The Two-Way
11:50 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Deal With Banks Isn't Only Way For Homeowners To Get Help, HUD Chief Says

For sale signs on a foreclosed house in Glendale, Calif., last September.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images
  • Michel Martin talks with HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan

The $25 billion settlement with five banks unveiled Thursday, which aims to give some mortgage relief and other help to homeowners who got hurt when the housing bubble burst before the 2007-2009 recession, has been viewed with skepticism by some folks in the nation's hardest-hit housing markets, as NPR's Greg Allen reported.

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The Two-Way
11:36 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Stocks Take Dive, As Greek Bailout Deal Remains Uncertain

Protesters write on the wall of the National Bank of Greece during a demonstration involving thousands in Athens on Friday.
Milos Bicanski Getty Images

Just a day after it appeared that Greece and its eurozone partners had reached a deal, we're back where we've been for months: There are fiery protests on the streets of Athens, the markets and the euro are in turmoil and negotiations are at a tense point with four Greek Cabinet ministers tendering resignations over their opposition to austerity measures.

Here's the how the AP rounds up the latest:

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Politics
11:00 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Secretary Donovan Talks Multi-Billion Deal

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan talks with host Michel Martin about the settlement reached yesterday between federal and state officials and major banks. It was an effort to address unfair banking practices that led to the mortgage crisis. President Obama praised the deal, but critics say the settlement is inadequate.

Shots - Health Blog
10:49 am
Fri February 10, 2012

White House Bends On Birth Control Requirement For Religious Groups

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 11:30 am

Under increasing pressure, the White House has offered what it's calling an "accommodation" to religious groups on a requirement to cover birth control free of charge.

Even some Democrats, who generally support the policy of requiring most employers to offer no-cost contraception, were unhappy with the rule's reach.

But the change unveiled by the White House isn't expected to completely quell the uproar raised by Catholics and others who say the policy violates their freedom of religion.

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Planet Money
10:26 am
Fri February 10, 2012

The Undertaker Who Helps Big Banks Write Death Plans

Nobody lives forever.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 5:03 pm

The nation's big banks are writing death plans — living wills that spell out how, in a future crisis, they could be safely dismantled. The idea is that the death plans will help avoid another government bailout of the banks.

"You're technically writing your own funeral, down to the color of the flowers" says Dolores Atallo.

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Fri February 10, 2012

White House To Detail Changes To Controversial Contraception Rule

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 11:21 am

Hospitals and organizations operated by religious institutions will not have to pay for or provide free contraception coverage to their employees, but the insurance companies that offer coverage to those workers will have to do that, White House officials just told reporters during a conference call.

They're explaining changes to a controversial plan the administration unveiled in recent days. The goal of the change appears to be to provide the coverage, but at the same time to not force religious groups to violate their principles.

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Politics
9:23 am
Fri February 10, 2012

A Conservative's Tips For Finding The Right Mate

Neil Harrison iStockphoto

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Josh Powell Turned Out To Be 'A Monster,' Says Social Worker

The social worker who watched in horror last Sunday as a Washington state man blew up the house that his two young sons had gone into moments before says he had never before seemed dangerous.

But she knows now, Elizabeth Griffin-Hall tells ABC News, that "Josh Powell was really, really evil."

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Shots - Health Blog
9:06 am
Fri February 10, 2012

How My Voice Went Silent

Everything looked fine on my CT scan, but I didn't sound even close to right.
Courtesy of Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 2:10 pm

There's an old joke around newsrooms: News is something that happens to your editor.

If you'll pardon the self-indulgence, I'm going to take this truism one step further: News is what happened to me.

I was laid low the week before New Year's Day by a mysterious headache and a blazing sore throat. A few days later I lost my voice.

My doctors eventually pinpointed the cause by snaking a small camera down my nose. My left vocal fold (or vocal cord if you prefer) had stopped working. It was essentially paralyzed, other than the occasional twitch.

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