State and National News

It was the first — and only — time Dr. Naveed Khan, a 35-year-old radiologist, ever rode in an all-terrain vehicle.

Khan took the wheel from his friend and drove circles in the sand, on a trail along the Red River in Texas.

"As soon as I turned to the side where my body weight was, this two-seater vehicle ... just tilted toward the side and toppled," Khan recalled. It landed on his left arm.

Some physicians who examined immigrants while working for the federal government had histories of diluting vaccinations, exploiting women and hiring a hit man to kill a dissatisfied patient, according to a scathing report released by the Department of Homeland Security's internal watchdog.

The controversial herbicide Roundup has been accused of causing cancer in humans and now scientists in Texas argue that the world's most popular weed killer could be partly responsible for killing off bee populations around the world.

It’s been three years since the Louisiana Legislature approved medical marijuana as a treatment option for certain health conditions. The drug is expected to become available to patients this year, and the number of people who could qualify has grown to about 100,000, after the Legislature expanded the program to include medical conditions like chronic pain and PTSD. 

How Michael Ovitz shifted Hollywood's balance of power

6 hours ago

"Jurassic Park," "Shindler’s List," "Rain Man" and "Ghostbusters" are all movies that might never have been made were it not for a guy named Michael Ovitz. He grew up over the hills from Hollywood in the San Fernando Valley, started working in the entertainment business giving studio tours on Universal's back lot while he was still in high school and eventually became one of the most powerful people in Hollywood. CAA, the talent agency he co-founded and ran for 20 years is still a force in the industry, representing Hollywood A-listers like Meryl Streep, George Clooney and Tom Hanks.

Violent crime stayed essentially flat last year, according to statistics just released by the FBI. Those crimes were down by 0.2 percent last year, after a sharp increase of more than 5 percent the year before.

That means violent crime has essentially plateaued at a level higher than the lows of a few years ago — but is still substantially lower than the high rates of the 1980s and 1990s.

Novartis moves away from mass-market drugs

7 hours ago

Drugmaker Novartis announced it's cutting more than 2,000 jobs — most of them in Europe — as part of a global restructuring. The company plans to focus on producing and selling more innovative drugs, but these specified medicines require lots of research and carry higher price tags.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

You don’t have to travel Washington, D.C. or peruse some 838 miles of shelves to visit the Library of Congress.

Among the library’s 167 million items are rare books, photographs, historical recordings, baseball cards and even some human hair. Thousands of elements are added every day and millions of entries can be viewed online. 

“It’s a treasure chest,” said Carla Hayden, the current librarian of Congress,  on this week’s Make Me Smart. “It’s the ultimate in terms of a library.”

83: The Sanctuary of Smart

7 hours ago

This is a really special episode, folks. We're talking with Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress. She's the first woman and the first African-American to hold the job, presiding over some 167 million items in the Library. It  may just be the least-partisan part of Congress, an invaluable public resource that endures in an age of polarization and misinformation. We'll talk with Hayden about some of the important, obscure and wild stuff held in that building, and online, and how she's working to keep the Library relevant and useful for a new generation.

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