The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is releasing Thursday much anticipated new mortgage rules, which will restrict the kind of subprime lending practices that caused both the financial and housing sectors to crash five years ago.
The new rules come at a time when regulators and banks are trying to find a middle ground between overly lax and overly tight lending standards.
It's unusual for a federal appeals court to force a judge off a case, but the trial for alleged gangster James "Whitey" Bulger is nothing if not unusual.
Bulger is expected in court this June to face charges in 19 murders committed in the '70s and '80s, but his lawyer argued Tuesday that the judge on the case could not be impartial. Now the federal appeals court in Boston will decide whether the trial will continue with the judge, who used to be a top federal prosecutor.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., walks to the podium Wednesday in Albany to deliver his third State of the State address.
Credit Jessica Hill / AP
Newtown Schools Superintendent Janet Robinson wears a bracelet reading Hope, Faith, Love in the school colors of Sandy Hook Elementary during Gov. Dannel Malloy's State of the State address at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., on Wednesday.
Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 7:18 pm
From Superstorm Sandy to gun laws to the fiscal cliff, national issues are on the minds and the lips of the nation's governors setting their state agendas this week.
Some want Congress and President Obama to act; others urged state legislators to do what Congress hasn't.
"No one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer. End the madness now," an impassioned New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday in calling for the state to enact the "toughest assault weapon ban in the nation, period."
The small river town of Steubenville, Ohio, is in turmoil over an alleged rape involving high school football players, a 16-year-old girl and accusations of a cover-up.
Steubenville is nestled in the foothills of Appalachia at the juncture of Ohio and West Virginia, less than 10 miles from the Pennsylvania border. To the west, reclaimed strip mines, woods and hills stretch far into rural Ohio. Pittsburgh lies 37 miles to the east.
It's no news that the U.S. has lower life expectancy and higher infant mortality than most high-income countries. But a magisterial new report says Americans are actually less healthy across their entire life spans than citizens of 16 other wealthy nations.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius speaks as Attorney General Eric Holder listens during a news conference last October. The two plan to remain in their current jobs as President Obama's second term begins.
Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 6:41 am
Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki plan to remain with President Obama's administration as his second term begins, according to a White House official. The news that the three will remain in their current posts comes amid the departure of other Cabinet officials, including Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, who submitted her resignation today.
These weapons, in the Iztapalapa neighborhood of Mexico City, were handed over by their owners during a government program that accepts weapons in exchange for bicycles, computers, tablets or money.
Credit Carrie Kahn / NPR
In Mexico City, Sara Martinez Franco holds a .38-caliber revolver that belonged to her grandfather. She traded in the weapon — which she says was used during the Mexican Revolution — under the buyback program.
In Mexico, a country plagued by drug cartel violence, the mayor of the capital city is offering residents cash, new bikes and computers in exchange for their guns. He says the buyback program will get dangerous weapons out of the hands of residents and make the streets safer.
But not all mayors in Mexico — where it's extremely difficult to legally buy a gun — are rushing to replicate the program. In fact, in cities overrun by drug traffickers, some say law-abiding citizens should be able to have them for protection.
Melissa Block talks to Jean Lee, Korea Bureau Chief of the Associated Press, about the private delegation that is visiting North Korea. The group is led by former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and includes Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in a case testing whether the police must get a warrant before ordering blood to be drawn from an unwilling drunken-driving suspect.
The court has long held that, except in emergency situations, warrants are required when government officials order bodily intrusions like a blood draw. But in Wednesday's case, the state of Missouri and the Obama administration contended that warrants should not be required before administering blood tests to suspected drunken drivers.
Over the last several months, U.S. banks have been subjected to a series of cyber attacks apparently aimed at disrupting normal operations. A volunteer cyber militia group has taken credit for the attacks, saying they are to protest the anti-Islam video that has angered the Muslim world. But U.S. officials and cybersecurity experts are increasingly convinced the government of Iran is behind the attacks. Tom Gjelten talks to Melissa Block.
Hugo Chavez will not appear on Thursday to be sworn in for his fourth term as president. Chavez is undergoing treatment for cancer in Cuba and the government says his inauguration will be postponed. The opposition says the government is running roughshod over the constitution.
Actress Maya Rudolph and jazz musician Gretchen Lieberum had a band back in college, and now they're back together as Princess, a Prince cover band.
The duo talked with weekend host Guy Raz on All Things Considered about discovering Prince at age 9, falling in love with him at 12 (when the Purple Rain film came out) and how happy performing his music makes them now. Listen to the interview to hear Princess perform with The Roots and catch an impromptu rendition of the backwards singing from "Darling Nikki."
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed tough new gun laws in his State of the State address on Wednesday. Audie Cornish talks to Joel Rose about the new laws, and their chances of passing a state legislature where Republicans hold considerable power.
Another milestone for same-sex marriage. Today, the Washington National Cathedral announced it will begin celebrating same-sex weddings. The soaring, neogothic cathedral has hosted presidential funerals, and prayer services for presidential inaugurations. Now, the dean of the cathedral, the Very Rev. Gary Hall, says his church will enthusiastically affirm each person as a beloved child of God, through the sacramental blessings of Christian marriage.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block.
JEFF IDELSON: Time to open up the envelope.
(SOUNDBITE OF PAPER)
BLOCK: The envelope revealing the results of this year's vote for baseball's Hall of Fame. We're hearing Jeff Idelson on the MLB Network. He's president of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. A grass-roots indigenous movement is shaking up politics in Canada. It's called Idle No More. Like Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring, it spread quickly through social media. And it's now got the attention of Canada's leaders, thanks to the efforts of one chief from a tiny tribe whose hunger strike has galvanized the movement. David Sommerstein, of North Country Public Radio, has the story.
The Obama administration has long hinted that White House chief of staff Jack Lew was the president's choice for the next Treasury Secretary. An announcement is expected as soon as Thursday. Scott Horsley talks with Melissa Block about the likely pick.
Volunteers sort through piles of donated clothes for Superstorm Sandy victims at an impromptu Staten Island aid station in November. Relief groups are still trying to figure out what to do with donated clothes people sent to New York and New Jersey in Sandy's aftermath.
Credit Courtesy of the Center for International Disaster Information
Unsolicited donations of used clothing, bottled water, canned food and personal grooming products piled up following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The piles had to be moved aside to make room to stage and deliver critical relief supplies.
Newtown, Conn., was so inundated with teddy bears and other donations after last month's school shootings that it asked people to please stop sending gifts. Relief groups in New York and New Jersey are still trying to figure out what to do with piles of clothes and other items sent there after Superstorm Sandy.
It happens in every disaster: People want to help, but they often donate things that turn out to be more of a burden. Disaster aid groups are trying to figure out a better way to channel these good intentions.
Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 5:34 pm
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis is resigning, opening up one more slot in President Obama's second-term administration. A former member of Congress, Solis was the first Hispanic woman to head a Cabinet-level agency.
You know how sometimes in life you make a friend, and at first you want to talk to her all the time, feverishly telling her details that, by their very personal nature, will bind you to this other person forever, or so you hope? But inevitably, of course, friendships shift and change and become something different from what they initially seemed.