FROM Kathryn Higley
Medical Radiation: Are Americans Getting Too Much of a Good Thing? Since long before the Fukushima nuclear-plant disaster, doctors and others have been alarmed by Americans' increased exposure to radiation. But Japan's nuclear disaster has reawakened fear of the invisible enemy that's also used to discover diseases and save human lives. Even radiologists say Americans are getting too much of a good thing, but not from fallout, airport scanners or cell phones. Doctors are ordering seven times more radiation scans than they were 30 years ago, while diagnoses of life-threatening conditions have hardly risen at all. Are so many scans really needed for medicine or to avoid lawsuits, pay back investments in expensive machines and satisfy the demands of patients?
Run on Potassium Iodide: Do Californians Need It? Since word of the Japanese nuclear crisis broke Friday night, pharmacies have been besieged by customers worried about exposure to radiation that can cause thyroid cancer. While manufacturers are sending as many potassium-iodide pills as possible to Japan, US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin dismissed the need here, at least for right now. Kathryn Higley, who spent 14 years at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, is Professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at Oregon State University.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.