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Shots - Health Blog
3:05 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Canadian Hospitals That Spend More Get Better Results

In Toronto and elsewhere in Ontario, hospitals that spend more appear to do a better job.
ilkerender Flickr

Canada has long been a favored talking point for debates over the quality of America's health system, alternatively cast as either Eden or Gomorrah.

A new paper adds a shade of gray into the understanding of Canadian hospitals — and the ongoing debate here about whether when it comes to medical spending, less is more.

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Science
2:58 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Tornado Tech: What If Dorothy Had A Smartphone?

This May 3, 1999, funnel became the F-5 storm that damaged thousands of buildings in central Okahoma. University of Oklahoma storm chasers and observers are anticipating the annual tornado season as it approaches the central part of the country.
J. Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 11:44 am

For many, the only way they learn a tornado is approaching are sirens. In the spring and summer, tornado sirens go off a lot more when twisters roar across Alabama, which has been hit by 900 since 2000, accounting for a quarter of all U.S. tornado deaths.

"I am still surprised that so many people rely on just one source of getting warned, and that has to change," said Jim Stefkovich, meteorologist in charge of the Birmingham office of the National Weather Service.

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Looking Up: Pockets Of Economic Strength
2:47 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Optimism Rising Along With The Number of New Jobs

Economists say job growth plays a big role in how consumers are feeling about the U.S. economy.
Robert Galbraith Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 8:10 pm

Part of a series

As 2011 was winding down, consumer spirits were starting to rise. Now the momentum has carried into the new year, with polls showing consumer sentiment continuing to improve.

Economists say that negative factors, such as falling home values or rising meat prices, are nowhere near as important as the growth in jobs.

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Education
2:34 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Spanking Lives On In Rural Florida Schools

Holmes County High School Principal Eddie Dixson says paddling is used for minor offenses like back-talking or consistent tardiness. Students at the school are spanked only by Dixson or the assistant principal, and there is always a witness.
Sarah Gonzalez StateImpact Florida

Spanking in school may seem like a relic of the past, but every day hundreds of students — from preschoolers to high school seniors — are still being paddled by teachers and principals.

In parts of America, getting spanked at school with a wooden or fiberglass board is just part of being a misbehaving student.

"I been getting them since about first grade," says Lucas Mixon, now a junior at Holmes County High School in Bonifay, Fla. "It's just regular. They tell you to put your hands up on the desk and how many swats you're going to get."

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The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Federal Reserve Says Most Major U.S. Banks Would Survive Severe Recession

Federal Reserve

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 3:46 pm

Update at 4:34 p.m. ET. 15 of 19 Banks Pass Stress Test:

The Federal Reserve says 15 of the country's top 19 banks have enough capital to survive a "severe recession," which it defined as "peak unemployment rate of 13 percent, a 50 percent drop in equity prices, and a 21 percent decline in housing prices."

Reuters reports:

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Looking Up: Pockets of Economic Strength
2:18 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Factories 'Reshore' Some Work From Overseas

AGCO employees work on the assembly line in the company's newly expanded Jackson, Minn., manufacturing plant. The expansion brought the facility's staff from 850 to 1,050 workers and allows the plant to make tractors that were previously made in France.
Jackson Forderer for Minnesota Public Radio

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 11:44 am

Part of a series

During the worst of the Great Recession, U.S. factory jobs were disappearing at a furious pace. As 2007 began, about 14 million Americans were working in manufacturing.

Three years and one frightful recession later, only 11.5 million were.

But since 2010, employment has been ticking back up, with companies adding about 400,000 jobs.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:17 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Connecticut Considers Letting Health Aides Give Medicines To Homebound

Connecticut is rethinking who should be allowed to give medicines to Medicaid patients cared for at home.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 11:44 am

Connecticut, like every state trying to reduce health care spending, is looking closely at how it cares for people with chronic conditions.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has promised to move more than 5,000 poor and disabled patients out of nursing homes in five years.

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Latin America
2:04 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Cruising Over Colombia In A Plane From Another Era

A DC 3 stands ready to take off on the runway in Villavicencio , Colombia.
Carlos Villalon for NPR

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 9:41 am

The plane flown by Capt. Ricardo Fajardo has been around for nearly 70 years, ever since it was built in California by the Douglas Aircraft Co. at the height of World War II.

But as a red and orange DC-3 hugs the treetops and skims past the Vaupes River in the remote southeastern corner of Colombia, Fajardo says he wouldn't feel more comfortable in any other plane.

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Business
1:00 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

U.S., WTO Pressure China On Rare Earth Minerals

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

A new trade dispute is brewing over China's export of rare earth minerals. They're vital to the manufacture of everything from missiles to smartphones. And today, the United States, Japan and the European Union filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization. They accused China of slapping unfair export restrictions on the materials. The Chinese government warned that the complaint could strain ties with Washington.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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Economy
1:00 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Federal Reserve Stands Firm On Interest Rates

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Things are getting better, but let's not take it for granted, shall we? Well, that seems to be the message from the Federal Reserve today about the economy. Fed policymakers met in Washington and said they still intend to keep short term interest rates near zero through 2014.

Here's NPR's John Ydstie.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:36 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Timing Of Birth Control Coverage May Differ For Students, Profs

Sandra Fluke, a third-year law student at Georgetown University and former president of the Students for Reproductive Justice group there, testifies during a hearing before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee last month in Washington.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Could Georgetown University students like Sandra Fluke have to wait an extra year for free birth control?

There's a reason to ask the question.

Fluke, in case you missed it somehow, is the law student who testified before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee last month about the importance of providing free contraceptive services to students and others at religiously affiliated institutions.

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The Two-Way
12:30 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

With Economy 'Expanding Moderately,' Fed Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 12:31 pm

Citing an economy that is "expanding moderately," an improving labor market and subdued inflation — but a housing sector that "remains depressed" — the Federal Reserve just announced it is holding to its current policy on short-term interest rates.

The central bank's policymakers also said they expect "moderate economic growth over coming quarters" and that the jobless rate will continue to "decline gradually."

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Why Praise For An Olive Garden Turned Marilyn Hagerty Into A Star

Her fame has taken Marilyn Hagerty to New York City to be on the TV networks. And her newspaper has created a blog just for following her travels.
Grand Forks Herald

The sudden national fame for 85-year-old North Dakota newspaper columnist Marilyn Hagerty because she wrote last week that the new Olive Garden restaurant in Grand Forks is "impressive ... welcoming ... [and] is the largest and most beautiful restaurant now operating" in the city reinforces two things for this blogger:

1. Almost everyone loves a story about someone who seems to be just so darn nice and who's still going strong at an age when many of us will just be glad to still be around.

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The Record
12:00 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Cotton Mather's 'Kontiki,' The Album That Won't Go Gently

Cotton Mather (from left): Dana Myzer, Josh Gravelin, Whit Williams and Robert Harrison.
Todd Wolfson Courtesy of Fanatic Promotion

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 11:44 am

More than a decade ago, an album came out recorded mostly on cassette in a house, never released on a major label — and until last month it had been out of print for almost that long. When Noel Gallagher of Oasis heard it, he declared it "amazing," and The Guardian called it "the best album The Beatles never recorded."

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It's All Politics
11:37 am
Tue March 13, 2012

Santorum Gets A Lift From Anti-Abortion Group

Supporters of Rick Santorum, organized by the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List, spoke outside the Georgia State Capitol Building on March 5.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has been getting help from anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List as he campaigns this primary season, so far receiving nearly $500,000 in ads and other support.

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Remembrances
11:11 am
Tue March 13, 2012

F. Sherwood Rowland, Warned Of Aerosol's Danger

F. Sherwood Rowland, pictured here in 1989, was one of three chemists who shared the 1995 Nobel Prize for chemistry for work on discovering chemicals that deplete the Earth's ozone layer.
University of California AP

The man who warned us that aerosol spray-cans could destroy the earth's protective ozone layer has died.

F. Sherwood Rowland, better known as Sherry Rowland, was a Nobel-prize winning chemist at the University of California, Irvine. And he didn't just keep to the laboratory: He successfully advocated for a ban on ozone-destroying chemicals called CFCs.

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Tue March 13, 2012

If You're Hiding It From Your Wife, That Payday Loan's 'Gotta Be Bad News'

A payday store in Madison, Wis.,
Ryan J. Foley AP

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 10:53 am

  • Petula Dvorak talks with guest host Allison Keyes

Much has been reported in recent years about payday loans and the huge fees and sky-high interest charges that borrowers can rack up if they use such services.

And though their demise has been predicted, they live on.

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World Cafe
10:00 am
Tue March 13, 2012

Sense Of Place: Discover Portland's Music Scene

Colin Meloy and David Dye in Portland.
Bob Giardini Courtesy of Bob G Media

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 11:33 am

In this special World Cafe broadcast, we explore a side of Portland, Ore. with The Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy.

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World Cafe
9:59 am
Tue March 13, 2012

Julia Nunes On World Cafe

YouTube star Julia Nunes' first album for a record label, Settle Down, was released in February.
Shervin Lainez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 1:55 pm

Hailing from New York, acoustic pop sensation Julia Nunes got her start posting videos on YouTube in 2006, playing covers from idols such as The Beatles, Ben Folds and The Beach Boys.

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The Picture Show
9:54 am
Tue March 13, 2012

Car Pool: Aerial Views Of How Mexico Moves

An aerial view of car pools in Monterrey, Mexico
Alejandro Cartagena

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:57 am

"I've figured out that there are more of them when it's a payday," photographer Alejandro Cartagena writes to me from Monterrey, Mexico, where he is based.

More carpoolers, that is — the subject of his latest project, which started somewhat accidentally. Cartagena was commissioned by a group of researchers about usage of a Monterrey street. "I wanted to see the car in the context of the street and the urbanscape," he explains. "That took me to find higher points of view, where I found these workers."

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Opinion
9:36 am
Tue March 13, 2012

Slut: The Other Four Letter S-Word

Definition of slut found in dictionary.
NPR

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 8:12 am

Geoff Nunberg, the linguist contributor on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, is the author of the book The Years of Talking Dangerously.

"My choice of words was not the best," Rush Limbaugh said in his apology. That's the standard formula for these things — you apologize not for what you said but for the way you said it.

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The Salt
8:59 am
Tue March 13, 2012

The Big Gulp: Dolphins Don't Have Time To Savor Their Food

Dolphins and other marine mammals may lack the ability to taste their treats. Blame evolution.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Anyone who's visited an aquarium or watched "Flipper" reruns knows how happy those dolphins look when they score a nice fat fish. But they might not be tasting that fish at all.

That's the news from a study from researchers who tested the DNA of wild animals to see if they could taste sweet, bitter, and umami (or savory) flavor.

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Tue March 13, 2012

Has Southern Hospitality Steered Pollsters The Wrong Way In Ala. & Miss.?

In Madison, Miss., earlier today, precinct worker Bob Shirley was handing out "I Voted" stickers.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 9:07 am

Our friend Liz Halloran reports that Mitt Romney "might just win in the South" today as Republicans go to the polls in Alabama and Mississippi to pick between the four remaining candidates for the GOP presidential nomination.

As she writes:

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Shots - Health Blog
8:36 am
Tue March 13, 2012

Metal Hips Prone To Early Failure

Hip replacements are a boon for aging boomers, but they're not perfect.
iStockphoto.com

Hip replacements can do a lot of good, but they don't last forever.

To lower the failure rates of artificial hips, particularly in younger people, doctors have tried using metal-on-metal hip joints with larger heads.

But those metal-on-metal hips, which were supposed to be more durable, have their own problems.

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Author Interviews
8:01 am
Tue March 13, 2012

'If Walls Could Talk': A History Of The Home

Lucy Worsley works as the chief curator in several palatial buildings in London, including Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London. In contrast, she lives in what she calls a "normal, boring modern flat."

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It's All Politics
8:00 am
Tue March 13, 2012

Like Grits? You Just Might Be A Republican Candidate

You know you're campaigning in the South if you've got comedian Jeff Foxworthy by your side. Foxworthy introduces Mitt Romney at a campaign stop at the Whistle Stop Cafe, Monday, in Mobile, Ala.
John David Mercer AP

"Strange things are happenin' to me" a bewitched Mitt Romney said recently to a crowd of Mississippi supporters. The former Massachusetts governor is right: Strange things do happen to folks, especially national political candidates, when they talk to us Southerners. They start drawling and twanging, trying to sound like us. Sometimes, they're mocking us; sometimes they're just trying to be friendly. We know the difference.

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The Two-Way
7:34 am
Tue March 13, 2012

Report: Assad Regime Is Laying Landmines Along Syria's Borders

One of several landmines that were planted by the Syrian army on the border with Lebanon and later removed by anti-Assad activists.
AFP/Getty Images

President Bashar Assad's forces have placed landmines "near the borders with Lebanon and Turkey" along routes used by refugees trying to flee the fighting inside Syria, the watchdog group Human Rights Watch reported today.

Saying it has collected "reports and confirmations from witnesses and Syrian deminers," the organization called such actions "unconscionable."

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Tue March 13, 2012

Retail Sales Posted Solid Gain In February

There was a 1.1 percent increase in retail sales in February from January, the Census Bureau says. It was the largest rise in five months, Reuters reports.

And the gain didn't come just become rising gas prices led to a 3.3 percent increase in the value of gasoline sales. According to The Associated Press, retail sales rose 0.8 percent excluding gasoline.

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Around the Nation
5:43 am
Tue March 13, 2012

Buford, Wyo., Goes On Sale Next Month

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. You too could be the proud new owner of an entire town. Buford, Wyoming goes up for sale next month. It's at 8,000 feet, the highest town on the coast-to-coast Interstate 80. It's an old railroad town, once home to thousands, but now with a population of one. That person, Don Sammons, plans to retire from managing his businesses and move. So an auction comes in April - one gas station, one convenience store, a garage and a home. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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