Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 9:54 am
Freddie Mac racked up a $5 billion profit in the second quarter, the mortgage backer said in its quarterly report Wednesday. The earnings are the second-highest in the history of Freddie Mac, which has now extended its streak of profitable quarters to seven in a row.
Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 12:55 pm
Satellite images released Wednesday by Amnesty International show widespread devastation that is "severely lopsided" in opposition-controlled parts of the Syrian city of Aleppo. The group says the images highlight human rights violations against Aleppo's civilian population amid the country's civil war.
Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 3:23 pm
A gay couple who were asked to sit in the back of a bus in New Mexico because they were holding hands have received an apology from the company that operates the shuttles at the Albuquerque International Sunport, where the incident took place earlier this summer.
The couple, Ron McCoy and Chris Bowers, live in the Portland, Ore., area and had begun a vacation days after the U.S. Supreme Court issued historic rulings that strengthened gay rights. The pair's visit to Albuquerque was timed to coincide with the city's Pride Festival.
Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 8:44 am
To be or not to be? You decide.
Shakespeare's most famous question appears in Hamlet, but now readers will get to answer it themselves with Ryan North's To Be Or Not To Be: That Is The Adventure, a "Choose Your Own Adventure"-style rewrite of Shakespeare's classic play.
Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 8:12 am
President Obama has canceled a one-on-one September summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the White House says.
It's the most dramatic effect so far on U.S.-Russian relations in the wake of Russia's decision to grant "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden temporary asylum while he tries to get safe haven in some third country.
Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 8:48 am
Tim Oviatt was once a successful businessman. For 32 years, he owned an apparel store in San Francisco called All American Boy.
"If you wore my logo T-shirt, people knew you were gay all over the world," he says.
Now, Oviatt finds himself symbolizing something stark about the gay community. Having lost his business, his longtime partner and finally his home, Oviatt, who is 64, has mostly been sleeping in his car the past nine months.
Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 7:08 am
The Montreal pop band Stars wears many faces, literally and figuratively: Singers Amy Millan and Torquil Campbell swap lead vocals in songs that range from effervescent pop-rock to grandiose dance music to melancholy, string-enhanced dirges. With so much to choose from in the group's toolbox, a few gems are bound to get left off its records — a wrong Stars will help right with a new single next month.
Credit Bell County Sheriff's Office / Reuters/Landov
Maj. Nidal Hasan faces 13 charges of murder and 32 of attempted murder for the November 2009 shootings at Fort Hood. A Muslim, he has refused a judge's order to shave his beard, though it violates Army regulations.
From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Martin Kaste reports on Day 1 of the Fort Hood trial
(We updated this post at 11:30 a.m. ET with word that attorneys who are advising Maj. Nidal Hasan want to be excused from the case and at 12:15 p.m. ET with word that the trial had recessed for the day.)
At MORNING EDITION we've eaten plenty of donuts, especially at 3 in the morning. Well, now we know why we've reached for those glazed temptations. A new study from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests sleep deprivation leads to poor food choices. Researchers found the part of the brain that enables good decisions gets hazy after an all-nighter. The part that craves rewards is revved up for more.
Right now, I'm holding a granola bar with a vanilla topping - whatever that tells you.
Local record and book shops have been disappearing as the market for music and literature moves online. In the past few years, there's been a growth in sites that sell fine art on the Internet. On Tuesday, Amazon joined that market. But in this case, many brick and mortar galleries aren't seeing the Internet as a threat.
President Obama is in California, where he'll visit Marines at Camp Pendleton. On Tuesday, he spoke about housing in Phoenix. Among other items, he talked about winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the companies that guarantee most long-term fixed-rate mortgages in the U.S.
Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 4:10 am
Less than four weeks after Detroit filed for the nation's largest municipal bankruptcy in history, city residents went to the polls Tuesday to narrow down the field of 16 mayoral contenders for the November election. There are also more than 50 hopefuls seeking nine city council seats.
The idea of raising backyard chickens has become very popular. But people who follow through on the idea don't always know what they are getting into. So a few companies are letting would-be chicken farmers try out the experience — for a fee.
Once again, Spain and Britain are at odds over a tiny limestone peninsula at Europe's southern tip — Gibraltar. It's physically attached to Spain but has been a British territory for 300 years. Now some Spaniards want it back.
News that Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, is buying The Washington Post for $250 million took many in the news media and publishing industries by surprise. For more insight into Bezos, David Greene talks to BusinessWeek senior writer Brad Stone. He is the author of an upcoming book: The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon.
The Justice Department is bringing civil charges against one of the nation's largest banks. The government alleges that Bank of America made false statements about the quality of home loans it sold off to investors, $850 million worth of loads. The Justice Department move is the latest in a series of cases being brought against financial firms.
NPR's Chris Arnold has been following all of this and joins us now. Good morning.
The company has been hit by a lot of losses since it was founded in 2007. But for the second quarter of this year, it says it earned nearly $9 million. Virgin America seems to be reaping the benefits of falling fuel prices and an increase in people traveling.
Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 4:52 am
In Boston, a billionaire entrepreneur is buying the Boston Globe. John Henry is currently the owner of the Red Sox baseball team. He says he isn't interest in trying to influence the news — including the baseball coverage.
Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 4:47 am
What is the cultural impact of a revolution? Egyptian artists, writers and comedians are sorting through what they can and can't express now that the Morsi government has been pushed from power and the military is in charge.
Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 4:45 am
Tanks and troops are in the streets of Yemen's capital, Sanaa, as reports of possible terrorist strikes closed the U.S. and British embassies there. On Tuesday, the U.S. government advised American citizens in Yemen to leave immediately. For a view inside the capital, Renee Montagne talks to Iona Craig, a correspondent for The Times of London and one of the few remaining western journalists still there.
Sit down with the attorney general to ask him about his priorities, as NPR did earlier this year, and he'll talk about voting rights and national security. But if you listen a bit longer, Eric Holder gets to this: "I think there are too many people in jail for too long, and for not necessarily good reasons."
This is the nation's top law enforcement officer calling for a sea change in the criminal justice system. And he's not alone.
A series of threats and abusive messages aimed at prominent women in the U.K. have placed Twitter in an awkward spot. As the company gears up to go public and expand its brand around the world, it is increasingly running into cultural and legal hurdles that challenge Twitter's free speech ethos.
Earlier this year, Caroline Criado-Perez led a successful campaign to keep non-royal British women on the country's currency. Then last week, because of that work, the 29-year-old activist and blogger became the target of an organized barrage of hateful messages on Twitter.