NPR News

Pages

Shots - Health News
3:22 pm
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 5:53 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.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:08 pm
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 5:29 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:

Read more
It's All Politics
3:01 pm
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

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

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:55 pm
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 1:22 pm

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.

Read more
Around the Nation
2:25 pm
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.

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:46 pm
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 8:56 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.

Read more
Parallels
12:56 pm
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 5:25 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.

Read more
The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

VIDEO: In Space, A Single Hair Can Move You

Parallels
12:45 pm
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 3:11 pm

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

Read more
Movie Interviews
12:35 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Historian Says '12 Years' Is A Story The Nation Must Remember

Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Solomon Northup, a free black man in upstate New York who was kidnapped into slavery in 1841 and won his freedom 12 years later. The film 12 Years a Slave is an adaptation of Northup's 1853 memoir.
Jaap Buitendijk Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 2:46 pm

"We love being the country that freed the slaves," says historian David Blight. But "we're not so fond of being the country that had the biggest slave system on the planet." That's why Blight was glad to see the new film 12 Years a Slave, an adaptation of an 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup. Northup was a free black man who was kidnapped into slavery in 1841 and won his freedom 12 years later. "We need to keep telling this story because it, in part, made us who we were," Blight tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Read more

Pages