The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Freddie Mac Didn't Harm Homeowners, Inspector General Says

In January, NPR and ProPublica reported on a potential conflict of interest at Freddie Mac, a mortgage giant sponsored by the federal government. The stories noted that even as Freddie Mac was writing rules making it harder for homeowners to refinance their mortgages, it also was stepping up investments in securities that gain when homeowners remain stuck in high-rate loans.

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Asia
12:00 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Tokyo's Governor Stokes The Island Feud With China

China, Japan and Taiwan all claim the Senkaku-Diaoyu islands as sovereign territory. On Tuesday, coast guard vessels from Japan and Taiwan dueled with water cannons after dozens of Taiwanese boats escorted by patrol ships sailed into waters around the islands.
Yomiuri Shimbun AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 11:25 pm

Japanese politicians are prone to vague pronouncements and a lot of bowing. But not Tokyo's flamboyant, ultraconservative governor, Shintaro Ishihara.

Ishihara, now in his fourth term, thrives on outrageous statements and sensational headlines, and is a central figure in the dispute between China and Japan over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.

The islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan, and Diaoyu in China, have become the worst foreign policy crisis to embroil the two Asian superpowers in decades, stoked by nationalist feelings on both sides.

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Law
11:13 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Human Trafficking Still A Problem In The U.S.

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 11:24 am

Federal prosecutors and law enforcement are working to eliminate human trafficking. How that happens and how they help victims, from the sex trade to agricultural work, differs. Writer Noy Thrupkaew, WGBH reporter Phillip Martin and Amy Bennett Williams of The News-Press explain.

Author Interviews
11:12 am
Wed September 26, 2012

'Sutton': America's 1920s, Bank-Robbing 'Robin Hood'

Hyperion

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 11:49 am

After the global financial crisis hit in 2008, Pulitzer Prize winner J.R. Moehringer was so angry at banks, he says, he decided to write about the people who rob them — in the form of fiction, since he's not an economist.

"I thought it would be healthy to live vicariously through a bank robber at that moment that bankers were ruining the world," Moehringer tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

In his first historical novel, Sutton, Moehringer writes from the point of view of Willie Sutton, whom he calls the "greatest American bank robber."

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Presidential Race
11:10 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Crunch Time For The Presidential Campaigns

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Akin fights on, McCaskill unloads, Brown and Warren drop the gloves, and Ann Romney hits back at GOP critics. It's Wednesday and time for a...

ANN ROMNEY: Stop it.

CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

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Middle East
11:01 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Tensions With Iran, Center Stage At The U.N.

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 8:46 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Earlier today, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the United Nations General Assembly while Israelis openly debate a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities and President Obama warned yesterday that time for diplomacy was not unlimited. President Ahmadinejad did not directly mention his country's nuclear program nor did he address the sanctions that strain Iran's economy. He did denounce what he called the hegemony of arrogance and laid out his vision for a new world order.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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It's All Politics
10:53 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Romney's Nevada Problems Explained By A Political Scientist Who Voted For Him

Mitt Romney at a Las Vegas fundraiser last week.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 2:04 pm

Nevada, with its six electoral votes, is far from the biggest Election Day prize sought by President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

But in a race that could be so close that neither candidate can afford to concede a single electoral vote, Nevada is being courted by the candidates to a degree far greater than its size would suggest.

Also, while Obama carried the state by 12 percentages points in 2008, the Great Recession hit the state hard, with widespread foreclosures and high unemployment.

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World
10:41 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Badger Battle: British Animal Lovers Protest Cull

Badgers have been blamed for spreading disease among cattle in Britain. But a campaign to cull the badgers has been met with opposition from prominent figures like Queen guitarist Brian May, who joined this rally in Bristol earlier this month.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 2:54 pm

The badger, a stalwart of BBC nature programs, is one of Britain's most beloved animals and is a protected species.

To many English dairy farmers, though, this timid omnivore with the black and white stripes is a mobile biological weapon, exposing their cows to bovine tuberculosis through its urine and saliva.

And they've persuaded the British government to sanction extreme measures.

This month, the government issued licenses allowing trained marksmen to wipe out 70 percent of the badger populations in two pilot areas.

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The Two-Way
10:36 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Young Man Who Helped Capture Gadhafi Dies After Being Tortured

Friends and relatives of Omran Ben Shabaan carried his coffin Tuesday after it arrived as the airport in Misrata, Libya.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 10:58 am

A year ago, Omran Ben Shaaban was among the young men who helped capture Moammar Gadhafi as the former Libyan leader tried to hide in a drainage ditch.

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Animals
10:14 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Mammalian Surprise: African Mouse Can Regrow Skin

The African spiny mouse has the ability to regrow large patches of skin and hair without scarring.
Ashley W. Seifert Nature

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 2:54 pm

Scientists have discovered that a mouse found in Africa can lose large patches of skin and then grow it back without scarring, perhaps as a way of escaping the clutches of a predator.

The finding challenges the conventional view that mammals have an extremely limited ability to replace injured body parts. There are lizards that can regrow lost tails, salamanders that can replace amputated legs, and fish that can generate new fins, but humans and other mammals generally patch up wounds with scar tissue.

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