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Around the Nation
3:26 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Case Sheds Light On The Murky World Of Asbestos Litigation

Companies have set aside more than $30 billion for victims of mesothelioma, a form of cancer linked to asbestos exposure, since 1980.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 6:00 pm

This is a case about a bankrupt company, legal shenanigans, and a rare type of cancer.

You may have seen TV commercials about mesothelioma, mainly caused by inhaling asbestos — minerals many companies once used in insulation and other products.

According to a 2011 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, companies have set aside more than $30 billion for mesothelioma victims since the 1980s. Asbestos lawsuits have played a role in about 100 companies' going bankrupt.

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Shots - Health News
2:50 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Higher Blood Pressure At 18 Means Hardening Arteries At 40

Even if you're under 25, you should still know your blood pressure, a study says.
Rudyanto Wijaya iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 12:41 pm

Young people in their teens and early 20s probably aren't thinking about heart disease. But maybe it's time they did.

People who have slightly higher blood pressure when they're 18 to 25 are more likely to have high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries in their 40s, a study says. About one quarter of the people in this study were in that group.

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Parallels
2:18 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Iran's Nuclear Talks: What To Expect Next

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (right) speaks during a joint press conference with his Swedish counterpart Carl Bildt in Tehran on Tuesday. Bildt is visiting to try to bolster the temporary nuclear deal on Iran's nuclear program.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

The next round of Iranian nuclear talks with world powers is fast approaching, and there's still a lot of skepticism in the air over the prospects for a comprehensive deal.

Iran will sit down with the U.S. and five other major powers in Vienna on Feb. 18 as they try to hammer out a long-term agreement on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program. By most every estimate, it won't be easy to build on the success of a temporary deal drawn up last November given the lingering, visceral mistrust between the United States and Iran.

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The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Lawyer's Local-Market Super Bowl Spot Is An On-Fire Smash

Georgia attorney Jamie Casino's TV ad featuring a sledgehammer, fire and a personal story of vindication has won fans online with its over-the-top production style.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 4:09 pm

It only played in the TV market near Savannah, Ga. – but an attorney's commercial that's being called "epic" and "amazing" has racked up more than 2.7 million hits on YouTube. Personal injury lawyer Jamie Casino bought a full two minutes for the ad, which he wrote and directed.

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Shots - Health News
2:06 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Are We Paying $8 Billion Too Much For Mammograms?

Some of the money spent on annual mammograms might do more good if it went toward risk-based screening, a doctor says.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 4:09 pm

The question of how often women should get mammograms remains contested, with advisory panels and medical societies disagreeing on how early and how often they should be used to find breast cancer.

But those discussions rarely mention cost. And the financial implications are huge.

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The Salt
2:02 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Sweet Tooth Gone Bad: Why 22 Teaspoons Of Sugar Per Day Is Risky

Even seemingly healthful foods can contain unexpected spoonfuls of sugar.
Meg Vogel/NPR

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 6:00 pm

We've written lots lately about the potentially addictive qualities of sugar and the public policy efforts to limit consumption.

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The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Congress Sends 5-Year Farm Bill To White House

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 6:09 am

With a vote of 68-32, the Senate approved a sweeping farm bill Tuesday that will set rules and practices for American agriculture for five years. The bill does away with controversial direct cash payments made to farmers under a subsidy system, replacing it with crop insurance.

The provisions in the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 bear signs of compromise between Republicans and Democrats, on issues ranging from food aid programs to budget cuts.

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It's All Politics
1:45 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Surgeon General Pick's Tweets Annoy GOP, But Not Enough To Block Him

Dr. Vivek Murthy, President Obama's nominee to be the next U.S. surgeon general, testifies Tuesday on Capitol Hill before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on his nomination.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 9:50 am

Boston physician Vivek Murthy was expected to run into political headwinds Tuesday during his Senate confirmation hearing for the post of the nation's top doc — surgeon general.

Murthy, 36, the founder of a national physicians group that worked to pass the Affordable Care Act, was seen by some as vulnerable to GOP attacks because of his political work, his youth and his less-than-a-lifetime of public health experience — not to mention a few impolitic tweets guaranteed to rile conservatives.

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Shots - Health News
1:30 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Drugmakers And NIH Band Together To Speed Up Research

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.
NIH

The National Institutes of Health is teaming up with major drug companies in a new effort to identify disease-related molecules and biological processes that could lead to future medicines.

The public-private partnership is called AMP, for the "Accelerating Medicines Partnership," and it will focus first on Alzheimer's disease, Type 2 diabetes, and two autoimmune disorders: rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

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The Two-Way
12:14 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Navy Investigating Alleged Cheating By Nuclear Trainees

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 2:14 pm

The Navy is investigating alleged cheating on tests by sailors training on nuclear reactors and propulsion at a Navy school, senior navy officials at the Pentagon tell NPR's Tom Bowman.

The extent of the cheating is unknown, but the AP reports that the cheating did not involve nuclear weapons so it "is not comparable to the Air Force's investigation of alleged cheating by officers who operate land-based nuclear missiles."

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