The new British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her cabinet today.

Amid a sweeping crackdown on dissent in Egypt, security forces have forcibly disappeared hundreds of people since the beginning of 2015, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

It's an "unprecedented spike," the group says, with an average of three or four people disappeared every day.

The Republican Party, as it prepares for its convention next week has checked off item No. 1 on its housekeeping list — drafting a party platform. The document reflects the conservative views of its authors, many of whom are party activists. So don't look for any concessions to changing views among the broader public on key social issues.

Many public figures who took to Twitter and Facebook following the murder of five police officers in Dallas have faced public blowback and, in some cases, found their employers less than forgiving about inflammatory and sometimes hateful online comments.

As Venezuela unravels — with shortages of food and medicine, as well as runaway inflation — President Nicolas Maduro is increasingly unpopular. But he's still holding onto power.

"The truth in Venezuela is there is real hunger. We are hungry," says a man who has invited me into his house in the northwestern city of Maracaibo, but doesn't want his name used for fear of reprisals by the government.

The wiry man paces angrily as he speaks. It wasn't always this way, he says, showing how loose his pants are now.

Ask a typical teenage girl about the latest slang and girl crushes and you might get answers like "spilling the tea" and Taylor Swift. But at the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., the answers were "intersectional feminism" — the idea that there's no one-size-fits-all definition of feminism — and U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Data Dive Finds Doctors For Rent

Aug 5, 2013
Originally published on August 6, 2013 7:04 am

Silly me. I thought "rent-seeking" was something only landlords did.

But economists have their own way of looking at the world. To them, rent-seeking is a term for describing how someone snags a bigger share of a pie rather than making a pie bigger, as the venerable Economist explains it.

So, a drugmaker can be seen as a rent-seeker if it cajoles doctors to prescribe more of a particular brand of medicine at the expense of a rival pharmaceutical company's wares.

Now, how do they do it? A company provides some form of compensation (free meals, paid speaking gigs or a consulting deal) to doctors, and, lo and behold, its share of prescriptions goes up. Now, this connection isn't exactly earth-shattering news. But there are some new ways to look at how it works in practice.

Some researchers pored over databases compiled by ProPublica, a nonprofit journalism outfit, of drug company payments made to doctors and the prescriptions doctors wrote for Medicare patients.

They found some provocative associations.

Male doctors appeared twice as likely as female colleagues to be influenced by drug industry blandishments. "This confirms experimental and field evidence suggesting that women are more honest and less corruptible than men," the researchers write.

Doctors practicing in states where crimes of corruption are more common, such as Louisiana, were more likely to be influenced by drug company payments than those in states with fewer corruption-related crimes, such as Oregon.

The researchers also estimated how much a drug company's wooing of doctors is worth: about 29 more Medicare prescriptions for each modest payment. For the big bucks (a payment of $1,000 or more), drugmakers can expect nearly 100 more prescriptions.

You can find the paper, "First, Do No Harm: Financial Conflicts in Medicine," online at the Social Science Research Network.

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