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Deceptive Cadence
12:25 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

St. Louis native Kevin Puts wins music Pulitzer for World War I opera 'Silent Night'

Troy Cook (left) as Father Palmer and John Robert Lindsey as Jonathan Dale in the Minnesota Opera production of Silent Night, which won composer Kevin Puts the Pulitzer Prize for music.
Michal Daniel Minnesota Opera

Originally published on Mon April 16, 2012 6:38 pm

New York-based composer and Peabody Institute faculty member Kevin Puts has won the Pulitizer Prize for music with Silent Night, his first opera. The work received its world premiere in November in at Minnesota Opera in St. Paul.

Pulitzer officials described Silent Night as "a stirring opera that recounts the true story of a spontaneous cease-fire among Scottish, French and Germans during World War I, displaying versatility of style and cutting straight to the heart."

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Animals
4:56 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

White-Nose Syndrome: A scourge in the bat caves

A little brown bat with white-nose syndrome hangs in Greeley Mine, Vt., in March 2009. The disease is spreading across the country, currently affecting bat populations in 19 states.
Marvin Moriarty U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Originally published on Thu April 5, 2012 2:01 pm

A disease that has killed more than 5.5 million bats in the eastern United States and Canada is making its way west. White-nose syndrome has now been diagnosed in three Missouri bats — the first confirmed cases west of the Mississippi. And scientists say it won't stop there.

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The Salt
11:47 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Feds to decide on banning BPA from food and other products

Environmental groups say a ban would protect consumers from the health effects of BPA that leaches from products including some soup cans.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 4:26 pm

UPDATE 4:23 p.m.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has denied a call to ban the plastic additive BPA from food packaging. The action comes after government scientists found little reason to think people are being harmed by the chemical.

The FDA was responding to a petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council, which called for the ban on BPA, also known as bisphenol A, from any use where it comes in contact with food.

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The Two-Way
9:51 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Mega Millions Mania: What if you win? Then what do you do?

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 11:27 am

Everybody, it seems, is talking about tonight's Mega Millions lottery drawing because the jackpot's up to a record $640 million. (Update at 12:15 p.m. ET: Officials just increased the estimated jackpot, which began today at an already record $540 million.)

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Shots - Health Blog
2:54 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Supreme Court Cheat Sheet Day 3: Scalia Unplugged

Activists gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday as the court hears a third day of arguments on President Obama's health care law.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 3:43 pm

On the final morning of its three-day health care law extravaganza, the U.S. Supreme Court wrestled with the question of whether parts of the 2010 federal statute can survive if the justices strike down its central tenet: the individual insurance requirement.

In other words, if the nine justices find the insurance mandate unconstitutional when they rule by June, would that mean that the entire law also fails the constitutionality test?

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Shots - Health Blog
10:44 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Court looks at whether mandate can separate from rest of health law

If the Supreme Court rules that the health insurance mandate is unconstitutional, does that invalidate the rest of the law?
Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 11:01 pm

In its second-to-last argument over the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ponders a what-if.

Specifically, if the justices decide that Congress exceeded its constitutional authority in enacting the part of the law that requires most Americans to either have health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty, does that invalidate the rest of the law? And if not, how much, if any, of the rest of the law should it strike down?

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Shots - Health Blog
5:23 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Supreme Court cheat sheet: A quick guide to the Day 2 arguments

Opponents and supporters of President Obama's health care overhaul rallied outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Bob Mason shows support for the Tea Party by dressing in costume as one of the Founding Fathers.
John Rose NPR

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 7:11 pm

A clearly divided U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday took up the centerpiece of President Obama's health care law: its requirement that by 2014 individuals have insurance coverage or face a penalty.

In contrast to Monday's dense and technical arguments, Tuesday's session was filled with sharp rhetorical volleys and clever analogies. Here are some of the more telling exchanges between the lawyers and the high court justices.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:21 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Justices Tackle The Big Question: Can Congress Force You To Buy Insurance?

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will consider whether Congress can require people to buy health insurance.
Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 3:25 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court gets to the heart of the health care arguments Tuesday. Almost exactly two years after Congress passed the Obama health care overhaul, the justices are hearing legal arguments testing the constitutionality of the so-called health care mandate — so-called because those words actually do not appear in the law.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:43 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Justices seem intent to get to the heart of the health care law

Members of the public line up Monday morning as the Supreme Court begins three days of arguments on the health care overhaul law signed by President Obama in Washington.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 4:09 pm

  • Listen to Nina Totenberg and Ari Shapiro talk about Monday's arguments


Does a federal law stretching back to 1867 bar the Supreme Court from deciding on the merits of the administration's health law right now?

The court on Monday heard the first arguments in a historic three-day session that could decide the fate of the Obama administration's signature domestic achievement.

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Environment
9:10 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Pipe down! That noise might affect your plants

Pinon pine trees like this one dominate Rattlesnake Canyon.
Jeff Mitton

Originally published on Sun March 25, 2012 11:01 pm

Researchers haven't given much thought to the effect of noise and noise pollution on plants. After all, plants don't have ears — at least, not the kind you hear with — so there doesn't seem to be much point. But thanks to ecologist Clinton Francis, that could be about to change.

Francis is a postdoctoral researcher at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in North Carolina. But he has spent the past few years in northwestern New Mexico, studying noise pollution in Rattlesnake Canyon.

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