Economy
6:26 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 1:10 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
6:19 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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Fresh Air Weekend
5:57 am
Sat December 17, 2011

Fresh Air Weekend: Louis C.K., Sports Journalism

Louis C.K., born Louis Szekely, is a writer, actor, producer, director and star of the FX series Louie.
FX

Originally published on Sat December 17, 2011 3:45 pm

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Arts & Culture
7:59 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Conrad's Corner: December 16, 2011

Julie Moore reads David Garrison's poem, "What to Pack"

The Two-Way
6:38 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 7:00 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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It's All Politics
6:15 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

In Iowa And Beyond, Republicans In Final Push Before Contests Begin

Rep. Michele Bachmann waves to supporters Friday in Sioux City before starting a 99-county bus tour of Iowa.
Jeff Haynes Reuters /Landov

The Republican presidential contest remains fluid less than three weeks before the caucuses and primaries begin. Nationwide, nearly one in five GOP voters is still undecided. And in Iowa, candidates are making their final push before the Jan. 3 caucuses.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Friday told workers at a metal fabricating plant in Sioux City, Iowa: "I am running in this race because I understand how to get middle-class Americans prosperous again, working again, buying things, and putting more Americans back to work."

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Shots - Health Blog
5:44 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

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

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 5:46 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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The Two-Way
5:32 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/.

Politics
5:20 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Romney Receives Endorsement From Nikki Haley

The day after the final debate before the primaries, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigned in Iowa. He also picked up the endorsement of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

The Salt
5:20 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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