Carol Sikler has spent years repaying a debt. Her husband needed blood during treatment before he died in 2003. Since then, she has donated more than 140 units. Now she gets a reward. The Indiana Blood Center gave her tickets to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Martin Scorsese got 11 Oscar nods for his film "Hugo." Still, he's calling in the L.A. Times a write-in campaign for an actor he feels has been snubbed. Blackie, the Doberman in "Hugo," failed to get a nomination for a Golden Collar, awarded by Dog News Daily. The cute Jack Russell who starred in "The Artist" was nominated, but Blackie is an anti-hero. And just a few hundred Facebook votes will earn him a chance at top dog. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
One of Freddie Mac's restrictions blocks people who have a short sale in their past from refinancing for two to four years following the short sale.
Credit Joe Raedle / Getty Images
In West Palm Beach, Fla., homeowners lined up for the 2010 Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America "Save the Dream" tour, hoping to restructure their mortgage loans.
Credit Chris Arnold / NPR
If Jay and Bonnie Silverstein were able to refinance their mortgage, they could save nearly $500 a month. "We're living paycheck to paycheck," Jay says.
Credit Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP
Freddie Mac has invested billions of dollars betting that U.S. homeowners won't be able to refinance their mortgages at today's lower rates, according to an investigation by NPR and ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom.
Credit Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
In December, Freddie Mac CEO Charles Haldeman, FHFA acting Director Edward DeMarco and Fannie Mae CEO Michael Williams testified on Capitol Hill about the Federal Housing Finance Agency's performance.
Freddie Mac, a taxpayer-owned mortgage company, is supposed to make homeownership easier. One thing that makes owning a home more affordable is getting a cheaper mortgage.
But Freddie Mac has invested billions of dollars betting that U.S. homeowners won't be able to refinance their mortgages at today's lower rates, according to an investigation by NPR and ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom.
At the end of last week, an employee sent an email with a simple request: Please bring me a copy of the new directory. She accidentally copied every member of the legislature and all of their staff. The email went to some 4,000 people. Recipients then started to reply-all with many messages, and the system couldn't handle it.
A new casino set to open in Atlantic City, N.J., has announced it will set term limits for its front-line staff. When employees' terms run out, they'll have to go through the hiring process again. The casino says the policy will keep its service fresh. Others say the company is taking advantage of a tough job market.
From bellhops to dealers, employees of the new casino — called Revel — will be hired for terms from four to six years. After that, they have to reapply for their jobs and compete against other candidates.
Ketamine has been used as an anesthetic for decades. It's also a widely popular but illegal club drug known as "Special K." When administered in low doses, patients report a rapid reduction in depression symptoms.
Credit Ronald Duman / Yale University
Credit Ronald Duman / Yale University
Credit Ben Taub General Hospital
Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston sees 100,000 emergency patients a year, 5,000 of whom need psychiatric evaluation.
Last June, some employees at the Global Ikhwan Café, in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, established the Obedient Wives Club. Global Ikhwan (Ikhwan is Arabic for "brotherhood") owns businesses in several countries.
Since then, it has been castigated for what Muslim and non-Muslim critics call a "medieval and oppressive interpretation of Islam."
The controversy surprised club organizer Dr. Azlina Jamaluddin. She says that her group is merely suggesting a way to deal with social problems in Malaysia such as a rising divorce rate.
Just a little more than a day left before voters in Florida have their say in the GOP primary. The latest polls by the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times show Mitt Romney with an 11-point lead over Newt Gingrich, with Rick Santorum and Ron Paul trailing far behind. Newt Gingrich, who's had trouble getting support from establishment Republicans, picked up a nod from a decidedly non-establishment figure - one of his former rivals, Herman Cain.
And sticking with presidential politics for a moment, speaking a second language has recently become something of a liability for those aspiring to live in the White House. It turns out very few American presidents have had a strong command of a second language, most of them in the early days of the Republic, and that language, it was French.
John McWhorter wrote about this recently in The New Republic, and he's with me now. John, bonjour.
A radical Islamist group in northern Nigeria has claimed responsibility for a series of deadly bombing attacks last week that left more than 200 people dead. Boko Haram's campaign of violence has left minority Christians on edge in the city of Kano.
In 1902, director Georges Melies released his magnum opus: Le Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip To the Moon), often considered the first science-fiction movie ever. Even if you've never heard of Melies, you've probably seen the film's most famous shot: a moon with a human face, wincing at the spaceship that has just crashed into its eye.
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich speaks to reporters in Lutz, Fla., on Sunday. The former House speaker is trailing Mitt Romney in polls ahead of Tuesday's primary in the Sunshine State.
Newt Gingrich slammed Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney for "carpet-bombing" his record ahead of Tuesday's pivotal presidential primary in Florida, trying to cut into the resurgent front-runner's lead in the final hours before the vote.
"He has a basic policy of carpet bombing his opponents," Gingrich told Fox News Sunday. "He doesn't try to build up Mitt Romney, he just tries to tear down whoever he's running against."
The Fish House, a restaurant in Pensacola, Fla., has become a regular stop for GOP candidates. Mike Huckabee and John McCain came by in 2008 and Joe Scarborough has done his Morning Joe show here. In fact, as congressman, Scarborough used to play on weekends in the restaurant's house band. NPR's Greg Allen goes behind the scenes at the Fish House.
Ten years ago Sunday, President George W. Bush announced that Iran, Iraq and North Korea were "the axis of evil." Now, American-Iranian relations may be at their lowest level since the Islamic Republic was born. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Mike Shuster and Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
With two days left before the pivotal Florida GOP primary, the front-runners have taken over the airwaves. A steady stream of political ads is filled with insinuations and accusations. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Angie Holan of PolitiFact, which fact-checked some of the ads.
This past week, the social media network Twitter announced it would begin removing messages from its service within specific countries if asked to do so by one of those countries. The move sparked complaints of censorship from some of its users. Host Rachel Martin has more.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
Florida holds its primary the day after tomorrow. If Mitt Romney wins, it could be a decisive victory for the former Massachusetts governor's bid for the nomination. But if Newt Gingrich comes out on top there will likely be a long battle ahead. Both men have a lot at stake in Tuesday's vote, which explains all the strong attacks they hurled at one another on the campaign trail and in TV spots across Florida yesterday.
In France, an elderly man is fighting to make a formal break with the Catholic Church. He's taken the church to court over its refusal to let him nullify his baptism, in a case that could have far-reaching effects.
Seventy-one-year-old Rene LeBouvier's parents and his brother are buried in a churchyard in the tiny village of Fleury in northwest France. He himself was baptized in the Romanesque stone church and attended mass here as a boy.
In the U.S., wine drinking has held its own during these hard economic times, and even grown in some unlikely corners. Moscato, for example, the Italian dessert wine, has gone from relative obscurity to the toast of the town.
Hip-hop singer Drake, in his song "Do It Now," gives it a shout-out. It's also the wine Kanye West orders for special parties. And it's the wine Real Housewife of Atlanta NeNe Leakes has just started selling under the label Miss Moscato.
Roger Alvarez, 22, was one of the 52 percent of students who didn't make it through his senior year at Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles.
He dropped out in 2007, but by the time he was in ninth grade, Alvarez says he already knew he wasn't going to graduate.
"There's a certain amount of knowledge you have to have when you enter in a specific grade, and I didn't have it," Alvarez says. "Every class I used to go in, I was like, 'Do I know this? I don't know this. Nah, I'm not going to pass this class.' "
The Europeans are in the midst of their most serious economic crisis in 60 years, and now they're hearing it's not just their own fate they have to consider: The whole global economy hangs in the balance.
The International Monetary Fund last week warned that if Europe's problems get any worse, it could push the entire world back into recession.
European Union leaders, meeting in Brussels on Monday, are said to be close to resolving some of their most difficult issues — and they'd better be.
At the Art Shanty festival on Medicine Lake in Plymouth, Minn., the ICE-Cycles Shanty uses a bit of fun (and weather-appropriate tires) to try to encourage wintertime bike riding.
Credit Nathaniel Freeman
Students and teachers from the Volunteers of America SALT (Service Adventure Leadership Team) High School run the 30 Star Shanty. Students demonstrate traditional crafts like block printing and quilting.
Call it the Burning Man of the Midwest: a temporary city built around artistic expression. Only this one takes place in the suburbs of Minneapolis in the middle of winter.
Minnesota is known for its 10,000 lakes. When the lakes freeze for the winter, the state is known for its ice fishing and its ice shanties — little homemade fishing shacks full of heaters, radios and bottles of schnapps.
A majestic building still dominates the skyline of Rochester, N.Y., the word "Kodak" shining brightly from the top. It's the legacy of George Eastman — the founder of the Eastman Kodak Co. — a company that helped Rochester thrive and gave it the nickname "Kodak Town."
In 1976, Kodak sold 90 percent of the film around the world. The company basically invented digital photography, but it couldn't figure out how to make the transition from film quickly enough to out-compete its Asian rivals. Of the 20 best-selling digital cameras in the U.S., not a single one is from Kodak.