Let's follow up on another story. Earlier this year, five big banks settled the so-called robo-signing case, admitting they rushed the foreclosure processes for thousands of homeowners. Now, those banks are working to forgive and modify $20 billion worth of home loans.
As NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, yesterday was the first chance to look at how banks are handling this part of the settlement.
YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Joseph Smith's first full report wasn't due until November, but he was eager to keep the issue top of mind.
Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep. Every so often, people talk of eliminating the penny - which isn't worth much anymore. It survives, but not in a Chipotle restaurant in New Jersey. The Star-Ledger says a customer discovered the restaurant rounding his bill to the nearest nickel, often collecting an extra cent.
Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 6:47 am
The second night of the Republican convention was an orchestrated buildup for Mitt Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan.
Ryan emerged at the evening's end to deliver the payoff speech and introduce himself to a national audience. He did a rousing job of it, delivering the session's most memorable material with stark intensity.
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It is the wind that defines the strength of a hurricane. The storm is not a hurricane at all until the wind reaches 74 miles per hour. Hurricane Isaac's sustained winds were not much beyond that, so it was a Category 1 storm, not two, three, four or five. But if the winds define a hurricane, it's the water that can do the most damage.
Just to keep us up to date here on Hurricane Isaac, it's become a tropical storm and forecasters expect to downgrade it to a tropical depression by this evening. That is small comfort, though, to people facing the storm's strong winds and heavy rains. States as far north as Ohio could feel Isaac's effects.
But now to Tampa, where this evening Mitt Romney will formally accept his party's nomination for president.
Last night, though, the stage belonged to vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan. In a campaign, it often falls to the running mate to be the attack dog and Ryan sounded up for the job. It was also a chance for the rising GOP star to defend his own ideas.
Now, as Isaac moves north from Louisiana, it could affect other parts of the country, and we'll be following that story as it develops.
The other big story we have been following this week is the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. Today is the final day, and it's an important one for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. He'll officially accept the nomination this evening. Yesterday, Romney took a break from the hubbub of the convention to do a little campaigning elsewhere. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on his getaway.
Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 4:31 am
It was Ann Romney and Janna Ryan's turn to campaign in Tampa Wednesday. The wives of the Republican presidential and vice presidential candidates made a pitch to female voters. And Mrs. Romney reached out to Latinos.
We're getting a reminder here of how fiercely competitive this race is. Even as his party's convention is going on, Mitt Romney, campaigning in Indiana and President Obama, of course, not taking the week off - as rival candidates sometimes do during the opponent's convention. He's been making his case the last couple of days in college towns, trying to energize young voters.
And NPR's Scott Horsley is on the road with the president.
Turkey's foreign minister is in New York today. He's urging the United Nations to begin sheltering and protecting refugees inside Syria. It's a move that would almost certainly require international military involvement to safeguard an area inside the country. But Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says talk of a safe zone inside his country is not practical. NPR's Peter Kenyon has this report from Istanbul.
This week, Americans have been remembering Neil Armstrong. But before he walked on the moon, he had to solve a much more prosaic problem.
"You're about to embark on a mission that's more dangerous than anything any human has ever done before," Robert Pearlman, a space historian and collector with collectspace.com, told me. "And you have a family that you're leaving behind on Earth, and there's a real chance you will not be returning."
Scientists have known for decades that lab rats and mice will live far longer than normal if they're fed a super-low-calorie diet, and that's led some people to eat a near-starvation diet in the hopes that it will extend the human life span, too.
But a new study in monkeys suggests they may be disappointed.
The long-awaited results of this study, which started back in 1987, show that rhesus monkeys fed a diet with 30 percent fewer calories than normal did not live unusually long lives.
On a placid summer morning last month, before the Virginia heat could hit them, a former U.S. Marine and his partner lifted their rowing scull into the glassy water of the Rivanna River, near Charlottesville.
"First thing I do is take these legs off," said Rob Jones, who like his rowing partner, Oksana Masters, is a double, above-the-knee amputee. They're the U.S. team for mixed-doubles rowing at the 2012 London Paralympics, which started Wednesday.
Standing outside the Central Minnesota Ethanol Co-Op in Little Falls, Minn., there's not a lot going on. The pungent smell of fermentation that typically hangs in the air here is absent. And trucks piled high with corn are nowhere to be seen.
They're idled in part because of high corn prices. And it's unclear when that will change.
"Most of the industry is just breaking even in terms of profitability or actually running at slightly negative margins," says Geoff Cooper, vice president of research and analysis at the Renewable Fuels Association.
Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 4:52 am
With a jutting chin and growing fearlessness, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan delivered a GOP convention takedown of President Obama Wednesday night, catapulting an already ugly campaign to a whole new level.
At times pugnacious, at times seemingly emotional (he wiped away tears when talking about his mother), Ryan, 42, a Wisconsin congressman, used his well-crafted speech to characterize the nation's president and his bright promise as old, played out.
Dave Ballard got the idea of a wacky charity race while watching a YouTube video of someone slip-sliding through a slough of foam. The first 5K Foam Fest was held in the fall of 2011 in Idaho.
A year and more than a dozen events later, Ballard says his group has raised more than $10,000 for charity, with most of those funds being donated to Shared Hope International, an organization that combats human trafficking.
Hello from Tampa, where tonight Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin accepted the Republican Party's vice presidential nomination and told the nation that if he joins Mitt Romney in the White House they will work to solve the nation's problems, not blame them on others.
"We will not duck the tough issues, we will lead," he said. "We will not spend four years blaming others, we will take responsibility. We will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles."
Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 7:42 am
Two Missouri farmers have been infected with a brand-new tick-borne virus that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling the Heartland virus.
The men recovered but suffered serious illness that required hospital care and weeks of convalescence. Symptoms included fever, severe fatigue, headache and nausea. Their platelet counts plummeted, but even though platelets are necessary for blood clotting, the men didn't suffer abnormal bleeding.
The U.S. and other Western countries are often trying to isolate Iran, but this week the country is in the international spotlight as it hosts a summit of 120 nonaligned nations.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Kim-moon decided to go, ignoring the advice of Israel and the U.S. He promised to deliver a tough message, but others are skeptical, arguing that his visit plays into the hands of the Iranians and to U.N. detractors in Washington.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
Encounters between humans and bears have risen in Western states, especially in Wyoming and Colorado. That's due largely to drought. Bears are traveling longer distances for food because the berries they usually eat have dried up.
As we hear from Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen, hungry bears are turning to dumpsters, kitchen cabinets and refrigerators.
In Crow, Wiconi Wawokiya means "helping families."
The Wiconi Wawokiya, Inc. shelter — also known as Project SAFE — is on the Crow Creek Sioux Indian Reservation in central South Dakota. It serves more than 350 victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.
"The needs are great," says the program's director Lisa Thompson-Heth. The center provides an array of services, including crisis counseling, medical assistance and legal advocacy.
Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 5:23 pm
A day after their party embedded a tough, anti-same-sex-marriage stance in its official platform — one shared by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney — gay Republicans shrugged (virtually) and suggested that the intensity of the intraparty fight over the issue means victory is near.
Before the Marine Mammal Protection Act was passed 40 years ago, early New Englanders had nearly hunted seals to death. They wanted them for their furs and to keep them from eating cod. Massachusetts even paid bounties on seals: $5 per nose.
The act has helped gray seals and harbor seals recolonize New England waters, but fishermen off the coast of Cape Cod say they have become a nuisance.