Economy
5:26 am
Sat December 17, 2011

SEC: Mortgage Execs Took Pains To Hide Risky Loans

Robert Khuzami (right), director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Enforcement Division, announces that the SEC is charging six former top executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with securities fraud on Friday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 17, 2011 12:10 pm

Ever since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taken over by the government in 2008, questions have swirled over who was responsible for their collapse. Friday, the Securities and Exchange Commission weighed in, filing fraud charges against former Fannie Mae CEO Daniel Mudd, former Freddie Mac CEO Richard Syron and four other former executives.

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Presidential Race
5:19 am
Sat December 17, 2011

Endorsement Kicks Off Romney's Battle For S.C.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was in South Carolina Friday to celebrate an important announcement. The Palmetto State's Gov. Nikki Haley has officially endorsed him, just weeks before the South Carolina Republican primary.

The Romney campaign staged this event at a capacious fire station that was so crowded the chief had to bar the door when the crowd reached 500 people.

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Commentary
7:17 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

A Haircut to Manhood

Andre Perry discusses the importance of a boy's first haircut.

For a transcript of, or to respond to, this commentary go to DrAndrePerry.com.

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The Two-Way
5:38 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

House Blocks Funding For New Light Bulb Standards

A pair of incandescent light bulbs.
Dominique Faget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 6:00 pm

Tucked inside the omnibus spending bill that the House of Representatives passed earlier, today, is a provision that prevents the Department of Energy from enforcing new, more energy efficient standards for light bulbs.

The new standards were signed into law in 2007 by then President Bush, but the standards have become a favorite cause for Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party, who say the bill would ban incandescent light bulbs and give Americans less choice. They say it is a perfect example of government overreach.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:44 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

States Would Get More Flexibility On 'Essential Benefits' Under Proposal

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 4:46 pm

It may or may not be a punt, but the Obama administration wants to let states play a bigger role in deciding what constitutes an "essential health benefits" package when it comes to health insurance.

The Department of Health and Human Services issued what it called a "bulletin" outlining a policy it hopes to impose. In other words, it's not even yet a formal regulation.

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Allison Aubrey is a correspondent for NPR News. Aubrey is a 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards nominee for her broadcast radio coverage of food and nutrition. And, along with her colleagues on The Salt, winner of a 2012 James Beard Award for best food blog. Her stories can be heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered. She's also host of the NPR video series Tiny Desk Kitchen.

Through her reporting Aubrey can focus on her curiosities about food and culture. She has investigated the nutritional, and taste, differences between grass fed and corn feed beef. Aubrey looked into the hype behind the claims of antioxidants in berries and the claim that honey is a cure-all for allergies.

The Two-Way
4:32 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

In Pictures: Egypt Erupts Into Bloody Protest

An Egyptian protester rests after being wounded during clashes with soldiers and their supporters in Cairo on Friday.
Mohammed Abed AFP/Getty Images

Sometimes there are few words we can add to tell a story. Today, Egyptian protesters once again clashed with the country's ruling military and throughout the day the conflict grew larger and bloodier.

We've collected a few pictures that tell the story of Cairo today:

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Salt
4:20 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

With Alternative Giving, A Nudge Out Of Poverty For The Poor

A man with a cow in Dong Thap Province in southern Vietnam. The man received his cow from Heifer - as well as training and resources to care for it.
Courtesy of Juleen Lapporte

Jim Eckhardt says there was a time he'd fill his holiday shopping cart with toys for his 6 grandchildren. But 7 years ago, he had an epiphany: The kids had too much stuff.

"You look at all the things we throw away and that money could be put to better use," Eckhardt says.

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Middle East
4:07 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Arab League Wavers On Sanctions Against Syria

Arab League Secretary General Nabil Al Arabi (far left) meets with foreign ministers of the Arab League in Cairo on Nov. 27. The group imposed tough sanctions against Syria at that meeting, but is now wavering when it comes to implementing them.
Khaled Elfiqi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat December 17, 2011 10:54 am

The Arab League has a reputation for being long on rhetoric and short on action. That's why it was so surprising when Arab ministers approved an unprecedented package of sanctions against Syria at the end of November.

But the unity that produced that vote is falling apart, and a meeting in Cairo to set the terms of the sanctions was suspended indefinitely.

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Your Money
4:06 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Amid A Blizzard Of Discounts, 'The Thrill Of The Hunt'

Customers crowd into a Best Buy store in Burbank, Calif., on Nov. 25.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 4:47 pm

Anybody with an e-mail box this time of year is in the middle of a storm — a 20 percent-off coupon lands, only to be topped by another for 30 percent off, then 40 percent, half-price. That's not to mention the free shipping offers piling up like snowdrifts as we head into the last full weekend of Christmas shopping.

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