National / International News

U.S. Sending Team To Help With Search For Abducted Nigerian Girls

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-06 10:16

The team can help with intelligence and hostage negotiations, the State Department said. Nigeria has been criticized for its inability to find the 276 girls abducted from a school last month.

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VIDEO: Nigeria kidnappings spark outcry

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-06 10:11
The United States and Britain have condemned the abduction of more than 230 Nigerian schoolgirls by the Islamist group, Boko Haram, three weeks ago.

Big Ambitions And Flawed Technology Tripped Up State Exchanges

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-06 10:08

Massachusetts is the latest state that was gung-ho on health care overhaul to concede it had failed to make it easy for people to enroll. Oregon and Maryland also scrapped their online exchanges.

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Hospitals save money by doing surgery for free

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-05-06 10:00

Across the country, a few hospitals have come up with a counterintuitive way to save themselves money: offer minor surgery for free.

To understand how that’s possible, consider the case of 32-year-old Lammon Green, a caretaker for the developmentally disabled in Macon, Georgia. He’s a really cheerful guy, but he’s been bothered for a long time by a cyst behind his ear.

“It’s been kind of giving me problems for the last few years,” he said. “It gets to about the size of a lemon when it gets infected.”

Most people would get something like that cut off pronto, but Green doesn’t have insurance.

“I actually am looking into the Obamacare now,” he said.

Because he lives in Georgia  – where the governor has declined to expand Medicaid – there’s a good chance Green makes too much money to qualify for Medicaid, and not enough to get subsidized private insurance.

Nonetheless, Green recently found himself in an operating room, drifting off into a chemically induced sleep, while the doctors cut that cyst away with an electronic knife.

Green is one of the first people to come through Macon’s new volunteer surgery clinic. It’s called the SPIN program – Surgery for People In Need. 

The doctors work on Sundays for free, while the facilities and diagnostics are donated by the Medical Center of Central Georgia.

 “This is a way that we can support this program, with patients that we would likely see anyway, that would be in our system because they have a need that hasn’t been taken care of,” said Roz McMillan, one of the hospital’s vice presidents.

In other words, Lammon Green’s lemon-sized cyst was probably going to land him in the emergency room eventually, and since he’s uninsured, the hospital would’ve ended up eating much of the cost.

Cutting the thing off before it gets that bad is a much simpler procedure.

By donating their services instead, the hospital is saving themselves thousands of dollars in the long run, said Laura Ebert, who runs a program called “Surgery on Sunday” in Lexington, Kentucky that started in 2005.

This new free surgery program in Macon is a copy of Ebert’s – literally.

“We have something that, you know, we can provide on disk or zip drive that shows all the paperwork, how to apply for tax exempt status, how to apply for the federal malpractice program,” she said.

Using that template, free surgery clinics have also sprung up in Omaha and Dallas. Ebert predicts that list is going to grow as hospitals realize it’s in their economic interest to help out.

Low income people in many states are getting insurance through an expanded Medicaid, but their deductible for an elective surgery could be as high as $10,000.

“Hernias and gallbladders and things that we do on a regular basis are considered elective surgery, not life-threatening, so therefore they’ll have to pay their deductible,” Ebert said.

That means people are likely to put off their surgery. The problem gets worse, they end up in the E.R., and Medicaid reimbursements are low -- so again the hospital gets stuck eating some cost.

As long as a hospital has a doctor willing to donate her time, it might be cheaper to take out that gallbladder for free.

Lockerbie families back review bid

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-06 09:56
Twenty-five relatives of the Lockerbie bombing victims agree to support a new application to clear the name of the only man convicted.

Ireland lose to Sri Lanka in opener

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-06 09:52
Ireland lose to Sri Lanka by 79 runs in the first of the two one-day internationals between the sides in Dublin.

Manchester City facing Uefa sanctions

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-06 09:49
Manchester City face a £50m fine and restrictions on Champions League squad size for breaching financial rules.

A Faster Human: Are We Unique In Our Ability To Get Better?

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-06 09:41

For decades, the speed of racehorses and dogs has stagnated. But humans keep getting faster. On the 60th anniversary of the first time a human ran a mile in under four minutes, we ponder why.

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AUDIO: Irvine Welsh on Trainspotting sequel

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-06 09:40
Writer Irvine Welsh reveals he has met with the creative team behind Trainspotting to discuss a potential film sequel.

Mum's decision to save only one twin

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-06 09:33
A mother who refused life-saving treatment for one of her unborn twins in order to save the other is calling for better information on the dangers of slapped cheek syndrome.

Fish rain down on Sri Lanka village

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-06 09:30
Villagers in west Sri Lanka have said they have been surprised and delighted by an unusual rainfall which included scores of edible small fish.

FA ponders league shake-up proposals

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-06 09:20
A new competition for Premier League and Championship clubs to field B teams will be considered by the FA on Wednesday.

Tweets and Brand 'on A-level list'

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-06 09:17
Sixth-formers taking a new English A-level could be asked to study comedian Russell Brand's evidence to a committee of MPs on drug addiction and treatment.

Caffe Nero accused over tax affairs

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-06 09:11
Caffe Nero refuses to comment on a letter that has gone viral on social media accusing it of failing to "pay its dues" by avoiding corporation tax.

Portland, Ore., Police Criticized Over 2013 Arrest Of Girl, 9

NPR News - Tue, 2014-05-06 09:02

The girl's mother is now telling the story of how uniformed officers arrested her daughter last year, sparking a debate in the city.

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Mars rover drills for rock sample

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-06 08:59
Nasa's Curiosity rover drills a hole in a Martian rock with the intention of taking a powdered sample for its onboard laboratories to study

Helicopter crash victims repatriated

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-06 08:56
The bodies of five UK service personnel who died in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan arrive back in the UK.

Bodies of servicemen repatriated

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-06 08:45
The bodies of two servicemen from Wales who were killed along with three others in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan have arrived back in Britain.

Pfizer 'cannot use UK as tax haven'

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-06 08:39
Business Secretary Vince Cable tells MPs the government will not let Pfizer use the UK as a tax haven and promises to secure British science jobs.

'Nazi art' hoarder dies aged 81

BBC - Tue, 2014-05-06 08:36
Cornelius Gurlitt, the German who was found to have hoarded more than 1,400 works of art in his Munich apartment, dies aged 81.
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