of Siemens Energy Inc.

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 5:10 pm

Rebeca Espinal admits with a shy smile that she's a straight-A math student. She's a high school graduate who dreamed of going to college.

Instead, Espinal, 17, is working in a Charlotte, N.C., factory that makes gas turbines and generators. She is an apprentice with the German company Siemens.

"I was planning on getting a degree in international relations, but with financial aid and how difficult it is to pay for college and everything," she says. "So when Siemens came along and gave me the offer, it was too good of an opportunity to just let it go.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:23 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Feds And Health Insurers Partner To Fight Fraud

Insurers and the federal government are teaming up to fight health fraud.
iStockphoto.com

The Obama administration is enlisting new allies to fight health care fraud: insurers.

Today the Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice announced a partnership with more than a dozen health insurers and industry groups to nip fraudulent schemes in the bud, instead of tracking down bad guys after the fact.

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Monkey See
3:48 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

It Was All A Dream (Or: Turns Out Spoilers Are Good For You)

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 6:24 pm

Chances are, if you're a regular reader of this blog you've read (or perhaps even posted) an incredibly vitriolic comment or two accusing the writer of the despicable crime of spoilers.

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Mom And Dad's Record Collection
3:16 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

From Scorn For Zevon, A Father-Daughter Moment Is Born

Warren Zevon on the cover of Excitable Boy, the 1978 album which includes "Werewolves in London."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 6:51 pm

All this summer, All Things Considered is digging into listeners' parents' record collections to hear about one song introduced by a parent that has stayed with you — for better or for worse.

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The Two-Way
3:06 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

After Uproar, USDA Walks Back 'Meatless Monday' Support

Steak.
Larry Crowe AP

It was likely something that the United States Department of Agricultural didn't put much thought into. In an internal newsletter detailing agency's "greening" efforts, there's information about new lightbulbs and locally bought fruits and vegetables.

But on page three of five, there's also a passage that encourages forgoing meat on Mondays.

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The Torch
3:06 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

In Kayla Harrison, U.S. Has Chance For Judo Gold, And A 'Comeback Kid' Story

Kayla Harrison, who is on the U.S. judo team, is going to the Olympics for the first time.
Melanie Stetson Freeman Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 10:10 pm

Kayla Harrison, 22, is the best chance the United States has to win its first Olympic gold medal in the sport of judo. Like many of the world's best athletes, Harrison's road to London wasn't easy.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

NPR Taps Lobbying Firm To Help Make Case On Public Funding

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 5:47 pm

Our colleague David Folkenflik reports for the Newscast Desk that:

"NPR has hired an outside lobbying firm to help make its case with lawmakers on Capitol Hill as some House Republicans seek to make deep funding cuts to public broadcasting.

"Recent disclosure forms show NPR has paid $10,000 to Navigators Global, a firm founded by Republican political figures including strategist and pundit Mike Murphy.

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It's All Politics
1:53 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Romney Backer Explains Why Obama's Wrong, Despite Her Firm's Gov't Contracts

Rebecca Smith, owner of A.D. Morgan, speaks Thursday at a Tampa, Fla., event to denounce President Obama's statements about small businesses. The event was organized by the Romney campaign. At left is Lou Ramos of Value Enterprise Solutions.
Daniel Wallace Tampa Bay Times/ZUMAPRESS.com

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 3:48 pm

Rebecca Smith owns a Tampa, Fla., construction-management firm that does a lot of work overseeing the building of schools and jails, and other projects for state and local governments.

But even though much of her firm's $80 million in annual revenue comes from contracts with government agencies, she says she was "disgusted" by President Obama's thesis that government had a significant role in her business achievements.

Obama's actual words, from a July 13 speech in Virginia, were:

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