Planet Money
3:18 am
Wed November 21, 2012

How The Government Set Up A Fake Bank To Launder Drug Money

Skip Latson marks the fake opening of RHM Trust Bank.
Bill Bruton

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 1:18 pm

In the early 1990s, Colombian drug cartels had a problem: They had more money than they knew what to do with.

"They were having a very difficult time with just the logistics of laundering millions and millions and millions of dollars every week," says Skip Latson, who worked for the DEA at the time.

So Latson and Bill Bruton, who was a special agent with the IRS, hatched a plan: They'd create a fake, offshore bank catering to the needs of the drug cartel.

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Kitchen Window
3:17 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Frozen Meals Soothe The Sick And Shut-In

Deena Prichep for NPR

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 7:30 am

Despite my outward 30-something appearance, deep inside my chest beats the heart of an old Jewish grandmother. I want to make my friends sweaters when it's getting cold, or throw them parades when they've mastered some feat. But mostly, I want to feed them. Especially when they need a little help.

Over the past few years, I've brought dozens of meals to friends who are nursing new babies or broken bones. And I've learned a few things about how to help when it comes to feeding people in need — specifically, that an extra meal or two for the freezer can be the best gift of all.

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Sweetness And Light
3:15 am
Wed November 21, 2012

What's Good For The Goose Is Good For The Gander

Jockey Rosie Napravnik sponges off Shanghai Bobby after winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile horse race at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 9:49 am

A trivia question for you: Who today is the leading jockey who was born in the U.S.?

The answer is Rosie Napravnik. Yes, of all our American jockeys, the one with the best record is a woman.

Napravnik's mounts have earned more than $11 million this year, and none of the seven jocks who have earned more began life in this country. So, even in a dangerously athletic job like race-riding, a woman can sometimes compete straight up with men.

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Local News
1:21 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Meck Tax Assessor Resigns, Faulty Reval Stymies Commission

Mecklenburg County Tax Assessor Garrett Alexander has resigned.
Credit Davidsonnews.net (file photo)

The tax assessor who oversaw Mecklenburg County's much-maligned 2011 revaluation is out. County Commissioners announced Tuesday night that assessor Garrett Alexander has resigned, but they put off a final decision on how to handle problems with the revaluation. 

It was an awkward night for County Manager Harry Jones. Eight months ago he was adamant the revaluation did not need reexamining.

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Education
1:05 am
Wed November 21, 2012

'Champion For Education' Kat Crosby Dies

An African American woman who helped Charlotte navigate the turbulent times around school desegregation and busing died last week at the age of 87.  Kathleen “Kat” Crosby was with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools for forty years.  She started with the district as a teacher and rose up in the ranks to become assistant superintendent before she retired in 1986. 

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Charlotte Talks
12:00 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Food As Entertainment (Rebroadcast)

QVC's "In the Kitchen with David" with David Venable

We talk a lot about food on a local level here on Charlotte Talks. We visit with local food writers, chefs and restaurant owners and check in on the local food scene. But food is a big business now and it's big entertainment. From the Food Channel, to QVC, the television food industry commands big bucks and creates major stars.

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Politics
6:36 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

S.C. Governor: Hackers Stole Tax Info Of Nearly 6 Million

South Carolina governor Nikki Haley says last month hackers compromised tax records as far back as 1998.
Credit USC Upstate/flickr

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley says nearly 6 million residents had their social security and bank account numbers stolen by hackers in a September attack. At a press conference today, Haley released new details from Mandiant, the information security firm hired to investigate the attack.

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Health
6:33 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Major S.C. Insurers Will Stop Covering Early Elective Births

Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina and South Carolina's Medicaid program will no longer insure early elective delivery procedures for non-medical reasons starting January 1.
Credit Craig Larsen/flickr

The largest insurance provider in South Carolina, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, and the state's Medicaid program will no longer cover the cost of deliveries for women who choose to give birth early for non-medical reasons.

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Marie Cusick is the WMHT/Capital Region reporter for the Innovation Trail and 'New York NOW.'

As a television reporter, Marie has covered energy and environmental issues from Wyoming to Pennsylvania.

Marie joins WMHT from her hometown of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where she reported for a cable TV news station. During her time there, she was the creator and host of a weekly series that covered local environmental issues.

It's All Politics
6:19 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Obama Campaign Machine May Be Turned Loose On Fiscal Cliff Climbing Congress

Jim Messina, President Obama's 2012 campaign manager
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

The 2012 general election may be slipping into the past, but elements of President Obama's successful campaign aren't likely to go away anytime soon.

Just as it did after the president's 2008 election, the Obama campaign appears very likely to keep alive parts of the grass-roots effort that contributed to victory. And, just like four years ago, the idea would be to use the corps of Obama organizers and volunteers to push for the president's second-term agenda.

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