2:21am

Wed May 2, 2012
Crisis In The Housing Market

Should Banks Maintain Abandoned Properties?

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 8:49 am

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.
Odette Yousef

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.

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2:20am

Wed May 2, 2012
Planet Money

How Colleges Fight For Top Students

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 2:56 pm

"My mom opened the letter and she called me and told me I got the Marquis Scholarship. And she's like, 'It's a humungous scholarship!'" -Michele Tallarita
Jacob Goldstein NPR

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.

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9:13pm

Tue May 1, 2012
Sweetness And Light

A Horse Of A Different Color

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 1:04 pm

Hansen, ridden by Ramon A. Dominguez, races to the finish to win the March 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct in New York.
Adam Coglianese AP

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.

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7:35pm

Tue May 1, 2012
Law

Teammate Testifies Against Clemens In Perjury Trial

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 9:44 am

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.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

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.

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6:36pm

Tue May 1, 2012
Afghanistan

A Look At The New Afghanistan Agreement

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 9:44 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

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.

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5:37pm

Tue May 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Live Blog: President Obama Addresses The Nation From Afghanistan

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 8:14 am

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers an address to the American people on U.S. policy and the war in Afghanistan during his visit to Bagram Air Base on Tuesday.
Kevin Lamarque AFP/Getty Images

4:59pm

Tue May 1, 2012
It's All Politics

In Mass. Senate Race, Warren On Defense Over Native American Heritage

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 9:44 am

U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, greets people at Dinky's Blue Belle Diner in Shrewsbury, Mass., on Sunday.
Steven Senne AP

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.

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4:59pm

Tue May 1, 2012
Crisis In The Housing Market

Time To Trade The Lease For A Mortgage?

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 9:44 am

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, homeownership rates got even closer to pre-housing boom numbers in the first quarter of 2012.
Steven Senne AP

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.

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4:03pm

Tue May 1, 2012
Europe

George Papandreou: Greece Had To Make Changes

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 9:44 am

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.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

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.

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4:02pm

Tue May 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Facing Criticism, Gay Romney Aide Resigns

Richard Grenell.
Mark Lennihan AP

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.

The New York Times reports Grenell's abrupt resignation comes after he came "under attack by antigay activists in the party."

The Romney campaign cofirmed his resignation saying they were "disappointed" Grenell had resigned for "personal reasons."

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