National News

Hopes Dim For Turkish Miners, But Rescuers Carry On

Housing Is Perking Up, But Realtors Worry About Young Buyers

The U.S. housing market is strengthening after a tough winter, according to economists at a Realtors convention in Washington.

But even as the short-term outlook brightens, they remain worried about a long-term problem with "missing" young buyers.

"There really are serious issues in the first-time-buyer market," Eric Belsky, managing director of Harvard's Joint Center of Housing Studies, told the National Association of Realtors on Thursday.

Walter Bianco's liver is severely damaged by hepatitis C, but insurers had refused to pay for the medications that could cure him.

Medicare Backs Down On Denying Treatment For Hepatitis Patient

Walter Bianco, an Arizona man denied access to new drugs to cure his hepatitis C infection, will get the costly medications after all.

After NPR and Kaiser Health News reported his plight on Monday, federal Medicare officials said they would investigate. Bianco's appeal of an earlier denial had been rejected by WellCare, a private insurer that contracts with the federal program to provide drug coverage.

Christopher Herrero, a tuba player at Karr a decade ago, was hired as band director four years ago.

At A New Orleans High School, Marching Band Is A Lifeline For Kids

Editor's Note: This is a story about a high school band. It is a story that demands to be heard, even more so than read. Please click on the audio player, above, to listen. Audio will be available around 6:30 p.m. EDT.

The incumbent state legislator who lost to Saira Blair acknowledged the 17-year-old outworked him on the campaign trail.

Meet The High School Student Who Beat A State Lawmaker

Saira Blair has been busy this week. She's president of the Key Club at Hedgesville High School in West Virginia and she's been participating in a variety of activities as her class prepares to graduate next week.

Oh — and on Tuesday, she won a primary election for the state House.

Blair, who is 17, unseated Larry Kump, a two-term GOP incumbent. The district is heavily Republican, so she'll be favored to win the seat in the fall.

She may be a teenager, but she sounds like a concerned parent when she talks about why she ran.

Miners rest on Thursday during a break in the rescue operation after a mine explosion near Soma, Manisa province, Turkey.

The Turkish Mine Disaster: How Could It Happen?

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has enraged families of the victims of the Soma mine disaster by characterizing mining accidents as "ordinary things."

In fact, the disaster appears to have ordinary causes familiar to mining experts, who note that well-known precautions exist to prevent the kind of explosion that killed so many in Turkey.

Sex can matter, whether you're looking at drug side effects, the response to treatment, or the progression of a disease.

Medicine Needs More Research On Female Animals, Says NIH

Many potential new drugs look like they could be big winners — at least when judged by how well they work in mice or other lab animals. Over the years, there have been a number of promising cancer "cures," possible Alzheimer treatments, and candidate drugs for holding back the ravages of various degenerative diseases.

But, time after time, these great promises fade away once the potential treatments are tried in people. There are lots of reasons for that. Humans aren't rodents, for starters.

Betty Reid Soskin, 92, is the oldest active full-time National Park Service ranger in the United States. She and her colleagues at the Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park are preparing to unveil new permanent exhibits at the park on May 24.

Oldest National Park Ranger Shares 'What Gets Remembered'

As 92-year-old Betty Reid Soskin helped hash out plans for a new national park 13 years ago, this is what stuck in her mind: "What gets remembered is a function of who's sitting at the table, doing the remembering."

Why This Octopus Isn't Stuck-Up

Octopus arms keep from getting all tangled up in part because some kind of chemical in octopus skin prevents the tentacles' suckers from grabbing on.

That was the surprise discovery of scientists who were trying to understand how octopuses manage to move all their weird appendages without getting tied up into knots.

Unlike humans, octopuses don't have a constant awareness of their arms' locations. It's kind of like the eight arms have minds of their own. And as an octopus arm travels through the water, its neighboring arms are constantly in reach.

The Skylock is solar-powered and can send messages to let a bike owner know if it's being tampered with. The lock can also be used to let others riders borrow the bike.

Solar-Powered Bike Lock Aims To Be The Airbnb Of Bike-Sharing

In our "Weekly Innovation" blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Submit with this form.

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