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Black Lung Returns To Coal Country
5:13 am
Mon July 9, 2012

As Mine Protections Fail, Black Lung Cases Surge

Mark McCowan, 47, was diagnosed with the worst stage of black lung only five years after an X-ray showed he had no sign of the disease.
David Deal for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 5:26 am

Part one of a two-part series.

It wasn't supposed to happen to coal miners in Mark McCowan's generation. It wasn't supposed to strike so early and so hard. At age 47 and just seven years after his first diagnosis, McCowan shouldn't have a chest X-ray that looks this bad.

"I'm seeing more definition in the mass," McCowan says, pausing for deep breaths as he holds the X-ray film up to the light of his living room window in Pounding Mill, Va.

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Politics
4:09 am
Mon July 9, 2012

GOP To Make 31st Attempt To Repeal Obamacare Act

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 1:00 pm

The House Rules Committee takes up a bill Monday called the "Repeal of Obamacare Act." And just like it says, the bill would wipe away the president's Affordable Care Act. A vote of the full House is planned for Wednesday.

It's the first legislative response from House Republicans after the Supreme Court upheld the law. But it is far from the first time the GOP has voted for repeal.

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Governing
3:05 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Justice's New Watchdog Meets Fast And Furious

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is reviewing secret emails about the department's Fast and Furious operation.

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 5:28 am

The legal battle between Republican lawmakers and Attorney General Eric Holder over access to documents in a gun scandal could take months, if not years, to resolve.

But one man has already been sifting through secret emails about the operation known as Fast and Furious. He's Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department's new watchdog.

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AIDS: A Turning Point
3:04 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Botswana's 'Stunning Achievement' Against AIDS

Johane Setlhare began taking anti-AIDS drugs, provided by the government, in 2007. Two years later, he regained enough strength to build the house that's behind him.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 8:50 am

The southern African nation of Botswana has one of the highest rates of HIV in the world. Nearly 25 percent of all adults in the country are infected with the virus. Only the nearby kingdom of Swaziland has a higher rate.

But Botswana is also remarkable for its response to the epidemic. It has one of the most comprehensive and effective HIV treatment programs in Africa. Transmission of HIV from infected mothers to their fetuses and newborn babies has been brought down to just 4 percent.

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The Salt
3:02 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Confusion At The Yogurt Aisle? Time for Probiotics 101

Packages of Activa yogurt, which contain probiotics, on a grocery shelf in Chicago.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 8:51 am

Researchers are studying the ability of beneficial micro-organisms - or probiotics - to treat a range of conditions from eczema to inflammatory bowel disease. And the idea that "good" bacteria are healthy for us is gaining traction.

But the science is tricky.

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Middle East
3:01 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Across Continents, Syrian Family Seeks Assad's Ouster

Syrian activist Karam Nachar is pursuing a doctorate in Middle Eastern history at Princeton. His family is working on several fronts against the Syrian regime. His father, who has been jailed previously, helped form the Syrian National Council, an organization of dissidents.
Ozier Muhammad The New York Times

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 5:28 am

The Nachar family has long been on the radar of the Syrian government, and since last year, they have become even more visible.

When Syrians first started openly protesting inside the country in the spring of 2011, 29-year-old Syrian Karam Nachar was working on his doctorate in Middle East history at Princeton University. He joined demonstrations outside U.N. headquarters in New York.

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Politics
3:00 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Campaigns Play The Numbers To Tip Election Favor

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 5:28 am

There are two big factors that will determine the outcome of the presidential election: the economy and demographics.

The economy is weak and doesn't look likely to improve by much, but the makeup of the electorate on the other hand is highly dynamic. It continues a trend underway for years: a rapid rise in the number of people who are not Anglos in both the population and at the polls.

That percentage actually doubled between 1992 and 2008, says Alan Abramowitz, a political scientist at Emory University.

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The Two-Way
6:29 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Oscar-Winner Ernest Borgnine Dies At 95

Oscar-winning actor Ernest Borgnine died Sunday. He was 95.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 7:17 am

Ernest Borgnine, the larger-than-life actor with the affable, gap-toothed grin, known for often villainous roles, has died, according to spokesman Harry Flynn. He was 95.

Flynn told the Associated Press that Borgnine died of renal failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with his wife and children at his side.

Borgnine won the best-actor Oscar in 1955 for playing against type as a lovesick butcher in Marty.

The AP reports:

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Your Money
5:03 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Raising Minimum Wage: A Help Or Harm?

Wendy Brown of Schenectady, N.Y., holds a sign before an Occupy Albany rally pushing for a raise in New York's minimum wage on May 29, 2012.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 8:55 pm

Back in 1912, Massachusetts became the first place in America to introduce a minimum wage, but it would take another quarter century before a national minimum wage was set.

President Franklin Roosevelt made it law in 1938, that any hourly worker had to be paid at least 25 cents an hour. It was revolutionary, and very few countries had anything like it.

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The Two-Way
4:05 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Barney Frank Gets Married; The Bridegrooms Wore Black

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass., left) and his longtime partner Jim Ready got married in Massachusetts on Saturday.
Jaime E. Connolly AP

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 6:50 am

The first openly gay congressman is now the first sitting congressman to be in a same-sex marriage. Democratic Rep. Barney Frank married his longtime partner, James Ready, in a ceremony officiated by Massachusetts Gov. Deval L. Patrick on Saturday.

The setting was low-key — a Marriott hotel in suburban Boston — and the ceremony lasted less than five minutes. Attendees including Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. John Kerry lent suitable gravitas.

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