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FROM THIS EPISODE

Without antibiotics, the risk of infection would set back the practice of medicine by 100 years. Now super-bugs that resist antibiotics are getting ahead of new drugs to fight them. It's got to the point where US and British public health officials warned this month of a potential "nightmare." We hear why it's getting so urgent and what might be done. Also, Secretary of State John Kerry in Afghanistan, and Cyprus' deal with the Eurozone — ending a tax haven and costing wealthy Russians big money.

Banner image: Bmramon

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Christian Bordal
Gideon Brower

Reporter's Notebook A Deal for Cyprus, but Upheaval May Not Be Over 7 MIN, 39 SEC

Last week, the parliament in Cyprus turned down a bailout proposed by Eurozone bankers. Today, the Cypriot government struck a new deal that does not require parliamentary approval. The country's economy could decline by 10 percent but the big short-term losers are Russian billionaires. The banks of Cyprus have been tax havens, with billions of uninsured deposits from Russian billionaires. Now at least one bank that got too big to fail is being allowed to — and those Russians will being paying the bills.  Felix Salmon is a finance blogger for Reuters.

Guests:
Felix Salmon, Reuters (@felixsalmon)

Making News John Kerry in Afghanistan 7 MIN, 31 SEC

Earlier this month, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the Obama Administration was working behind his back with the Taliban. A joint news conference Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel never happened. Today, John Kerry, the Secretary of State, made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan. Kevin Sieff is Kabul Bureau Chief for the Washington Post.

Guests:
Kevin Sieff, Washington Post (@ksieff)

Main Topic Bugs, Drugs and Super-bugs 35 MIN, 24 SEC

Public health officials don't want to "cry wolf" or frighten people more than needed. So, they don't often use apocalyptic language. That's why it's rare to hear the head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn about an impending "nightmare" or his British counterpart talk about a threat comparable to "terrorism."  But that's how they are describing the growing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics, which could set medicine back by a hundred years. Over-prescription by doctors and use in farm animals get part of the blame, and despite the need for new antibiotics, Big Pharma is cutting back on research and development. It's an all-too familiar problem that's becoming increasingly urgent.  What will it take to solve it?  What can we do in the meantime?

Guests:
Maryn McKenna, Wired and Scientific American (@marynmc)
Ed Septimus, Infectious Diseases Society of America
John Rex, AstraZeneca (@AstraZenecaUS)
Richard Carnevale, Animal Health Institute (@AnimalsHealthy)

Superbug

Maryn McKenna

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