NPR's business news starts with new trouble for B of A.
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GREENE: In a regulatory filing yesterday, Bank of America revealed it may be facing civil charges over its activities during the financial crisis. The bank disclosed an investigation by the Department of Justice related to residential mortgage-backed securities. Bank of America says it's cooperating. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. As Shavonnte Taylor was riding the metro in D.C. yesterday, headed to a prenatal doctor's appointment. Her baby was due in a few weeks, but as she was changing trains her contractions began. Fellow metro riders, including luckily an EMT, sprang into action. And in a few minutes, right there on the platform, a healthy boy was born. Appropriately, that station is called L'Enfant Plaza. As in l'baby. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
You know how school kids can get as summer break is getting closer: a little rowdy.
MONTAGNE: Not how you'd normally describe the U.S. Senate, which is widely considered the more gentile congressional body. But tempers flared yesterday when Senators Patty Murray and Susan Collins had the floor and were trying to talk about transportation spending, but were being not just ignored, but drowned out by talkative colleagues.
In New York, a jury has found former Goldman Sachs securities trader liable on six of the seven fraud charges. This is being seen as a big win for the Securities and Exchange Commission, as NPR's Dan Bobkoff reports.
When you check social media and you're not caught up on your favorite TV show, say, you never know when you might encounter a spoiler. Somebody on Twitter, some blog says too much about what happened in a plot line. My big spoiler moment came when I saw a post about a death on "Downton Abbey" and I thought that everything was just ruined. But is it really that bad when this happens? NPR's Neda Ulaby has this encore story about how spoilers might actually make you enjoy something more.
In Spain, efforts at economic recovery are being overshadowed by a bribery scandal. Top politicians have been accused of taking under-the-table cash from construction companies. The ruling party's former treasurer is in jail. And yesterday, the prime minister had to explain himself in parliament. Lauren Frayer reports from Madrid.
Zimbabweans remember well that 2008 presidential election, when many in the opposition were rounded up, tortured, and scores were killed. Ultimately Robert Mugabe stayed in power - 33 years now and counting. Fungai Machirori, who's 29 years old, is part of a generation that grew up under Mugabe. She's a poet and the founder of Her Zimbabwe, a not-very-political platform for women to share their stories.
One day after the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., last December, Liza Long wrote a blog post urging the country to focus on treatment for the nation's mentally ill youth. In it, she shared the story of her own son, "Michael" (not his real name). "I live with a son who is mentally ill," she wrote for The Blue Review.
The unemployment rate only includes people who don't have jobs and are looking for work. A much larger swath of people — about 36 percent of U.S. adults — don't have jobs and aren't looking for work at all. That figure is higher than it's been in decades (and, conversely, the share of adults in the labor force — shown in the graph above — is lower than it's been in decades).
Here are four reasons why so many people are leaving the labor force.
Changes to the acidity of the Earth's ancient oceans affected the coral reefs more than 50 million years ago. And researchers are using that information to try to predict how the planet might fare in our rapidly changing climate. Above, the Wheeler Reef section of the Great Barrier Reef.
One of the most powerful ways to figure out how the Earth will respond to all the carbon dioxide we're putting into the atmosphere is to look back into the planet's history.
Paleontologists have spent a lot of time trying to understand a time, more than 50 million years ago, when the planet was much hotter than it is today. They're finding that the news isn't all bad when you take the long view.
Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 5:54 pm
Now that the dust has settled somewhat on the rhetorical skirmish between Rand Paul and Chris Christie over NSA data-gathering, it's easier to see the irony of the confrontation.
We witnessed not just the punching and counterpunching of politicians considered likely contenders for the 2016 GOP nomination. It was also a clash between men who each possess a key to winning the White House.
A new homeless initiative in Hawaii is raising some eyebrows, and the department in charge of implementing it has concerns of its own.
As part of a larger housing bill in July, the state Legislature approved $100,000 per year for a three-year pilot project that would help get some homeless people off the island and back to their families on the mainland. Participants must leave voluntarily.
Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 4:57 am
Edward Snowden's father, Lonnie, had a dramatic change of heart this week: Back in June, he sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder in which he told him that if the U.S. promised not to detain or silence Edward before a trial, his son would be willing to return to the United States.
Skiers Jessie Diggins (from left), Kikkan Randall and Sadie Bjornsen finish practice. During the summer, they ski on Eagle Glacier to prepare for competition. It's one of the few places where skiers can train on snow during the summer.
The U.S. women's cross-country ski team has never won an Olympic medal. But that could change in Sochi, Russia, in February. The team has a secret weapon: a pristine glacier high above the mountains of Anchorage.
On the ground, it's summer. But as soon as the helicopter crests the mountain: winter. The snowy white Eagle Glacier stretches out for miles, rimmed by rocky peaks.
Hypermacho but tongue-in-cheek, the first 20 minutes of 2 Guns are enormous fun. Tough guys Bobby and Stig (Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg) bicker and flirt — with a pretty diner waitress, and with each other — while casing a small-town Texas bank.
Then they set the diner on fire, don masks, and knock over the bank for $43 million, all while taking care to save any cops from getting hurt and even kissing an available baby. The heist, it would seem, has gone according to plan. Yet something's a little off.
Imported food is getting the kind of attention these days that no product wants. Health officials in Iowa and Nebraska are blaming salad greens for making hundreds of people sick with a parasite called cyclospora. That parasite usually comes from the tropics, so it's likely the salad did, too. Earlier this summer, pomegranate seeds from Turkey were linked to an outbreak of hepatitis A.
Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 11:55 am
Taking acetaminophen causes rare but potentially deadly skin reactions in some people, the Food and Drug Administration warned Thursday.
The goal is not to scare people off Tylenol and other acetaminophen-based pain relievers, which are among the most popular medications in the United States, federal officials say.
Instead, they want people to be aware that these skin conditions can be a side effect of using acetaminophen, so that if they notice a rash or other skin reaction they can stop taking the drug and quickly get to a doctor.
A couple of guys with serious investment banking experience are moving into the marijuana business. They've launched the first multimillion-dollar private equity fund devoted entirely to what they like to call the "cannabis space."
It started when Brendan Kennedy was working at the Silicon Valley Bank and learned of an entrepreneur who wanted to sell software for marijuana dispensaries. The idea piqued Kennedy's interest. A few days later, a radio show about legalizing pot piqued it even more.
Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 6:11 am
Chinese gamers may soon be able to settle by force a thorny international dispute between their government and Japan over who controls a small chain of islands in the East China Sea.
The basic platform of the newly released Glorious Mission Online was developed as a training tool for the People's Liberation Army. Game maker Giant Interactive Group (GIG) has expanded the "first-person shooter" game with a simulation of a Chinese amphibious assault on the Senkaku islands, as they are known in Tokyo, or Diaoyu, as Beijing calls them.
Writer-director Fernando Trueba certainly isn't earning points for his original premise in The Artist and the Model, which tells the story of an elderly French artist at the end of World War II who suffers from a creative block until the arrival of a young muse fuels a late-career resurgence.
In space, not many people can hear you scream. In fact, traveling in a manned spacecraft is probably a bit like working on a soundproof movie set — which is plainly where Europa Report was shot.
Tricked up with split screens and digital-video glitchery, this low-budget sci-fi saga emphasizes the claustrophobia and monotony of a long journey beyond Earth's gravity. But it also borrows gambits from horror movies, withholding information and eliminating characters one by one.
In education circles, Tony Bennett is widely known as a hard-charging Republican reformer associated with Jeb Bush's prescriptions for fixing public schools: charter schools, private school vouchers, tying teacher pay to student test scores and grading schools on a A through F scale.
Bennett resigned from his post as Florida's education chief this morning when a controversy over the last of those things — the school grades — caught up with him.
House Republicans' plans to hold the line on federal spending and maintaining the cuts demanded by sequestration were thrown into doubt this week. Leaders abruptly pulled a transportation spending bill off the floor, prompting a rare public statement from the Republican chairman of the appropriations committee to lash out at the decision.
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In New York City today, a victory for the Securities and Exchange Commission: A federal jury held former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre liable on six of the seven counts against him. The SEC had accused Tourre of intentionally misleading investors about a mortgage-backed security just as the housing sector was beginning to collapse. The investment created huge losses.
When it was launched Thursday, the Moto X, Google's first smartphone product to come out of its buyout of Motorola, was not the highest powered or highest pixeled device. Rather, the designers boasted of its usability — that the Moto X has a larger purpose: making the technology of a phone adapt to the way people use them, rather than force user behavior to adapt to the technology.