Tribune News Service

Newsfeatures Budget for Thursday, February 13, 2020

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Updated at 4:30 a.m. EST (0930 UTC).


Additional news stories appear on the MCT-NEWS-BJT.

This budget is now available at TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.


^The halfway underground homes of 'Parasite' are real spaces of desperation and dreams<

SKOREA-PARASITE-SEMIBASEMENTS:LA — For nine years, South Korean poet Shin Hyun-rim and her daughter resided in a netherworld seven steps below the street.

In the heart of Seoul, a stone's throw from the presidential residence and skyscrapers housing the likes of Samsung, Shin and her daughter lived in a banjiha — a semi-basement apartment with scant sunlight and dirt-cheap rent, that for many South Koreans is a last resort, a rite of passage or a low slung pit stop on the way to something better.

The halfway underground banjiha home figures prominently in South Korean director Bong Joon Ho's dark comedy "Parasite," a stark depiction of the rock-bottom existence the movie's Kim family tries to claw out of.

1150 (with trims) by Victoria Kim in Seoul, South Korea. MOVED



^In the race for California's 50th Congressional District Trump has become the defining factor<

CALIFCONGRESS-50THDISTRICT:SD — Even before Rep. Duncan D. Hunter resigned from Congress last month, it was no secret that the race to replace him was going to get brutal, especially on the Republican side of the aisle.

After all, the top Republican front-runners, former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio and former Rep. Darrell Issa, are two of San Diego County's most well-known firebrands.

What has intrigued political observers, though, are the messages each has used to attack each other. DeMaio and Issa have traded pointed barbs for months in TV ads, tweets, mailers, and forums — all about who would be the strongest and most ardent supporter of President Donald Trump if elected to Congress.

1950 (with trims) by Charles T. Clark in San Diego. MOVED



^San Francisco bans most cars from Market Street. Will other cities follow?<

CITIES-STREETS-CARS:LA — As California cities move to reclaim their streets from automobile domination, Market Street in San Francisco is the most ambitious effort so far.

Lined by skyscrapers, landmark buildings, tech powerhouses and ornate street lamps, Market cuts through the heart of San Francisco and has long had the traffic jams that come with the prime real estate. Generations ago, many of the city's streetcar and cable car lines were pulled out to make way for the mighty automobile.

A few weeks ago, there was a dramatic shift when San Francisco banned private cars on the busiest section of Market Street.

"There is a generational transformation that has occurred here," said Malcolm A. Heinicke, chairman of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's board of directors. "You have people who are really looking at having a city where they're not driving."

It's part of a growing trend across North America.

1600 (with trims) by Rong-Gong Lin II in San Francisco. MOVED


^Patients caught in crossfire between giant hospital chain, large insurer<

^PATIENTS-HOSPITAL-INSURER:KHN—<After Zoe Friedland became pregnant with her first child, she was picky about choosing a doctor to guide her through delivery.

"With so many unpredictable things that can happen with a pregnancy, I wanted someone I could trust," Friedland said. That person also had to be in the health insurance network of Cigna, the insurer that covers Friedland through her husband's employer.

Friedland found an OB-GYN she liked, who told her that she delivered only at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, Calif., a part of San Francisco-based Dignity Health. Friedland and her husband, Bert Kaufman, live in Menlo Park, about five miles from the hospital, so that was not a problem for them — until Dec. 12.

That's the day Friedland and Kaufman received a letter from Cigna informing them their care at Sequoia might not be covered after Jan. 1. The insurance company had not signed a contract for 2020 with the hospital operator.

1200 by Brian Krans. MOVED



^Study suggests editing human genes to fight cancer is safe. But does it work?<

MED-CANCER-GENE-EDITING:PH — Three patients with advanced cancer suffered no serious side effects from being treated at the University of Pennsylvania in the first U.S. clinical study of cells edited with CRISPR, the gene editing technology.

But neither did they benefit, according to results published this month in Science. One patient with a bone marrow cancer called multiple myeloma has died and another has progressed. A patient with sarcoma, a soft tissue cancer, also progressed.

650 by Marie McCullough in Philadelphia. MOVED




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