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Shots - Health News
5:18 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Rural Hospitals Weigh Independence Against Need For Computer Help

Dr. Billy Oley (left) talks with Dr. William George in the Beartooth Billings Clinic in Red Lodge, Mont. The hospital became part of the Billings Clinic system in exchange for help with its digital medical records.
Eric Whitney for NPR

One of the biggest challenges American hospitals face right now is moving to electronic medical records from old-fashioned paper files.

The switch is costing tens of billions of dollars, eating up tons of staff time, and it's especially tough for the country's 2,000 rural and small-town hospitals.

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Business
5:16 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Recall Woes Push Along GM's Cultural Reinvention

General Motors has yet to explain why it took 10 years to recall a faulty ignition switch. Some blame the culture. GM says it's working on that.
Uli Deck DPA/Landov

General Motors has announced a big hit to first-quarter earnings, largely due to costs for recalls. Profits dropped nearly 90 percent from last year, with the company making a razor-thin profit of $100 million, GM said Thursday.

Meanwhile, GM has yet to explain why it took 10 years to issue one of the recalls for a defective ignition switch. Some critics believe the automaker's dysfunctional culture is to blame.

But the recall crisis could speed up a culture shift that's already underway. 

Customer-Focused

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Strange News
5:14 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

The Man Who Would Own All The World's 'Speed' — But Only On VHS

Ryan Beitz has a goal: Collect every VHS copy of the movie Speed known to man. He has over 500 of them now, he says. But the man pushes on, scouring the earth for more.

Book Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

A Biography Of Your Cubicle: How This Became The Modern Workplace

empty cubicles
iStockphoto

I remember my first office desk well. It was the roaring '90s in Manhattan. "Silicon Alley," they called it. I was fresh out of college, working at a web design company. The office had an open layout. We all shared long tables. I did have a window that looked onto a stone wall. Otherwise I was given a computer, a drawer, and a fancy ergonomic chair.

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U.S.
5:03 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Postal Workers Protest At Staples Over Shift In Jobs

Postal workers take part in a march in Washington, D.C., on Thursday to protest the opening of U.S. Postal Service counters at Staples stores.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

U.S. postal workers took to the streets Thursday to protest in front of Staples office supply stores around the country. At issue is a decision to open Postal Service counters in Staples stores — something they say is siphoning away union jobs.

The postal workers' grievances come as their employer faces pressures to find new avenues of business.

Both the American Postal Workers Union and the leadership of the U.S. Postal Service lay claim to be fighting for the same cause: safeguarding the long-term future of one of the largest employers in the country.

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Health Care
4:37 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

How One State Convinced Its 'Young Invicibles' To Get Health Insurance

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 5:03 pm

Enrolling in health insurance often doesn't make good economic sense for healthy young people, as they can end up paying a lot for very little coverage. Why are young invincibles still willing to pay?

The Salt
4:37 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

California Farmers Finagle A Fig For All Seasons

Mouth watering yet? As of now, you can only get a pizza like this in the summer and fall. Farmers in California are trying to change that by growing figs at least from April through February.
Courtesy of California Fresh Fig Growers Association

True fig lovers are well-practiced in the art of patience. We watch the calendar, dreaming of summer and the fruit's silky, sappy flesh. The season lasts through June and July, with another crop from August to October. And then we're back to almost eight months of oranges, apples and, if we must, Fig Newtons.

But these figless days may be coming to an end.

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All Tech Considered
4:33 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Tech Giants Pony Up Cash To Help Prevent Another Heartbleed

Google is among several companies putting money into a fund to help safeguard the Internet from possibly security flaws in open-source software.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 5:49 pm

Google, Intel, Facebook and many other tech giants are pooling their money together — for the first time — to fix a glaring hole in cybersecurity. They're launching a multimillion-dollar fund to protect open-source code — the code that anyone can use for free, and that often gets overused and underprotected.

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Middle East
4:31 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Chemical Weapons Deadline May Be Met, But Results In Syria Are Mixed

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 5:03 pm

Syria will likely meet an upcoming deadline to hand over its declared chemical weapons. But the agreement seems to have emboldened the Syrian regime to use other brutal tactics, including a chemical not covered by the deal.

Middle East
4:31 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

CIA Acts In Syria, Slipping Weapons To Rebels In Secret

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 5:03 pm

As diplomatic talks in Geneva have failed to resolve the three-year-old civil war in Syria, the U.S. is undertaking a new covert program to send weapons in support of rebel forces there.

Middle East
4:31 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

In Answer To Palestinian Unity, Israelis Step Away From Peace Talks

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 5:03 pm

The Israeli government suspended peace talks with Palestinians, citing a unity agreement announced Wednesday by Palestinian leadership. The Israeli security cabinet came to the decision unanimously, angered by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's decision to end a seven-year schism with the Hamas movement.

Europe
4:31 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Firefights And Fallen Separatists, As Ukraine Offensive Advances

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 5:03 pm

Early Thursday morning, the Ukrainian military moved into towns held by militants. Firefights and casualties have been reported at a number of different locations.

News
4:31 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Report Decries A Cozy Relationship Shared By DHS And Watchdog

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 5:03 pm

A Senate panel released a report Thursday that criticizes the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security. It accuses him of repeatedly compromising his independence.

News
4:31 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

With New E-Cigarette Rules, FDA Hopes To Tame A 'Wild, Wild West'

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 5:03 pm

The Food and Drug Administration is proposing to expand its regulatory powers to e-cigarettes and other popular products containing nicotine.

News
4:31 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

NCAA Directors Decide To Allow More Freedom To Wealthier Schools

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 5:03 pm

Major changes are expected for the NCAA, whose board meets Thursday. Directors will consider giving the five power conferences more autonomy, as well as changing the way scholarships are administered.

Asia
4:31 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Internet Freedom Debate Stokes Rivalry Between Turkey's Top Two

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 5:03 pm

Turkey has been roiled by street protests, a Twitter ban controversy and, most recently, a growing rivalry between the ruling party's top two figures, the president and prime minister.

The Picture Show
3:41 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Tyler Hicks Tells The Story Behind His Pulitzer-Winning Nairobi Mall Photos

Tyler Hicks took this photo of a woman sheltering her children on the floor of a cafe at the Westgate Mall during an attack by militants in Nairobi on Sept. 21, 2013. The woman later contacted Hicks and told him she kept her kids quiet and still by singing along to songs that were playing on the mall loudspeakers.
Tyler Hicks The New York Times

A few days after winning a Pulitzer Prize for his photos of a 2013 terrorist attack in a Nairobi mall, Tyler Hicks received an email. It was from one of the women he'd photographed that day — sheltering her two young children on the floor of a cafe. She had heard about the Pulitzer and seen her photo on The New York Times website.

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The Two-Way
3:37 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Retired Justice John Paul Stevens: Marijuana Should Be Legal

Former Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens likens making pot illegal to Prohibition. In his new book, Six Amendments, he proposes constitutional changes including a curb on an individual's right to bear arms.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 4:12 pm

  • Justice Stevens Talks About Marijuana
  • Justice Stevens Talks About Gay Marriage

Retired Justice John Paul Stevens made some news in an interview with NPR's Scott Simon on Thursday.

Scott asked him if the federal government should legalize marijuana.

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All Tech Considered
3:25 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Using Technology To Fix The Texting-While-Driving Problem

Driving while distracted by your phone is a nationwide problem. A new proposed phone function from Apple could play a big role in helping teens — and adults — avoid accidents.
Nils Kahle iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 5:29 pm

On a Wisconsin street, a woman in a white hoodie stands frozen in the act of stepping out of the road and onto the curb, her left hand reaching behind her. As part of a public service announcement, she explains why she's there, as string music slowly plays under her voice.

"I had my brother in my hand, and all of a sudden my hand was empty," Aurie says as a car drives past. Her little brother, 8 years old at the time of the PSA, was left paralyzed after being hit by a car driven by a texting driver.

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The Two-Way
1:51 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Pope OKs Communion For The Divorced? Not So Fast, Vatican Says

Pope Francis as he celebrated Communion last July in Brazil.
Buda Mendes Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 3:38 pm

The Vatican on Thursday sought to tamp down speculation that Pope Francis wants to reverse church teachings and allow divorced and remarried Catholics and their spouses to take Communion.

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Shots - Health News
1:48 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

A Measles Outbreak In The Philippines Travels To The U.S.

There today, here tomorrow: A mother holds her child for a measles vaccination in Manila, Philippines, in January. Travelers are bringing measles from the Philippines to the United States.
Noel Celis AFP/Getty Images

Measles cases in the United States have spiked in the past four months, driven mostly by people traveling from the Philippines, which is in the midst of an explosive outbreak of the highly contagious virus. By April 18, 129 cases have been reported, the most in that time period since 1996.

The situation is unusual enough that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Thursday warned people to get their measles shots up to date, especially if they're planning international travel.

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The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

American Journalist Freed By Kidnappers In Eastern Ukraine

U.S. journalist Simon Ostrovsky in Moscow in 2004. He was reportedly released on Thursday after being held briefly by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Alexander Nemenov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 5:40 pm

Simon Ostrovsky, the Vice News journalist who was reportedly seized by pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine earlier this week, has been released, according to his employer.

"VICE News is delighted to confirm that our colleague and friend Simon Ostrovsky has been safely released and is in good health," the website reports on Thursday.

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The Salt
1:07 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Bracing For A Battle, Vermont Passes GMO Labeling Bill

A customer shops for produce at the Hunger Mountain Co-op in April 2013 in Montpelier, Vt. More than a dozen food cooperatives supported the bill that would require the labeling of genetically modified foods.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 1:46 pm

The Green Mountain State is poised to become the first to require food companies to label products containing genetically modified ingredients.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin tweeted he will sign a bill state lawmakers passed Wednesday mandating that foods with GMOs be labeled as having been produced with "genetic engineering." The bill would also make it illegal for foods with GMOs to be labeled "all natural" or "natural."

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The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Long-Lost Wreck Off San Francisco Recalls Anti-Chinese History

The steamship City of Chester.
San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park K01.2.571PL

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 3:16 pm

Rewind to the year 1888: The 202-foot SS City of Chester, departing San Francisco harbor in thick fog, is nearly cut in two by the much larger liner Oceanic, arriving from Hong Kong. Within six minutes, the smaller ship disappears under the turbulent current near the site of the present-day Golden Gate Bridge, claiming 16 lives.

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Israel Halts Peace Talks After Palestinian Unity Move

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 1:35 pm

One day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was calling off his side's participation in the next session of peace talks with Palestinian leaders, Israel's Cabinet has endorsed that decision and "unanimously decided to cut off contacts," The Associated Press writes.

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The Protojournalist
11:20 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Tweet Suits: Social Media And The Law

Levent Konuk istockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 2:55 pm

In the past several years, as more and more people are connected through more and more social media, the idea of turning personal grievances into class actions has been popping up, well, more and more.

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Lawyers Use High Court Petition To Highlight Prosecutorial Misconduct

Lawyers for a computer support technician convicted of possessing ricin to use as a weapon are asking the Supreme Court on Thursday to hear his appeal, as a way to send a message about widespread prosecutorial misconduct.

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Obama: Japan's Administration Of Disputed Islands Shouldn't Change

President Obama speaks at a joint news conference with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on Thursday. Obama reinforced the U.S.-Japan security commitment.
Junko Kimura-Matsumoto AP

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 3:27 pm

President Obama said Thursday that the U.S. believes Japan's administration of a contested island chain should not change "unilaterally," as he assured Tokyo that a U.S. security treaty "covers all territories administered by Japan."

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Shots - Health News
10:31 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Snoopy, Garfield And Friends Go Bald For Kids With Cancer

Can these cartoon pals help reduce the stigma of cancer treatment for children?
Courtesy of Ogilvy Brazil

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The Two-Way
10:12 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Saddened Students Return To Ferry Disaster Victims' School

Yellow ribbons hang from a fence outside Danwon High School in Ansan, South Korea, as some students return Thursday for the first time since a ferry disaster claimed the lives of scores of their classmates.
Yang Ji-woong EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 12:30 pm

Students at Danwon High School in Ansan, South Korea, began the difficult process of resuming classes on Thursday, eight days after a ferry disaster claimed the lives of more than 200 of their classmates.

According to South Korea's Yonhap News, the seniors (or third-year year students):

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