RSS Feed:

Snakebites Make The List Of 'Neglected Tropical Diseases'

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 11:00:00 +0000

Snakebites kill more than 100,000 people per year, the World Health Organization estimates. The organization recently took a step to reduce that number by adding venomous snake bites to its list of neglected tropical diseases – a classification that could help get more resources allocated to fighting this public health problem. (WHO did acknowledge that snakebites aren't a disease but "an injury" but the "envenoming" — the injection of the snake's venom — can be considered a disease.) Doctors Without Borders, which had previously criticized the global health community for not paying enough attention to snakebites, welcomed the announcement. In sub-Saharan Africa, the best estimate is that 20,000 to 32,000 people die from snakebites each year, says Julien Potet , a neglected tropical diseases policy adviser at Doctors Without Borders, where he focuses on sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. It can take several hours for victims in sub-Saharan Africa to reach clinics, Potet says, and

Meet President Trump's Outside Legal Team

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 11:00:00 +0000

President Trump has brought on an eclectic team of outside lawyers to help him navigate the various investigations into Russian meddling in the election. At least six congressional committees are investigating. And, in addition to activities around the election, special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly now also looking into possible obstruction of justice by the president . If you asked a Washington insider to come up with a legal dream team for a situation like this, it's highly unlikely this is who they would come up with. But President Trump came into office as an outsider and continues to operate that way, and in a way his legal team is a reflection of that as well. Here's an introduction to the men representing Trump: Marc Kasowitz Shortly after former FBI Director James Comey finished testifying before a Senate committee, a white-haired man in a suit walked up to a lectern at the National Press Club and faced reporters. "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm Marc Kasowitz, president

How The Senate Health Care Bill Could Disrupt The Insurance Market

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 11:00:00 +0000

Senate Republicans have little margin for error as they prepare for a vote this coming week on a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act . Some lawmakers are already raising concern that the bill could aggravate the problem of healthy people going without insurance, driving up costs for everyone else. "If you can get insurance after you get sick, you will," Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told NBC's Today Show . "And without the individual mandate, that sort of adverse selection, the death spiral, the elevated premiums, all of that that's going on gets worse under this bill." The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, tried to address that problem by requiring all Americans to have health insurance, or pay a penalty. But that so-called "individual mandate" is one of the least popular provisions of the law. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and his colleagues are determined to get rid of it. "We agreed on the need to free Americans from Obamacare's mandate so

DeVos Appoints CEO Of A Student Loan Company To Head Federal Aid Agency

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 10:00:00 +0000

Welcome to this week's edition of our national education news roundup. DeVos appoints current student loan company CEO to head student loan agency Wayne A. Johnson will be the new head of Federal Student Aid after James Runcie abruptly resigned last month, the U.S. Department of Education announced this week. FSA is the agency responsible for administering $1.4 trillion in outstanding student loans from 42 million borrowers, plus other aid programs for millions of college students. As not mentioned in the department's press release, and first reported by Buzzfeed, Johnson is currently the CEO of Reunion Financial Services Corporation, a private student loan company. Liz Hill, press secretary at the U.S. Department of Education, provided NPR with a statement that read in part: "Dr. Johnson has 30 years of experience in the private sector and is going to be a tremendous asset to the Department and to FSA's customers [...] Wayne knows this industry inside and out and has seen first-hand

Imagining Daniel Day-Lewis In A Life Without Acting

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 09:53:00 +0000

He brooded, as Lincoln. He seduced in The Unbearable Lightness of Being . And he murdered, in There Will Be Blood. This week, Daniel Day-Lewis — a three-time Oscar winner, and incomparable film chameleon — announced he is retiring from acting at 60. A statement released by his spokeswoman gave no explanation, saying this is a private decision, and that Day-Lewis will have no further comment. The actor has often taken lengthy sabbaticals between films, but this time it's apparently permanent. So what will he be doing? Well, we know that Day-Lewis has a number of deep passions outside of acting. Woodworking for one, dating back to when he was in boarding school. Back then, he imagined a life making furniture and even applied for an apprenticeship with a cabinetmaker — before drama drew him in. Years later, he apprenticed with a master cobbler — learning the craft of shoe-making, in Florence. I asked Day-Lewis about these pursuits in 2012, when I interviewed him about his role as Abraham

More Than 140 May Be Buried After Landslide In Southwest China

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 08:40:00 +0000

More than 140 people may be buried after a landslide in the town of Xinmo in southwest China Saturday. Local officials are estimating 46 homes were buried under tons of rubble. Chinese state news agency Xinhua reports that at least three people had been rescued and taken to a hospital with injuries it said were not life-threatening. The landslide fell from "a high part of a mountain" nearby, the agency reports. Xinhua quoted the government of Sichuan province, where the town is located, as saying 141 people were missing. "There are several tons of rock," police captain Chen Tiebo told the state television network CCTV, according to the BBC . "It's a seismic area here," he said. The Sichuan government has dispatched more than "500 rescuers with 23 sniffer dogs and 16 life detectors" for search and rescue efforts, according Xinhua. "Initial accounts from villagers nearby said there had been rain in the area, but some said it was not very heavy and there was no sign of an impending

It's Quirky, It's Offbeat, It's Animal Misfits

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 03:25:55 +0000

8pm Nature: Animal Misfits - Focuses on creatures who march to a different drummer and thrive.

Illinois Bishop Decrees No Communion, Funeral Rites For Same-Sex Spouses

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 23:36:00 +0000

A Catholic bishop has instructed priests in his central Illinois diocese to deny communion, last rites and funeral rites to people in same-sex marriages – unless they repent. In the decree he sent to priests, deacons, seminarians and staff in his Springfield diocese last week, Bishop Thomas Paprocki sets forth a set of norms on same-sex marriage and related pastoral issues that he says are the policy of the diocese. Paprocki's decree bans priests and parish staff from performing same-sex marriages or allowing same-sex weddings or receptions at any Catholic facilities. People in same-sex marriages "should not present themselves for Holy Communion, nor should they be admitted to Holy Communion." A person in a same-sex marriage who is facing death may only receive communion after expressing "repentance for his or her sins." Finally, Paprocki writes that "unless they have given some signs of repentance before their death," people in same-sex marriages may not receive a Catholic funeral.

Nabra Hassanen's murder feeds anti-immigrant rhetoric on the conservative internet

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 22:56:07 +0000

The gruesome killing of a 17-year-old girl in Virginia this week has become fuel for political narratives on either side of the US spectrum. Nabra Hassanen was with friends outside her mosque, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center, when a driver rode over the curb and scattered the crowd of teens. He then took Hassanen in his car and beat her to death with a bat. The girl's family thought from the start that her killing was a hate crime, that she was targeted for wearing a hijab. Plenty of people voiced their agreement online and continue to do so. This was absolutely a hate crime smh. RIP Nabra — Jeannette (@ariesinthecity) June 23, 2017 But law enforcement handling the case says the killer did not commit a hate crime. Officials say it was an incident of road rage. News has since broken that Darwin Martinez Torres, a 22-year-old Salvadoran immigrant in the country without authorization, is a suspect in the case. And now people who rejected the hate crime allegations from

Arkansas Tries To Stop An Epidemic Of Herbicide Damage

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 22:09:00 +0000

Arkansas's pesticide regulators have stepped into the middle of an epic battle between weeds and chemicals, which has now morphed into a battle between farmers. Hundreds of farmers say their crops have been damaged by a weedkiller that was sprayed on neighboring fields. Today, the Arkansas Plant Board voted to impose an unprecedented ban on that chemical. "It's fracturing the agricultural community. You either have to choose to be on the side of using the product, or on the side of being damaged by the product," says David Hundley, who manages grain production for Ozark Mountain Poultry in Bay, Arkansas. The tension — which even led to a farmer's murder — is over a weedkiller called dicamba. The chemical only became a practical option for farmers a few years ago, when Monsanto created soybean and cotton plants that were genetically modified to survive it. Farmers who planted these new seeds could use dicamba to kill weeds without harming their crops. Farmers, especially in the South,

A top US ally runs secret torture prisons in Yemen

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:58:15 +0000

The list of abuses being faced by people in secret prisons across Yemen is long — electric shocks, beatings with metal objects, forced nudity, sexual harassment, threats, sleep deprivation and sensory deprivation. "We at Human Rights Watch have documented a variety of different forms of what appear to be abuse and torture," says Kristine Beckerle, who led an investigative team on the ground this year in Yemen. "And this is coming from not from one person or two people, but from a variety of different people who are saying that the treatment in these detention facilities is horrible, to put it bluntly." Human Rights Watch and the Associated Press on Thursday released independent reports about a network of secret Yemeni prisons operated by, or in cooperation with, the United Arab Emirates. The UAE is a member of the Saudi-led and US-backed coalition fighting to restore the Yemeni president, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, who was forced to flee fighting in his country more than two years ago.

In Otto Warmbier death, a clash between permissive, authoritarian cultures

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:56:20 +0000

The latest edition of Politico Magazine asks the question: " Who Killed Otto Warmbier? " Warmbier was the American student who died shortly after being released from imprisonment by North Korea, where he'd fallen into a coma after being sentenced to 17 months on allegations he tried to steal a propaganda poster during a December 2015 trip to the authoritarian nation. Journalist Isaac Stone Fish uses the incident to describe the world of Western tourism in North Korea, in which carefree college students sometimes find themselves clashing with a closed and repressive state. An excerpt is below.  Despite Warmbier’s death, I believe North Korea remains a safe place for adventurous, but cautious American travelers. It’s unclear, however, if Warmbier’s tragic death was an aberration or the start of a new, more dangerous normal. Moreover, Young Pioneer Tours promotes a riskier vibe: “Budget travel to destinations your mother would rather you stayed away from.” These are “binge drinking tours,

For The Venezuelan Opposition, Protests Are 'Like A War'

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:47:00 +0000

Venezuela's ongoing political and economic crisis has taken a toll on daily life there. A crash in oil prices and political instability under President Nicolas Maduro have led to food shortages, and that has prompted almost daily street protests by thousands of Venezuelans. A 35-year-old protester named Carlos tells NPR's Audie Cornish the food situation is "pretty extreme." NPR is using only his first name for his safety. "I cannot find basic food: no rice, no chicken. Fruits are very expensive. So what has really shocked me is that this past year, you can see on every street of the city, there is someone in the garbage looking for food," he says. Carlos had been a tour guide until the spring, when he joined the opposition protesters, which the government considers enemies of the state. With the collapse of the economy, Carlos says tourism has pretty much dried up. These days the protests in Caracas — Venezuela's capital — are practically his full-time job. As described by Carlos, the

Saudi Arabia And Neighboring Arab Nations Present Demands To Qatar

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:38:00 +0000

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: Saudi Arabia and its allies have presented 13 demands to the small Gulf country of Qatar, demands like shut down Al-Jazeera, the network watched by tens of millions of people across the Arab world, and break ties with Iran and extremist groups. Meet these demands, Saudi Arabia and its three allies tell Qatar, and we will restore diplomatic ties and trade. I asked Bernard Haykel, professor of near Eastern studies at Princeton University, what he makes of the demands. BERNARD HAYKEL: It looks to me like an opening bid for a negotiation. The Qataris have been saying that this is an assault on their sovereignty, and they're not going to do a number of the things that are asked, like removing the Turkish military base or shutting down Al-Jazeera. But I think this is a good start frankly for the United States now to get involved and say, OK, here is the position that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have stated; what is

Shakespeare Companies Suffer Backlash After 'Julius Caesar' Controversy

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:38:00 +0000

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: The controversy over a production of "Julius Caesar" depicting Caesar as Donald Trump is spreading. In the play, Caesar is assassinated. The production in question was by New York's Public Theater, part of its Shakespeare in the Park program. And the protests have now spread to theater companies in other cities around the country apparently just because they have Shakespeare in their name. In Texas, staff at Shakespeare Dallas have received death threats. From member station KERA, Hady Mawajdeh has the story. HADY MAWAJDEH, BYLINE: Here's a clip from Fox News last week. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: A play appearing to depict the murder of the president has made its official debut. The New York Public Theater has lost some of its sponsors over "Julius Caesar." MAWAJDEH: That got some folks in the Texas area riled up. Raphael Parry is the artistic director of Shakespeare Dallas. RAPHAEL PARRY: We

Week In Politics: Senate GOP Health Care Bill, Georgia Special Election

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:38:00 +0000

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: Let's bring in our Friday commentators to talk about this health care bill and the rest of the week in politics. We've got E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution. Hi there. E J DIONNE, BYLINE: Good to be with you. MCEVERS: And David Brooks of The New York Times. Hi to you. DAVID BROOKS, BYLINE: Hi to you, too. MCEVERS: David, we'll start with you. As we just heard, it is still very much up in the air whether Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has the votes to pass this bill. Handicap it for us. What do you think needs to happen for him to get those votes and pass it? BROOKS: Yeah, I - the more I think about it, the more I think this probably may not pass. And I say that because I think McConnell actually did an excellent job of putting together a bill that wouldn't offend everybody. For the centrists like Susan Collins, he basically kept the structure of Obamacare with the exchanges and all the

Carrier Steelworker Responds To Movement Of Jobs To Mexico

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:38:00 +0000

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Back before inauguration, Donald Trump announced a deal with the air conditioning and heating company Carrier to keep one of their manufacturing plants on U.S. soil. Here's President-elect Trump in December at that factory in Indianapolis. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Companies are not going to leave the United States anymore without consequences - not going to happen. CORNISH: Carrier told the state of Indiana this week that 600 workers will be laid off from this factory, and they're moving the jobs to Mexico. Earlier I spoke with T.J. Bray. He's worked at this factory for the past 15 years. He told me that when employees first heard about Trump's deal, they were relieved. T J BRAY: You know, at first we were pretty excited. You know, the majority of people we thought was going to be keeping their jobs. And you know, of course he came here. And you know, that's, like, a once-in-a-lifetime event -

Wisconsin Ironworker Challenges Paul Ryan For House Seat

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:38:00 +0000

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: We're about to meet a congressional candidate who wants to unseat the incumbent in Wisconsin's 1st District. That incumbent is Paul Ryan. Randy Bryce announced his candidacy on Monday. He's an ironworker with a mustache. He's proud of both. His Twitter handle is @IronStache. Bryce's first campaign video, released at the beginning of the week, has gone viral. And it starts with his mother describing her battle with multiple sclerosis. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: It's like hot knives going through. And you can't talk, you can't swallow. It's terrible. I'm going to cry. CORNISH: From there, Randy Bryce and his mom hug. Then come images of him with his son, Randy going to work in his coveralls. And it ends with this. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) RANDY BRYCE: I think it's time. Let's trade places. Paul Ryan, you can come work the iron and I'll go to D.C. CORNISH: Randy Bryce joins us now from

WATCH: It's Been A Long Week. So Here's A Gorilla Dancing In A Pool

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:06:00 +0000

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfS5kBGBh00 Oh sure, you could argue there are other, more important things happening in the world. And frankly, you'd be right. (For those things, by the way — which some people, in somber tones, might call news — please see here .) But sometimes, you just need to watch a big gorilla dance in a small pool. Meet Zola the gorilla of the Dallas Zoo. It's not the first time Zola, amateur dancer, has taken Internet fame for a spin . He also turned some heads back in 2011 when he was at the Calgary Zoo. But it's quite likely this is the first time his moves have been set to a famous film score of the 1980s. So, while we're at it, you'd probably better watch that, as well. Here's Zola dancing to the euphonious strains of "Maniac," from the film Flashdance . The zoo says the pool time is an "enrichment session," designed to help "enhance the environment and lives of animals, like Zola, by providing them with mental and physical stimulation to increase natural