National News

Hybrid Trout Threaten Montana's Native Cutthroats

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-27 13:09

Climate change in the West is luring rainbow trout to higher elevations, where the fish are mating with native cutthroats, genetic evidence shows. Biologists and anglers worry cutthroats could vanish.

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Rampage Victim's Father: Inaction Of 'Gutless' Politicians Killed His Son

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-27 13:06

After his son was killed, Richard Martinez made national news with a stunning, emotional indictment of the NRA in front of cameras. Now, he's asking politicians to "do something."

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First Lady Fights To Keep Healthful School Lunch Law Intact

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-27 12:43

Michelle Obama's fight to help kids eat more healthfully and fight obesity is about to get real. She's launching a campaign Tuesday to fight congressional efforts to delay new school food rules.

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Egyptian Media Encourages Voters To Get To Polls — Or Else

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-27 12:17

Egypt has added a third day of voting in its presidential election. With Abdel Fattah al-Sisi relying on voter turnout to legitimize his election, the government-allied media is exhorting Egyptians to vote or be considered traitors.

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As Poland Buries Its Last Communist Leader, An Old Debate Is Dredged

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-27 12:17

Poland's last Communist leader, Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, has died, leaving Poles a difficult question: What honor befits a man with such a complicated legacy? Konstanty Gebert, a Warsaw journalist, explains.

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From Kiev, An Olive Branch For Russia — And A Saber For Separatists

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-27 12:17

Ukraine's favorite oligarch is poised to become its president. Petro Poroshenko wants peace talks with Russia, but he supports military action against the armed insurgents he compares to Somali pirates. The billionaire confectioner is promising to pacify the restive east, end corruption and move Ukraine closer to Europe — all while maintaining ties with Moscow. Analysts say he will need help — and a dose of good luck.

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A Remembrance Of UCSB Victims: 'This Shouldn't Happen To Any Family'

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-27 12:17

In the wake of a killing rampage that left six students dead, the University of California, Santa Barbara, community continues to grieve. NPR's Sam Sanders has a remembrance of the victims.

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A Divided High Court Strikes Down IQ Rules In Fla. Death Penalty

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-27 12:17

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court struck down a Florida rule requiring a defendant's IQ to be 70 or below before that defendant could avoid the death penalty for reasons of mental retardation.

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Obama Sets A Number For U.S. Troop Levels In Afghanistan

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-27 12:17

President Obama intends to keep a force of 9,800 American troops after the end of 2014. The troops will remain in the country to train Afghan forces and support counterterrorism operations.

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Curveball: Is Harvard just for the wealthy?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-05-27 12:13
<a href="http://marketplaceapm.polldaddy.com/s/ivy-league">View Survey</a>

What To Do If Your iPhone Is Hacked And Remotely Locked

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-27 12:10

Some Australian users received alerts that their iPhones had been hacked and locked and were told to send money to regain access. Users in the U.S. may have been affected. Read tips on what to do.

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Peat Bog The Size Of England Discovered In Congo Republic

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-27 12:06

The previously undiscovered expanse of ancient, partially decayed vegetation, could cover as much as 80,000 square miles.

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Paleo For Dogs? Vets Say Trendy Diet Could Make Humans Sick

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-27 11:58

Some dog owners favor a raw food diet because they believe it's how their pets' ancestors ate in the wild. But vets worry that people could be exposed to pathogens if pets are eating raw meat.

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Smugglers Thrive On Syria's Chaos, Looting Cultural Treasures

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-27 11:15

The country's spectacular antiquities are being plundered by rebels, organized criminal groups and desperate civilians. Many items go across the border to Lebanon.

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The next big challenge in Afghanistan is payroll

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-05-27 11:14

President Obama said that the U.S. plans to leave about 9,800 troops in Afghanistan after formal combat operations end in December. That’s down from the 100,000 U.S. troops that were in the country during the war’s peak.

It may seem like we’re packing up and pulling out. But Jenine Davidson, Senior Fellow for Defense Policy at the Council for Foreign Relations, says what Afghanistan needs now is a different kind of aid.

“For us to be able to leave Afghanistan... we may be able to take the troops out but they will continue to need economic assistance.”

Davidson says that the Afghanistan security forces are largely capable.

“The issue going forward is their institutional capacity to maintain their forces. Mundane things like payroll and training.”

Even though active duty troop numbers are shrinking, Davidson says the Pentagon should stay prepared.

“You never know what the future holds. Nobody thought we would be at war in Afghanistan in the year 2000. Nobody thought we would be in Iraq... That’s why the military needs to be organized trained and ready. Though not necessarily deployed.”

Discovering the original Disneyland

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-05-27 10:48

When Walt Disney first proposed the idea of Disneyland, he planned to have a much more ambitious shopping catalog than the park does today.

BoingBoing co-editor Cory Doctorow recently unearthed the original 1953 prospectus for Disneyland, which was a pitch for more than just a theme park. It was slated to become, as Disney first called it, a hub for "merchantainment"--or, in other words, the precursor to the modern shopping mall.

"He wanted to make a place where you could get the kind of things that you had to be a very sophisticated person indeed to get in 1953 post-war America," Doctorow said. "It wasn't just that he wanted to sell you tropical fish and even tropical birds; he wanted to sell you miniature ponies."

The prospectus includes an illustrated map of the original plans for Disneyland--which looks remarkably similar to the park we know today. For this reason, Doctorow says, if Walt Disney himself were to walk through the park gates today, he'd be pleased with what he'd see.

"There's no way you can justify to investors putting on that little bit of gold plating, that little bit of 'plussing up,' as Walt used to say," Doctorow said, "and I think the only description you can make for things that people do because they're aesthetically pleasing even though there's no rational return on the investment is art. And I think the park is still the domain of people who think of themselves as artists, and of the park as a work of art."

World's Richest People Meet, Muse On How To Spread The Wealth

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-27 10:38

Attendees at an inclusive capitalism conference in London control $30 trillion in assets. But it's unclear what, if any, financial commitments will come from the conclave on income inequality.

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The house call makes a comeback

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-05-27 10:16

Back in the day, doctors made house calls and actually got to know their patients. But as times and technology changed, a home visit from your doctor became a luxury for the 1 percent. Dissatisfied doctors and frustrated patients have forced the industry to adjust, and house call doctors are making a comeback. But are they for everyone?

Patients want that personal relationship as well. People who grew up with house call doctor visits remember them fondly.

Dr. Michael Farzam is CEO of House Call Doctor Los Angeles. He's been seeing patients in their homes for 13 years, and almost never has to make a referral. Part of the reason is he speaks with patients on the phone before making the trek in LA traffic to their home, but also, he says, "I can do everything in the home, essentially, a doctor's office or a typical urgent care can do. So, we do x-rays and ultrasounds, we administer IV fluids."

And there are advantages to seeing patients in their homes. Some cases can only be solved by a home visit, like the time he diagnosed a whole family with carbon monoxide poisoning from an old furnace.

"It's just something you had to see visually in the home to be able to make that diagnosis. You know, if they had been in the house one more night, they probably all would have died. And that was a nice day. That makes the job very worthwhile."

During our interview, Dr. Farzam took several calls from patients on his cell phone. It's this personal care and the access his patients have that make them so satisfied. But this kind of service must be for the super-wealthy. Right? At around $400 a visit, Dr. Farzam says he does see the 1 percent here in LA – corporate executives and celebrities who want the privacy and convenience. 

However: "But I'd say 95 percent of my patients are middle income people, who hold average jobs, and any way you look at it, our fee is less expensive than an emergency room visit, even if you have good insurance."

The tech startup Medicast uses a house call model they call "Uber for healthcare". Patients can hail a doctor 24/7 from a mobile app.

"It's really as simple as just clicking a button when you're not feeling well,” CEO Sam Zebarjadi says, “and we find a nearby on-call doctor who will come to your home, your office or hotel in under two hours."

Patients can also summon a doctor from their website or by calling in to the call center. Medicast has been up and running in Miami and South Florida for almost a year and it launches in Los Angeles and Orange Counties in the beginning of June.

Of course, there was a reason house calls all but disappeared in the middle of last century. Medicine became more expensive, having medical insurance became necessary, and dealing with that ate into doctors' profits.

"About 60 to 70 percent of the costs of healthcare are really in the overhead that come with traditional practices," Zebarjadi says -- and to make up for all that overhead, doctors might have to see 30 patients a day. "They spend about 6-8 minutes per patient…so it's a very stressful experience."

The Medicast model is a twist on a relatively new trend. It's called private medicine and it's growing by 25 percent a year. The idea is to eliminate some of the costs associated with billing insurance. That way, doctors can afford to spend more time with patients. These house call practices are a cash business – they don't take insurance. They also don't need nurses, receptionists… they don't even need the office.

But still, these are doctors driving to your homes. How do the non-millionaire patients afford that? Zebarjadi says people are saving money on insurance by choosing policies with high deductibles.

"A lot of people are using healthcare for catastrophic events and actually looking elsewhere to services like ours for basic wellness and urgent care needs."

So when you go to sleep with a high deductible insurance plan and wake up in the middle of the night with an alarming fever, you're faced with a choice: a potential $3,000 in the Emergency Room, or $400 or so for a home visit. That house call might just be the frugal choice, as well as a lot more restful.

House call doctors make a comeback

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-05-27 10:16

Back in the day, doctors made house calls and actually got to know their patients. But as times and technology changed, a home visit from your doctor became a luxury for the 1 percent. Dissatisfied doctors and frustrated patients have forced the industry to adjust, and house call doctors are making a comeback. But are they for everyone?

Patients want that personal relationship as well. People who grew up with house call doctor visits remember them fondly.

Dr. Michael Farzam is CEO of House Call Doctor Los Angeles. He's been seeing patients in their homes for 13 years, and almost never has to make a referral. Part of the reason is he speaks with patients on the phone before making the trek in LA traffic to their home, but also, he says, "I can do everything in the home, essentially, a doctor's office or a typical urgent care can do. So, we do x-rays and ultrasounds, we administer IV fluids."

And there are advantages to seeing patients in their homes. Some cases can only be solved by a home visit, like the time he diagnosed a whole family with carbon monoxide poisoning from an old furnace.

"It's just something you had to see visually in the home to be able to make that diagnosis. You know, if they had been in the house one more night, they probably all would have died. And that was a nice day. That makes the job very worthwhile."

During our interview, Dr. Farzam took several calls from patients on his cell phone. It's this personal care and the access his patients have that make them so satisfied. But this kind of service must be for the super-wealthy. Right? At around $400 a visit, Dr. Farzam says he does see the 1 percent here in LA – corporate executives and celebrities who want the privacy and convenience. 

However: "But I'd say 95 percent of my patients are middle income people, who hold average jobs, and any way you look at it, our fee is less expensive than an emergency room visit, even if you have good insurance."

The tech startup Medicast uses a house call model they call "Uber for healthcare". Patients can hail a doctor 24/7 from a mobile app.

"It's really as simple as just clicking a button when you're not feeling well,” CEO Sam Zebarjadi says, “and we find a nearby on-call doctor who will come to your home, your office or hotel in under two hours."

Patients can also summon a doctor from their website or by calling in to the call center. Medicast has been up and running in Miami and South Florida for almost a year and it launches in Los Angeles and Orange Counties in the beginning of June.

Of course, there was a reason house calls all but disappeared in the middle of last century. Medicine became more expensive, having medical insurance became necessary, and dealing with that ate into doctors' profits.

"About 60 to 70 percent of the costs of healthcare are really in the overhead that come with traditional practices," Zebarjadi says -- and to make up for all that overhead, doctors might have to see 30 patients a day. "They spend about 6-8 minutes per patient…so it's a very stressful experience."

The Medicast model is a twist on a relatively new trend. It's called private medicine and it's growing by 25 percent a year. The idea is to eliminate some of the costs associated with billing insurance. That way, doctors can afford to spend more time with patients. These house call practices are a cash business – they don't take insurance. They also don't need nurses, receptionists… they don't even need the office.

But still, these are doctors driving to your homes. How do the non-millionaire patients afford that? Zebarjadi says people are saving money on insurance by choosing policies with high deductibles.

"A lot of people are using healthcare for catastrophic events and actually looking elsewhere to services like ours for basic wellness and urgent care needs."

So when you go to sleep with a high deductible insurance plan and wake up in the middle of the night with an alarming fever, you're faced with a choice: a potential $3,000 in the Emergency Room, or $400 or so for a home visit. That house call might just be the frugal choice, as well as a lot more restful.

Pakistani Woman Stoned To Death By Family Outside Courtroom

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-27 10:14

The 25-year-old woman, who was three months pregnant, was bludgeoned to death with bricks after she married someone against her family's will.

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