This is a story about what can happen when no one is looking. For the patients at Universal Pain Management, a medical clinic in northern Los Angeles County, Dr. Francis Riegler is always looking.
Riegler huddles with the clinic's nurse practitioner over a computer printout. The one-page report from the state's drug-tracking system shows that a patient was on the hunt for more Vicodin, a powerful pain reliever that he was already getting from Riegler's clinic.
The recession brought widespread unemployment across the U.S., but it also prompted a spike in the number of freelance or independent workers.
More than 30 percent of the nation's workers now work on their own, and the research firm IDC projects the number of nontraditional office workers — telecommuters, freelancers and contractors — will reach 1.3 billion worldwide by 2015.
In Greece, more than 21 percent of the working-age population is jobless. For Greeks under age 25, the rate is more than double that.
Some young Greeks are frightened that the economy, now in free fall, will take years to recover, so they're leaving for jobs abroad. A few entrepreneurs, however, are trying to start businesses during the worst recession in decades.
A magnet for these young entrepreneurs is CoLab, a business incubator in a weathered building near the Athens Cathedral in the city center. CoLab opened in 2009, with just one occupant — a Spanish travel writer.
The question of how far the government can go in forcing a business — in this case cigarette makers — to warn consumers about its product is before a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
The Food and Drug Administration wants large, graphic warning labels to scare smokers, but tobacco companies say that violates their right to free speech.
In a 24-hour, Internet-fueled news cycle, political campaign reporters often seem to be focused on what just happened, and only what just happened. But presidential candidates profess to take a longer view: They consciously link their critiques and promises to the influential figures and debates of the past.
Carole King has an armful of Grammy Awards and countless Top 10 hits, both under her own name and as a songwriter for artists from Little Eva to the Monkees to Aretha Franklin.
Her solo album Tapestry spent 15 weeks at the top of the charts, becoming one of the biggest-selling records of all time. King managed to fit in all those hits by starting very, very young. She tells NPR's Renee Montagne that she was just 15 when she and some classmates formed a doo-wop group called the Co-Sines.
In a quest to get to better know members of the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon, four Western journalists and a former U.S. Army Ranger last year arranged to play paintball in Beirut with some men who said they were among the group's fighters.
Jack Tramiel, the man behind the Commodore 64 computer, died Sunday, according to reports. Tramiel, who was 83, came to America after World War II. He was a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp in his native Poland.
Update: This post has been updated to reflect Tramiel's liberation from the Ahlem work camp, after his time in Auschwitz.
Four years ago, then-candidate Barack Obama famously sank a 3-point shot when he visited U.S. troops in Kuwait who had gathered in a gym to hear from the Democratic senator. The video was a cable TV favorite for a day or two.
Facebook's decision to acquire Instagram for $1 billion set off strong reactions among Instagram users Monday, when the deal was announced. And if any users of Instagram's photo-sharing service were in love with the deal, they seemed to be keeping pretty quiet about it.
Not long after the start of the school year, Monique Sanders, a teacher at Nathan Hale Elementary School in Manchester, Conn., realized many of her students were going to bed hungry.
"It was very bad. I had parents calling me several times a week, asking did I know of any other way that they could get food because they had already gone to a food pantry," Sanders says. "The food pantry only allows you to go twice per month, so if you are running low on your food stamps or you didn't get what you needed and you're not able to feed your family, that's very stressful."
When your kids are infested with head lice, a certain amount of panic — even desperation — can spread through the house. But one biologist has made it his mission to find a better way to rid his home of a common household pest.
It's never been easy to make a living as a musician. But there was always a dream: to become a star on the strength of your talent and your music. The Internet is a rude sandman, however, and today that dream is a lot more convoluted.
No longer can a would-be rock star follow the once-accepted checklist: (1) sign with a big label, (2) get a hit, (3) buy mansions and cars. The number of ways a musician can make money is now varied. The question, for many musicians still trying to make a go of it in the industry, is whether those many sources can add up to something sustainable.
In Egypt, next month's presidential election has undergone a wrenching several days.
First, leading Islamist candidates faced possible disqualification on legal grounds, and then, hours before the deadline to register, a leading face from the regime of Hosni Mubarak jumped into the race.
The appearance of 75-year-old Omar Suleiman, Mubarak's former intelligence chief, has sparked fears that the military council running the country is maneuvering to bring back the old regime.
At a golf resort in suburban Johannesburg, a group of men lounged by the pool. They cheered as five competitors sprinted around a grassy field — in Speedo swimsuits — to the sounds of "Yellow Polka Dot Bikini."
This was sports day at Mr. Gay World 2012.
Gay men from 22 countries took part, and this year's competition was noteworthy because it was the first time it was held on African soil. It addition, it also marked the first time that black African men participated, though there were just two.
By now it's hardly news that the U.S. spends more than every other industrialized country on health care. But a new study suggests that at least when it comes to cancer care, Americans may actually be getting decent value.
M. Ward's music inspires a sense of wonder — it recalls many sounds from a different time and place.
"I get most of my inspiration from older records and older production styles," Ward says, "and that ends up rearing its head in the records that I make. One of the great things about music is that it has the capability of time travel — you smell a certain smell in the room and it takes you back to your childhood. I feel like music is able to do that, and it happens to me all the time."
The New York Yankees may be the most polarizing team in the U.S. In a new collection, Damn Yankees: Twenty-Four Major League Writers on the World's Most Loved (and Hated) Team, writers share the stories behind their passions.