Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 9:10 pm
By the World Health Organization's official tally, the flu pandemic of 2009-10 killed 18,449 people around the world. Those are deaths of people who had laboratory-confirmed cases of the so-called swine flu.
But a fresh analysis says the real toll was 10 times higher — up to 203,000 deaths. And maybe it was twice that, if you count people who died of things like heart attacks precipitated by the flu.
Should President Obama be as unpopular once the 2014 midterm campaign is in full swing as he is now, there are likely to be more than a few vulnerable Democrats who'd prefer that he stay as far away from their districts as possible.
But the money he's raising for their campaigns is an entirely different matter.
Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 8:53 pm
Dozens of Haitians have died in a desperate attempt to reach the Bahamas, after their crowded 40-foot sloop capsized. Deployed from Florida, Coast Guard crews scrambled to work with Bahamian forces to rescue more than 100 survivors Tuesday. The Coast Guard says the craft ran aground in the Bahamas' Exuma Cays.
President Obama's Affordable Care Act will be back before the Supreme Court this spring. This time, the issue is whether for-profit corporations citing religious objections may refuse to provide contraceptive services in health insurance plans offered to employees.
In enacting the ACA, Congress required large employers who offer health care services to provide a range of preventive care, including no-copay contraceptive services. Religious nonprofits were exempted from this requirement, but not for-profit corporations.
Major stock indexes have shot to record highs in the U.S. this year, gaining more than 20 percent, and yet economic growth remains at disappointing levels. A lot of analysts believe the stimulus efforts by the Federal Reserve are behind the stock boom and a possible bubble.
As I write this, snowstorms are swirling over the East Coast, threatening Thanksgiving holiday travel plans for millions of travelers. How much time in the purgatory of airports will this mean for you? Check out FlightAware's MiseryMap, which combines weather and flight data into a live map that lists which airports are being struck by storms, the number of delays and cancellations, and graphs that show flight destinations and the chances they'll actually make it on time.
The new animated musical Frozen is based — sort of, hypothetically, in theory, or at least according to the Disney studio — on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Snow Queen.
Not in ways anyone would notice, however, and not in ways that will in any way distract moviegoers from thinking about the other works that seem to have influenced its creators; unlike in many animated movies, the borrowings aren't so much in-jokey as structural. Homages, of a sort, and fun to spot.
Three years after the startling arrest of a 14-year-old boy for acting as a gang's assassin in Mexico, the boy, now 17, is reportedly heading to the United States, according to media and government reports. Edgar Jimenez, nicknamed El Ponchis — "The Cloak" — is a U.S. citizen who was born in San Diego.
Even as the Supreme Court takes up the issue of emergency contraception coverage, a new study suggests the most popular form of the drug might not work for most American women. It seems one formulation of the popular drug loses effectiveness in women who are obese or who weigh over a certain amount.
The six-month agreement struck between Iran and Western nations last weekend lays out a detailed plan of inspection for Iran's nuclear facilities. The White House calls it "unprecedented transparency and intrusive monitoring." So how will that work? Melissa Block speaks with Dr. David A. Kay, former U.N. Chief Weapons Inspector, to find out.
Much of the criticism of the interim nuclear deal reached with Iran Sunday has focused on the sanctions relief Iran will receive over the next six months if it follows through on restricting its nuclear program. Although the only irreversible relief being offered is a gradual release of $4.2 billion in frozen Iranian revenue, critics warn that the "architecture of the sanctions regime has been undermined." Analysts say all the important sanctions hampering Iran's economy remain in place, but the announcement of the deal itself is having a psychological impact on markets.
An investigation by The Hollywood Reporter alleges that the American Humane Association has tried to cover up instances of animal abuse and deaths on Hollywood sets. Melissa Block talks with Gary Baum, a senior writer for the magazine who reported the story.