Shots - Health Blog
9:01 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

'I Wanted To Live': New Depression Drugs Offer Hope For Toughest Cases

Chris Stephens, 28, who has been battling depression all of his life, plays with his dogs at home in Concord, Calif., on Friday. After a dose of ketamine, Stephens says, "I actually wanted to do things. I wanted to live life."
Lianne Milton for NPR

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 6:52 am

A club drug called "Special K" is generating a lot of buzz among researchers who study depression.

That's because "Special K," which is actually an FDA-approved anesthetic named ketamine, can relieve even suicidal depression in a matter of hours. And it works on many patients who haven't responded to current antidepressants like Prozac.

Those traditional drugs, which act on the brain's serotonin system, can take more than a month to kick in, and don't work for up to 40 percent of people with major depression.

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Law
9:01 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

GOP Seeks Big Changes In Federal Prison Sentences

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 6:25 am

Every year, federal judges sentence more than 80,000 criminals. Those punishments are supposed to be fair — and predictable. But seven years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court threw a wrench into the system by ruling that the guidelines that judges use to figure out a prison sentence are only suggestions.

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Sports
9:01 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

It's A Good Time To Be An LA Clippers 'Superfan'

"Clipper Darrell" dances with the "Clipper Spirit" during a game against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California in 2002.
Lisa Blumenfeld Getty Images

For a long time, Los Angeles has been a Lakers town, but thanks to some of the NBA's brightest young stars it's now the perennially-ridiculed Clippers that have the better record, and much of the city's attention. That's especially gratifying for one die-hard Clippers fan.

Darrell Bailey, better known as "Clipper Darrell," has missed only one Clipper game in the past 11 seasons. "I was in the hospital," he says. "That's the only reason they kept me out."

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Report Prompts Calls To End Freddie Mac's Conflict Of Interest

A sign for Freddie Mac in front of its headquarters in McLean, Va.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Several U.S. lawmakers and prominent economists on Monday said Congress and the White House should end a financial conflict of interest at the taxpayer-owned mortgage company Freddie Mac.

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The Two-Way
3:00 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

?yllaeR 'Alyssa Talks Backwards' lariV seoG

Alyssa the backwards talker.
YouTube

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 3:18 pm

"Talent, odd it is," Yoda might say.

In one of those quirks we've come to like about the Web, a video called "Alyssa talking backwards. Poteau Oklahoma" that was posted last July is just now beginning to get some viral-style attention. She seems to be quite good at quickly saying — backwards — any word she's given.

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The Two-Way
2:45 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Death Toll Rises As Syria's Crisis Heads To U.N. Security Council

Syrian soldiers who defected join protesters in the al-Khaldiya neighborhood of the restive city of Homs on January 26, 2012.
- AFP/Getty Images

At least 100 people were killed across Syria today by security forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, activists said. The Local Coordination Committees, which organize protests on the ground and document the killings, said 76 people were killed in the restive central region of Homs.

The past five days have been some of the bloodiest since the uprising began last March, with about 387 people killed since Thursday, activists said.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:24 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Parents Cheat On Booster Seats, Despite Safety Risks

Booster seats reduce children's risk of injury by more than half.
iStockPhoto.com

Grade-schoolers are supposed to be riding in booster seats. But anyone who's ever chauffeured a bunch of second-graders can tell you that the day will come when you don't have enough boosters to go around. Faced with this obvious safety risk, most parents (including this one) buckle up the kids without boosters, and pray.

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Economy
2:08 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Mortgage Giant Places Bets Against Homeowners

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Freddie Mac is a gatekeeper in the mortgage market. In many cases, the taxpayer-owned mortgage company controls who qualifies to refinance a mortgage and who doesn't. Well, NPR has learned that Freddie Mac has been making financial wagers, betting against American homeowners being able to refinance. And now some lawmakers want to put a stop to it. NPR's Chris Arnold has been reporting this story in partnership with ProPublica.org. He has this report.

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It's All Politics
1:55 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Sen. Jon Tester Decries Citizens United's Impact In Montana, Nationally

Because he sees Citizens United as subverting democracy, Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, proposes a constitutional amendment to reverse it.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 5:30 am

The contest for the seat held by Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, is one of the potentially close 2012 races that could ultimately decide whether Democrats maintain control of Congress' upper chamber.

As such, the battle is attracting attention from outside groups hoping their financial assistance will make a difference for both the first-term Democrat and his Republican challenger, Rep. Denny Rehberg, the state's sole House member and a former lieutenant governor.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Japanese Auto Parts Companies To Pay $548M In Fines For Price-Fixing

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 2:21 pm

One of the biggest antitrust investigations in the nation's history has led to fines of $470 million against one Japanese auto parts manufacturer and $78 million against another, the U.S. Justice Department announced today.

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