NPR News

Shots - Health News
10:20 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Farewell, Heating Pad: Physical Therapists Say It Doesn't Help

The physical therapist will advise, but you're going to have to do the work.
iStockphoto

I have fond memories of listening to NPR while lounging at the physical therapist's with a heating pad on my shoulder. Don't do that, the nation's physical therapists' association says.

Heat therapy, electrical stimulation, ultrasound and other "passive physical agents" almost never help, according to a list released Monday by the Choosing Wisely campaign. Instead, they siphon time and money away from what you really want from a physical therapist — an exercise program that will restore strength and mobility.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:02 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Dempsey Says If Needed He Would Recommend Ground Forces In Iraq

Members of the anti-war activist group CodePink interrupt a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey told lawmakers today that while the president has ruled out "boots on the ground" as part of a campaign to destroy the Islamic State insurgency in Iraq, he was prepared to recommend a combat role for U.S. advisers or ground troops if the situation warrants.

"To be clear, if we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets, I will recommend that to the president," Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services Committee, using an alternative name for the group.

Read more
Shots - Health News
9:20 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Health Law Tempers States' Insurance Mandates

Is that health service covered?
iStockphoto

For decades, states have set rules for health coverage through mandates. These laws require insurers to cover specific types of medical care or services.

The Affordable Care Act aims to curb this piecemeal approach to coverage by establishing minimum standards for insurance coverage in individual and small group plans nationwide and requiring states to pay for mandates that go beyond them.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:18 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Marriott's New Envelope For Room Tips Stirs Debate

Marriott is putting envelopes like this one in thousands of rooms at its hotels, hoping to boost the number of guests who tip the housekeeping staff.
Marriott

A new program to encourage guests to tip the housekeeping staff at Marriott hotels is meant to make it easier for people to show their gratitude to workers. But the plan, part of an initiative from Maria Shriver's group A Woman's Nation, is raising questions over how the company pays its staff — and whether guests should be expected to tip.

Read more
The Salt
9:08 am
Tue September 16, 2014

A Scientist's Journey From Beer To Microbiology To Bourbon Making

Ian Glomski outside his home in Charlottesville, Va., where hops grow in his garden. He quit an academic career in microbiology to start a liquor distillery.
Richard Harris NPR

If you have been following the various posts about beer on The Salt, you may have noticed a pattern: many of the folks making beer have a scientific background. There's good reason for that. People don't make beer. Yeast does. Well, OK — it's a partnership.

And sometimes, it's a two-way street between the brewery and the lab.

Read more
Around the Nation
8:38 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Homeless Vets: They're Not Just Single Men Anymore

Alexander Morales, who served in the Army in the 1970s, with his family: wife Roberta; Elvia, 7, Elena, 8, and Elvira, 7 (in front), and Ruben Verdugo, 13, and Aaron D. Huerta, 17 (in back). Morales' family has been going for years to the Stand Down event in San Diego, where veterans receive assistance.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 9:11 am

Every summer for 27 years, a small tent city has popped up in San Diego. "Stand Down" is a three-day oasis for homeless veterans, with showers, new clothes, hot meals, medical help, legal aid and a booth set up for every housing program in the city.

Increasingly, the event needs ways to keep children entertained.

"They've got the kids zone and everything. My kids live out here very happy. They're looking forward to it from last year," says Alex Morales, who served in the Army in the 1970s.

Read more
Parallels
8:37 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Like It Or Not, Scotland's Drama May Hit Your Wallet

The Saltire, the flag of Scotland, flies near the Union Jack in Gretna in Scotland. Some economists say Thursday's vote on Scotland's independence could have wide-ranging economic impacts.
Andy Buchanan AFP/Getty Images

Does news of Scotland's independence vote make your eyelids feel heavy?

Americans may feel a yawn coming on when told of a political squabble playing out in a distant land less populated than metro Atlanta.

But economists say this Thursday's vote is no snoozer. You may wake up to find its outcome has triggered another global financial upheaval.

To understand the risks to your economic health, let's first review a couple of basics:

Read more
The Two-Way
6:40 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Ukraine Approves EU Pact And Temporary Self-Rule For Rebels

Ukrainian lawmakers applaud a televised address by the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz (on screen) in the Ukrainian Parliament on Tuesday in Kiev. The parliament voted to strengthen trade ties with the EU, but not until 2016.
Sergey Dolzhenko EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 8:40 am

Ukraine's parliament has granted separatist-held areas temporary self-rule and given militants amnesty in a vote aimed at quelling a months-long insurgency that has threatened to permanently cleave.

The parliamentary move comes in tandem with another to expand economic ties with the European Union beginning in 2016. Last year, former President Viktor Yanukovich rejected a similar pact, leading to his ouster in November.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:34 am
Tue September 16, 2014

U.S. Begins Airstrikes In Support Of Iraqi Ground Forces

Members of Iraqi security forces are seen during a fight with Islamic State militants Sunday on the outskirts of the city of Ramadi.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 8:20 am

The United States has begun its first-ever airstrikes in direct support of Iraqi ground forces, in the opening move of what could be a protracted fight against so-called Islamic State militants in the region.

NPR's Tom Bowman, on Morning Edition, says the airstrikes, south of Baghdad, targeted an ISIS position after Iraqi soldiers fighting them requested the assistance.

"This is something new," Tom says. "For the first time, U.S. airstrikes have been in support of Iraqi forces."

Read more
Asia
5:07 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Chinese City Creates Sidewalk Lane For Smartphone Users

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 5:31 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Around the Nation
5:01 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Funeral Home Offers Drive-Thru Lane To View Loved One

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 5:31 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
4:49 am
Tue September 16, 2014

How To Measure Success Against The New Monster In The Middle East?

President Obama addresses the nation from the Cross Hall in the White House on Sept. 10. Obama ordered the United States into a broad military campaign to degrade and ultimately destroy militants in two volatile Middle East nations, authorizing airstrikes inside Syria for the first time, as well as an expansion of strikes in Iraq.
Saul Loeb AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 8:32 am

Over the weekend, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough was asked on NBC's Meet the Press what victory would look like in the new struggle against Islamist extremists in Iraq.

"Success looks like an ISIL that no longer threatens our friends in the region, that no longer threatens the United States," McDonough said.

Vague as that is, it may be the best answer available at the moment. And that is a problem.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:47 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Suicide Bombing In Kabul Kills 3 NATO Troops

A U.S. soldier stands guard near a damaged vehicle at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul on Tuesday.
Mohammad Ismail Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 8:51 am

The Taliban has claimed credit for a suicide attack on a military convoy just yards from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul that killed at least three NATO soldiers and wounding nearly 20 other troops and civilians.

NPR's Sean Carberry, reporting from the Afghan capital, says the car bomb was detonated on one of the busiest streets in the city during rush hour.

"It shook the capital and set off alarms at the embassy," he says.

Read more
NPR Story
3:16 am
Tue September 16, 2014

NFL Proposes Plan To Stop Domestic Violence By Its Players

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 4:53 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR Story
3:16 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Details Emerge About U.S. Plans To Fight ISIS In Iraq

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 5:59 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Around the Nation
2:06 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Community Keeps Calm Despite Questions About Wal-Mart Shooting

Members of the Ohio Student Association gather outside Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office in Columbus last month to call for the release of in-store video in the fatal police shooting of John Crawford III.
Jim Otte/The Dayton Daily News AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 7:27 am

While the police shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Mo., continues to get considerable attention, another shooting of a black man by white police officers, near Dayton, Ohio, has been met with a more measured response.

Beavercreek, Ohio, is a mostly white, moderately affluent city of about 40,000. On Aug. 5, 22-year-old John Crawford III of nearby Fairfield was shopping at a Wal-Mart there.

Read more
Europe
1:57 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Will Scotland Vote To Cut The Cord?

A tourist wears a poncho decorated with the national flag of Scotland to shelter from the weather in Scotland's capital, Edinburgh, on Monday.
Matt Dunham AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 11:03 am

It's pouring in Edinburgh, and the fog is so thick you can barely see to the end of the block.

People walking through the city center duck out of the rain into a little stone alcove to talk about the subject on everyone's mind — Thursday's big vote on whether Scotland will become an independent country.

The latest polls show the race is extremely tight.

In the Edinburgh rain, a striking number of voters have recently changed their minds. Michael Constantine says he and his parents all switched sides.

Read more
Goats and Soda
1:42 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Hiccups Were The Clue That Led Researchers To Ebola

Red Cross health workers wearing protective suits in Conakry, Guinea, on Sunday.
Cellou Binani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 8:05 am

The Ebola virus had been circulating in Guinea for roughly three months before doctors and international aid organizations finally detected it.

It was hiccups that eventually gave it away, journalist Jeffrey Stern wrote in Vanity Fair this weekend.

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:38 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Too Few University Jobs For America's Young Scientists

Victoria Ruiz (left), a postdoctoral fellow in immunology, works with Brianna Delgado, a high school student that she mentors, at the Blaser Lab, inside NYU's Langone Medical Center in New York, NY.
Ramsay de Give for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 10:13 am

Imagine a job where about half of all the work is being done by people who are in training. That's, in fact, what happens in the world of biological and medical research.

In the United States, more than 40,000 temporary employees known as postdoctoral research fellows are doing science at a bargain price. And most postdocs are being trained for jobs that don't actually exist.

Read more
Goats and Soda
12:00 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Obama To Announce Buildup In U.S. Efforts To Fight Ebola

Workers unload medical supplies to fight the Ebola epidemic from a USAID cargo flight in Harbel, Liberia, in August.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 7:43 am

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is already the deadliest on record, having killed more than 2,400 people. Health experts warn it could get much worse, if the spread of the disease isn't contained quickly.

That alarm has President Obama meeting today with experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Obama is expected to announce a major buildup in U.S. efforts to address the threat of Ebola.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:46 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Expanding Mission In Iraq, U.S. Strikes Fighters South Of Baghdad

With air strikes on the Islamic State south of Baghdad, the United States officially expanded its mission in Iraq on Sunday and Monday.

According to Central Command, Iraqi Security Forces requested the airstrikes near Sinjar.

"The airstrike southwest of Baghdad was the first strike taken as part of our expanded efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions to hit ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense, as outlined in the President's speech last Wednesday," Central Command said in a press release.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:47 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Tommy Boggs, Influential Lobbyist, Dies At 73

Brian K. Diggs AP

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 7:47 pm

Tommy Boggs, a long-time lobbyist who in many ways epitomized the Washington establishment, has died. His sister, Morning Edition commentator Cokie Roberts, said he apparently had a heart attack.

Thomas Hale Boggs Jr., 73, pioneered a new, more professional way of lobbying starting in the 1960s, when he saw how power in Washington was becoming more diffuse. Clout on Capitol Hill spread from the House and Senate leadership to more junior members, especially in reforms after the Watergate scandal. In the executive branch, the number of regulatory agencies increased.

Read more
Goats and Soda
3:28 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

What Obama Should Say And Do About Ebola

A health worker speaks with families in a classroom now used as Ebola isolation ward in Monrovia, Liberia. Ebola-stricken West Africa needs more health staff and more medical facilities.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 3:55 pm

Tomorrow, President Obama is scheduled to announce a new U.S. plan to help stop the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Read more
Business
3:11 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

With Turmoil Roiling Abroad, Why Aren't Oil Prices Bubbling Up?

A soldier guards a pipe en route to the Kawergosk Refinery near Irbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, in July. Fighting in northern Iraq forced the closure of the country's largest oil refinery, Baiji, and cut production from the Kirkuk oil field this summer.
Safin Hamed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 6:32 am

The price of oil has been falling — a drop that you may already have noticed at the pump. Gasoline prices have dropped noticeably since June, and oil is now well below $100 a barrel.

That decline has happened even as conflicts have flared in or near oil-producing regions. Normally, oil prices are expected to spike higher amid turmoil — so why have they been trending lower?

Read more
Around the Nation
2:57 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Medals Of Honor Recognize Harrowing Battle And A Dying Act

Army Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins receives the Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the White House. He describes the battle that earned him the medal as the toughest he saw in three tours of duty in Vietnam.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 7:43 am

President Obama on Monday awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor, to two soldiers who served in Vietnam: Army Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie Adkins, who survived a harrowing battle and 18 body wounds; and Army Spc. 4 Donald P. Sloat, whose dying act saved his fellow soldiers.

In January 1970, President Obama said Monday, Sloat was on patrol with his squad in Vietnam.

Read more
Parallels
2:43 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Iraq's Artists Defy Extremists With Bows, Brushes And A Low Profile

The Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra performs in Baghdad. The concert was promoted by word of mouth to avoid being targeted by bombs.
Graham Smith NPR

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 5:00 pm

It's a hot night in Baghdad, and the national theater is packed with people who are here to see the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra.

They're fanning themselves with programs that show conductor Karim Wasfi, a striking man with thick eyebrows and a pointed beard, playing the cello. Tonight, he'll be conducting for the first time in more than a year.

Iraq has been in the headlines lately, with extremists taking over parts of the country, American airstrikes, the militias and the politics.

But the country was once a sophisticated center for learning and the arts.

Read more
Code Switch
2:34 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Alain Locke, Whose Ashes Were Found In University Archives, Is Buried

Alain Locke is buried at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. He lies near many of the nation's early congressmen and next to the first director of the Smithsonian's Museum of African Art.
Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 8:02 am

Inside the cemetery, beneath the stained glass, the chapel is full. Mourners line the walls and spill out the door into the rainy day.

About 150 people are gathered for the funeral of a man who died 60 years ago.

Author and philosopher Alain Locke is widely known as the father of the Harlem Renaissance. He inspired Martin Luther King Jr., who praised him as an intellectual leader on par with Plato and Aristotle.

Read more
Parallels
2:34 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Scotland's Really Big Vote: Can Women Join St. Andrews Golf Club?

The clubhouse of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews sits just off the first tee. The course itself is open to the public — women as well as men. But women have never been allowed to join the club since its founding in 1754, and are not allowed to enter the clubhouse, even as guests.
Doug Tribou NPR

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 3:11 pm

Not long after the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews was founded in 1754, the members trimmed the local course from 22 holes to 18, setting the modern standard.

During the 20th century, the club was one of two groups that set the game's rules. Golf has changed a lot in the past 260 years, but one thing is the same: All of the Royal and Ancient's members are men.

Read more
All Tech Considered
2:34 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Smartphones Are Used To Stalk, Control Domestic Abuse Victims

Cyberstalking victims often don't know they're being tracked through their own phone because spyware apps like mSpy use misleading labels (labeled "android.sys.process" here) and don't take up much data.
Aarti Shahani NPR

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 8:40 am

We've looked a lot at privacy from the Big Brother standpoint: how the National Security Agency or corporate giants like Google track us online, say for political reasons or to make money from ads.

But there's another kind of privacy concern that is a lot more intimate. You could call it Little Brother, though it's really more like husbands and wives, lovers and exes who secretly watch their partners — from a distance. They are cyberstalking — using digital tools that are a lot cheaper than hiring a private detective.

Read more
Global Health
2:34 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Could Ebola Become As Contagious As The Flu?

Medical workers at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia, Liberia, put on their protective suits before going to the high-risk area of the hospital, where Ebola patients are being treated, Sept. 3.
Dominique Faget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 5:55 pm

Back in August, scientists reported that the Ebola virus is mutating during this epidemic.

When a virus spreads between people and reproduces, it copies its genetic code in a sloppy way. So there can be unpredictable changes.

Read more

Pages