As part of the NPR Cities Project, we're exploring some "gee-whiz" questions about how cities work. Melissa Block talks to Gideon Berger, Fellowship Director for the Urban Land Institute, on the street in Washington, D.C.'s Chinatown. They talk about the trickiness of timing traffic lights
Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 4:27 pm
Britain's fifth-largest bank has agreed to pay $340 million to settle charges by New York regulators that it laundered money for Iranian clients.
NPR's Chris Arnold filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"In court documents, the regulator alleged that for 10 years Standard Chartered Bank quote 'schemed with the Government of Iran and hid from regulators roughly 60,000 secret transactions... involving $250 billion dollars and reaping hundreds of millions of dollars in fees for the bank.'
The British bank accused of using its New York branch to launder money from international transaction has agreed to pay New York's top banking regulator $340 million. Regulators said the bank schemed to hide more than 60,000 financial transactions totaling $250 billion for Iranian clients. The bank denied the charges. Audie Cornish talks with Jim Zarroli.
Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 3:32 pm
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets coal miners during a campaign rally in Beallsville, Ohio, on Tuesday.
Credit Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was in far eastern Ohio on Tuesday — seemingly in the middle of nowhere.
But Beallsville is in the middle of coal country, and this site was carefully chosen. There's a battle over messaging on coal in Ohio, a state with huge coal reserves and an important but troubled coal industry.
Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 5:10 pm
Army Brig. Gen. Tammy Smith (right) with her wife, Tracey Hepner.
Credit Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
Last Friday, when Tammy Smith was promoted to Army brigadier general, her wife, Tracey Hepner, was the one who pinned her star on her uniform.
With that, Smith became the first openly gay general in the country. When Smith joined the military 26 years ago, the moment would have been unthinkable. But she explains the historic moment by focusing on its simplicity.
President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (second from right) inspect drought-damaged corn on the McIntosh farm in Missouri Valley, Iowa.
Credit Carolyn Kaster / AP
You've all heard a lot about this year's devastating drought in the Midwest, right? The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced last Friday that the average U.S. cornfield this year will yield less per acre than it has since 1995. Soybean yields are down, too.
Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 10:08 pm
Credit Matt Sayles / Associated Press
Delmonico's, the New York City steakhouse, has been around forever.
The New York Public Library's archival menu collection doesn't go back quite that far. But it does have a Delmonico's menu from 1918. The archive also, sort of randomly, has a Delmonico's menu from 1988. Delmonico's current menu is online.
Shoppers walk along Chicago's Michigan Avenue last month.
Credit Sitthixay Ditthavong / AP
After months of sitting on their wallets, Americans went shopping in July. The uptick reported Tuesday is boosting economists' hopes for a reasonably strong back-to-school season. And retailers are looking for clues about how the holiday shopping season will turn out later in the year.
"This is a good report," Chris Christopher, an economist with IHS Global Insight, a forecasting firm, wrote in an assessment of the latest report. "It indicates that consumers came back after hunkering down" during the year's first half when sales were "dismal."
A worker on a newly constructed transmission tower near Buetzow, Germany, earlier this month. The German government plans to shut down nuclear power plants and is seeking to replace that production with power from renewable energy sources, especially wind turbines and solar parks. New power transmission lines will be needed.
After Japan's Fukushima disaster last year, Germany announced a groundbreaking energy plan: It would phase out all of its domestic nuclear power in a decade and make a transition to safer, carbon neutral energy.
The goal is to have solar, wind and other renewables account for nearly 40 percent of the energy for Europe's largest economy in a decade, and 80 percent by 2050.
Vice President Joe Biden and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
Credit Evan Vucci/Jae C. Hong / AP
Who Is He?
Joe Biden: Biden, whose own presidential aspirations sputtered in 1988 and again in 2008, brought to the Democratic ticket foreign policy chops and an ability to relate to working-class voters. In his 36 years representing Delaware in the U.S. Senate, he became known as more pragmatist than ideologue. He has also made a somewhat dubious name for himself because of his volubility and not infrequent verbal stumbles. But he has parlayed those potential liabilities into an effective, if occasionally unpredictable, campaign trail presence.