A husband and wife who are doctors have been working on fact boxes for drugs that, like nutrition labels for foods, would more concisely convey a medicine's benefits and risks.
There has been record low turnout among voters in the 2014 primaries so far. Is it political dysfunction that's made voters lose interest? And what might this mean for November's general elections?
Markets have been setting records pretty much every other week for months, investors are making record money... and Wall Street?
Well, it’s looking a little lean.
"I think it’s really tough, even for people who are really good at it, to be honest," says Jesse Marrus, president of StreetID, a financial careers service. He says jobs on Wall Street have been drying up. "It’s definitely an ‘eat what you kill’ business, so there are people losing their positions in that space."
Why is there less of a killing to be made for Wall Street workers?
"Trading volumes are way lower than they were," explains Max Wolff, chief economist at Citizen VC. Trading volumes - a.k.a. how many trades are done per day - is where Wall Street makes its money. Fewer trades mean a lot fewer commissions. Trading volume has been really low since the financial crisis. Last year, the number of trades was a third lower than it was in 2009.
A big reason for the low trading volume is the low level of investor enthusiasm. "It's no secret that this is one of the world’s most hated rallies," says Wolff. "It’s been pretty clear that the markets got well ahead of the macroeconomic health of the U.S. and they've stayed there. And everyone kept waiting for this correction that didn’t come and slowly, begrudgingly people jumped on board, because they couldn’t afford just to watch other people make money forever. But they didn’t believe in it and they definitely don’t want to catch the elevator ride down that everyone’s afraid may come."
So investors are putting their money in the markets and leaving it there: They’re not buying a hot new stock or selling it off based on a hot tip. Instead, they’re buying and holding. "For there to be trades, there have to be differences of opinion," says Lawrence White, a professor of Economics at the NYU Stern School of Business. "Somebody has to think, 'It’s a good time to buy!' and somebody else has to think, 'It’s a good time to sell!' When trading volumes are lower, it just means there’s less diversity of opinion, more consensus."
All of that consensus has had a very chilling impact on Wall Street. "It’s really alarming for the people who are in the broker/dealer seats that really rely on the trading volumes," says Marrus. "Despite the record highs, it’s still really hard for them to make the commissions that they were making and make the livings that they were making because the volume’s low and the volatilities are so low."
But even if volatility and volume come back, Wall Street workers probably won't be back to the good old days. Electronic trading has replaced brokers and traders to a large extent and the future Wall Street broker will probably look a lot more like Hal than a power player in a pin-striped suit.
Both the government and the people of Israel have been determined to continue the country's ground invasion in Gaza, despite a growing wave of international criticism. Israelis have been shaken by claims that Hamas has a heavily fortified network of tunnels leading from the Gaza Strip into Israel.
Secretary of State John Kerry is trying again to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, as casualty counts rise inexorably higher. NPR's Emily Harris explains both sides' demands.
The militant group that calls itself the Islamic State have begun a new round of fighting with the Syrian regime, surrounding a base outside its stronghold in Raqqa and launching offensives in Aleppo province and Kurdish regions. The death toll in Syria this week reportedly has reached 1,700, most of whom are combatants of one sort or another.
Central American presidents met with President Obama, discussing the influx of unaccompanied children crossing the border. So far, Obama has not seen eye to eye with Congress on possible solutions.
On Thursday, a psychiatric patient opened fire at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital outside Philadelphia, killing a caseworker and injuring his psychiatrist. The psychiatrist returned fire with a gun of his own, injuring the gunman. Both patient and psychiatrist survived the gun fight.
The U.S. Army War College has determined in a preliminary review that Sen. John Walsh of Montana appeared to have plagiarized his final paper to earn a master's degree. An investigative panel is reviewing the evidence.
Dr. Sheik Umar Khan, the head doctor fighting the Ebola virus outbreak in Sierra Leone, has begun to exhibit symptoms of the disease. For more details on the situation, Audie Cornish speaks with Dr. Daniel G. Bausch, a colleague of Khan's and an associate professor at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
The Agricultural Act of 2014 – also known as the Farm Bill – was passed by Congress earlier this year. We talked with Secretary Tom Vilsack of the U.S. Department of Agriculture about what he thinks should happen next:
On agricultural business in rural America:
“I think it’s important for the folks to understand that there’s great profit opportunity and business opportunity in rural America. We’re about 75 percent of the land mass in the United States. The vast majority of America is located in rural areas. It’s where most of our food comes from, a lot of our water. So there’s an importance to this place and that’s why I think it’s worthy of attention and worthy of investment.”
Vilsack says we need to think more about agricultural products beyond food and fuel. He also said the infrastructure needs of rural America are well documented and need improvement:
“The American Society of Civil Engineers suggests that our infrastructure would rank a D+ - well, that’s not good enough for us to be competitive in a global economy.”
Rural America has had a hard time bouncing back from the recession. He says this bill will supply for jobs in that area:
“There are a lot of people looking for work that maybe have a community college education, maybe a high school education. These construction jobs, these trade jobs are great opportunities for them to rebuild the middle class.”
Growing waistlines, a savvy clothing industry and good old-fashioned stubbornness have kept many men in pants that don't fit. It doesn't have to be this way.