Overcoming Four Big Health Fears

Even those who have access to health care don't always benefit from it, because at times dread and unease prevent people from seeking important medical attention. With all the talk in the media and information on the Internet about disease and health risks, it's hard not to be anxious about staying healthy. We've rounded up some common fears, along with remedies to allay them so your next visit to the dentist or doctor can be safer and more comfortable.

Rep. Maxine Waters Faces Three Charges

It’s been a busy season for the House ethics committee—and not such a good year for Democrats on accountability. Rep. Charles Rangel already has been hit with 13 counts of ethics violations, and now California Democrat Maxine Waters faces trial on three counts.

Vilsack Offers Sherrod New Position

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has offered Shirley Sherrod a new position with the Department of Agriculture, AP reports. "A good woman has gone through a difficult time, and I will have to live with that for a very long time," Vilsack told reporters late Wednesday.

White House Apologizes to Sherrod

The White House apologized Wednesday to ousted USDA staffer Shirley Sherrod, saying government officials who sought her resignation for comments about race had acted in haste and without all the facts. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack "will apologize for the actions that have taken place in the past 24 to 36 hours," said administration spokesman Robert Gibbs.

Senate Ends Stalemate on Unemployment Benefits

The Democrats garnered the 60-40 vote needed to end a Republican filibuster in the Senate and open the floor for debate on a bill that would extend unemployment benefits to 2.5 million Americans through November.

In Islamabad, Clinton Unveils $500 Million Aid Package to Pakistan

Hillary Clinton announced more than $500 million in aid projects to Pakistan at a meeting Monday in Islamabad. The projects, meant to bolster Pakistan's infrastructure through agricultural improvements and construction of health facilities and dams, will be funded through the Enhanced Partnership With Pakistan Act (also known as the Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill) that President Obama signed into law last October. The act allots $1.5 billion in nonmilitary aid to Pakistan annually.

Obama’s New Effort to Curb the Spread of HIV/AIDS

The Obama administration has launched a strategy to combat HIV/AIDS that aims, by 2015, to reduce the number of infections by 25 percent, decrease the number of people living with HIV by 30 percent, and increase the number of people aware of their positive status to 90 percent.

Federal Judge Rules the Defense of Marriage Act Unconstitutional. Will it Stick?

Yesterday, Massachusetts federal district Judge Joseph Tauro declared that gay men and women recognized as married by their individual states should have access to the same federal benefits as heterosexual married couples. In doing so, he declared Article III of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, unconstitutional. The controversial decision posits the question for both supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage of how best to support their cases and what the rulings, now under review by the Obama administration, will bring in the long term.

Yikes! A 50-Foot Nancy Pelosi

As the November election inches closer, conservatives are offering a preview of a major strategy with an ad portraying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a 50-foot monster hell-bent on destroying small-town America in a taxpayer-money-devouring rage. The anti-Pelosi campaign is heating up.

Google Softens on China's Censorship

Google is willing to compromise, at least a little, if that means it can stay in China. Its latest policy changes will stop automatically redirecting Google China users to the uncensored Hong Kong site in hope of appeasing the Chinese government and its strict Internet censorship laws. China will decide today whether to accept the changes and allow Google to stay.

Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error

What makes us human—that we can speak? Love? Build atomic bombs? How about, instead, our never-failing ability to be wrong? Schulz explores what it means to err, but here’s the twist: screwing up actually makes us better, and embracing it is the best way to get life right.

A New Debate Over CIA Doctors and Torture

CIA medical personnel face allegations of “unethical” human experimentation and research and complicity in torture. The health-care workers are not only being accused of violating national and international laws, but also of breaking their professional and ethical commitments in the name of national security.

FDA Recommends New Emergency Contraceptive

On Thursday the Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs voted to recommend the approval of a drug that can prevent pregnancy if taken up to five days after unprotected sex. The Food and Drug Administration will have the final say on whether the drug will be approved but the advisory committee supported the drug, slated to be called ella, despite debates about how exactly it works.