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Shots - Health Blog
3:07 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Your Stories Of Being Sick Inside The U.S. Health Care System

Douglas Harlow Brown, 80, of East Lansing, Mich., watches birds inside a medical rehab facility.
Brittney Lohmiller for NPR

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 8:42 pm

To get a feeling for what being sick in America is really like, and to help us understand the findings of our poll with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, NPR did a call-out on Facebook. We asked people to share their experiences of the health care system, and within 24 hours, we were flooded with close to 1,000 responses.

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It's All Politics
2:02 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Sophomoric? Members Of Congress Talk Like 10th Graders, Analysis Shows

Congress, shown gathered for President Obama's State of the Union in January, is speaking at about a grade level lower now than in 2005, according to the Sunlight Foundation.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 1:30 pm

Members of Congress are often criticized for what they do — or rather, what they don't do.

But what about what they say and, more specifically, how they say it? It turns out that the sophistication of congressional speech-making is on the decline, according to the open government group the Sunlight Foundation. Since 2005, the average grade level at which members of Congress speak has fallen by almost a full grade.

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Middle East
1:01 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Change Comes To Saudi Arabia, In Slow Motion

In the Saudi capital Riyadh, two women stroll into a cosmetics shop in a luxury mall. The desire for greater personal freedoms has prompted Saudi rulers to relax some restrictions.
Chuck Holmes NPR

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 7:13 am

The shock waves of the Arab Spring continue to reshape countries like Egypt and Syria. But the kingdom of Saudi Arabia remains largely unaffected. King Abdullah and the Saudi ruling family are in firm control of the country's massive oil wealth and Islam's two holiest sites — Mecca and Medina.

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Asia
12:59 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Mineral-Rich Mongolia Rapidly Becoming 'Minegolia'

The mine at Oyu Tolgoi, Turquoise Hill in Mongolian, will be one of the world's largest copper mines in about five years. An employee holds up a small sample of the oxidized copper that gave the mine its name.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:47 am

Mongolia, the land of Genghis Khan and nomadic herders, is in the midst of a remarkable transition. Rich in coal, gold and copper, this country of fewer than 3 million people in Central Asia is riding a mineral boom that is expected to more than double its GDP within a decade. The rapid changes simultaneously excite and unnerve many Mongolians, who hope mining can help pull many out of poverty, but worry it will ravage the environment and further erode the nation's distinctive, nomadic identity.

First of four parts

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Books
12:55 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Nancy Pearl Unearths Great Summer Reads

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 7:38 am

Unlike a lot of people I know, my summer reading doesn't differ significantly from the reading I do the rest of the year. I'm always looking for new authors, older titles I might have missed, books I want to reread, and a nice mixture of fiction and nonfiction. While I understand the concept of beach reading, for me it doesn't mean light reading, but rather choosing books whose ultimate destruction by sand and water won't concern me overly much because I know that I can easily replace them.

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Election 2012
12:35 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Secret Donors Still Find Ways To Remain Anonymous

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 9:00 am

The latest deadline for the presidential candidates and the major superPACs to disclose their finances was Sunday night. The public and the media can find out who has been giving to the candidates, and how that money was spent. But there's a lot of political spending that isn't being reported.

Outside money groups are spending millions of dollars, and the donors remain anonymous. Two recent court rulings could force those groups to file public disclosures, but there already seems to be a way around that.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:33 pm
Sun May 20, 2012

Poll: What It's Like To Be Sick In America

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 6:21 pm

In the lull between the Supreme Court arguments over the federal health overhaul law and the decision expected in June, we thought we'd ask Americans who actually use the health system quite a bit how they view the quality of care and its cost.

Most surveys don't break it down this way.

When the results came back, we found that people who have a serious medical condition or who've been in the hospital in the past year tended to have more concerns about costs and quality than people who aren't sick. No big surprise there.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:03 pm
Sun May 20, 2012

A Dire Sign Of The Obesity Epidemic: Teen Diabetes Soaring, Study Finds

Paris Wood, 14, has her measurements taken as part of a Chicago anti-obesity program.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 6:30 am

Karlton Hill was only 12 years old when when he found out he had diabetes. Even though he was only in seventh grade, Karlton knew what diabetes was; he had watched the disease destroy his great-grandmother's life.

"I was really upset. I cried," he says. "I didn't want any of this to happen to me. I was like, 'Why is this happening to me?' "

Public health experts have been worrying for years that the obesity epidemic would lead to an epidemic of Type 2 diabetes among kids.

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Music News
8:47 pm
Sun May 20, 2012

Bee Gee Robin Gibb Dies Of Cancer At 62

Robin Gibb performs at the Dubai International Jazz Festival in 2008.
Tracy Brand AP

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 6:35 am

Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees has died.

Gibb died Sunday after a long battle with cancer and intestinal surgery, according to a statement on his official website.

"The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this very difficult time," the statement said.

Robin and his brothers Barry and Maurice Gibb racked up dozens of hit songs in their five decade career. Robin Gibb, who had cancer, was 62.

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Three-Minute Fiction
3:49 pm
Sun May 20, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction: The Round 8 Winner Is...

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 10:51 am

The end of Round 8 of our Three-Minute Fiction contest has finally arrived. With help from our readers at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, New York University, the University of Oregon and the University of Texas, at Austin, we've read through more than 6,000 stories.

Submissions had to be original works of short fiction — no more than 600 words. They also had to begin with this sentence: "She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door."

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Health
3:17 pm
Sun May 20, 2012

A Windborne Clue To A Mysterious Childhood Disease

Deborah and her son Leo on Mother's Day this year, one year after he came down with Kawasaki disease.
Deborah Kogan

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 2:30 pm

At first, Deborah Kogan of New York says, she thought it would pass. Her 4-year-old son's fever had been on the rise for hours, and he was looking puffy. Kogan took Leo to the pediatrician, who thought it might be strep throat. It wasn't.

A few days later, Leo "woke up, and he looked as if he was one of the characters in The Nutty Professor. His face ballooned about twice its normal size." She posted a photo of Leo on Facebook. That's when the crowdsourced diagnosis took shape.

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Around the Nation
3:17 pm
Sun May 20, 2012

Examining NATO's Past, Present And Future

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

Twelve countries joined to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, 63 years ago. The purpose: to keep Soviet expansion in check. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first supreme commander.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVAL BROADCAST)

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Law
3:17 pm
Sun May 20, 2012

Perjury Trial For Roger Clemens Heats Up

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

The Roger Clemens perjury trial continues tomorrow. And for a sixth day, the prosecution's star witness will be back on the stand. Brian McNamee, Clemen's one-time trainer, is the only witness who has directly linked the former baseball pitcher to steroid use. Clemens, of course, is a seven-time Cy Young Award winner who's accused of lying to Congress when he denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs.

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World
3:17 pm
Sun May 20, 2012

In This Russian Trial, The Defendant Is A Dead Man

Friends and relatives take part in the funeral ceremony of Sergei Magnitsky at a cemetery in Moscow in 2009. The tax lawyer was arrested after he began investigating fraud at Hermitage Capital, which had been seized by the Russian tax police. He later died in prison.
Mikhail Voskresensky Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun May 20, 2012 5:45 pm

The Russian government is about to put a dead man on trial.

Sergei Magnitsky was a tax lawyer for the investment fund Hermitage Capital, at one time the largest foreign investment firm in Russia.

In 2007, Hermitage Capital was seized by the Russian tax police, and through a number of shady maneuvers, they extracted more than $230 million in illegal tax refunds for themselves.

Magnitsky decided to investigate, angering those who had stolen the company. They had him arrested, and he died in prison in 2009.

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Health
3:17 pm
Sun May 20, 2012

Vets Return With Brain Injuries Oft Seen In Football

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

And if you're just tuning in, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

Here's a terrible statistic: Once a veteran is home from Iraq or Afghanistan, he or she is more likely to die by suicide than from injuries sustained in the combat theater. There is new research that suggests those injuries may actually be contributing to the suicides.

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The Two-Way
2:47 pm
Sun May 20, 2012

At NATO Summit, Obama Says 'Hard Days' Ahead For Afghanistan

Originally published on Sun May 20, 2012 5:36 pm

World leaders are meeting with President Obama in his hometown of Chicago for a two-day NATO summit focused heavily on Afghanistan.

Obama warned of the difficulty ahead as the summit confronted questions about Afghanistan's future. The summit kicked off on Sunday with a meeting between Obama and Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, the two key players to determine that future.

"We still have a lot of work to do and there will be great challenges ahead," Obama said. "The loss of life continues in Afghanistan and there will be hard days ahead."

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Music Interviews
12:59 pm
Sun May 20, 2012

Adam Lambert: 'I Want To Sing It Big'

Adam Lambert's second studio album is entitled Trespassing.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 20, 2012 3:19 pm

Adam Lambert captivated America in 2009 when he almost won American Idol. Lambert was brash, likable and glamorous, but he soon became better known for being the first openly gay Idol contender.

Though Lambert finished as the runner-up, his popularity and talent won him a recording deal. He released his second studio album, Trespassing, this week — just a few months after his 30th birthday.

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Sun May 20, 2012

Reports: Lockerbie Bomber Dies

Security officers escort convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi (center) in Tripoli in 1992.
Manoocher Deghati AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 4:46 am

The former Libyan intelligence officer who was the only person ever convicted in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, has died.

Family members tell The Associated Press and Reuters that Abdel Baset al-Megrahi died at home after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 60.

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Middle East
6:39 am
Sun May 20, 2012

Egyptian Candidate Gains Support, Despite Reputation

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Egyptians are getting ready for an historic vote, their first real presidential election since former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted during the Arab Spring. Twelve candidates are in the running. One them, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, is already dividing voters ahead of Wednesday's vote. Many consider Shafiq a corrupt holdover from the old regime.

But as NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Cairo, he is gaining widespread support from Egyptians fed up with the growing insecurity in their country.

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Afghanistan
6:39 am
Sun May 20, 2012

NATO Buzzword: 'Sustainment' In Afghanistan

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. World leaders are gathered in Chicago for a two-day NATO summit, which starts this morning. The summit agenda centers on Afghanistan, specifically figuring out how to meet a 2014 withdrawal deadline while shoring up Afghanistan's security forces. We'll hear a view from the White House in a moment. But we begin with this report from NPR's Jackie Northam in Chicago.

(SOUNDBITE OF PEOPLE CHANTING)

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Middle East
6:39 am
Sun May 20, 2012

Lessons For Egyptian Elections From Turkey

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And when Egyptians head to the polls this week, many will be looking to celebrate the end of military rule, which began some 50 years ago. Observers warn that it won't be easy to send a deeply entrenched military back to its barracks, and they point to Turkey's experience as an example.

NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul.

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Afghanistan
6:39 am
Sun May 20, 2012

White House Balances Money, Security In Afghanistan

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

So as we just heard, this NATO summit will be crucial when it comes to working out who's going to put up the money needed to support and train Afghan security forces in the years to come. The White House is leading the charge, so next we go to Ben Rhodes, White House spokesman on national security issues. Ben Rhodes, thanks so much for joining us.

BEN RHODES: Good to be with you.

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History
6:39 am
Sun May 20, 2012

A Lawman Killed By Hate; Now, ATF Remembers

Host Rachel Martin takes a moment to remember William Henderson Foote, a black federal agent in Mississippi in the late 1800s. He was honored this week by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Afghanistan
6:39 am
Sun May 20, 2012

The View Of The War From Afghanistan

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Let's turn now to how all of this is playing out on the ground. And for that, we're joined now by our two correspondents in the region. Julie McCarthy is in with us on the line from Islamabad in Pakistan and Quil Lawrence is in the Afghan capital Kabul. Good morning to you both.

JULIE MCCARTHY, BYLINE: Good morning.

QUIL LAWRENCE, BYLINE: Good morning.

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Around the Nation
6:39 am
Sun May 20, 2012

Lost, Found And Replaced: Lincoln's Sword

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Last fall, Abe Lincoln lost his sword. A copper blade went missing from atop President Abraham Lincoln's burial site in Illinois. Authorities eventually recovered it, but in two pieces. Now, as Rachel Otwell reports, the artifact has been replaced.

RACHEL OTWELL, BYLINE: Lincoln's tomb is at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. It's a massive structure with statues of Union soldiers that reach far into the sky. Mikle Siere works at the historic site. He describes the statue the sword was taken from.

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Around the Nation
6:39 am
Sun May 20, 2012

Donor Resurrects Endangered Bookmobile

When a bookmobile broke down last winter in rural Vermont, patrons, especially preschoolers, really missed it. Then a donor, who heard an NPR story about the rolling library's demise, came up with over $100,000 for a replacement. The town can't believe its good fortune. Vermont Public Radio's Charlotte Albright reports.

Sports
6:39 am
Sun May 20, 2012

Sports Injuries: A Look At The Data

If life is a ballgame, then NPR's Mike Pesca is the guy in the stands, carrying his own stat-sheet and searching out empirical evidence. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Pesca about what the numbers have to say about injuries.

Asia
6:39 am
Sun May 20, 2012

Where Chen Fits In A History Of Dissidents

Host Rachel Martin talks with China scholar Perry Link about activist Chen Guangcheng's arrival in the U.S. Link has followed the lives of Chinese dissidents involved with the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.

Space
6:39 am
Sun May 20, 2012

Eclipse-Chaser Shares Thrill Of The Hunt

Out West Sunday, it will start getting dark earlier than normal, but just for a little while. A major solar eclipse, although not quite total, will spread across the skies in a 200-mile swath from Oregon into west Texas. Longtime Washington, D.C., meteorologist Bob Ryan has traveled the world chasing eclipses with his wife. He joins host Rachel Martin.

Africa
4:10 am
Sun May 20, 2012

After A Free Fall, Zimbabwe Finds A Bit Of Stability

Many stores in Zimbabwe were largely empty when the country was suffering hyperinflation a few years ago. Conditions are much better now.
Philmon Bulawayo Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun May 20, 2012 6:39 am

When hyperinflation spiraled out of control in Zimbabwe in 2008, huge numbers of citizens flocked across the border to find jobs, and escape food and water shortages.

That economic nightmare came on top of years of decline. While the country still hasn't fully recovered, Zimbabwe is much more stable and economic life is picking up, at least for some.

On Robert Mugabe Road in the capital Harare, taxi drivers shout out their destinations. Street vendors sell leather belts and cellphone accessories to passersby.

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