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Shots - Health News
3:18 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Self-Employed And With Lots Of Questions About Health Care

Illustration by Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 2:36 pm

The health care exchanges may be open, but there's no question they're still kind of a mess.

"The rollout has been excruciatingly awful for way too many people," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius conceded to the Senate Finance Committee last week.

But mess or not, the law is going forward, people are trying to use it, and they have questions. Here are some of yours, and our answers.

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World
6:11 pm
Sun November 10, 2013

Lighting Up The Investigative Path With Polonium-210

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat boards a helicopter in Ramallah, the West Bank, for the start of his journey to a hospital in France on Oct. 29, 2004. He died 2 weeks later.
Scott Nelson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 10, 2013 6:58 pm

With a Swiss forensics investigation pointing to polonium-210 as a possible cause of Yasser Arafat's death, the radioactive element is back in the news.

Confirming whether the Palestinian leader died from an assassination attempt will be difficult, given polonium's short half-life and the fact that Arafat has been dead nine years, science writer Deborah Blum says.

Whatever happened to Arafat, polonium does have a deadly history.

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Around the Nation
6:11 pm
Sun November 10, 2013

Merchant Marines See New Obstacles In Food Aid Proposal

The Port of Los Angeles is the busiest port in North American, and it's where many merchant mariners bid for jobs. But a proposed change to the U.S. food aid program could mean shipping out less food to developing countries, and fewer jobs.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 9:54 am

When it comes to shipping in the United States, there's a bit of a paradox. Even as U.S. exports have grown, the U.S. share of shipping has declined dramatically.

The traffic in and out of U.S. ports increases every year, but most of those ships fly foreign flags. In fact, the number of U.S. flagged ships is barely one quarter of what it was in the 1950s. That means fewer and fewer jobs for the men and women who work on those ships: the United States Merchant Marine.

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The Two-Way
4:36 pm
Sun November 10, 2013

Malala Yousafzai's Book Is Banned In Pakistani Private Schools

Malala Yousafzai's book, I Am Malala, has been banned in private schools across Pakistan.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 2:50 pm

An organization representing 40,000 private schools in Pakistan says it has decided to ban I Am Malala, a memoir written by Malala Yousafzai, the teenager shot by the Taliban for promoting the education of girls.

The Associated Press spoke to Adeeb Javedani, president of the All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association, who said Malala was "representing the West, not us."

The AP adds:

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Shots - Health News
3:07 pm
Sun November 10, 2013

Why Can't Ted Stay Out Of The Emergency Room?

A nurse's phone call at the right time can prevent a trip to the ER.
W. Steve Shepard Jr. iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 8:14 am

A 40-something patient I'll call Ted has a list of conditions that would have tongue-tied Carl Sagan. Even though I see Ted in my clinic every month, he still winds up visiting the emergency room 20 times per year.

Yes, 20.

Before he became my patient, he went even more frequently. So, the current situation, bad as it may be, represents halting progress.

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