National / International News

Target to customers: No guns please

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-02 12:04
US retail giant Target asks customers not to bring guns into its stores, after gun rights activists demonstrated with rifles in one in Texas.

Facebook's Sandberg Apologizes For Newsfeed Experiment

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-02 12:04

Facebook scientists were criticized for a study that manipulated what some Facebook users saw on their feeds. COO Sheryl Sandberg said they didn't mean to upset users.

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VIDEO: How does crowdfunding work?

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-02 11:55
Emma Simpson takes a closer look at crowdfunding and how it is helping many businesses and projects to find much needed investment.

Anger over missing sex abuse file

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-02 11:50
The Home Office is facing calls to explain why a dossier about alleged paedophiles handed to home secretary Leon Brittan in the 1980s was not kept.

TSA To Step Up Security Measures At Some Airports Overseas

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-02 11:46

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson did not provide specifics for the new measures, but he said the agency is hoping to cause "as few disruptions to travelers as possible."

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Ask Me Anything: Emily Harris On Everything Mideast

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-02 11:35

Just over a year ago, NPR's Emily Harris packed up and moved to Jerusalem. She covers Israel and the Palestinian territories, which means plenty of politics and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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VIDEO: 'I tried to make people angry'

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-02 11:20
Scriptwriter Jimmy McGovern tackles the controversial law of joint enterprise in his latest drama, Common.

Civilians killed in Ukraine attack

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-02 11:17
Rebels and Ukrainian forces blame each other for at least nine civilian deaths in a village, as diplomats meet in Berlin.

VIDEO: Talking politics in 24 languages

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-02 10:51
The BBC talks to one of the European Parliament's interpreters about how to keep debate flowing when it is conducted in up to 24 different languages.

As Supreme Court Term Ends, Journalist Examines Its Decisions

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-02 10:47

The Supreme Court term ended Monday. The New York Times correspondent and lawyer Adam Liptak talks with Fresh Air's Terry Gross about what the decisions reveal about the nine justices.

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Homeowners brace for another foreclosure wave

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-07-02 10:42

In the thick of the housing crisis, some lenders slashed borrowers’ interest rates to as little as 2 percent. But rates start to rise again this year, and that will be hard for homeowners who are still struggling.

That group includes Adriana Martinez. She and her husband bought their dream house, in Olney, Maryland, in 2005. Right now, their monthly mortgage payment is about $2,200, thanks to an interest rate cut they got in 2010, through the government’s Home Affordable Loan Modification Program, which is referred to as HAMP. But even that payment has been tough, since Martinez lost her job last November.

“I need to find a job because, you know, it’s hard. It’s hard,” she says, holding back tears.

Martinez’s 16-year-old daughter, Julie, tries to help. She works part time at a gift shop. Julie says she and her mom were at the bank last week, confronted with a zero balance after the mortgage payment was deducted.

“I gave my mom my entire paycheck -- it was like $150 -- because she really actually needed it," she says.

And Martinez’s mortgage payment will rise by about $240 a month next year, because the HAMP interest rate cut is only temporary. After five years, the rate goes up by one percentage point a year, until it reaches the average interest rate at the time the loan was modified. Now, Martinez is afraid she’ll lose her home. 

She is trying to get help, meeting with a housing counselor at the non-profit Housing Initiative Partnership, or HIP. They talk about how Martinez can pare expenses, maybe try to get the principle on her loan reduced.

HIP counseling director Mary Hunter says they have a lot of clients like Martinez, who are already struggling and now face rising interest rates.

“If the mortgage payment goes up but their income hasn’t gone up, they’re going to be stretched,” she says, adding that some my lose their homes. “I am worried that there’ll be a new wave of foreclosures in the next year.”

It’s already happening. More than a million homeowners got a mortgage interest rate reduction through the HAMP program. But since the program began in 2009, about a third of them have dropped out. 

“Well, over 350,000 were not able to make their payments," says Christy Romero, inspector general of the Treasury Department’s Troubled Asset Relief Program. "And more than a third of those lost their home in foreclosures. Others lost their home in other ways, like short sales.” 

Romero says the Treasury still hasn’t spent about $26 billion that was supposed to be used to help homeowners. Recently, Treasury announced it’ll use some of that money to extend the HAMP program to more people, through 2016. But Romero says Treasury should focus on homeowners already in HAMP, to keep them from dropping out, and causing that new foreclosure wave.

Homeowners across the country who got an interest rate cut through HAMP are now facing a rate increase. Some haven’t been able to keep up with their mortgage payments.

Special Inspector General, Troubled Asset Relief Program quarterly report to Congress. April 30, 2014

U.S. Privacy Board Says NSA Internet Spying Is Constitutional

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-02 10:42

Some parts of the program come "close to the line of constitutional reasonableness," so the board is offering some proposals to fix those concerns.

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Emergency halt to Banksy removal

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-02 10:38
A temporary stop notice is issued to halt work on a Cheltenham house, where a Banksy artwork appeared.

Calm urged after Palestinian killing

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-02 10:34
Israeli leaders urge calm after the discovery of a kidnapped Palestinian teenager's body sparks clashes in East Jerusalem.

VIDEO: Another stunning Kyrgios winner

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-02 10:22
Australia's Nick Kyrgios produces a scorching cross-court winner from an impossible angle against Canadian Milos Raonic.

VIDEO: 'Sword stick' teen killers sentenced

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-02 10:21
A "truly wicked, marauding mob" of five teenagers who murdered a man with a "sword stick" in a launderette have been jailed.

Protesters Turn Back Buses Of Immigrant Detainees Near San Diego

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-02 10:10

The buses were carrying nearly 140 people who had reportedly crossed the border in Texas. The protest drew a counterprotest by advocates for immigrants.

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'Wicked' teenage killers sentenced

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-02 10:05
A "truly wicked, marauding mob" of five teenagers who murdered a man in a Liverpool launderette when some of them were 13-years-old are sentenced.

Altitude gene 'from extinct species'

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-02 10:03
A gene that allows present-day people cope with life at high altitude was inherited from an extinct species of human, Nature journal has reported.

NI discussed in London and Stormont

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-02 09:55
Northern Ireland's main political parties begin further talks at Stormont on how to resolve contentious issues, as Prime Minister David Cameron meets Sinn Féin in the House of Commons.
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