Your Money
11:00 am
Mon January 30, 2012

As Homeowners Struggle, Freddie Mac Benefits

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 12:33 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

A report by NPR and ProPublica finds that Freddie Mac bet billions of dollars against homeowners' ability to refinance their mortgages. Public documents show Freddie Mac sought to make gains through complex securities which would make money for Freddie Mac, but homeowners with high-interest rate loans would not be able to qualify for refinancing. This is not illegal, but it does raise questions about a conflict of interest within a federally-owned company that is supposed to make getting a mortgage easier.

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The Two-Way
10:54 am
Mon January 30, 2012

At E.U. Meeting, Countries Expected To Agree That Austerity Is Not Enough

In this photo provided by the German Government Press Office, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti, France's President Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel speak at a meeting at the European Council in Brussels ahead of the European Union leaders summit on Monday.
Getty Images

European Union leaders are meeting in Brussels today to discuss the monetary union's ongoing economic crisis. According to The New York Times, the countries will decide that austerity is not enough to curb the sovereign debt crisis.

The Times reports:

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Shots - Health Blog
10:43 am
Mon January 30, 2012

A Bid To Replace Neglect For Tropical Diseases With Attention

An artist on Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach puts the final touches on a sand sculpture of the assassin bug, which spreads Chagas disease. The sculpture was part of an event in 2009 commemorating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the disease.
Vanderlei Almeida AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 12:31 pm

Tropical diseases that have long been overlooked are getting their due.

An ambitious new push to eradicate, eliminate or control 17 scourges over the next eight years was just unveiled in London. The initiative brings together some of the world's largest drugmakers, health-oriented foundations and nongovernmental organizations. Governments from the developed world and the countries most affected by the diseases are also on board.

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The Two-Way
9:26 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Intense Cold Kills 36 Across Eastern Europe

Bulgarian women walk during a snowfall in the village of Rakovski, northeast from capital Sofia.
Nikolay Doychinov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 9:30 am

While the United States has mostly escaped winter, the opposite has been true in Eastern Europe. The AP reports that an intense freeze has killed at least 36 people throughout eastern Europe. In some places, temperatures dropped to negative 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

The AP adds:

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Book Reviews
8:48 am
Mon January 30, 2012

'An Available Man': Love After Loss

cover detail

In my family, we referred to them as "the brisket brigade" — those single ladies of a certain age who began bombarding my brother-in-law with casseroles and commiseration soon after my sister-in-law died. It's a cruel fact of life that nobody plies widows with months of home-cooked meals and baked goods; as Jonathan Swift might have modestly proposed, widows might as well eat each other — there's a surplus supply of them, anyway. But, a new widower gets the Crock-Pots and the romantic fantasies all fired up.

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The Two-Way
8:37 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Megaupload Users May Lose Files Stored On Service

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom at a North Shore court in Auckland. Dotcom was denied bail in New Zealand with a judge saying he was concerned the Internet tycoon's vast wealth meant he could flee the country if released from custody.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 8:41 am

Many of the files stored by the millions of users of the cloud service Megaupload could begin losing their files on Thursday. The AP reports that federal prosecutors said Megaupload paid third parties to store data and now that authorities have freezed Megaupload's accounts, it can no longer pay those providers. The providers said they would begin deleting files as early as Thursday.

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The Fresh Air Interview
8:24 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Stew: 'Making It' After A Tough Breakup

Stew.
Courtesy of the artist

Stew's new album Making It is, in part, about his relationship with his ex-girlfriend and songwriting partner, Heidi Rodewald.

The two musicians, who still work together professionally, dated each other for years. They collaborated on songs for their band The Negro Problem, as well as on orchestrations for Passing Strange, their semi-autobiographical Broadway musical about a young African-American trying to understand himself while traveling around Europe. But during Passing Strange's initial run in Berkeley, Calif., Stew and Rodewald broke up.

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Mon January 30, 2012

'Like The End Of The World': Brush Fire Blamed For Car Pileup That Killed 10

Firemen rest after fighting fires that resulted from a pileup that killed at least 10 people on Interstate 75 near Gainesville, Fla.
Phil Sandlin AP

Police say the combination of smoke from a brush fire and fog created a deadly environment with near-zero visibility early Saturday morning that caused a huge pileup that left at least 10 dead and 21 hospitalized on Florida's Interstate 75 near Gainesville.

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Mon January 30, 2012

In December, Personal Income Saw Biggest Gain In 9 Months

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 6:45 am

In December, personal income climbed 0.5 percent, while disposable income rose 0.4 percent. New figures released today from the Commerce Department also show that consumer spending was flat, increasing 0.1 percent from the month before.

While the AP reports that rise in income was the most in nine months, the news is a mixed bag.

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