The FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed this week that they're both investigating the world of high-frequency stock trading. They did so at a time when a new book on the subject, Flash Boys by Michael Lewis, is causing an uproar on Wall Street.
To read Lewis' book is to be reminded of how drastically the stock market has changed in a decade — and how opaque it remains. Lewis says this opacity serves to cover up some disturbing developments.
Texas is full of memorable town names — Blanket, Stagecoach, Domino and Paint Rock, to list just a few. Each has at least one tale behind it, and All Things Consideredhost Melissa Block has been telling some of them as part of the series Deep In the Heart Of (A Transforming) Texas.
On a recent day at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women, inmates in jumpsuits peek out of their cells to see three men with clipboards walk into the housing unit. These men are auditors doing a practice inspection. They're here to see if the facility complies with a federal law called the Prison Rape Elimination Act, or PREA.
In Wes Anderson's latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, a writer relates the long and twisting life story of a hotel owner. It's about youthful love and lifelong obsession, and while the story is original, there's a credit at the end that reads: "Inspired by the Writings of Stefan Zweig."
The 369th Infantry Regiment served 191 days under enemy fire in Europe. They returned home one of the most decorated American units of World War I.
"The French called them the 'Men of Bronze' out of respect, and the Germans called them the 'Harlem Hellfighters' out of fear," explains Max Brooks, author of The Harlem Hellfighters, a new graphic novel about the first African-American infantry unit to fight in World War I.
After a winter of lightning-fast changes – a president ousted and a peninsula apparently lost to Russia — Ukrainians are beginning to look ahead to elections on May 25 to replace Viktor Yanukovych.
The opposition leader who seemed to have the inside track a few weeks ago, ex-world champion heavyweight Vitali Klitschko, has taken himself out of the running. Klitschko will stand for mayor of Kiev and throw his support behind billionaire Petro Poroshenko, who made his fortune in the candy business.
In Florida, where Republican Gov. Rick Scott is running for re-election, he's got a few things going for him. The state's economy has rebounded from the recession and he's on track to raise at least $100 million for his reelection bid.
But Scott's campaign has recently run into trouble with an important group of voters — Hispanics.
Latinos make up just 14 percent of Florida's electorate. But, as a bloc of voters, they have the power to swing elections statewide.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block in Dallas.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel in Washington, where President Obama cheered the Affordable Care Act today.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Despite several lost weeks out of the gate because of problems with the website, 7.1 million Americans have now signed up for private insurance plans through these marketplaces.
The announcement by Republican Sen. Tom Coburn that he is resigning his seat at the end of the year has set up a spirited battle among Oklahoma Republicans to replace him.
Leading the pack are Rep. James Lankford and former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon. At age 36, Shannon is an up-and-coming star in the GOP, and if elected he would become the third African-American in the Senate — two of them Republicans.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced the creation of a new defense agency charged with merging the multiple divisions currently responsible for finding and identifying the more than 80,000 members missing from past conflicts. A five-month investigation by NPR and the independent news agency ProPublica had found the U.S. recovery effort to be slow, inefficient and stymied by outdated methods.
Whale lovers scored a major victory today. For almost two decades, Japanese whalers have been killing whales in the Antarctic Ocean. The Japanese government claimed it was all for scientific, not commercial, purposes. NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports that today, an international court rejected that claim and said the whaling must stop.
It is the last day of March, but there's still another weekend of March Madness to come. Four teams gather in Dallas this weekend for the Final Four. If you go strictly by seeding, the University of Kentucky is the longest shot to win the men's college basketball title. In fact, though, the eighth-seeded Wildcats suddenly are a very hot favorite after yesterday's thrilling win over Michigan in the Elite Eight.
On a Sunday morning, 7-year-old Maisie shows off her pink bedroom in her family's Connecticut home. It could be an early morning scene in any household, until you look closely at the family photo above Maisie's bed. Her older sister Ella explains.
"I have three parents and a little sister," the 10-year-old says.
The man in the photo, Howard Forman, was the sperm donor for Ella's two mothers, Kristin Mattocks and Kim Callicoatte.
The deadline for H-1B Visa applications is April 1. In the week after that deadline, a lottery system will determine which high-skilled workers are able to stay and work in the US. NPR's Kelly McEvers talks with Bhavik Bhatt, who has already struck out once before in the lottery, but is taking his chances again.
As part of a series called "My Big Break,"All Things Consideredis collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.
Long before Cesar Millan became the "Dog Whisperer," with TV shows and a best-selling series of books, he had to learn how to ask for a job in English.
When we first met Brad Stevens, he was living in Lakeport, Calif., a struggling massage therapist in a struggling town on the southern tip of Clear Lake. Stevens had been uninsured his entire adult life, and used to believe firmly that clean living and exercise could stave off any need for medical care.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York tries to play tennis a couple of times a week. Sports have been part of her life for a long time, going back to high school when she played tennis and soccer.
Later, at Dartmouth in the late 1980s, Gillibrand served as co-captain of the squash team. What the future senator did not do in college was participate in student government. "I'd gone to one or two young Democratic events, and interestingly, it was almost all male — and all of the men were very aggressive," she says. "And so I didn't really feel like I fit in."
Border Patrol checkpoints aren't always near the border. Some aren't even on roads that go to the border. Take Arivaca Road; it's an East-West route 25 miles north of the Mexican border in Southern Arizona.
A Border Patrol checkpoint has been operating there around the clock for seven years. Some residents of the town of Arivaca say agents at the checkpoint go well beyond their legal authority; searching vehicles and questioning citizens without cause. So they've begun their own monitoring — to inspect the process.
Activists who support an overhaul of the immigration system are angry and frustrated. The immigration bill that passed in the Senate in June is stalled out. Meanwhile, the Obama administration is on pace to deport some 2 million illegal immigrants since taking office six years ago.
A group of independent researchers has found that the chemical crude MCHM is still present in some West Virginia homes. That's the coal-cleaning chemical that spilled into the Elk River back in January out of a storage tank operated by the company Freedom Industries. The spill contaminated drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people. The research group was formed by West Virginia's governor after public pressure.
Dave Mistich of West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports on the research group's latest findings.
Thirty-nine year old widower A.J. Fikry is an unlikely romantic hero: He's cranky, he drinks too much, his bookstore is failing and don't get him started on the state of publishing. He's also at the center of Gabrielle Zevin's new novel, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.
The story of Noah's Ark is getting blockbuster treatment in Hollywood's new biblical epic Noah. Darren Aronofsky's film about the Old Testament shipbuilder has been sparking controversy — but there's no denying that the Great Flood, digitized, is a pretty great flood.
So long winter, so long spring training, the American past time gets back in full swing on Sunday and Monday, as Major League baseball begins around the country. But actually, officially speaking, it began already halfway around the world on a cricket ground in Australia. That's where the Los Angeles Dodgers won two games from the Arizona Diamondbacks.