The Obama administration just released the latest sign-up numbers for its troubled health insurance exchange website. Enrollment picked up last month, after a disastrous start in October. Still, the number of people signing up for coverage is below the administration's original forecasts.
Governments at all levels are trying to save money by scaling back retirement benefits. Public employees may still end up with more generous plans than their private sector counterparts, but the days of feeling totally secure about their pension income may be numbered.
Governments at all levels are trying to save money by scaling back retirement benefits. Public employees may still end up with more generous plans than their private-sector counterparts, but the days of feeling totally secure about their pension income may be numbered.
Today, the World Health Organization releases its annual report on malaria. The disease kills some 600,000 people every year -- most of them in Sub-Saharan Africa. Part of fighting any disease is understanding how populations move. And now, there's a tech device now being used to tackle this challenge. It's called... a cell phone.
An epidemiologist at Harvard named Caroline Buckee has been looking at massive amounts of cell phone data. Think the phone calls and texts of 15 million cell phone users in Kenya, for instance, with their locations triangulated by the phone company.
"So we combine that human mobility model with clinical information about the malaria parasite, and we use mathematical models to predict how people are going to spread it when they travel," Buckee says.
Think of plotting Malaria cases on a map and then overlaying data showing where people are moving, which helps make better predictions about where the disease might go next. Dr. Buckee points out that this data is thoroughly anonymous – they just see a bunch of dots. Still there are challenges.
"The challenges are the very poorest populations, and that the density of cell towers determines how high a resolution you can get your estimates," Buckee says. "So, in some of the most rural and underserved populations, we have the hardest time."
Buckee hopes those phones could someday warn people of an outbreak.
The court said only Parliament can change the colonial-era law. The decision, which reverses a landmark lower court ruling that decriminalized homosexual acts, is being called a major setback to gay rights in the country.
As a man stood next to President Obama and other world leaders at Tuesday's memorial service for Nelson Mandela he only pretended to do sign language, many in the deaf community say.