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3:05 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Regulators Warn Banks On Direct-Deposit Loans

Regulators are warning some of the nation's largest banks to stop offering loans that are hard to distinguish from those given out by storefront payday lenders.
CX Matiash AP

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 5:16 pm

Consumer advocates call them "debt" traps. The banks that offer them call them direct-deposit advances and describe them as available funds for short-term emergencies.

But the cash advances have many of the negative characteristics of payday loans. And on Thursday, U.S. bank regulators took a step toward protecting consumers from the risks they pose. The regulators proposed standards for "deposit-advance products."

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Around the Nation
3:05 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Making Room: Can Smaller Apartments Help New York City Grow?

Some housing experts say New York's zoning code has discouraged the building of affordable housing by requiring that all apartments be at least 400 square feet. The city is interested in finding ways to rewrite the rules.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 5:16 pm

New York City is notoriously crowded, and it's only getting more so. The city estimates it will have 1 million more people by the year 2030, many of them single. Where to place all these newcomers is a major challenge.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg has announced plans to put up an experimental building of micro-apartments that could be replicated throughout the city. And the Museum of the City of New York is looking at ways to make better use of the city's housing stock.

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Around the Nation
3:05 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Controversy Brews Over Church's Hallucinogenic Tea Ritual

Ayahuasca brew used in South and Central America.
Nha Flickr

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 5:17 pm

A small church in Santa Fe, N.M., has grown up around a unique sacrament. Twice a month, the congregation meets in a ritualized setting to drink Brazilian huasca tea, which has psychoactive properties said to produce a trance-like state.

The Supreme Court confirmed the UDV church's right to exist in 2006. The church doesn't seek new members and prefers to keep a low profile. It did, however, agree for the first time to open up to a journalist.

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It's All Politics
1:02 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Max Baucus Says He Was Montana's 'Hired Hand' On Gun Vote

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is trailed by reporters Monday on Capitol Hill after announcing that he'll retire in 2014.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 5:16 pm

Longtime Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana announced this week that he would not seek re-election next year, ending four decades in Congress and leaving as chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee.

NPR's Robert Siegel spoke with Baucus Thursday about his recent vote against expanded gun background checks, his role in negotiations over President Obama's health care legislation, efforts to remake tax policy, and the legions of his former staffers now populating lobbying shops.

Background Checks

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The Two-Way
11:55 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Still In The Middle Class, But Standing On A Banana Peel

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 12:01 pm

Most U.S. workers fit snugly into the middle class, but they worry a lot about falling out of it, according to a poll released Thursday.

After years of watching home prices slide and job creation stall, 6 in 10 Americans say they fear tumbling from the middle class in the next few years, the Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll suggests.

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The Two-Way
11:49 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Have You Seen Me? Giant Styrofoam Head Found

A floating head was discovered by the Marist College men's crew team this week in the Hudson River.
Tyler Sawyer, Marist College Facebook

Crew members from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., were out practicing on the Hudson River this week when they were surprised by a gigantic head floating toward them.

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Digital Life
11:10 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Tweeting Crime: Law Enforcement Adapts To Social Media

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 11:57 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Last Friday evening the Boston Police Department tweeted the news that the city and the nation had been waiting for. Captured. The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over and justice has won. Suspect in custody.

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Arts & Life
11:06 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Steadicam Inventor Joins Inventors Hall of Fame

Garrett Brown with Sylvester Stallone during the filming of Rocky II.
Courtesy Garrett Brown

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:32 am

Rocky Balboa's sprint up the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum in Rocky is a scene that would have once been impossible to film. Camera innovator Garrett Brown made it possible when he invented the Steadicam, a body-mounted camera that stabilizes handheld shots.

Brown has received three Academy Awards for his technical inventions and holds 50 patents for cinematography devices. The college dropout-turned-inventor will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May.

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Shots - Health News
11:04 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Why Finding A TB Test Got Hard

The skin test for tuberculosis sparks an itchy welt in people who have been exposed to the bacillus.
Greg Knobloch CDC

Hospitals and public health departments around the country are having a tough time coming up with a staple of preventive health care: the skin test for tuberculosis.

The shortage, caused by problems at a factory in Canada, is prompting suspension of routine TB testing around the country.

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Economy
11:02 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Signing Up For Food Stamps

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 11:25 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Another promising report today suggests that the economy in general and employment in particular continue to improve, but there's another statistic that's more troubling. More Americans than ever participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.

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