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.
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."
Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:24 pm
OK, I'll admit it: I've thought about doing a liquid cleanse. Detoxing, renewing myself, clearing out my system all sounds appealing, especially post-holiday binging. As baked brie, gingerbread cookies and rich stews settle onto my hips, a detox becomes ever more alluring. I've never taken the leap, though, for one simple reason: I like eating solids.
Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 4:48 pm
According to photographer Jamey Stillings, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) will be the "world's largest concentrated solar thermal power plant" when complete at the end of this year. That's if we want to get all technical.
In plain terms: There's a huge solar plant under construction in the middle of the Mojave Desert, and Stillings has been documenting the process since the very beginning. Did you know this was happening? I didn't.
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.
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.
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.
On this edition of All Songs Considered we've got a bunch of new-year premieres for you, including a special collaboration between Tom Waits and Keith Richards. The two veteran musicians recorded a song together for a new compilation album called Son Of Rogue's Gallery, and we guarantee it's not at all what you'd expect. Do the word's "sea chantey" mean anything to you?
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.
Sophisticated hacking attacks on U.S. banks in recent months have distinctive qualities that are leading investigators to believe another nation may be behind the assault. The likely suspect is Iran, which officials believe may be trying to even the score for American hacking of its nuclear program.
At least nine U.S. financial institutions have been hit since September; more attacks are expected. And part of what makes them suspicious is that they seem calculated not to steal account data or money, but instead to disrupt the banking system.
Concerned about spillover from Syria's civil war, Israel says it will build a fence in the Golan Heights along the line that has effectively served as the border since wars between them in the 1960s and 1970s.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who recently made the announcement, says he's concerned about Syrian rebel groups that have succeeded in capturing areas close to the frontier. He says that building the fence, which would extend for more than 40 miles, is a precaution.
Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 2:14 pm
Cities have plenty of reasons to care about how much food is being produced within their limits — especially now that community and guerrilla gardeners are taking over vacant urban lots across the country. But most cities can only guess at where exactly crops are growing.
And in Chicago, researchers have found that looks — from ground level, anyway — can be very deceiving when it comes to food production.
Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 6:22 pm
The Baseball Hall of Fame's Class of 2013 will not have any new inductees from the ranks of the recently retired, despite a list of candidates that includes Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. Those players, whose careers left their names at or near the top in the record books in multiple categories, are suffering from the lingering stigma of steroid use.
It is only the second time since 1971 that no players were sent to Cooperstown. A press release from the Hall of Fame, which announced the results today at 2 p.m. ET, called it "a shutout."
In the weeks before the attack, James Holmes took photos of the Colorado movie theater where 12 people were killed and dozens more wounded in last summer's mass shooting, prosecutors revealed Wednesday at a court hearing in Colorado.