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Shots - Health News
3:04 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Medicare Officials Seek Authority To Ban Harmful Prescribers

Pill bottles in a locked room deep inside the building that houses the Los Angeles County Health Authority Law Enforcement Task Force.
Tracy Weber ProPublica

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 1:55 pm

Medicare plans to arm itself with broad new powers to better control — and potentially bar — doctors engaged in fraudulent or harmful prescribing, following a series of articles detailing lax oversight in its drug program.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services described the effort Monday in what's known as a proposed rule, the standard process by which federal agencies make significant changes.

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It's All Politics
3:03 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

4 Lessons From Liz Cheney's Ill-Fated Senate Run

Liz Cheney campaigns in Casper, Wyo., on July 17, one day after announcing her GOP primary challenge to Sen. Mike Enzi.
Matt Young AP

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 4:26 am

Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, ended her Wyoming Senate primary challenge Monday, saying in a statement that a family health situation is responsible for her decision. (ABC News reports that sources close to Cheney said one of her daughters has diabetes.)

Even before family health issues arose, Cheney's apparently dimming prospects against GOP Sen. Mike Enzi would have been enough to give pause to many candidates.

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The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Senate Confirms Janet Yellen As Federal Reserve Chair

The Senate has approved Janet Yellen as the next head of the Federal Reserve. At a ceremony commemorating the Fed's centennial last month, Yellen sat with (from left-to-right) former chairmen Paul Volker and Alan Greenspan, and current Fed leader Ben Bernanke.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 4:13 pm

The Senate has voted to approve the nomination of Janet Yellen as the next leader of the U.S. Federal Reserve. With Monday's vote, Yellen, 67, will become the first woman to serve as America's banking chief, heading an institution that was established in 1913.

Update at 6:31 p.m. ET: Some Senators Left Out

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NPR News Investigations
1:34 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Army Takes On Its Own Toxic Leaders

NPR interviewed dozens of current or former soldiers who said they have struggled under toxic leaders.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 8:15 am

Top commanders in the U.S. Army have announced publicly that they have a problem: They have too many "toxic leaders" — the kind of bosses who make their employees miserable. Many corporations share a similar problem, but in the Army's case, destructive leadership can potentially have life or death consequences. So, some Army researchers are wondering if toxic officers have contributed to soldiers' mental health problems.

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Parallels
1:00 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

In Fast-Changing China, Reality Can Overtake Fiction

Qiu Xiaolong in his ancestral house during a visit from his home in St. Louis.
Frank Langfitt/NPR

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 6:03 pm

One of the challenges of writing about China is the country moves fast — sometimes faster than the publishing business. Take Enigma of China, the latest detective novel by Chinese-American author Qiu Xiaolong.

In one scene, Qiu's main character, Inspector Chen, sits in a Shanghai restaurant scanning a hotel where government agents are holding a corrupt official in secret detention.

Recently, Qiu took me on a tour of the book's real-life settings, including the site of that eatery.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Nation Turns Blue As Temperatures Continue To Plunge

Alison Mueller skies to work through several inches of snow in Detroit as the area deals Monday with record-breaking freezing weather. Wind chill has driven temperatures in Michigan and much of the Midwest down to 50-70 degrees below zero.
Joshua Lott Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 2:55 pm

One weather map tells the story.

Check out the National Weather Service's map of the Lower 48 for Monday night. If you need to know just how much of the nation's going to be freezing (or well below!), it offers a bone-chilling picture. Anywhere in the blue-to-purple shades is going to be cold — and that's before accounting for wind chills.

What is the Weather Service forecasting?

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

German Chancellor Merkel Fractures Hip In Skiing Accident

German Chancellor Angela Merkel after the recording of her annual New Year's speech at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, on Dec. 30.
David Gannon AP

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 7:00 am

German Chancellor Angela Merkel fractured a hip during a cross-country skiing accident in the Swiss Alps, her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said on Monday.

He says the injury will confine the German leader to a bed for about three weeks, so Merkel has cancelled some meetings.

From Berlin, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson sent this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Missing N.Y. Man Found In D.C., Thanks To AP Photograph

Nicholas Simmons in the photo that helped his family find him.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 8:15 am

A photograph published Sunday by USA Today along with a story about the frigid weather sweeping across much of the nation led to the discovery of a man from western New York state who had been missing since New Year's Day.

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Planet Money
12:41 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Where The Jobs Are, In 2 Graphs (Hint: Not In Manufacturing)

BLS

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 7:32 am

The United States has a cultural obsession with manufacturing. When policymakers stump about job growth and job creation, they often focus on manufacturing jobs.

But for more than 60 years, the number of manufacturing jobs has been stagnant, while the number of service jobs has exploded. Service jobs now account for over 80 percent of all private sector jobs.

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The Two-Way
12:41 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Book News: Steve Jobs Biographer Asks Internet To Help Edit New Book

Walter Isaacson speaks during the April 2013 Creativity Conference at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Kris Connor Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 4:24 am

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

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The Two-Way
12:36 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Deadly Violence Mars Elections In Bangladesh

Bangladeshi protesters burn election material Sunday at a polling station in the northern town of Bogra.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 11:01 am

Bangladesh's parliamentary election Sunday proved to be among the most violent vote in the country's short history. At least 18 people were killed, including an election officer who was beaten to death, and scores of polling stations firebombed, according to local media reports.

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Toast Of The Nation
12:35 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Wynton Marsalis Septet: Live In New York

The Wynton Marsalis Septet.
Frank Stewart Courtesy of Jazz at Lincoln Center

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 2:15 pm

Much as families reunite around the holidays, Jazz at Lincoln Center's artistic director Wynton Marsalis convened his own family reunion of sorts at the end of the year. His septet(s), his working configuration of the 1990s and easily among his best bands, gathered anew for a six-night run to cap the year — including New Year's Eve. The four-horn frontline showcases Marsalis the arranger; the rhythm section floats it with buoyant bounce. Along with WBGO host Josh Jackson, the septet rang in 2014 at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in New York.

Set List

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The Salt
12:35 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Looks Like The Paleo Diet Wasn't Always So Hot For Ancient Teeth

Say aaaaaah! Dental caries and other signs of oral disease are plain to see in the upper teeth of this hunter-gatherer, between 14,000 and 15,000 years old. The findings challenge the idea that the original paleo diet was inherently healthy, says paleo-anthropologist Louise Humphrey. It all depended, she says, on what wild foods were available.
Courtesy of Isabelle De Groote

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 3:16 pm

One of the hinge points in human history was the invention of agriculture. It led to large communities, monumental architecture and complex societies. It also led to tooth decay.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
12:33 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Equal Sign Named 'Symbol Of The Year' For 2013

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 12:23 pm

As an undergraduate major in the Symbolic Systems Program at Stanford University, I had amazing opportunities to interact with scholars from a variety of disciplines, and also plenty of awkward small talk ... of the in-flight variety.

On trips to and from Silicon Valley during school vacations, I inevitably found myself seated next to a well-meaning businessman who sensed my student status and asked the inevitable question:

Well-meaning businessman: What are you majoring in?

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