Shots - Health Blog
4:20 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Medicare Enrollment Comes Sooner This Year

The open enrollment period for Medicare beneficiaries is under way earlier this year — one of many upcoming changes.

Anne de Haas iStockphoto.com

If you're a senior on Medicare — or an adult child responsible for a senior on Medicare — here's something you should know: The annual "open enrollment" period for joining or changing prescription drug or private health plans is already under way.

"It's much earlier this year. It started on Oct. 15, and it's going to stop on Dec. 7," says Nancy Metcalf, a senior editor and health expert at Consumer Reports. "So you have your window right now."

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Around the Nation
4:19 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Labor Worries Rise As Planting Season Nears In Ala.

Farmer Scott Allgood, front, of Allgood, Ala., listens during a meeting of farmers and state officials to discuss the impact of the Alabama Immigration law on their livelihoods in Oneonta, Ala.

Dave Martin AP

Originally published on Tue October 25, 2011 11:26 pm

Alabama farmers are facing a labor crisis because of the state's new immigration law as both legal and undocumented migrant workers have fled the state since the strict new rules went into effect last month.

So far, piecemeal efforts to match the unemployed or work release inmates to farm jobs are not panning out, and farmers are asking state lawmakers to do something before the spring planting season.

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Carrie Kahn is NPR's international correspondent based in Mexico City, Mexico. She covers Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America. Kahn's reports can be heard on NPR's award-winning news programs including All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition.

Prior to her post in Mexico Kahn had been a National Correspondent based in Los Angeles since joining NPR in 2003. During that time Kahn often reported on and from Mexico, most recently covering the country's presidential election in 2012. She was the first NPR reporter into Haiti after the devastating earthquake in early 2010, and has returned to the country six times in the two years since to detail recovery and relief efforts, and the political climate.

Election 2012
4:00 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Latino Republicans Find Party A Tough Sell

President Obama, seen here in North Chesterfield, Va., last week, is on a campaign swing through the West this week, making stops in California, Nevada and Colorado — states with significant Hispanic populations.

Jay Paul Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 24, 2011 6:03 pm

President Obama is on a campaign swing through the West this week, making stops in California, Nevada and Colorado — all states where Hispanic voters will play a pivotal role in next year's election.

Obama has lost popularity with Latinos recently, mostly due to the economy. But Hispanic voters looking for alternatives find problems with the Republican slate as well.

GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain recently said he'd "electrify" the U.S.-Mexico border fence "with a sign on it on the other side that says it can kill you."

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Crisis In The Housing Market
4:00 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Housing Crisis A Hot Topic For Presidential Hopefuls

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, businessman Herman Cain, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann participate in a Republican presidential debate last week in Las Vegas.

Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 24, 2011 6:03 pm

Home prices across the U.S. have dropped 30 percent from their peaks, a downturn that has sapped trillions of dollars in wealth from Americans. Not surprisingly, it's a hot topic for presidential candidates this campaign season. But so far, new ideas about how to fix the crisis have been scarce.

On Monday, President Obama is visiting Nevada, where he's expected to announce his administration's latest proposals on housing. The state is at the epicenter of the downturn, with the latest reports showing home prices and sales numbers continuing to slip.

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National Security
4:00 am
Mon October 24, 2011

U.S. Military Boosts Clean Energy, With Startup Help

Lance Cpl. Dakota Hicks, from Laharpe, Ill., connects a radio battery to a portable solar panel system in Sangin District, Afghanistan.

William Price Small AP

Originally published on Mon October 24, 2011 6:03 pm

With a bill of about $15 billion a year the U.S. military is the largest energy user in the country by far, so the Defense Department has been finding alternative ways to meet its energy needs with help from Silicon Valley.

But this partnership between the military and clean tech companies is taking some heat in the midst of discussions about Solyndra, the failed solar panel manufacturer, and the riskiness of green startups.

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World
3:49 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Crews Dig For Survivors After Deadly Quake In Turkey

Rescue workers in eastern Turkey pulled a handful of survivors Monday from the rubble of Sunday's powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake, which killed at least 270 people and injured hundreds more.

As aftershocks continued to rock the area, four people in worst-hit Ercis were extracted from the mounds of debris left by Sunday's quake. Dozens more were thought trapped but still alive.

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Africa
3:00 am
Mon October 24, 2011

After Liberation, Challenges Ahead For Libya

Libya's liberation was declared over the weekend, and residents of Sirte, Moammar Gadhafi's battered hometown, are beginning to return to their homes.

U.S.
3:00 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Clinton Recounts 'Comprehensive' Talks In Pakistan

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has just returned to the U.S. after a weeklong trip through Central Asia. Most of her stops were associated with two issues: the war in Afghanistan, and frayed relations with Pakistan. Clinton described her talks with U.S. and Pakistani military leaders as very comprehensive.

Sports
3:00 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Keys To Rangers' Game 4 Win: 1 Swing, 112 Pitches

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, host: The Texas Rangers beat the St. Louis Cardinals four to nothing in Arlington, Texas last night. The win evens the series at two games apiece. The keys to the Rangers' victory were a single swing to the bat on offense and 112 pitches from their starter, Derek Holland. NPR's Mike Pesca was at the ballpark and filed this report.

MIKE PESCA: Mike Napoli - Napoli. It's fun to say. Napoli.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Napoli. Napoli. Napoli. Napoli.

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