National

Shots - Health News
5:31 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Costly Hepatitis C Pill Shreds Drug Industry Sales Record

Sovaldi, a daily oral treatment for hepatitis C, costs $1,000 a pill.
Courtesy of Gilead Sciences

The launch of Sovaldi, the $1,000-a-day pill for hepatitis C, is shaping up as the most successful ever.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the pill in December. And then Gilead Sciences was off to the races. The company said it sold $2.27 billion worth of Sovaldi in the quarter that ended March 31. $2.27 billion!

The boffo number beat Wall Street's estimate for the quarter by more than $1 billion.

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Shots - Health News
5:14 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Why Are We Spiteful, Even Though It Bites Us Back?

Angelina Jolie plays the spiteful protagonist in an upcoming movie called "Maleficent," based on "Sleeping Beauty."
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures USA

Maybe you turn up your music when your neighbor complains about the noise.

Or maybe you curse a baby princess because you didn't get invited to her christening, as in "Sleeping Beauty" and its latest incarnation, the upcoming movie "Maleficent."

To see spite in its purest form, try brunch in New York. At the hippest restaurants, patrons will linger at their tables long after they've paid the bill, just to show those losers on the wait list who's boss – even though they're wasting their own time in the process.

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Shots - Health News
4:26 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Education May Help Insulate The Brain Against Traumatic Injury

Proust and algebra may not sound like brain protection, but higher levels of education correlate with cognitive reserve.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 4:36 pm

A little education goes a long way toward ensuring you'll recover from a serious traumatic brain injury. In fact, people with lots of education are seven times more likely than high school dropouts to have no measurable disability a year later.

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Monkey See
4:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

On Television, More Transgender Characters Come Into Focus

Laverne Cox plays Sophia on Netflix's Orange Is The New Black, one of several current shows exploring the lives of transgender characters.
Paul Schiraldi Netflix

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 5:24 pm

Over the past year or so, I've looked at how TV's expanding universe represents gays and lesbians and working women. This piece about transgender representation feels like an important part of the same project.

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Business
4:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Blockbuster Trades Are Changing The Face Of Pharmaceuticals

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 5:24 pm

Pharmaceutical companies are suddenly trading entire divisions the way sports teams swap players. Glaxo, Novartis and Ely Lily are all involved in a complicated deal announced Tuesday, and so far this year, five deals exceeding $2 billion have been announced. What's driving the deal-making?

Architecture
4:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

New Yorkers Protest Long Shadows Cast By New Skyscrapers

The shadow of One57 looms large over Central Park in New York City.
Courtesy photo

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 5:59 pm

Skyscrapers are a hallmark of large cities. Modern engineering makes it possible to erect something as tall as the Empire State Building on a very small footprint. Although developers love these buildings, in New York — the city of skyscrapers — residents have been upset at the shadows they cast over public spaces like Central Park.

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The Two-Way
3:05 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Georgia Law OKs Guns In Schools, Churches

Andrea Teichner protests Georgia's new gun law at a rally at Atlanta's Central Presbyterian Church, on Wednesday.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 5:23 pm

Georgians will now be able to carry firearms in such places as schools, bars, churches and government buildings under a sweeping new law signed by the governor on Wednesday.

The Safe Carry Protection Act, also known to critics as the "guns everywhere bill," was signed by Gov. Nathan Deal, who said it will allow "people who follow the rules [to] protect themselves and their families from people who don't follow the rules.

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Education
11:23 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Can High-Quality Preschool Make A Big Difference Later On?

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 12:24 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we turn to education for the youngest Americans. We're talking preschool here. President Obama has challenged the country to provide what he calls high-quality preschool for all 4-year-olds. He mentioned this in his last two State of the Union addresses. Here he is earlier this year.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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Around the Nation
11:23 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Kansas Residents To First Lady: Stay Out

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 12:24 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're going to continue talking about education. In a few minutes, we will hear about a new push for high quality pre-school, and we'll find out what that looks like in Tulsa, Ok. But first we go to high school and a showdown in Topeka, Ka.

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Education
11:23 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Propronents Of Affirmative Action Losing The Battle?

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 12:24 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I am Michel Martin. We're going to spend some time today talking about some pressing issues in education - issues that some might find surprisingly emotional and intense.

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Wed April 23, 2014

The Joys Of Spoiling

Game of Thrones: spoiler magnet.
Courtesy of HBO

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 5:41 pm

In the age of the Internet, the act of spoiling is easier than ever before. Through live-tweeting and message boards and comments sections, the information is out there and spreads quickly.

But why do some people enjoy revealing certain information about stories — surprises and finales and more — before others have had the opportunity to experience it?

We could tell you what we think now. But that would spoil the rest of this story.

Spoliation Nation

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Monkey See
8:47 am
Wed April 23, 2014

What Do 'The Simpsons' Look Like In Lego?

The Simpsons enters the world of Lego in the upcoming episode "Brick Like Me."
Fox

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 9:26 am

Fox has started to release images of the Simpsons from the upcoming episode "Brick Like Me," which is — get this — the 550th episode. That means you could watch a different episode of The Simpsons every day for roughly a year and a half, weekends and weekdays, before you ran out of new ones.

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Shots - Health News
7:43 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Dirty Money: A Microbial Jungle Thrives In Your Wallet

Even some euro bank notes may need a good scrubbing. Like dollar bills, these notes are made from cotton and they harbor an array of bacteria.
Thomas Leuthard The Preiser Project/Flickr

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 2:44 pm

You may have heard that dollar bills harbor trace amounts of drugs.

But those greenbacks in your wallet are hiding far more than cocaine and the flu. They're teeming with life.

Each dollar bill carries about 3,000 types of bacteria on its surface, scientists have found. Most are harmless. But cash also has DNA from drug-resistant microbes. And your wad of dough may even have a smudge of anthrax and diphtheria.

In other words, your wallet is a portable petri dish.

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The Two-Way
7:42 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Stowaway Teen May Have Been Trying To Reunite With His Mom

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 11:09 am

The latest word about the teenager who survived a ride Sunday from California to Hawaii in the frigid wheel well of a jet is that he may have hoped to eventually get to Somalia to be with his mother.

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U.S.
7:38 am
Wed April 23, 2014

In Illinois, A Town That's Half-Destroyed But Filled With Hope

Washington, Ill., is full of both optimistic signs and lots of construction crews as the town rebuilds after a half-mile-wide tornado devastated the area in November.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 3:12 pm

Washington is just starting to rebuild.

Much of the central Illinois town was wiped away by a half-mile-wide tornado in November. In all, 1,108 homes were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable — a huge share of the housing stock in a city of 15,000.

"Early on, people were asking me how long it was going to take to rebuild the city, and I said we'll do it in a year," says Mayor Gary Manier. "That was wishful thinking."

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