All Things Considered for February 4, 2014
Feb 4, 2014 — The federal government's deficit is shrinking quite quickly — and that may not necessarily be a good thing. As congressional forecasters lower their predictions for economic growth over the next decade, some experts are saying that gross domestic product and unemployment figures would look better, were it not for the government's rapid push to get a handle on the deficit.
Feb 4, 2014 — A new front has opened in the political battle over the Affordable Care Act, with Tuesday's release of the Congressional Budget Office's annual budget and economic outlook. The economists updated an earlier estimate about how many workers would leave the workforce because they no longer needed a job to have health care coverage — revising upward from 800,000 people to over 2 million people. Republicans pounced on the higher number, and President Obama now finds himself playing defense.
Feb 4, 2014 — The long-held idea that cancer is a disease of the rich is slowly being undermined. The world now records about 14 million new cancer cases each year, a study found. The majority of these cases occur in developing countries, which aren't equipped to detect and treat the disease.
Feb 4, 2014 — Americans who got a quarter of their daily calories from sugar were twice as likely to die from heart disease as those who limited their intake to much lower levels, fresh research finds. Unfortunately, most of us have a sugar habit that puts us in the danger zone.
Feb 4, 2014 — With the Winter Olympics just days away, the status of preparations in Sochi is mixed: Housing for the athletes has been getting rave reviews, but hotels and other buildings are still unfinished.
Feb 4, 2014 — With high-profile apologies from the likes of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, we're in apology overload. Dov Seidman is calling for an apology cease-fire. Seidman is CEO of a company that helps corporations develop values-based cultures and strengthen their ethics and compliance effort. He tells Audie Cornish why he takes issue with recent apologies and what he believes makes a good one.
Feb 4, 2014 — Heroin overdose deaths have increased significantly in the U.S. over the past five years. Experts point to aggressive prescribing of opioid drugs for pain about 15 years ago as a reason why. Heroin users often say their addiction began with exposure to painkillers like OxyContin.
Feb 4, 2014 — The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman from an apparent heroin overdose has thrown a spotlight on the rise of heroin use in recent years. Melissa talks to John Venza, vice president at Outreach — a substance abuse treatment agency in New York and Long Island — about heroin addiction and the challenges to staying clean.
Feb 4, 2014 — As the U.S. and Iran negotiate over the country's nuclear program, many in Washington say that Tehran can't be trusted. Even the lead U.S. negotiator told lawmakers a few months ago that "deception is in Iran's DNA." Iranian leaders are equally scornful of the U.S. President Obama says that these years of mistrust can't be wished away but still asserts that negotiations between adversaries remain possible.
Feb 4, 2014 — The conductor, slated to perform at the opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics, sparked controversy with his recent comments on Russia's anti-gay legislation. The head of St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre is a friend and ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.