With world leaders gathered for a NATO summit in Chicago, high on their agenda is the future of Afghanistan once Western troops withdraw. Among the leaders there is the president of Pakistan. Pakistan has been keeping NATO from using critical military supply routes running through that country to Afghanistan, something that's irritated NATO countries, whose troops are fighting in Afghanistan.
Astronomy buffs in the western U.S. were treated to an eclipse known as the Ring of Fire over the weekend. Technically, it's an annular solar eclipse, during which time the moon passes between the earth and sun. The moon blocks out much of the sun's light and casts a giant shadow on the earth.
Douglas Harlow Brown, 80, of East Lansing, Mich., watches birds inside a medical rehab facility.
Credit Bill Serne for NPR
Marty Clear, 60, is a freelance writer based in Tampa, Fla., who has no health insurance. Last November, Clear went to an emergency room, and doctors discovered a cancerous tumor on his kidney. He's fine, but he says he'll never be able to pay off the resulting bills.
Credit Tom Smart / NPR
Andrew Dasenbrock, 32, was sent to two separate health care facilities owned by the same network and had to submit to, and be billed for, the same tests twice because of their inability to communicate.
Credit David Sanders / For NPR
Aimee Snyder, 28, had a blood clot in her leg that could have killed her. She's fine now, but she's had to pay more than $15,000 in medical bills so far.
Credit Courtesy of Jacki Bronicki
Douglas Harlow Brown, 80, of East Lansing, Mich., with his daughter Jacki Bronicki. After Brown was hospitalized with broken ribs, Bronicki says, his doctors failed to communicate about his medication.
To get a feeling for what being sick in America is really like, and to help us understand the findings of our poll with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, NPR did a call-out on Facebook. We asked people to share their experiences of the health care system, and within 24 hours, we were flooded with close to 1,000 responses.
Members of Congress are often criticized for what they do — or rather, what they don't do.
But what about what they say and, more specifically, how they say it? It turns out that the sophistication of congressional speech-making is on the decline, according to the open government group the Sunlight Foundation. Since 2005, the average grade level at which members of Congress speak has fallen by almost a full grade.