4:36pm

Thu November 3, 2011
Crisis In The Housing Market

As Foreclosures Surge, Help Is Often Hard to Find

Residents pack an auditorium during a town hall on mortgages organized by Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement, or VOICE, in Northern Virginia.
Todd Parola Todd Parola Photography

President Obama's new plan to help millions of people stay in their homes by refinancing their mortgages at low rates raised hopes of easing the housing crisis.

But federal budget cuts have sharply reduced the number of housing counselors who can help distressed homeowners in the nation's hardest hit communities. Banks that own the properties are slow to pick up the tab.

"We are definitely concerned about counseling capacity," says Lemar Wooley, a spokesman for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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4:30pm

Thu November 3, 2011
The Two-Way

Report: Many Large Corporations Are Paying No Income Taxes

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 4:31 pm

As the U.S. faces a presidential election in the middle of tough economic times, taxes have been firmly in the spotlight. A study (pdf) released today is bound to add more fuel to the fire.

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3:47pm

Thu November 3, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Insurance Penalties For Smokers Draw Wide Support

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 4:19 pm

A woman smokes outside an office building in New York City.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

When it comes to improving health, there are carrots and there are sticks.

One way to try to influence people's habits is by tying how much they pay for health coverage to their behavior.

Starting next year, for instance, Wal-Mart, the nation's largest private employer, will charge workers who smoke a penalty ranging from $260 to $2,340 annually on health insurance. That's a pretty big stick. As for a carrot, the retailer will offer free smoking-cessation help.

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3:39pm

Thu November 3, 2011
The Two-Way

Seattle 'Superhero' Phoenix Jones Loses His Day Job

Getting arrested for using pepper spray on a group of people has at least temporarily cost self-proclaimed Seattle superhero Phoenix Jones his day job helping autistic children.

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3:25pm

Thu November 3, 2011
Politics

Once GOP Stars, 5 House Freshmen Fight For Seats

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 7:55 pm

Rep. Adam Kinzinger during a July 28 news conference on Capitol Hill to announce plans to vote yes on the GOP proposal to raise the debt limit.
Harry Hamburg AP

In the election held a year ago this week, Republicans took over control of the House with the help of nearly 90 newcomers to their ranks. Now, just a year before the 2012 contests, many of those freshman lawmakers find themselves facing tough re-election bids.

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3:22pm

Thu November 3, 2011
'Darkhorse' Battalion And The Afghan War

A Marine's Death, And The Family He Left Behind

Kait Wyatt carries her 1-month-old son, Michael, at the burial for her husband, Marine Cpl. Derek Wyatt, at Arlington National Cemetery, Jan. 7. Wyatt was killed Dec. 6, 2010, in Afghanistan. Kait Wyatt, who was pregnant at the time of her husband's death, was induced the day after he was killed so she could attend the service.
Evan Vucci AP

A year ago, nearly 1,000 U.S. Marine officers and enlisted men of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment deployed to restive Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. By the time their tour ended in April 2011, the Marines of the 3/5 — known as "Darkhorse" — suffered the highest casualty rate of any Marine unit during the past 10 years of war. This week, NPR tells the story of this unit's seven long months at war — both in Afghanistan and back home.

Fifth of seven parts

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3:07pm

Thu November 3, 2011
Books

'The Art Museum': A Case For The Printed Book?

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 3:01 pm

If The Art Museum were a real museum and not just a book, there would hardly be need for another. At 18 pounds and 922 pages, the expansive book is organized into thematic "galleries," and within those "rooms" dedicated to solo artists, like Picasso.
Phaidon

Publisher Phaidon's latest art endeavor, The Art Museum, presents the collection of an imaginary museum with the greatest works from art collections around the globe. That museum would have to be imaginary — the book itself weighs in at 18 pounds, measures 16 1/2 by 12 5/8 inches and runs nearly 1,000 pages.

The Art Museum is divided into 25 galleries, as opposed to chapters, and each gallery is divided into several rooms, which all told include reproductions of more than 2,700 works.

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3:00pm

Thu November 3, 2011
World

Greek Drama Dominates Talks At G-20 Summit

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 7:37 pm

President Obama speaks with (from left) French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron at the G-20 summit in Cannes, France, on Thursday. The talks were dominated by Greece's financial woes.
Charles Dharapak AP

Greece's decision to scrap a referendum on new austerity measures added a note of urgency to the G-20 summit meeting that began in Cannes, France, on Thursday. President Obama and other G-20 leaders are trying to prevent the Greek debt crisis from spreading to the rest of Europe and beyond.

Before the G-20 summit formally got under way, Obama met privately with the leaders of France and Germany — Europe's two biggest economies. They're also the architects of a continental debt rescue plan.

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3:00pm

Thu November 3, 2011
Europe

Why Put The Bailout To A Referendum In Greece?

Robert Siegel speaks to Mark Mazower, a professor of history at Columbia University and an expert on contemporary Greece, about the tensions between democracy and the need for decisive action in dealing with the euro crisis. Mazower says that the speed of financial markets, and the slowness of the democratic process, has increased this tension during the crisis.

3:00pm

Thu November 3, 2011
Business

Filene's Basement To Close Its Doors

Filene's Basement, the storied discount store, has filed for bankruptcy and plans to close down all its locations by the new year. Its parent company, Syms Corp., has also filed for Chapter 11.

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