National / International News

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.

Federer & Djokovic battle into semis

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-02 09:47
Seven-time champion Roger Federer and top seed Novak Djokovic fight back to make the Wimbledon semi-finals.

Costlier Digital Mammograms May Not Be Better For Older Women

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-02 09:43

Digital mammograms are sharper and aid diagnosis, radiologists say. But these scans aren't significantly better than film scans in finding tumors in older women, a study finds. And they cost more.

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VIDEO: Girl's anorexia treatment criticised

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-02 09:35
The family of a teenage girl who has anorexia have discharged her from hospital because they are so unhappy with her treatment.

Beaten Murray says poor start cost him

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-02 09:34
Andy Murray says a slow start cost him as he lost his Wimbledon title in an error-strewn showing against Grigor Dimitrov.

'Human corneas re-grown in mice'

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-02 09:08
Researchers have discovered a new way to grow fully functioning corneas using human stem cells.

VIDEO: Effects of white supremacy linger in US

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-02 09:07
Exactly 50 years since the Civil Rights Act was signed into law in the US, Aleem Maqbool visits Arkansas where the effects of white supremacy are still being felt.

New plan 'needed to stop cattle TB'

BBC - Wed, 2014-07-02 09:07
New research shows that the spread of TB in cattle can only be controlled if more radical measures are adopted.

Unions Fear High Court's Ruling Opens Door To More Trouble

NPR News - Wed, 2014-07-02 09:05

In a major labor law decision, the Supreme Court stopped short of preventing public employee unions from collecting compulsory dues. But some justices might be willing to take that step soon.

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