Business
3:14 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Housing Market Watchers Edgy As Mortgage Rates Keep Climbing

Home values have been rising in recent months, but mortgage rates have taken a rapid turn upward as well. Some investors are worried that the housing recovery may stall if mortgage rates jump too quickly.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:12 pm

Mortgage rates have seen a relatively sharp rise this month. The average 30-year fixed-rate loan hit 4 percent earlier in June — a big jump from the record lows of recent years. Some investors are now concerned that the housing recovery could be stifled if rates continue to rise quickly.

The Federal Reserve has two main missions: to maximize employment and minimize inflation. Right now, there are few, if any, signs that prices for goods are spiking, and the job market is still crawling out of its long, deep slump.

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Code Switch
3:14 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

11-Year-Old Keeps Singing In Face Of Hate

Sebastien de la Cruz gave an encore performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before the NBA Finals game on Thursday.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 5:59 pm

It's not often an 11-year-old boy gets to sing the national anthem twice during the NBA Finals.

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It's All Politics
3:04 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Think Your Job's Hard? Try Being A Congressional Spy Watcher

Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky arrives in Chicago with President Obama in March.
Paul Beaty AP

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 3:32 pm

As the controversy over the National Security Agency's phone and Internet data gathering reminds us, one of Congress' most challenging assignments is oversight of the nation's intelligence community.

Keeping tabs on the part of the federal government that constantly invokes national security to justify its opaqueness has its obvious difficulties and frustrations.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

U.S. Navy Approves Use Of Lowercase Letters

Teletype operators relay U.S. military communications in North Africa during World War II.
AP

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:33 pm

A recent directive issued by the U.S. Navy was transmitted in the customary format, using all uppercase letters. Sailors, it said, are:

"AUTHORIZED TO USE STANDARD, MIXED-CASE CHARACTERS IN THE BODY OF NAVY ORGANIZATIONAL MESSAGES."

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The Two-Way
2:27 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Australian General's Frank Talk On Sexual Abuse Wins Fans

Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Australia's army chief, has simple advice for those who don't want women in the service: "Get out."
YouTube

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Planet Money
1:15 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

When People Make Their Own Banks

Harlem funeral directors Tamara Bullock and Patricia Hamilton are going to spend their next savings-club payout on a sky-diving trip (unless Bullock can get out of it).
Marianne McCune NPR

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:12 pm

Miguelo Rada doesn't seem like the kind of guy who'd have extra cash. He just spent 32 years in prison, he lives in a halfway house in West Harlem, and his current income comes only from public assistance.

He uses food stamps for food, wears hand-me-down clothes and buys almost nothing. He is also an unofficial bank.

"If somebody asks me, 'Can I borrow $20?' If I have it I'll say, 'Here!' " he says.

This kind of borrowing is one way people do what economists call "consumption smoothing" – basically making spending more regular, even when income is not.

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Jeff Brady is a NPR National Desk Correspondent based in Philadelphia. He covers the mid-Atlantic region and the energy industry.

In this role, Brady reports on the business of energy, from concerns over hydraulic fracturing in Western Pennsylvania to the oil boom in North Dakota and solar developments in the desert Southwest. With a focus on the consumer, Brady's reporting addresses how the energy industry intersects consumers' perspective at the gas pump and light switch.

Frequently traveling throughout the country for NPR, Brady has covered just about every major domestic news event in the past decade. Before moving to Philadelphia in July 2011, Brady was based in Denver and covered the west for NPR.

The Salt
1:03 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

New Blood Sparks Identity Crisis For Fraternal Group Of Farmers

"A œGift for the Grangers" was a recruitment poster for the National Grange printed in 1873. Grange membership around this period was estimated by some to be as high as 2 million. Today it'™s less than 200,000.
National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:12 pm

Lots of passionate people are taking up farming these days, motivated by frustration with industrial farming, concerns about the environment, and a desire to build community and local food markets. Some of these new farmers have joined the Grange, a long-established fraternal organization for farmers with roots in social activism.

In Oregon, Granges dominated by this new generation have banded together in a coalition dubbed "Green Granges," which work together to advance the issues they care about.

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Shots - Health News
12:50 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Doctors To Vote On Whether Cheerleading Is A Sport

University of Louisville cheerleaders hurled into the air during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game against Wichita State in April.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 5:43 am

This weekend the American Medical Association will kick off its annual exercise in medical democracy.

The group's House of Delegates will meet in Chicago to vote on resolutions that range from a demand that private insurers pay doctors at least as much as Medicare does to a call for federal legislation affirming the right of doctors to talk about gun safety with patients.

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Fri June 14, 2013

U.N. Chief Opposes U.S. Military Support For Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 11:58 am

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday that he opposes the U.S. decision to provide Syrian rebels with military support.

"The United Nations, and in particular I, have been making it consistently clear that providing arms to either side would not address this current situation," Ban told reporters during a briefing. "There is no such military solution."

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