NPR News



Wed May 6, 2015
Shots - Health News

Fla. Governor Leaves Meeting With U.S. Health Secretary Empty-Handed

Governor Rick Scott (R-Fla.) spoke with reporters Wedenesday, in Washington, D.C., after a meeting with Sylvia Burwell, head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Florida Gov. Rick Scott paid a high-stakes visit to Washington D.C. on Wednesday, in hopes of persuading the Obama administration to continue a program that sends more than $1 billion in federal funds to Florida each year to help reimburse hospitals for the costs of caring for the state's poor. Uncertainty about the future of the program, slated to end June 30, has created a hole in the state budget and paralyzed Florida's legislature.

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Wed May 6, 2015

Boston Archdiocese, Catholic Parishioners Battle Over Church Eviction

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 9:30 pm

Jon Rogers is hugged by his wife, Maryellen, following services at St.Frances Xavier Cabrini Church in Scuitate, Mass., on June 22, 2014.
Jessica Rinaldi Boston Globe via Getty Images

When walking into the front vestibule of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church in the seaside town of Scituate, Mass. it doesn't look or sound like the average church.

"What the hell are you doing?" an actor from The Young and the Restless says on a big-screen TV with two recliners set up in front of it. They're all arranged right next to a stained-glass window.

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Wed May 6, 2015

Oil Prices Are Rising Again, But Will They Keep Going Up?

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 5:55 pm

Oil pump jacks in Williston, N.D., in December. Oil prices have been on the rise, but some analysts say the global economic slowdown, fracking and the rise of alternative energy will mean less demand and lower prices.
Eric Gay AP

Oil prices hit a new high for the year Wednesday — closing at just under $61 a barrel. They've been rallying for a month, but nobody's predicting $4-per-gallon gasoline anytime soon. And some analysts say weak demand will send oil prices down again.

The recent rise follows an historic drop in prices, which were as low as about $45 a barrel less than two months ago.

So to understand what's going on now, let's look at what sent prices tumbling in the first place

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Wed May 6, 2015

Las Vegas: Betting On New Teachers But Coming Up Short

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 5:55 pm

Jessica Adams formerly worked at the Planet Hollywood casino and resort. Now she teaches fourth grade at Robert Forbuss Elementary School.
Eric Westervelt NPR

Beyond Sin City's casino strip, what happens in Vegas also includes an education system in crisis. Its schools are severely overcrowded, as we reported Wednesday on Morning Edition. And Nevada and Vegas' schools are ranked at or near the bottom nationally.

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Wed May 6, 2015
Goats and Soda

Smartphones Can Be Smart Enough To Find A Parasitic Worm

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 5:55 pm

The posterior end of the Loa loa worm is visible on the left. The disease-causing worm can now be located with a smartphone/microscope hookup. That's a big help because a drug to treat river blindness can be risky if the patient is carrying the worm.
BSIP UIG via Getty Images

Smartphones aren't simply an amazing convenience. In Africa they can be used to make a lifesaving diagnosis. In fact, scientists are hoping to use a souped-up smartphone microscope to help them eradicate a devastating disease called river blindness.

Onchocerciasis, as the disease is also known, is caused by a parasite that's spread by flies. Thirty years ago, it was simply devastating in parts of Africa, like Mali.

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