Fittest loser

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  • Topping Medicare’s list of highest paid physicians from it’s claims database was Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, whose relationship with Sen. Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, made headlines last year after news broke that the lawmaker used the doctor’s personal jet for trips to the Dominican Republic.

    Medicare database reveals top-paid doctorsApr 9, 2014 12:00 AM
    Medicare paid a tiny group of doctors $3 million or more apiece in 2012. One got nearly $21 million. Those are among the findings of an Associated Press analysis of physician data released Wednesday by the Obama administration, part of a move to open the books on health care financing.

     
  • Recruiter Valera Kulow, left, speaks with job seeker Leonardo Vitiello during a career fair in Dallas. U.S. employers posted more job openings in February, a sign that hiring will likely improve in the months ahead.

    U.S. employers advertised more open jobs in FebruaryApr 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    U.S. employers posted more job openings in February, a sign that hiring will likely improve in the months ahead. The Labor Department said Tuesday that employers advertised 4.2 million job openings, up 7.7 percent from January. That’s the highest number of postings since January 2008.

     
  • American Airlines Group Inc. is doubling the amount of frequent-flier award miles needed to gain a free one-way ticket for flights on the busiest travel days. The increase, to 50,000 miles for trips on days like the Sunday after Thanksgiving, is among changes American announced today to better match its policies with those of merger partner US Airways.

    American the latest airline to tweak flier programApr 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    Airline travelers are adjusting to constant turbulence in frequent-flier programs. American Airlines is the latest to tinker with its program. The Dallas-based carrier on Tuesday announced changes that make it tougher to redeem miles for a flight during busy travel periods, and to check a bag without a fee.

     
  • Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., left, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., join other lawmakers during the vote on restoring jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, legislation that expired late last year, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday.

    Senate OKs jobless bill; House prospects slimmerApr 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    The Senate voted 59-38 Monday to resurrect federal jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, and a small band of Republican supporters swiftly appealed to a reluctant Speaker John Boehner to permit election-year action in the House as well. Steps are needed “to restore unemployment benefits to struggling Americans,” seven House Republicans wrote Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia.

     
  • Fishermen cast their lines along the Malecon in Havana, Cuba. The number of U.S. visitors to Cuba continues to rise, even as the more than five-decade long embargo remains firmly in place.

    Study: U.S. travelers to Cuba continues to riseApr 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    The number of U.S. visitors to Cuba continues to rise, even as the more than five-decade long embargo remains firmly in place, according to study released Monday. Within the first three months of 2014 alone, there were more U.S. tourists to the island than in all of 2013 from England, Germany or France, according to a report by the U.S.-based Havana Consulting Group provided to The Associated Press.

     
  • Megan Dausch, an instructor at the Helen Keller National Center, demonstrates the use of a Braille reader that helps blind clients access the Internet, in Sands Point, N.Y.

    High-tech items giving deaf-blind online accessApr 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    Tanisha Verdejo loves to surf the Internet for shopping deals. She chats on Facebook, learns about new recipes and enjoys sending emails to friends and family. Verdejo, who can’t see or hear, could do none of that a year ago.

     
  • The GMC Terrain was one of only two vehicles getting a “good” safety rating.

    Only 2 midsize SUVs get top rating in crash testsApr 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    Only two of nine midsize SUVs got the highest rating in crash tests done by an insurance industry group. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says General Motors’ Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain received its highest, or “good,” rating. The Toyota Highlander got the second-best “acceptable” rating in tests of 2014 models.

     
  • Visitors try out Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy Note 3 at its showroom in Seoul, South Korea. Declining smartphone prices hit profit at Samsung for a second straight quarter.

    Samsung’s profit falls as smartphones get cheaperApr 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    Declining smartphone prices hit profit at Samsung Electronics Co. for a second straight quarter. The consumer technology heavyweight said Tuesday that it expects operating income of about 8.4 trillion won ($8 billion) for the January-March quarter, down 4 percent from a year earlier.

     
  • Takeda’s Deerfield headquarters.

    U.S. jury hits Takeda, Eli Lilly with $9 billion penaltyApr 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    A U.S. jury ordered Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. and Eli Lilly to pay $9 billion in punitive damages over a diabetes medicine linked to cancer, but Japan’s biggest drugmaker said Tuesday it will “vigorously challenge” the decision. The U.S District Court in western Louisiana decided a $6 billion penalty for Takeda and $3 billion for its business partner and co-defendant Eli Lilly.

     
  • Taco Bell is taking another jab at Oak Brook-based McDonald’s in a new ad for its breakfast menu.

    Taco Bell again pokes fun at McDonald’s in new adApr 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    Taco Bell is taking another jab at Oak Brook-based McDonald’s in a new ad for its breakfast menu. The fast-food chain will begin airing a TV spot that is set to the tune of “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” and shows a man who has been eating Egg McMuffins since 1984. After trying Taco Bell’s breakfast, the man trims his mullet, switches to tighter pants, gets a smart phone and takes down his “Loverboy” poster.

     
  • Court rejects early appeal of surveillance rulingApr 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    The Supreme Court on Monday declined an early look at a constitutional challenge to the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records, instead allowing the dispute to work its way through the usual lower-court process.

     
  • Church wants Wal-Mart investor vote on gun salesApr 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    Attorneys for a church in Manhattan are asking a federal judge in Delaware to prohibit Wal-Mart from sending its annual proxy statement to shareholders because it doesn’t include its proposal for a shareholder vote involving gun sales.

     
  • President Barack Obama, waves to the audience as he leaves the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, after speaking about the Affordable Care Act.

    Survey confirms gains in health insurance sign-upsApr 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    A growing share of Americans got health insurance as sign-up season for President Barack Obama’s health care law came to a close last month, a major survey released Monday has found. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index provides independent validation for White House claims that the law is expanding access.

     
  • Three years ago, doctors reported that zapping a paralyzed man’s spinal cord with electricity allowed him to stand and move his legs. Now they’ve done the same with three more patients, suggesting their original success was no fluke.

    Electrical device helps paralyzed men move legsApr 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    Three years ago, doctors reported that zapping a paralyzed man’s spinal cord with electricity allowed him to stand and move his legs. Now they’ve done the same with three other patients, suggesting their original success was no fluke. Experts say it’s a promising development but warn that the experimental treatment isn’t a cure.

     
  • In a north London hospital, scientists are growing noses, ears and blood vessels in the laboratory in a bold attempt to make body parts using stem cells.

    UK scientists make body parts in labApr 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    In a north London hospital, scientists are growing noses, ears and blood vessels in the laboratory in a bold attempt to make body parts using stem cells. It is among several labs around the world, including in the U.S., that are working on the futuristic idea of growing custom-made organs in the lab. “It’s like making a cake,” said Alexander Seifalian at University College London. “We just use a different kind of oven.”

     
  • Jorge Torrez

    Man accused of Zion murders convicted in VirginiaApr 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    A former Marine accused in Illinois of killing two young Zion girls in 2005 was convicted in Virginia Tuesday of first-degree murder in a 2009 slaying of a fellow service member.

     
  • This is the Williamson family: from left, wife Tricia Williamson, husband Mike Williamson and their 1-year-old son Adam. Tricia, 30, quit her job as an editor and producer at a TV station after crunching the numbers and realizing her salary after the birth of her son a year ago would go primarily to her commuting and child care expenses.

    At-home mothers on the rise, new research showsApr 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    More women are staying at home full-time to raise their children, according to a new Pew Research Center report released Tuesday. Factors cited by Pew to explain the increase include more immigrant mothers, who tend to stay home with children in greater numbers than U.S.-born moms; more women unable to find work; and ambivalence about the impact of working mothers on young children.

     
  • Pro-Russian activists shout during a rally at the regional administration building in Donetsk, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 8, 2014, as the makings of an improved self-appointed government began to take shape, with demonstrators dug in for their third day at the 11-storey regional administration headquarters. Ukrainian authorities on Tuesday reasserted control over an administration building in the country's second-largest city of Kharkiv, 250 Km ( 155 miles) north of Donetsk, which had been seized by pro-Russian protesters, and authorities detained some dozens. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

    Ukraine tries to quell pro-Moscow uprisingsApr 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    Ukraine’s government struggled to stay in control of the country’s eastern regions as tensions flared Tuesday in three cities. While the government managed to recapture its regional headquarters and detain dozens of pro-Russian protesters in one city, it said “radicals” were keeping 60 people hostage and threatening them in another city.

     
  • Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel shakes hands with Chinese Minister of Defense Chang Wanquan prior to their meeting at the Chinese Defense Ministry headquarters in Beijing, Tuesday, April 8, 2014.

    Hagel, Chang air differences over disputed islandsApr 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    The defense chiefs of China and the U.S. faced off Tuesday over Beijing’s escalating territorial disputes in the region, with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and telling his Chinese counterparts they do not have the right to unilaterally establish an air defense zone over disputed islands, with no consultation.

     
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks to Angolan Foreign Minister George Rebelo Chicoti during their talks in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, April 8, 2014. Lavrov said that he wants the talks to include representatives from the south and the east in the talks, but not regional governors recently appointed by the government that took over from the ousted president.

    Ukraine feels nervous as big powers debate fateApr 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    As top diplomats from Russia and the United States have met in Europe’s capitals to decide Ukraine’s fate in recent weeks, there’s been a conspicuous absence: a representative from Ukraine. Russia has refused to deal with Ukraine’s new government since protests in February ousted the pro-Russian president. And while the West supports the fledgling leadership, it has left an impression that it’s in charge of talks with the Kremlin.

     
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