I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now to matters of personal finance as we get close to Valentine's Day, which is Friday. And don't say I didn't remind you. Romance is in the air, and you might be looking for ways to touch your beloved's heart. But some scammers are thinking about ways to touch your wallet.
Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 3:56 pm
At weddings, guests tweet real-time photos of the festivities to friends far away. At sporting events, fans follow scores of games in other cities. In classrooms, students text with friends in other classes and parents out in the world. At funerals, mourners send out selfies to pals in other places.
Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 4:11 pm
Carl Bechdel and Dan Miller started looking for a family plan on the Pennsylvania health insurance marketplace last fall.
After submitting their application for a bronze-level plan to Highmark Blue Shield in early December, the couple became concerned when the end of the month approached and they hadn't heard from the insurer.
Bechdel called customer service and finally learned the reason: The company doesn't offer family coverage to same-sex couples.
Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 12:27 pm
Reddit, Tumblr and Mozilla are among nearly 6,000 websites participating in "The Day We Fight Back," an online protest Tuesday against government surveillance.
The goal of the protest, organizers say, is partly to pass a federal bill called the USA Freedom Act, which is intended to rein in the mass surveillance programs by the National Security Agency that were exposed by Edward Snowden.
Governments, schools and companies all keep track of your race. The stats they collect are used to track the proportion of blacks and whites who graduate from school, for example. They tell us how many people identify themselves as Native American or Asian. They help us to measure health disparities between races. But there's a problem with all of those statistics and with the deeper way that we think about race. NPR's social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam is here to explain. Hi, Shankar.
Let's say you're skiing in the backcountry, looking for some powder — but instead, you trigger an avalanche.
If you have an avalanche air bag pack strapped to your back, you just yank the cord. That deploys the air bag, which keeps you close to the surface and easier to dig out, says Andy Wenberg with Backcountry Access, one of several companies making the devices. When deployed, his company's version of the air bag comes out like wings.
"The whole idea when you deploy that thing in an avalanche is you're avoiding burial death," he says.
Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 7:50 pm
The Obama administration says businesses employing 50-99 people now have until Jan. 1, 2016, to provide health insurance, rolling back part of the requirement known as the employer mandate. Under the Affordable Care Act, larger companies must offer the coverage in 2015.
NPR's Julie Rovner filed this update for our Newscast desk:
A coldly scientific decision to put down a giraffe at the Copenhagen Zoo has outraged animal lovers around the world. Yesterday, the zoo killed a young male giraffe named Marius, conducted a public autopsy and fed the carcass to the lions. The animal wasn't stricken by illness or injury. The intent was to prevent inbreeding. The animal's death caused an uproar on social media and among animal rights activists who say that there were ways to save its life.