National News from NPR

No Big Rescue Plans From Fed Chief Bernanke

Aug 26, 2011



This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.


And I'm David Greene.

Nervous investors - and these days that's most investors - were all ears this morning as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivered a speech in Wyoming. The investors were listening for any clues about additional steps the Fed might take to shore up the sagging economy. Bernanke did not outline any big rescue plans, but he did say the Fed has tools it can use if necessary.

Yes, it was Albert Einstein who unified space and time together into a single, coherent whole. As a physicist I can say that was a pretty impressive feat, but as parent — slogging across interstate whatever on the last weekend of the summer — I have to ask: What's the big deal?

Anyone stuck in vacation traffic with kids in tow can tell you that Space and Time have always been unified but not in the wiggly, abstract sense my buddy Al Einstein was talking about.



That is part of the reason the government is urging people to begin now taking this storm very seriously.

Craig Fugate heads the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and he joins us on the line from Washington, D.C.

Good morning.

Mr. CRAIG FUGATE (Administrator, FEMA): Good morning.

Real Clowns Steal Fake Jewelry

Aug 26, 2011



Good morning, I'm David Greene. Two clowns walked into a Colorado jewelry store this week, guns blazing. The men wore white face paint, black lipstick and wigs. They pointed guns at employees and forced the owner to unlock his jewelry cases. The clown duo made off with the loot. But the joke was on them, Sonny's Rocks Jewelry Store in Denver does not display real jewelry. The display cases are full of fake gold and platinum, which is exactly what ended up in the clown's garbage bags.

Over the next few weeks, we're producing stories about the business of putting on free concerts, how they work and what they bring to their communities. Last week's Weekend Edition Saturday story covered non-profit concert presenters in New York City.

Irish singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow has one of the most arresting voices of any young singer you're likely to hear this year: He's got the heartbreaking falsetto of a Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and the raspy soul of a Ray LaMontagne, in a way that sounds both fragile and grand.

When the Walter Reed Army Medical Center was slated for closure back in 1995, the goals were to improve care for wounded soldiers, and to save money. The final patients left this past week.

But with closing Walter Reed now estimated to cost more than $1 billion more than originally predicted, it could take many years before the military will realize any savings.

A land crisis is gripping India. The country's growing prosperity has created a rapidly expanding middle class that is demanding modern housing and has the money to pay for it.

But building millions of new houses and apartments isn't easy, especially in a country where land is hard to come by.

A land battle on the outskirts of New Delhi illustrates the point.

The property, in an area known as Greater Noida, is undergoing the transition from cropland to towering apartment blocks. Right now, though, it's a visual and legal mess.

In 1995, when I was a sophomore in high school, an older, popular boy came out of the closet. He was taunted daily until he dropped out. I never saw him again.

Months later, a decidedly unpopular, more flamboyant boy was beaten in the schoolyard. I remember escorting him to the nurse's office. I remember the look of disgust on the nurse's face; I don't know whether this disgust was directed at the act of savagery, or at the bleeding boy himself, and his arm around my shoulder. I also remember thinking that soon it would be my turn, and sure enough it was.