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Shots - Health News
6:50 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Medicare Pulls Back Curtain On Hospital Bills

Average hospital charges for a major joint replacement, such as an artificial hip, vary widely, as this map from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services shows.
HHS

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 5:28 am

When it comes to health care, the biggest of the big data are all about Medicare.

So, it's kind of a BIG deal when the government releases what individual hospitals charge Medicare — and what they actually get paid — for the most common diagnoses and treatments.

In a first, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services made those figures from more than 3,000 hospitals public Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Wed May 8, 2013

'Do Me A Solid,' Diplomat Rodman Says To North Korea's Kim

Dennis Rodman, in black hat and shades, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a Feb. 28 basketball game in Pyongyang.
KCNA EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 9:52 am

America's unlikeliest link to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reached out to his friend in a bid to have an American citizen released from one of the communist nation's notorious labor camps.

"I'm calling on the Supreme Leader of North Korea or as I call him 'Kim', to do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose," former basketball star Dennis Rodman tweets.

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The Two-Way
5:47 am
Wed May 8, 2013

31 Suspects In 3 Nations Nabbed In $50 Million Diamond Heist

Yves Herman Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 2:55 pm

Remember that brazen, right-out-of-the-movies diamond heist at Brussels' international airport on Feb. 18?

Now there's word from The Associated Press that "police on Wednesday claimed a major breakthrough in their investigation ... detaining 31 people in a three-nation sweep."

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The Two-Way
5:08 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson Is Retiring

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson during a match in April.
David Jones EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 8:20 am

  • From the NPR Newscast: Philip Reeves reports about the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson

There's huge news in the sports world this morning:

Alex Ferguson, who has managed Manchester United football club for 26 years, is retiring at the end of the English Premier League season, which wraps up on May 19.

From London, NPR's Philip Reeves tells our Newscast Desk that:

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The Two-Way
4:56 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Book News: Translators Of Dan Brown Novel Toiled In 'Bunker'

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 5:22 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Around the Nation
4:16 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Workers Wreak Havoc During Home Remodeling Job In Oregon

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 8:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Home remodeling is hard and nobody knows that better than workers near Florence, Oregon. Three men arrived on the job. KCST radio reports the first man started a fire in the carport to get warm.

The Two-Way
4:03 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Head Of Environmental Division Is Leaving Justice Dept.

Assistant Attorney General Ignacia S. Moreno in September of 2011.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 8:38 am

Assistant U.S. Attorney General Ignacia Moreno, the point person at the Justice Department for prosecuting environmental crimes, says she will leave government service next month.

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The Two-Way
3:58 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Cleveland Kidnappings: Wednesday's Developments

What happened here? The home on Seymour Avenue in Cleveland where three young women who had been missing for about a decade, as well as a child, were rescued on Monday.
David Maxwell EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 3:07 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': A Neighborhood In Shock

(Most recent update: 5:20 p.m. ET.)

We're following the latest news about the three young women who were rescued Monday from a home in Cleveland where authorities suspect they had been held captive for about a decade, and the investigation into what happened to them.

Update at 5:20 p.m. ET: Ariel Castro Charged With Kidnapping, Rape:

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Around the Nation
3:50 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Texas Woman Says Bacon Is Key To Long Life

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 8:43 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

Pearl Cantrell is 105. Naturally, her local TV station, KRBC in Texas, did a feature asking her the secret to longevity. Her answer: Bacon. I eat it every day, she said. Well, this caught the attention of Oscar Meyer.

(SOUNDBITE OF "OSCAR MEYER WEINER SONG")

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (singing) Oh, I'd love to be an Oscar Meyer Weiner...

Around the Nation
3:08 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Specially Trained FBI Agents Will Help Kidnapped Women Heal

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 8:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

When Charles Ramsey talked with a 911 operator about the woman he'd found, the operator had this question.

(SOUNDBITE OF 911 CALL)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Can you ask her if she needs an ambulance?

CHARLES RAMSEY: You need an ambulance or what? She needs everything. She's in a panic. I bet she's been kidnapped, so you know, put yourself in her shoes.

INSKEEP: Put yourself in her shoes.

NPR's Carrie Johnson reports law enforcement is trying to do just that.

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Sports
3:08 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Can Chicago's Bulls Beat Defending Champion Miami Heat?

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 8:43 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We are getting deeper into the NBA playoffs and the question of the moment: Can the Chicago Bulls really beat the defending champion Miami Heat? The Bulls showed they can do it at least in one game. They won the opener Monday in their second-round series. It was really a stunning result, considering that Chicago is missing several of its best players because of injury and illness.

Tonight, Game 2 in Miami, and NPR's Tom Goldman joins me for some playoff chatter. And, Tom, can I thank you for something?

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Business
3:08 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 8:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with the Dow flying high.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

It's All Politics
1:40 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Congress Considers Patch To Keep Helium Supply Afloat

Deward Cawthon, a plant operator at the Federal Helium Reserve, walks through the Federal Crude Helium Enrichment Unit near Amarillo, Texas, in 2011.
Joyce Marshall MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 11:39 am

The Senate is considering legislation to prevent a global helium shortage from worsening in October. That's when one huge supply of helium in the U.S. is set to terminate. The House overwhelmingly passed its own bill last month to keep the Federal Helium Program going.

That was a relief to industries that can't get along without helium. The gas is used in MRI machines, semiconductors, aerospace equipment, lasers and of course balloons.

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Afghanistan
11:55 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Afghans Confront Senstive Issue Of Ethnicity

Saifulzul Husseini (right) works in Dashti Barchi, a Hazara neighborhood of Kabul. He believes that ethnicity should be listed on the new identity card.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 8:43 am

In Afghanistan, where most people are illiterate and live in areas without paved roads or regular electricity, a state-of-the-art smart-chip ID card may seem extravagant. But the government believes it can help with everything from census data to voter registration to health care.

The format of the proposed card, however, is fueling debate over ethnicity and identity at a time when anxiety is already high over the drawdown of NATO troops.

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All Tech Considered
11:53 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Will Tweaking Windows 8 Be Enough To Revive The PC?

Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system was criticized when it was released last year for features some said didn't mesh with a desktop PC environment. The company has indicated that it will address some of those issues in an upcoming update.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 8:43 am

When Microsoft introduced Windows 8 last year, the software giant billed the new operating system as one of the most critical releases in its history. The system would bridge the gap between personal computers and the fast-growing mobile world of tablets and smartphones.

But this week, the company sent signals that it might soon alter Windows 8 to address some early criticism of the operating system.

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It's All Politics
11:51 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Cantor's Rebranding Effort Tested By House Republicans

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., has been pitching a GOP rebranding effort he calls Making Life Work. The agenda is aimed at creating "conditions of health, happiness and prosperity" for American families, he says.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 8:43 am

When the House votes Wednesday on a bill called the Working Families Flexibility Act, it will be the latest test of a Republican effort at rebranding.

The architect of that effort in the House, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., has so far had a mixed record.

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The Salt
11:50 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Rat 'Mutton' And Bird Flu: Strange Days For Meat Eaters In Shanghai

A woman wearing a mask rides past a KFC restaurant in Shanghai last month. Food scares and the bird flu haven't stopped many chicken lovers in the city from visiting KFC and other restaurants.
Aly Song Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 8:43 am

The past couple of months have been unsettling ones for meat eaters in Shanghai.

In March, more than 16,000 dead pigs showed up in a stretch of the Huangpu River — a main source of the city's drinking water.

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Shots - Health News
11:49 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Officials Prepare For Another Flu Pandemic — Just In Case

Scientists in the U.S. are growing the H7N9 virus in the laboratory to help with vaccine development.
James Gathany CDC/Douglas E. Jordan

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 8:43 am

There's been a buzz of activity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta since scientists got their first samples of a new bird flu virus from China four weeks ago.

Already they've prepared "seed strains" of the virus, called H7N9, and distributed them to vaccine manufacturers so the companies can grow them up and make them into experimental flu vaccine.

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NPR Story
7:56 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Mark Sanford Wins House Race

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In South Carolina tonight, a political comeback. Republican Mark Sanford, who was once mired in scandal as the state's governor, has won a congressional seat in a special election. He has defeated Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch in a race that attracted national attention. Sanford just delivered his victory speech.

MARK SANFORD: I have a question for you all. How many of you want to change Washington, D.C.?

(APPLAUSE)

SANFORD: I had a suspicion that that may be the case and...

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Sports
7:03 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Ladies, Want Women's Sports To Get More Attention? Pony Up

Indiana Fever guard Erin Phillips (right) drives past Phoenix Mercury forward DeWanna Bonner during the first half of their WNBA basketball game Aug. 25.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 8:47 am

Fans of women's sports often maintain that female athletics get short shrift from the media, so it had to be something of a surprise gift when ESPN presented the start of the WNBA's draft live.

This happened as it was announced that after two abject failures in the past decade, yet another professional soccer league for women will dare venture forth in the United States.

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