Every week, a cluster of stories comes to define the landscape of news media. These can be stories of international scope or local intimacy, but for their own distinctive reasons, they all offer narratives defined almost in real time.
To get a better grasp on the hectic pace of current events, it's often vital to turn to another kind of narrative — our favorite kind: books. That's why each week we'll invite authors to suggest a book that somehow deepens, contextualizes or offers an entirely new angle on one of the week's major headlines.
I threw out my back in September playing squash and went to the doctor. She sent me down the hall for X-rays. I may need more of them.
So I'm curious, how much does an X-ray cost? It sounds like a simple question. In most places, it's impossible to find out, but I live in Massachusetts, where a new state law says insurers must be able to tell members, in advance, how much a test, treatment or surgical procedure will cost.
In the movie Prisoners, now in theaters, a detective investigates the abduction of two young girls. Things get a little more complicated when the father of one of the girls takes matters into his own hands, kidnapping and torturing the man he thinks is responsible.
Health care insurance is designed to pay the bills but when we're faced with a life-threatening illness, what really sustains us? Writer Nancy Slonim Aronie was loathe to turn to religion, so she was surprised by what she found next door.
A woman walks amid both open and closed shops during a Sunday morning stroll at the Butte Montmartre in Paris, in July. Under France's Byzantine rules on Sunday trading, shops at the top of the hill are in a designated tourist area and so can open, but those at the bottom cannot.
Credit Christian Hartmann / Reuters/Landov
Home improvement retail chain Bricorama is one of several stores that have opened their doors on Sundays in defiance of the legal ban.
Credit Bertrand Guay / AFP/Getty Images
Dozens of trade union members and workers demonstrate in front of an open shopping mall in Paris last year. Labor groups are leading the push to keep the ban on Sunday work.
There's a fight going on for the soul of France. Since 1906, Sunday has been deemed a collective day of rest in the country, and French law only allows stores to open on Sundays under very specific conditions — for example, if they're in a high tourist area. Sunday work is also tightly controlled.
But some people are questioning the sense of such a tradition in a languishing economy and 24/7 world.
Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (left) is welcomed by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, during a hearing about mental health parity rules Thursday. A new rule issued by the Obama administration aims to increase parity for how insurers handle mental health issues.
Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 7:28 pm
Many health insurers must treat coverage of mental health and substance abuse in the same way they handle treatments for physical illness, according to a new rule issued Friday by the Obama administration.
Robert "Heshy" Bucholz is seen in an undated photo provided by Bucholz. A member of the Modern Whig party, Bucholz campaigned door to door and beat his Democratic opponent 36-24 to earn a four-year term as an election judge in Philadelphia's Rhawnhurst section.
Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 3:46 pm
After winning an election on a platform of pragmatism and compromise, Robert "Heshy" Bucholz, 39, is set to become what many believe will be the first Whig to hold elected office in Philadelphia since before the Civil War. A member of the upstart Modern Whig Party, Bucholz won the post of judge of elections in one of the city's wards.
Two Democratic congressmen have formally asked the Labor Department's Inspector General to investigate "allegations of misconduct by doctors and lawyers working on behalf of the coal industry" and their roles in the denials of benefits for coal miners stricken with black lung disease.