Health & Science

On Friday, most of the world's governments are set to sign the most sweeping climate agreement in history. Their signatures will codify promises they made in Paris last December to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

The two largest sources of those gases are the U.S. and China. Whether they keep their promises will in large part determine whether the Paris deal succeeds. And it is by no means clear that they'll be able to keep their promises.

The first death was on the night of Jan. 9.

It was a Saturday. Pele Kristiansen spent the morning at home, drinking beers and hanging out with his older brother, which wasn't so unusual. There wasn't a lot of work in town. A lot of people drank. In the afternoon, they heard someone banging on their door, yelling.

"Polar bear! It's a polar bear!"

On the frozen fjord a couple of miles away, they could see the bear. Hunting in the Arctic — bears and reindeer and seals and birds — is at the core of Inuit life, even today.

Does mother always know best? As a mom, I try to create the healthiest environment possible for my kids. I like to think my decisions are based on fact, but emotion plays a role, too. What happens if my choices aren't supported by medical research, and could even put my children at risk?

When Defense Secretary Ashton Carter landed in Iraq for a surprise visit this week, he came armed with this news: More than 200 additional U.S. troops are headed to that country. They'll join the fight to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State.

As that battle unfolds on the ground, a parallel war against ISIS is unfolding in cyberspace.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Lowe's home improvement company, like a growing number of large companies nationwide, offers its employees an eye-catching benefit: Certain major surgeries at prestigious hospitals are free.

How do these firms do it? With a way of paying that's gaining steam across the health care industry, and that Medicare is now adopting for hip and knee replacements in 67 metropolitan areas, including New York, Miami and Denver.

Like so much on Capitol Hill, the encryption debate is charged with feelings. Law enforcement asserts criminals are "going dark." Privacy advocates say, that's not true; we are in a "Golden Age of Surveillance." What's missing, according to a leading voice on security inside Google, is evidence.

"People are acting a lot from fear, on both sides of the debate, frankly," says Adrian Ludwig, who is in charge of security for Android, the most popular operating system in the world.

For millions of Americans, climate change is making the weather nicer. That's the conclusion of a new study that points out winters are getting quite a bit milder, while summers aren't getting that much worse.

The study's authors say the mild temperatures might be one reason some people aren't so worried about climate change.

For most of the U.S., the hottest temperatures in July haven't gone up much — scientific consensus is about half a degree over the past 40 years. Same for sticky humidity — not much change, if any.

The European Union has filed new antitrust charges against Google, alleging that it uses its Android operating system to impose unfair conditions on makers of mobile devices.

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We found that Google pursues an overall strategy on mobile devices to protect and expand its dominant position in internet search," Margrethe Vestager, the EU's commissioner for competition, said in a statement today.

Updated April 20 at 1:50 ET with a statement from the American Hospital Association.

Bowing to pressure from the hospital industry and Congress, the Obama administration on Wednesday delayed releasing its new hospital quality rating measure just a day before its planned launch.

On Tuesday, the state of Utah officially declared a new public health crisis: pornography.

Gov. Gary Herbert signed a resolution stating that pornography is a "public health hazard" that harms both individuals and society.

The nonbinding resolution calls for research, education and policy changes "to address the pornography epidemic that is harming the citizens of Utah and the nation."

One of the chief goals of the Affordable Care Act was to expand insurance coverage so that all Americans could have access to quality health care. How's that working out?

White women are dying at a slightly younger age than in the past. That's according to a report released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

The National Institutes of Health has suspended work in two facilities that manufacture products given to people who are enrolled in research studies, saying the facilities haven't complied with safety standards designed to protect already-sick people from inappropriate risks.

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