National

The Two-Way
7:13 am
Wed June 27, 2012

'Epic' Wildfire Sends Tens Of Thousands Scrambling For Safety In Colorado

Flames from the Waldo Canyon Fire glowed on the western side of Colorado Springs, Colo., Tuesday night.
Bryan Oller AP

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 6:17 pm

"A firestorm of epic proportions" continues to threaten Colorado Springs, Colo., as more than 1,000 firefighters battle flames that by midday had forced more than 26,000 people to flee their homes.

It was local Fire Chief Rich Brown who called the inferno epic Tuesday night. Today, Lt. Jeff Kramer of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said it's an event "that is certainly unprecedented in this city," The Denver Post reports.

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Law
3:01 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Exhale, Chicago, A Little Pot May Be Fine(d)

In Chicago, nearly nine out of 10 low-level marijuana busts result in a dismissal.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 3:00 pm

In Chicago, a new policy on marijuana possession would mean adults who are caught with a small amount of the illegal drug would receive a fine instead of being arrested.

It's mostly about money and how best to use police resources.

Under current Illinois law, anyone found with less than about 1 ounce of marijuana can be charged with a misdemeanor. If found guilty, they face up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
3:00 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Morale Takes A Hit At Beleaguered Fannie, Freddie

Created by the federal government during the Great Depression, Fannie Mae became a Washington powerhouse: a highly profitable, private company, protected by the government and boasting huge lobbying clout. But today, Fannie Mae has essentially become a ward of the state.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 6:47 pm

The collapse of the housing market has led to plenty of finger-pointing in Washington. Two easy targets are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

These government-backed mortgage giants had to be rescued by taxpayers and now owe the government $188 billion. Still, Fannie and Freddie, which currently make the vast majority of home loans possible, are crucial to supporting the housing market right now.

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Sweetness And Light
10:03 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

The Man Who Painted Sport, Bright and Beautiful

Artist LeRoy Neiman, who died last week at 91, signs serigraphs of baseball's Mike Piazza (left) in 2000.
Kathy Willens AP

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 12:44 pm

Framed in my library is a sketch that LeRoy Neiman dashed off of me on the back of a menu, when he was watching me speak several years ago. LeRoy, who died the other day, was somewhat better known for another sketch, the "nymphette" that has appeared in Playboy since 1955 — but, of course, he's ever famous for simply being our most celebrated sports artist.

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U.S.
7:27 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Future Murky For Arizona's Immigration Law

A defiant Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio answers questions about the Justice Department's lawsuit against him during a news conference in Phoenix last month.
Ross D. Franklin AP

As Arizona officials prepare to apply the one provision of the state's immigration law upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, some local authorities doubt they can properly enforce it.

"We will do our best to enforce the law. But we are in uncharted territory on this issue," Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor said in a statement released by the Police Executive Research Forum, a nonprofit organization of police chiefs. The group says the law "will seriously undermine local law enforcement."

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This Is NPR
5:54 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Get Smart with NPR's "Talk of the Nation" Live from the Aspen Ideas Festival

Sylvia Earle, E.O. Wilson and Neal Conan chat onstage.
Photo by Sarah Handel NPR

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 8:03 pm

This week, Talk of the Nation host Neal Conan kicked off NPR's live coverage of the annual Aspen Ideas Festival and Aspen Environment Forum. From 12PM-2PM MT (2PM-4PM ET) Monday, June 25 through Thursday, June 28, the midday talk program is featuring live conversations with global thought leaders from the festival for the second year in a row. Busy being productive during that time? Not to worry!

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Politics
5:34 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Congress Taking Student Loans, Highway Bill To Wire

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 9:06 pm

Congressional leaders on Tuesday said they were close to a deal to solve two big issues facing lawmakers — student loan interest rates and federal highway funding.

Both issues with looming deadlines have high stakes for middle-income Americans: If Congress fails to reach agreements by this weekend, the federal highway program would come to a halt, and student loan interest rates would double, to 6.8 percent.

Student Loans

President Obama has been hammering on the issue of student loans for days.

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Sports
5:06 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Ready, Set, Sail: America's Cup Back In Rhode Island

The Oracle Racing AC45 catamarans practice in the San Francisco Bay in February. The AC45 is a smaller version of the AC72, which teams will race in next year's America's Cup Finals in 2013.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 9:06 pm

An America's Cup sailing event is being held to Newport, R.I., for the first time in 29 years. Sailors began arriving in Newport last week for the final leg of the America's Cup World Series regatta, which has been held at stops all across the world to gin up excitement for the official America's Cup next year in San Francisco.

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Around the Nation
4:40 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Gays Slowly Gaining Acceptance In Military

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 9:06 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

A first at the Pentagon today, an official ceremony to celebrate Gay Pride Month. It's the first chance for the military to mark the occasion openly since the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

NPR's Larry Abramson was there.

LARRY ABRAMSON, BYLINE: Gay Pride celebrations often feature outrageous costumes, but the only get-ups in the Pentagon auditorium were military uniforms and business suits worn by civilian workers. The only rainbow colors were on the flags carried in by a color guard.

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Around the Nation
4:40 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Board Reinstates University Of Virginia's President

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 9:06 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. At the University of Virginia this afternoon, a resounding turnaround.

TERESA SULLIVAN: Today, the Board of Visitors has voted to reinstate me as the president of the university.

(CHEERS, APPLAUSE)

BLOCK: Teresa Sullivan has her job back. Just two weeks ago, she was forced out in a behind-the-scenes move by some board members. Students and faculty were infuriated, and the campus has been in turmoil.

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