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Shots - Health News
2:40 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Doctors' Billing System Stays Stuck In The 1970s For Now

The health care industry spent millions preparing for a huge upgrade of coding for medical diagnoses and procedures that has now been delayed.
Courtesy of Intelicode

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 10:35 am

For doctors, hospitals and insurance companies, all the complexities of medicine get boiled down into a system of codes.

These codes are used to track and pay for every procedure you can think of. There's 813.02 for mending a broken forearm, and 800.09 for treating a concussion. There's even 960.0 for being hurt in an "unarmed fight or brawl."

But this coding system is now four decades old. The codes were scheduled to be upgraded in October, but last week Congress delayed the switch.

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Parallels
2:37 am
Thu April 10, 2014

In Ukraine's Rust Belt, A Mix Of Nostalgia And Nationalism

In the rundown Ukrainian town of Perewalsk, near the Russian border, 80-year-old Lida Vasilivna has just planted a garden. "Business just went belly up," she says about her town's hard times, after asking, "Are you gonna put this granny on TV?"
Ari Shapiro/NPR

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 8:55 am

To say that the town of Perewalsk in eastern Ukraine has fallen on hard times would be an enormous understatement. The small industrial town near the Russian border is a collection of concrete buildings with no windows, falling-down houses and empty, abandoned factories; there's a chemical smell in the air.

In the middle of this dystopian landscape, there's an even more unexpected sight: an 80-year-old woman in a bright purple coat and headscarf, happily digging with a shovel in the dirt.

She introduces herself as Lida Vasilivna.

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Parallels
2:36 am
Thu April 10, 2014

A Reporter Reflects On Rwanda: 'It's Like A Madness Took Over'

NPR's Jackie Northam reporting from Rwanda during the country's genocide in 1994.
NPR

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 7:54 am

There was a thin mist in the early morning air when we set off for the Rwandan capital, Kigali, on April 11, 1994. The genocide had begun four days earlier.

There were no flights into the country, so I and three fellow journalists crossed into Rwanda from neighboring Burundi, hitching a ride with a French priest who was shuttling Tutsi nuns out of the country. He took us to the town of Butare, where a Belgian inn keeper rented us an old cream-colored Renault and drew us a map of how to get to Kigali.

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All Tech Considered
2:30 am
Thu April 10, 2014

No Laptops, No Wi-Fi: How One Cafe Fired Up Sales

"We saw a lot of customers come in, look for a table, not find one and leave," owner Jodi Whalen says. "It was money flowing out the door for us."
Annie Russell VPR

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 7:46 am

Customers chat, read the paper and order sandwiches and espresso drinks at the counter of August First Bakery & Cafe in Burlington, Vt., but there's something different here. Where there used to be the familiar glow of laptop screens and the clicking of keyboards, now the devices are banned.

"I was here working on my laptop when I looked over and saw that there's a sign that says 'laptop-free,' " says Luna Colt, a senior at the University of Vermont.

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Environment
5:48 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Why Do Some Clouds Drop Rain, While Others Don't?

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Recent storms in California haven't been enough to save the state from a serious drought. And now, the rainy season is winding down. Scientists are trying to understand why some storms unload lots of rain and snow in California and others don't. As Lauren Sommer reports from member station KQED in San Francisco, there could be a link to dust storms thousands of miles away.

LAUREN SOMMER, BYLINE: The sky over the Pacific Ocean is looking pretty ominous - big dark gray clouds in the distance.

I think it feels like rain.

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The Two-Way
5:09 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Turmoil in Ukraine Clouds The Region's Economic Outlook

When Americans envision the European economy, they may think of modern factories churning out sleek German cars and chocolatiers perfecting Belgian truffles.

That developed part of Europe is perking up. The International Monetary Fund said this week that, coming out of a crushing recession, Eurozone growth should be around 1.2 percent - sluggish but steady this year.

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Shots - Health News
5:03 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Why My Wife Didn't Choose A Double Mastectomy

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 6:51 pm

Yet another entertainment figure has gone public with her decision to have a double mastectomy after a breast cancer diagnosis. Samantha Harris is the latest in a series of entertainers who've decided on that surgery as treatment for the disease.

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All Tech Considered
4:08 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

What To Do Now That The Heartbleed Bug Exposed The Internet

The Heartbleed bug has exposed up to two-thirds of the Internet to a security vulnerability.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 10:27 am

With a name like Heartbleed, it's no surprise it's bad. A vulnerability in OpenSSL — the Internet's most commonly used cryptographic library — has been bleeding out information, 64 kilobytes at a time, since March 2012.

"I would classify it as possibly the top bug that has hit the Internet that I've encountered, because of it being so widespread, because it's so hard to detect," says Andy Grant, a security analyst at iSEC Partners.

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The Salt
4:08 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Denmark Kosher and Halal

Originally published on

In a conflict that pits animal welfare against religious rights, Denmark has ruled that all animals must be stunned before being killed, a move that effectively bans ritual slaughter in its purest form according to Muslim and Jewish tradition.

Before you ask...yes, this is the same country that recently made news for killing a giraffe at the zoo and dissecting it in public.

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Environment
4:08 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Federal Plan To Save Prairie Chickens Ruffles State Feathers

A male lesser prairie chicken in the Texas Panhandle. The bird's entire habitat includes parts of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
Jon McRoberts AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 4:29 pm

It's prairie chicken mating season!

Still, it's tough being a lesser prairie chicken these days. This type of grouse once spanned an enormous area, though now they survive mainly in pockets of Oklahoma and Kansas. Their numbers are plummeting; in 2012, the population dropped by half.

But after they were recently listed as a threatened species by the U.S. government, complaints of federal overreach and lawsuits have followed.

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