The Two-Way
6:45 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Fannie Mae CEO Will Step Down

Fannie Mae President and CEO Michael Williams testifies before the House Financial Services Committee's Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee in December.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 6:47 am

Michael J. Williams said he is stepping down as chief executive of the quasi-governmental mortgage giant Fannie Mae. The company made the announcement late last night, saying Williams will wait to step down until the board of directors names a successor.

"I decided the time is right to turn over the reins to a new leader," Williams said in a statement.

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StoryCorps
6:15 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Oasis Superstars: Lori Bundrock and Seth Kirby

Seth Kirby - Current Director of Oasis, and Lori Bundrock - Prevention Director for the Pierce County Aids Foundation, and former director of Oasis
StoryCorps Northwest

Growing up with an alternate gender or sexual identity isn't easy for many young people. Oasis, a GLBTQ youth group in Tacoma, Washington, provides support and assistance. Lori Bundrock is the Prevention Director for the Pierce County Aids Foundation, and former director of Oasis. She spoke to her best friend and current Oasis director Seth Kirby about a young man who came to Tacoma from the deep South, and became one of the Oasis "superstars."

The Two-Way
6:10 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Hostess, Maker Of Twinkies, Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

A Twinkie shows off its creamy filling in this file photo from 2005. A snack-cake sales slump is one reason Hostess Brands is seeking protection from its creditors.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

Twinkies maker Hostess Brands Inc., is again seeking protection from its creditors, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as the company tries to cope with high debt and rising costs of labor and raw materials.

Hostess, which also makes Ho Hos, Sno Balls, and Wonder Bread, is a privately held company based in Irving, Tex. It owes millions to suppliers and labor unions. The company has reportedly found some financing to keep it running during bankruptcy proceedings.

For our Newscast desk, Larry Abramson reports:

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The Two-Way
5:56 am
Wed January 11, 2012

U.S. Resumes Drone Strikes In Pakistan

Pakistani officials say the United States launched a drone strike early Wednesday morning for the first time since November. The AP says the drone strike killed four in North Waziristan, which is close to the Afghan border and has been a hot spot for U.S. strikes.

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The Two-Way
4:59 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Iran Says A Car Bomb Killed One Of Its Nuclear Scientists

An image grab taken from footage broadcast by Iran's state-run Arabic-language Al-Alam TV shows blood stains covered by a piece of cloth and debris at the site of the car bomb.
AFP/Getty Images

An Iranian nuclear scientists was killed by a car bomb in Tehran this morning, Iran's official news agency said. According to Press TV, Iran's English-language outlet, a magnetic bomb was placed beneath Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan's car by a man in a motorcycle.

Press TV says Roshan and his driver were killed and a bystander was injured. Roshan was a "chemical engineering graduate and served as marketing deputy of Iran's Natanz nuclear facility."

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It's All Politics
4:51 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Bain Attacks On Romney Recall Notorious 'Willie Horton' Ads

Mitt Romney greets supporters in Manchester, N.H., after seizing a second victory in his fight to be the party's presidential nominee.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 6:12 am

The satisfying victory Mitt Romney harvested in New Hampshire's primary this week was marred by the late eruption of a blemish. It could be a passing cloud in the otherwise blue Romney sky, or it could be the sign of storms ahead.

Does anyone remember Willie Horton? Does anyone remember the tragic trajectory of another Massachusetts governor, Michael Dukakis, in 1988?

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It's All Politics
4:38 am
Wed January 11, 2012

'New Hampshire And Beyond': A Special Elections Podcast

Voters cast ballots in the gym of the Webster School in Manchester, N.H., on Tuesday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 5:32 am

Mitt Romney's convincing win in New Hampshire — and what that might mean for upcoming contests in the Republican presidential race — is the subject of a special podcast prepared fresh this morning from NPR News.

The podcast includes highlights from what the candidates had to say about the outcome in New Hampshire, plus NPR reporting on how Romney put together his victory. It also examines how the focus of the campaign will change as the GOP hopefuls descend on South Carolina ahead of that state's Jan. 21 primary.

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Books News & Features
4:34 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Hatchet Job Award Honors Bad Writing

There's a new award for brutal book reviews in Britain: the Hatchet Job of the Year Award. A Julian Barnes book is dismissed as "just so... average." A biography of Martin Amis is called "spectacularly bad writing about spectacularly good writing."

It's All Politics
4:34 am
Wed January 11, 2012

'Down And Dirty,' South Carolina Has History Of Quashing Challengers

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney laugh during a campaign event on Jan. 5 in Charleston, S.C.
Richard Ellis Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 2:23 pm

Now it's South Carolina's turn.

If the Palmetto State, the "First in the South" primary, plays its traditional role in the Republican presidential nomination process, it will be where the White House hopes of virtually every candidate except the eventual nominee will go to die in about 10 days.

It's not for nothing that it's called the "South Carolina Firewall." And at this moment, it's looking like it's Romney's firewall.

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Julie McCarthy has traveled the world as an international correspondent for NPR, heading NPR's Tokyo bureau, reporting from Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and covering the news and issues of South America. McCarthy is currently NPR's correspondent based in New Delhi, India.

In April 2009, McCarthy moved to Islamabad to open NPR's first permanent bureau in Pakistan. Before moving to Islamabad, McCarthy was NPR's South America correspondent based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. McCarthy covered the Middle East for NPR from 2002 to 2005, when she was dispatched to report on the Israeli incursion into the West Bank.

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