Today is Janet Napolitano's last day as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Napolitano is leaving Washington D.C., heading for California, to become at the end of this month, president of the University of California System. NPR's Brian Naylor sat down with Napolitano yesterday for a look back at her tenure as head of one of the government's largest and most complex departments.
Let's talk next with a man who wants to secede from his state. The Board of Supervisors of a northern California county voted this week to take their county out of California. Michael Kobseff is one of the supervisors who voted yes in Siskiyou County with an eye to joining other counties in northern California, as well as southern Oregon, to form their own state. He's on the line. Welcome to the program, sir.
When Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York who quit in disgrace, entered the race for the lower profile job of New York City comptroller, that sleepy contest was suddenly front page news. Many observers started writing political obituaries for Spitzer's opponent. But with just days to go, the race is not too close to call, as NPR's Joel Rose reports.
JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: Eliot Spitzer is the first to admit he's made a few mistakes.
Last year, 2012, the Earth experienced a record melt of Arctic ice, torrential rainfall in Australia, and withering droughts in the United States and elsewhere. Scientists are beginning to figure out why. Here's NPR's Richard Harris
And today's last word in business is: Bidding War.
The real estate market has been heating up in some popular locations - like the Hamptons.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And this week, two Wall Street types competed for a narrow lot bordering both of their properties there. And when we say narrow, the strip of land is almost 1,900 feet long - 1900 feet long and one foot wide.
Saturday in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the International Olympic Committee will announce the host of the 2020 Summer Games. The committee is choosing from among Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo. The contenders all have strong selling points, but each also has serious issues clouding its bid.
There is something new and different for home mortgages: Jumbo loans are being made at lower interest rates than traditional home loans. That's kind of like a first class airplane ticket being cheaper than riding in coach.
At first this seems crazy. For as long as anybody can remember, homeowners have had to pay a premium to get jumbo loans. That's because they're not guaranteed by the federal government. If they're not guaranteed, they're riskier, so they cost more in interest payments.
Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 12:52 pm
Here's a bit of news that might make you drop that chicken nugget midbite.
Just before the start of the long holiday weekend last Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture quietly announced that it was ending a ban on processed chicken imports from China. The kicker: These products can now be sold in the U.S. without a country-of-origin label.
Melissa Block speaks with David W. Lesch, a professor of Middle East history at Trinity University and the author of The New Lion of Damascus: Bashar al-Asad and Modern Syria for a profile about Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The Senate returns from its month-long recess a few days early on Friday, but only briefly, for the sole purpose of bringing to the floor the Syria resolution. But a Senate vote on the proposal is still a week away, with the House not likely to act until the Senate has finished.