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National News from NPR

A realty sign hangs in front of a home for sale in Orlando, Fla. Housing advocates say banks, stung by the housing crisis and its fallout, remain reluctant to lend.
Tue, 02/17/2015 - 15:07

The housing market and the economy are both well on their way back from the Great Recession. But housing advocates say banks, stung by the housing crisis and its fallout, remain reluctant to lend.

Dan and Eileen Stapleton in front of their post-Sandy home in Long Beach, N.Y. They say it would cost taxpayers less if insurance just settled their claim.
Tue, 02/17/2015 - 15:07

More than two years after Superstorm Sandy flooded homes in New Jersey and New York, legal battles still rage over insurance claims to repair the damage. But insurance is not playing by the rules.

Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf speaks to the media in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on March 24, 2013, shortly before ending his self-imposed exile and returning to his homeland. He now faces murder and treason charges in Pakistan, but is free on bail and living in a villa in Karachi.
Tue, 02/17/2015 - 15:07

Pakistan's former military ruler, Pervez Musharraf, faces charges of treason and murder. But in an interview with NPR, he says he has no regrets about returning to his homeland to face trial.

The Senate Finance Committee has one of the more straightforward names on Capitol Hill. Others, like the education committee, have seen frequent name changes to reflect party priorities.
Tue, 02/17/2015 - 15:07

A Senate Judiciary subcommittee dropped "human rights" and "civil rights" from its name last month, sparking some controversy. But does the congressional name game even matter?

(Left) Sauerkraut and sausage (foreground) cook on the stove at the Hütte Restaurant. (Right) Diners Roxanne Singhisen and Nick Lockyer of Pittsburgh chat at the Hütte.
Tue, 02/17/2015 - 15:03

Isolated in the West Virginia wilderness, the tiny town of Helvetia clings to its distinctly Swiss character and foodways. It all culminates with a pre-Lenten festival where food takes center stage.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addresses lawmakers at the Parliament in Athens on Tuesday. Greece is in talks with European finance ministers over its debt.
Tue, 02/17/2015 - 15:01

Greece has threatened to quit the euro if an agreement over its debt isn't reached. There were hints that a deal with the new Greek government could be worked out. But turmoil looms if the talks fail.

Kheira Benkreira and Hasnia Bekkadja attend a vigil for the slain Chapel Hill victims in Washington, D.C. last week.
Tue, 02/17/2015 - 14:51

Here are some of the many powerful essays we've come across in the wake of this tragedy.

Kenyan runner Hyvon Ngetich didn't win the Austin Marathon — but she's being celebrated for the way she finished it.
Tue, 02/17/2015 - 14:06

Kenyan runner Hyvon Ngetich didn't win the Austin Marathon, despite leading for most of the race. Now she's being celebrated for the way she crossed the finish line.

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has apologized for his mistakes.
Tue, 02/17/2015 - 12:59

The legendary slugger, suspended for drug use, denied for a long time that he had done anything wrong. Now, in a handwritten letter, he tells fans he takes "full responsibility" for his mistakes.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says middle and high schools shouldn't start before 8:30 a.m., so students can get enough sleep.
Tue, 02/17/2015 - 12:59

Just half of parents say schools should start later so teenagers can get more sleep, a survey found. But most of the parents also weren't aware that pediatricians have called for a start of 8:30 a.m.

Vice President Biden swears in Ashton Carter, as the new Secretary of Defense's wife, Stephanie, holds the Bible for a ceremony in the White House Tuesday.
Tue, 02/17/2015 - 11:07

The cold and snow that walloped Washington didn't stop Ashton Carter from reporting for work at the Pentagon Tuesday. Carter was sworn in as the 25th U.S. Secretary of Defense on Tuesday.

<em>Semlor</em> served at FIKA in New York City. "The interest [in <em>semlor]</em> is huge," says Lena Khoury, the Swedish cafe chain's director of strategy and communications.
Tue, 02/17/2015 - 10:36

Few of the rollicking traditions of Catholic Mardi Gras remain in heavily Lutheran Scandinavia. But the Nordic countries and their culinary outposts in the U.S. still celebrate with the yeasty treats.

Rabia Salihu Sai'id, Mojisola Usikalu, Nashwa Eassa, Mojisola Oluwayemisi and Dang Thi Oanh won the Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World
Tue, 02/17/2015 - 10:26

Working as a professor isn't an easy job anywhere. But try doing innovative research with only four hours of electricity a day, no access to the Internet and hostility from male colleagues.

A prosecutor has asked that former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn be acquitted in his trial for "aggravated pimping." Strauss-Kahn is seen here earlier Tuesday, leaving his hotel to attend a session on the third week of the so-called "Lille Carlton Hotel Case" trial.
Tue, 02/17/2015 - 09:42

In what could be the end of a headline-grabbing trial, a prosecutor in France has asked that Dominique Strauss-Kahn be cleared of charges that he procured prostitutes for orgies.

When the homebrewing gets good, the teachers turn pro. Kegs of Line 51 beer fill an Oakland warehouse.
Tue, 02/17/2015 - 09:06

"Your friends are gonna tell you, 'Your beer is great.' It's another thing for people in the market to actually buy it and drink it," says gym teacher P.T. Lovern, founder of Line 51 Brewing.

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