9:00am

Thu July 5, 2012
The Two-Way

Countrywide Gave Lawmakers, Officials Hundreds Of Discount Loans

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 10:40 am

Countrywide Financial Corp., the one-time mortgage giant, may have "skirted the federal bribery statute," but nonetheless used a VIP discount program to gain influence in Washington, a report from the Republican-led House Oversight and Government Reform Committee concludes.

We first posted on this news, broken earlier by The Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal, at 9 a.m. ET. Since then, the committee's report has been released. Read through to see our original post and the update with links and excerpts from the committee's work:

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8:50am

Thu July 5, 2012
Regional Coverage

Biotech sector wants help from Albany

Although New York's legislative session wrapped up in June, angling for new public policy hasn't ceased.

Recently, the Business Council of New York State (BCNYS) tried to regain traction for its agenda by re-releasing a report from May.

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8:40am

Thu July 5, 2012
The Two-Way

Employers Added 176,000 Jobs In June, Survey Says

There were 176,000 jobs added to private employers' payrolls in June, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report. The gain was larger than May's 136,000, ADP says.

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8:14am

Thu July 5, 2012
The Two-Way

KABOOM! San Diego's Entire Fireworks Show Ignites At Once

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:08 pm

Oops. A "premature ignition" in San Diego sent an entire fireworks show off at once.
YouTube.com

Here's what it looks like when about 18-minutes worth of professional fireworks all go up at once.

As the San Diego Union-Tribune says, the "city's big kaboom ka-bombed on Wednesday night."

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7:42am

Thu July 5, 2012
The Two-Way

Romney Says Mandate's A Tax, But Also Sides With Justices Who Say It's Not

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney participates during the Wolfeboro, N.H., Independence Day parade on Wednesday.
Kayana Szymczak Getty Images
  • Josh Rogers of New Hampshire Public Radio on 'Morning Edition'

There are many stories this morning about what Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said to CBS News on Wednesday. The conventional wisdom is that he reversed his own campaign's view to say that the so-called individual mandate in the 2010 health care overhaul is a tax, not a penalty.

There's attention being paid to what he said to CBS because many in the news media, such as The Associated Press, conclude that:

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6:53am

Thu July 5, 2012
Around the Nation

Tweeted Picture Helps Owner Find Lost Dog

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 10:25 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Twitter is going to the dogs. Yesterday, Patch, a Jack Russell terrier, boarded a train near Dublin. When the train staff discovered him, they posted his picture on Twitter. It was re-tweeted more than 500 times. Within a half hour, his owner saw the photo and tweeted: That's my dog. Then she opened a Twitter account for Patch, in case he should go missing again. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

6:42am

Thu July 5, 2012
Around the Nation

Proud Dad Ordered To Take Down Huge Sign

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 10:25 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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6:42am

Thu July 5, 2012
Around the Nation

VA Hospital Recuits Mental Health Providers

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 10:25 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The Department of Veterans Affairs is adding staff to its hospitals to meet the mental health needs of vets of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. As Erin Toner of WUWM in Milwaukee reports, some clinicians say the help cannot come soon enough.

ERIN TONER, BYLINE: The VA hospital in Milwaukee is a hectic place. On most mornings you have to circle the parking lots over and over to find a spot. Luckily there's valet service if patients would rather leave the parking to someone else.

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5:15am

Thu July 5, 2012
Around the Nation

Power Outages Darken Many July 4 Celebrations

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 10:25 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On the day after the Fourth, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

It was especially easy for some Americans to see the fireworks last night. They had no competing source of light.

INSKEEP: Brilliant displays lit up cities like New York and Washington, but across Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey, about a quarter of a million homes still have no electricity.

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4:46am

Thu July 5, 2012
Business

Business News

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 10:25 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with the back story on VIP loans.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WERTHEIMER: A former mortgage company, Countrywide, used a VIP loan program to buy influence with members of Congress, staffers and other officials, including a number at Fannie Mae, the government backed mortgage giant central to Countrywide's business. That the bottom line of a new report out today from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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