An abandoned home on Chicago's South Side, which neighbor Ruben DeSantiago says attracts gang activity. DeSantiago and other neighbors mow the lawn and pick up trash because they say no one else is caring for the house.
Like hundreds of cities across the country, Chicago is trying to tackle the issue of too many foreclosed and vacant homes. The city is now requiring lenders to ensure that those abandoned properties are secured and maintained. Other cities have similar laws.
But the federal government is suing Chicago over its new rules in what's seen as a test case that could affect whether any city would be allowed to keep lenders on the hook for abandoned properties.
It's a gray April evening, and two men have driven from Easton, Pa., to Manhattan. The men are administrators at Lafayette College. They're wearing solid black suits with Lafayette pins on their lapels.
They're here to see 12 students — high school seniors who have been admitted to Lafayette and are trying to decide where to go to college.
The men have come to make the students "feel that Lafayette is in their future and make them think that they'll ruin their lives if they go elsewhere," says Greg MacDonald, Lafayette's dean of admissions.
The 3-year-old champion colt named Hansen will not be the favorite in the Derby Saturday, but most eyes will unavoidably be upon him.
You see, in a field of chestnuts and bays, Hansen is already brilliant white. Well, technically he's a gray, but without boring you with equine pigmentation detail, thoroughbred grays — like the great Native Dancer — turn whiter as they grow older, and Hansen is simply prematurely white, sort of a four-legged Steve Martin.
Andy Pettitte leaves the federal court in Washington, D.C., Tuesday. Pettitte took the stand in the retrial of Roger Clemens on charges that Clemens lied when he told Congress in 2008 that he had never used steroids or human growth hormone.
If the prosecution at the Roger Clemens perjury trial hoped for a dramatic showdown on Tuesday, the day was a big disappointment. The prosecution's star witness, Clemens' friend and onetime pitching ace Andy Pettitte, provided as much, if not more, ammunition for the defense.
Clemens is charged with lying to Congress when he testified that he had never used performance-enhancing drugs.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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President Obama flew to Afghanistan today and signed a historic agreement on the future of the U.S. involvement in that country. The president traveled under tight security to Kabul and met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai for a signing ceremony at the palace there.
This week, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that in the first quarter of 2012, the American homeownership rate hit its lowest level in 15 years. During the housing boom, millions more Americans bought homes, bumping the rate to nearly 70 percent. Now, that buying spree has been replaced with millions of foreclosures, and most of those gains have been lost.
In the tight U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts, Democrat Elizabeth Warren has been playing defense because of allegations that she used her Native American heritage to advance her career.
Warren, the likely Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican Scott Brown, says she did not know that Harvard Law School touted her as a member of a minority group back in the 1990s, when the school's faculty came under criticism for being too white.
But Warren says that when she was growing up in Oklahoma, her family always told her that she's part Cherokee.
On the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. Navy SEALs, there were two contrasting scenes to consider.
One was of President Obama in Afghanistan on a surprise visit, speaking to U.S. troops as their commander in chief in the nation whence the SEALs departed for their successful raid into Abbottabad in neighboring Pakistan.
Richard Grenell, a long time Republican hired by Mitt Romney's campaign as a foreign policy spokesman, resigned today. Grenell's hiring made news less than two weeks ago, because Grenell is openly gay.
Former Prime Minister George Papandreou stands by the tough austerity measures that ultimately brought down his government — and ended his family's leading role in Greek politics. Here, the then-leader addresses the Socialist party parliamentary group at the Greek Parliament in Athens in November.
Europe's economic crisis has been driving leaders from power, one after another. Among those toppled was George Papandreou, who stepped down as the prime minister of Greece last November, just two years into his government's four-year term.
An influential group of British lawmakers says Rupert Murdoch, shown above with his son James (left) last July, is unfit to lead his global media empire. The scathing report also says his company misled Parliament about the scale of phone hacking at one of its tabloids.
News Corp. executives Rupert and James Murdoch can give a small sigh of relief, perhaps, that U.K. lawmakers investigating the tabloid hacking and bribery scandal did not conclude they misled Parliament in earlier testimony.
But that may be just about the only relief the Murdochs receive.
The scathing report accuses the company and several of its former top British executives of lying to Parliament and of seeking to cover up widespread phone hacking, computer hacking and bribing of government employees.
This week's cover of the New Yorker magazine is a witty drawing by artist Chris Ware of a playground full of young children and their watchful parents. One woman wheels her son in a stroller, only to see that all the other parents are men. The image is called "Mother's Day."
But for all the memorable New Yorker covers out there, an equally large number of covers didn't make it to the newsstand. They were not quite on the money — or were sometimes a little too coarsely on the money.
The latest skirmish in the so-called war on women has to do with, of all things, interest rates on student loans. More specifically, the effort by House Republicans to offset the cost of a federal student loan bill by cutting funding from a $15 billion preventive health fund included in the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
A suicide bomber killed seven people, including three Somali lawmakers in Dusamareb today. Reuters reports that al Shabaab — the Islamic militant group — took responsibility.
"While suicide bombers sent by al Shabaab militants have struck government targets and African Union troops in the capital Mogadishu often in recent years, such attacks are rare in central Galgadud region.
Enron, Worldcom, Bernie Madoff, the subprime mortgage crisis.
Over the past decade or so, news stories about unethical behavior have been a regular feature on TV, a long, discouraging parade of misdeeds marching across our screens. And in the face of these scandals, psychologists and economists have been slowly reworking how they think about the cause of unethical behavior.
In general, when we think about bad behavior, we think about it being tied to character: Bad people do bad things. But that model, researchers say, is profoundly inadequate.
Afghan women pass U.S. soldiers near Bagram Air Base outside Kabul in 2010. While conditions for Afghan women have improved over the past decade, but they still face many restrictions, as well as abuses like honor killings.
Credit Joel Saget / AFP/Getty Images
An Afghan woman makes handcrafts last October at a shelter run by women, for women. So-called honor killings are common in deeply conservative Afghanistan, along with other punishments for women suspected of contact with men outside their family.
In a remote part of Afghanistan early last year, a girl was sentenced to death. Her crime was possession of a cellphone. Her executioners were to be her brothers. They suspected her of talking on the phone with a boy. The girl, in her late teens, had dishonored the family, her brothers said.
"My older brother took the cellphone from me and beat me very badly. It was dinnertime. They told me that they would execute me after dinner. They said to me this would be my last meal," says "Lina," a pseudonym.
President Barack Obama is greeted by Lt. Gen. Curtis "Mike" Scaparrotti, and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker as he steps off Air Force One at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan earlier today (Tuesday, May 1).
One year to the day after announcing to the world the death of Osama bin Laden, President Obama is in Afghanistan, the nation from which the al-Qaida leader and his followers planned and organized the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The news of the president's unannounced trip was confirmed just before 3 p.m. ET. Obama is scheduled to deliver a televised address aimed at Americans this evening at 7:30 p.m. ET.
A recent NPR story about homeless veterans brought a remarkable email from listener Gary Bressick, who runs an insurance agency in Los Angeles. The story focused on one veteran, James Brown, who had just moved into his first apartment after living on the streets for most of the previous three decades.
Are religious people more moved by compassion than those who described themselves as less religious or non-religious?
A group of scientists at the University of California, Berkeley set out to answer that question and what they found would surprise some: In three experiments, the social scientists found that the less religious were more generous when presented with situations that stimulated their compassion, which the scientists defined as "an emotion felt when people see the suffering of others which then motivates them to help, often at a personal risk or cost."
In his first race at the 5000-meter distance, runner Lopez Lomong set a 2012 world record. But the American also ran into some unusual trouble late in the race. This file photo shows Lomong at the 2008 Olympics.
Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 1:07 pm
The sports world is brimming with talk about Lopez Lomong, the American runner who set a 2012 world best in the men's 5,000-meter race in California Sunday. It was Lomong's first race at that distance (just over 3 miles), which he covered in 13 minutes and 11.63 seconds. But the race took a very unusual turn in its final laps.
A year ago Tuesday, Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces inside a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. When President Obama announced the news, he called the death of bin Laden "the most significant achievement to date" in the war against al-Qaida.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. A year ago today, U.S. Special Forces launched a secret mission to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, so we thought it appropriate to spend the first part of our program today getting different perspectives on what the death of bin Laden has meant to the security of the United States and the world.
It's been a year since U.S. special forces entered Abbottabad, Pakistan and killed Osama bin Laden. Host Michel Martin looks at the impact bin Laden's life and death had on the Arab world with journalist and policy analyst Rami Khouri. He says bin Laden tried to play on Arab anger, and failed.