Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 7:43 am
Bank of America announced this morning that it will pay the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) $3.6 billion in cash and will buy back $6.75 billion worth of mortgages to resolve claims related to mortgage-backed securities sold to Fannie Mae by the bank and Countrywide Financial Corp. (which BofA acquired in 2008.
Authorities at a Brazilian prison noticed a bulky cat wandering on prison grounds. They discovered the small black-and-white cat was hauling in saws, drills, a cell phone and charger — all taped to its body.
Police in Framingham, Massachusetts received word of somebody egging a house. They investigated and found the suspect was a cop, and so was the victim. Investigators say the homeowner is a police sergeant in Newton, Massachusetts. He's the superior officer of the guy who was tossing the eggs. The Metro West Daily News reports that both men were off-duty at the time, and both insist it was just a joke between friends.
From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Tom Bowman on the Hagel nomination
President Obama will announce today that he plans to nominate John Brennan to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency, an administration official with knowledge of the decision tells NPR's Tom Bowman.
French President Francois Hollande has vowed to improve his country's competitiveness. But to better compete, France has to overhaul its labor market, and some hard-earned workers' rights and privileges could be lost.
And joining us now, as she does most Monday, is Cokie Roberts. Good morning.
COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, Renee. Happy New Year.
MONTAGNE: Happy New Year to you. So, Cokie, we seem to be getting the next year, or this new year, right back where we ended in the last Congress, and that's bickering over everything. And as we've just heard, that includes, big time, the president's cabinet appointment of a former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel. Tell us more about what's going on there, a little bit more history.
More than a thousand protesters turned up in the Ohio River town of Steubenville over the weekend, spurred by a blogging and Twitter campaign that's focused on rape allegations involving high-school football players. Social media has taken the case well beyond the small eastern Ohio town, sparking international tension.
Now, today's last word in business is phygital. No, that's not a word describing how you feel about two hours into watching "The Hobbit." This movie's going on and feeling a little phygital. No, it's not a feeling. It's a concept that computer manufacturer Lenovo announced over the weekend at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Designers and sisters Kate (left) and Laura Mulleavy acknowledge the audience after the Rodarte fall 2012 collection show during Fashion Week last February in New York.
Credit Jason DeCrow / AP
In this film publicity file image released by Fox Searchlight, Natalie Portman is shown in a scene from <em>Black Swan</em>. Fashionistas flipped over the film's forward-thinking ballet costumes by Rodarte, sisters Laura and Kate Mulleavy.
Author Simon Garfield loves maps. His home in London is full of them — that's where they're stocked, hanging on walls and piled on shelves. So when Garfield was looking for a new topic to write about, not surprisingly, maps won out.
His new book is called On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Works.
Members of the boys basketball team from Dimond High School in Anchorage, Alaska, celebrate their 2012 state championship victory. Psychological research shows that sports camaraderie improves teenagers' mental health.
It's well known that routine physical activity benefits both body and mind. And there are no age limits. Both children and adults can reap big benefits.
Now a study published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, explores whether certain factors may help to explain the value of daily physical activity for adolescents' mental health.
"You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours" is an old and cherished maxim of our republic. In politics, that's called an earmark, aka pork. One member of Congress gets a road or a monument for his or her state in exchange for a vote on the bill in question.
Congress has lived on this since the era of stovepipe hats. The political vogue lately, however, has been to repudiate those earmarks. But with the recent gridlock in Washington, the feeling is that perhaps some of that grease might help ease things.
On one spring day in the early 1970s, writer David Esterly paused to admire a stunning wooden carving inside a London church.
"On the panel behind the altar, I saw these extraordinary cascades of leaves and flowers and fruits, carved to a fineness and fluent realism, which seemed to me breathtaking," Esterly recalled in an interview with Jacki Lyden, host of weekends on All Things Considered.
Protesters demonstrate outside a Starbucks coffee shop in London last month. Protests were held at Starbucks throughout the U.K. after it was revealed that the coffee chain had paid almost no corporate taxes for the last three years.
Credit Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images
French actor Gerard Depardieu <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/world/europe/gerard-depardieu-in-russia-with-sights-on-citizenship.html?_r=0">arrived Saturday in Russia</a> to meet with President Vladimir Putin. Putin offered Depardieu citizenship after the actor said he was leaving France to protest a new tax rate of 75 percent on incomes of 1 million euros and higher.
Credit Jacques Brinon / AP
During his New Year's address last week, Pope Benedict XVI decried "unregulated financial capitalism" as a source of global conflict.
Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:17 am
As 2013 begins with wealthy Americans in line for bigger tax bills, they're not alone. Tax fairness takes the spotlight worldwide this year, as cash-strapped governments look to impose more of the burden on well-heeled companies, individuals and institutions, and to catch and punish tax cheaters.
This week, as the U.S. Congress averted a plunge off the fiscal precipice, British Prime Minister David Cameron sent a letter to leaders of the Group of Eight countries that make up about half of the world's economic output.
In Mexico these days, the majority of babies are born in hospitals. That hasn't helped reduce the number of maternal deaths, though. So health officials are re-making the centuries-old tradition of midwifery. They are betting a new kind of midwife, one trained in a clinical setting, can offer a solution.
John Underhill waters flowers at a makeshift memorial for shooting victims outside the University Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz., on Jan. 20, 2011. Many of the plants and flowers at area memorials were replanted at a community garden.
Credit John Moore / Getty Images
Meg Johnson and Brad Holland were behind the effort to replant the memorials' flowers and plants. They also used the plastic sticks that hold cards in potted plants for crop labels.
The 113th Congress convened last week, and introduced a batch of fresh faces to Washington. Host Rachel Martin speaks with two freshmen members of the House of Representatives, Democrat Ami Bera of California and Republican Rodney Davis of Illinois, about the incoming Congress and what they hope to accomplish.
Venezuela is facing a political crisis. Longtime President Hugo Chavez is being treated in Cuba for a recurrence of cancer and resulting complications. He is supposed to be sworn in to a third term as president this week, but he might not be well enough to attend the inauguration. What then?
After the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the state's governor and President Obama called for stricter gun laws.
In the meantime, at least one small town in Connecticut is drafting new ordinances of its own.
The town meeting in Weston begins with the Pledge of Allegiance. Moving through the agenda, the attendees discuss appointments to the Commission on Aging, there's some talk of the budget and two fourth-graders make their case for eliminating plastic bags.