4:10pm

Wed May 1, 2013
Shots - Health News

Second Thoughts On Medicaid From Oregon's Unique Experiment

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 6:48 pm

Two years ago, a landmark study found that having Medicaid health insurance makes a positive difference in people's lives.

Backers of the program have pointed to that study time and again in their push to encourage states to expand the program as part of the federal health law.

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3:51pm

Wed May 1, 2013
World

Why Chemical Weapons Have Been A Red Line Since World War I

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 6:48 pm

Soldiers with the British Machine Gun Corps wear gas masks in 1916 during World War I's first Battle of the Somme.
General Photographic Agency/Getty Images

President Obama has said that the use of chemical weapons could change the U.S. response to the Syrian civil war. But why this focus on chemical weapons when conventional weapons have killed tens of thousands in Syria?

The answer can be traced back to the early uses of poison gas nearly a century ago.

In World War I, trench warfare led to stalemates — and to new weapons meant to break through the lines.

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3:45pm

Wed May 1, 2013
Africa

S. African Leader Under Fire After Awkward Visit With Mandela

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 6:48 pm

In this image taken from video, South African President Jacob Zuma sits with ailing anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela on Monday. Mandela was hospitalized in late March with a lung infection, and in images from the visit, appeared largely unresponsive.
SABC AP

In South Africa, controversial images of a frail and ashen Nelson Mandela being visited by South Africa's current president aired on national television this week. Some people claimed it was a political publicity stunt.

The footage is fueling fresh debate about what is proper and what constitutes invasion of privacy regarding the ailing, 94-year-old former president and anti-apartheid legend.

President Jacob Zuma, accompanied by two other top officials of the governing ANC party, visited Mandela at his Johannesburg home on Monday.

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3:37pm

Wed May 1, 2013
It's All Politics

The Federal Deficit Is Actually Shrinking

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 12:33 pm

The Treasury Department announced this week it will pay down some of its debt for the first time in six years.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

During the housing bust, taxpayers were forced to bail out mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But thanks to the real estate recovery, Fannie Mae could end up paying tens of billions of dollars back to the Treasury this summer.

That's just one of the factors behind a better bottom line for the federal government. This week, the Treasury Department announced it will pay down some of its debt for the first time in six years.

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3:37pm

Wed May 1, 2013
Shots - Health News

A Sleep Gene Has A Surprising Role In Migraines

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 9:33 am

Bates experienced migraines as a child. She made this painting to depict how they felt to her.
Courtesy of Emily Bates

Mutations on a single gene appear to increase the risk for both an unusual sleep disorder and migraines, a team reports in Science Translational Medicine.

The finding could help explain the links between sleep problems and migraines. It also should make it easier to find new drugs to treat migraines, researchers say.

And for one member of the research team, Emily Bates, the discovery represents a personal victory.

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3:36pm

Wed May 1, 2013
The Two-Way

Justice: Prison Compassionate Release Programs Inconsistent

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 8:18 pm

Inmates file by a guard tower at California's Chino State Prison in 2010.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

"Compassionate release" programs that free inmates with terminal illnesses and limited life expectancies are poorly run and lack clear standards, the Department of Justice's inspector general said on Wednesday.

The Associated Press reports:

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2:20pm

Wed May 1, 2013
Shots - Health News

Mate Doesn't Have Your Back? That Boosts Depression Risk

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 8:21 am

Having a special someone won't fend off depression if that person doesn't have your back.
iStockphoto.com

Having a mate is supposed to be good for your mental health.

But if that mate is critical or can't be counted on when the going gets tough, that's worse than having no mate at all, researchers say.

"The quality of your relationships matters more than quantity when it comes to depression," says Dr. Alan Teo, a psychiatrist at the University of Michigan who led the study.

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2:16pm

Wed May 1, 2013
Afghanistan

Secret Cash To Afghan Leader: Corruption Or Just Foreign Aid?

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 6:48 pm

Afghan President Hamid Karzai acknowledged a report this week that the CIA has regularly been sending him money. Afghans seem to have mixed feelings. The president is shown here speaking at an event in Kabul on March 10.
S. SABAWOON EPA/Landov

After a report in The New York Times this week, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has acknowledged that the CIA has been secretly delivering bags of money to his office since the beginning of the war more than a decade ago.

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1:58pm

Wed May 1, 2013
The Two-Way

NASA Details Space Telescope's Cosmic Near Miss

This diagram shows Fermi and Cosmos 1805 on a collision course.
NASA

A new video reveals just how close NASA came last year to losing its $500 million Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in a narrowly averted collision with a defunct, Cold War-era Soviet spy satellite.

On March 29, 2012, Julie McEnery, the project scientist for Fermi, received an automatically generated email warning that the two satellites were due in just a few days to pass within 700 feet of one another as their respective orbits crossed.

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1:46pm

Wed May 1, 2013
The Salt

Chicken Diapers? Urban Farming Spawns Accessory Lines

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 9:19 am

Clucking all the way to the bank: A hen models a polka-dot diaper from MyPetChicken.com, a multimillion-dollar business that sells everything from chicken caviar treats to day-old birds.
Courtesy of MyPetChicken.com

There's free range and then there's free rein — around your house.

When Julie Baker's backyard birds started spending more time inside, it was tough to keep them clean. So she got innovative.

She sewed up a cloth diaper — chicken-sized, of course — added a few buttons and strapped it onto her little lady.

One thing led to another, and eventually, a business was born.

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