Health

In murder mystery novels, when the hero, a private detective or homicide cop, drops by a late-night Alcoholics Anonymous meeting to stave off a sudden craving for a beer or two or 20, it's usually in some dingy church basement or dilapidated storefront on the seedier side of town. There's a pot of burnt coffee and a few stale doughnuts on a back table.

The Center for Students in Recovery at the University of Texas could not be more different.

Officials and activists from around the world gathered in New York this week to mark the 20th anniversary of the landmark 1995 World Conference on Women.

Although there were a lot of depressing statistics discussed at the current meeting, there was one piece of good news that many kept citing as reason for hope: Since 1995 the rate of women worldwide who die in childbirth has dropped by more than 40 percent.

Participants at the 5th annual Compassion Research Day at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Facebook unveiled new tools on Feb. 25 to help prevent suicide.
Courtesy of Forefront/Katie Simmons

Marcie Sillman talks with Jennifer Stuber, director of Forefront, a suicide prevention organization at the University of Washington, about their partnership with Facebook.

Also, we hear from Stephen Miller, Forefront's operation's manager, about his own experience with Facebook and suicide. 

File photo: Discarded alcohol containers.
Flickr Photo/Steve Snodgrass (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with state Sen. Marko Liias, D-Mukilteo, about his proposal to ban aversion therapies for people under the age of 18.

Marcie Sillman speaks to Washington state Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, about powdered alcohol. The U.S. has approved its first powdered alcohol product, Palcohol.

Chikungunya is a mosquito-transmitted disease that's been rearing its head throughout Central and South America. People infected with the virus develop a fever and extreme joint pain. There's no cure, and sometimes the joint pain lasts for months or even years.

Our guest on this episode of Speakers Forum is David J. Morris, a war correspondent, former Marine and PTSD sufferer.

Morris served as a lieutenant in the Marine Corps in the 1990s, but did not see combat then. He went on to work as an embedded journalist in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2004 he was nearly killed when a Humvee he was riding in hit an IED.

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Marcie Sillman talks to Roger Roffman, University of Washington professor emeritus, about new legislation that would allow researchers in Washington state to apply for a marijuana research license.

Oregon and Washington lawmakers flinched within hours of each other Wednesday when it came to toughening mandatory vaccination requirements for schoolchildren.

Ella Barnes-Williams is dealing with a lot right now.

For starters, her government-subsidized house in Northeast Washington, D.C., leaks when it rains. She points at a big brown splotch on the ceiling.

"It's like mold, mold, mold all over," she says. "I've got to clean that now 'cause that just came back."

Barnes-Williams is 54 and lives with her 30-year-old daughter and three young grandchildren. All three grandkids have severe asthma, which makes the mold a serious problem. And she and her daughter are diabetic.

For many years, if a public school district wanted to serve students apples or milk from local farmers, it could face all kinds of hurdles. Schools were locked into strict contracts with distributors, few of whom saw any reason to start bringing in local products. Those contracts also often precluded schools from working directly with local farmers.

After a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, help poured in from the U.S. Doctors came to battle the cholera epidemic, agencies handed out food, and nonprofits provided shelter.

And then there were plumbers.

Of the million or so women who have abortions every year in the U.S., nearly a quarter end their pregnancy using medications. But just as states have been passing a record number of restrictions on surgical abortion, more are trying to limit this option as well.

One of the country's strictest laws is in Ohio. To understand it, a little history helps.

Northwest lawmakers are considering whether to make it harder for parents to opt out of immunizing their children.

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