Music

Planet Money
2:56 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Why Does The Mortgage-Interest Tax Deduction Still Exist?

Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 12:07 pm

This is the latest story in our series on money in politics.

If you have a mortgage on your home, you can deduct the interest from your taxes. It's a popular, well-entrenched policy. But according to one policy adviser to a U.S. senator, "the mortgage-interest deduction, from a purely policy perspective ... makes no sense."

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Latin America
2:55 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Female Presidential Candidate Blazes Trail In Mexico

Josefina Vazquez Mota, presidential candidate from the ruling National Action Party, or PAN, delivers a speech during an electoral rally in Jocotepec, in the state of Jalisco, in May.
AFP/Getty Images/PAN Press Office

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 12:07 pm

When Mexicans go to the polls on July 1 to choose their next president, a woman will be among the candidates, the first from a major political party. She belongs to the National Action Party — or PAN — the party of current President Felipe Calderon.

On a recent visit to the Mexican border city of Juarez, Josefina Vazquez Mota steps onto a catwalk that juts into the center of a long banquet hall crammed with table after table of women. When she speaks, they cheer.

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Europe
2:55 am
Wed June 6, 2012

A Party On The Rise, Germany's Pirates Come Ashore

A member of the German Pirate Party, with its logo shaved in his hair, attends the party's two-day conference in Neumuenster, Germany, on April 28.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 12:07 pm

They don't have a plan to save the euro or draw down the war in Afghanistan, nor do they have clear policies on an array of issues, but the German Pirate Party is winning converts and elections with its vision of digital democracy through "liquid feedback."

Despite public relations mishaps and a haphazard organizational structure, the Pirate Party is shaking up the stolid, bureaucratic world of German politics and jolting rival parties with its rising popularity.

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Revolutionary Road Trip
2:54 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Once Tolerated, Alcohol Now Creates Rift In Tunisia

Children ride the train, hopping in and out of the open doors, from Tunis to the suburb of Sidi Bou Said.
John Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 12:07 pm

Over the next couple weeks, NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is taking a Revolutionary Road Trip across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves as they write new social rules, rebuild their economies and establish new political systems. Steve and his team will be traveling some 2,000 miles from Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, across the deserts of Libya and on to Egypt's megacity of Cairo. In this story, he looks at the friction that has developed over alcohol in Tunisia.

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It's All Politics
2:32 am
Wed June 6, 2012

How Walker Held On To His Job In Wisconsin

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker greets supporters at a rally Tuesday in Waukesha, Wis., after weathering a recall challenge.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 8:17 am

Gov. Scott Walker beat back a recall attempt in Wisconsin on Tuesday by doing what he had to do: turning out huge majorities in the Republican enclaves of the state — especially in its eastern half near Lake Michigan.

In the end, Walker wound up with about 53 percent of the vote, about 1 percentage point better than he had in winning the governorship the first time in November 2010.

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Planet Money
9:39 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Three Ways To Stop A Bank Run

This photo dated October 24th, 1929, shows a view of people rushing to a saving bank in Millbury, Massachusetts as the stock market on Wall Street crashed, sparking a run on banks that spread across the country.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 5:23 pm

Once a bank run starts, it takes on a logic of its own. Even a solid, solvent bank can't hold up for long if people start to panic. This is a problem for Europe right now, as depositors continue to pull money out of banks in Spain and Greece.

On today's show, we talk to Douglas Diamond, an economist who is one of the go-to guys on bank runs, and we hear from Greek bank teller who is handing out euros to panicked depositors.

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It's All Politics
7:34 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Live Blog: Wisconsin Decides Governor's Fate In Recall Vote

Supporters of Republican Gov. Scott Walker watch returns as they await the governor's speech at an election night rally on Tuesday in Waukesha, Wis. Walker survived a recall election in the state, defeating his Democratic rival, Tom Barrett.
Brian Kersey UPI/Landov

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 7:40 am

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, just the third governor in U.S. history to face a recall effort, is now the first to successfully defeat such an attempt. The Associated Press projected that Walker would defeat Milwaukee's Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett in what was a rematch of the 2010 gubernatorial election.

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American Dreams: Then And Now
7:31 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

'My Country': tUnE-yArDs Questions The American Dream

Merrill Garbus is the singer and songwriter behind the band tUnE-yArDs.
Chloe Aftel Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 12:07 pm

Merrill Garbus, the woman behind the experimental folk-rock band tUnE-yArDs, wrote her song "My Country" with the state of the union on her mind. The melody resembles "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" at first but quickly veers into more chaotic territory.

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NPR Ombudsman
7:17 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Artfully Writing About Sex Abuse By Catholic Priests

The Rev. James Brennan returns after a lunch break to Philadelphia Criminal Justice Center Mar. 26, 2012.
Stan Honda/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:20 pm

A Web version of a recent report by Barbara Bradley Hagerty about the Philadelphia sex abuse trial of a Catholic monsignor and a priest prompted the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights to accuse NPR of taking a "bigoted swipe" against priests.

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Shots - Health Blog
7:08 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Romney's Health Care Prescription Gives Some Conservatives Heartburn

Mitt Romney (right), at the time the governor of Massachusetts, greets then-Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt during a National Governors Association forum in February 2006. Romney reportedly has tapped Leavitt to head his presidential transition team.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 8:33 am

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney insists that when it comes to health care, his first priority is the full repeal of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

But some of his actions of the past few days have conservatives scratching their heads.

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