Health & Science

"Avoid visiting impoverished or overcrowded areas."

That phrase — initially included in the World Health Organization's statement of advice to visitors to Rio for the Olympic Games, has caused controversy in Brazil. Rio's mayor, among others, have condemned the recommendation, which some Brazilians feel unfairly stigmatizes poor residents and locks them out of tourist dollars during the Olympic games.

In Rio, "impoverished" areas refers to the urban neighborhoods known as "favelas."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Philadelphia has approved a tax on soda — and it's the first major U.S. city to do so. Now, a legal fight is brewing between the city and the soda industry.

The bill passed Philadelphia's City Council by a vote of 13-4.

Mayor Jim Kenney supported the tax. After the law passed, he called it "a historic investment in our neighborhoods and our education system."

It's been a rough week in the news. And it's been a rough week in comment sections ... and Facebook posts ... and Twitter.

If you, like us, could use a bit of Internet delight right now, consider this:

That's a tweet by 25-year-old Ben Eckersley, who lives near Manchester, England. He was visiting his grandmother's place to do laundry — he and his boyfriend don't have a dryer, he told the BBC.

This is what passes for good news about coral reefs these days: Around the world, some reefs aren't dying as quickly as scientists thought they would.

Will Genetic Advances Make Sex Obsolete?

Jun 16, 2016

Stanford law professor and bioethicist Hank Greely predicts that in the future most people in developed countries won't have sex to make babies. Instead they'll choose to control their child's genetics by making embryos in a lab.

Congress should move to slow spending in Medicare's drug benefit by adopting a package of changes that could save billions of dollars, but that would also add costs for insurers and have mixed effects on enrollees, an independent advisory commission said Wednesday.

Russia launched the world's biggest, most powerful icebreaker on Thursday in St. Petersburg.

The Arktika is 568 feet long and powered by two nuclear reactors. It can break through ice 13 feet deep, NPR's Mary Louise Kelly reports.

The ship set forth early, ahead of its planned 2017 launch, according to Sputnik News and the shipyard where the Arktika was built.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The American Red Cross spent a quarter of the money people donated after the 2010 Haiti earthquake — or almost $125 million — on its own internal expenses, far more than the charity previously had disclosed, according to a report released Thursday by Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley.

The report also says the charity's top officials stonewalled congressional investigators and released incomplete information about its Haiti program to the public. It concludes "there are substantial and fundamental concerns about [the Red Cross] as an organization."

Summer camp and mosquitoes go together like chicken and waffles, particularly in the South. But Zika virus may raise the stakes in the age-old struggle of campers versus pests. The mosquito species capable of carrying Zika can be found in much of the Southern United States.

Anxious parents need not panic; no Zika-infected mosquitoes have been identified in the country. Nonetheless, Tisha Bolger, board president of the American Camp Association, says camp administrators are particularly interested in what they can do to prevent mosquito bites this summer.

For months, scientists in Colombia have been working on a massive study.

They've been tracking the health of thousands of pregnant women to try to figure out key questions surrounding the Zika virus.

Now the team has published its first major findings, and they offer a glimmer of good news.

Scientists say that in a Swedish quarry, they've uncovered a meteorite unlike any other documented on the planet.

Its chemical makeup is unique among the 50,000 meteorites known on Earth, as Birger Schmitz of Sweden's Lund University tells The Two-Way. "This does not resemble anything ... even if we look at the big types that exist today and look at the broad ranges, this one falls completely outside of everything," he says.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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