Books
3:21 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Boozy Birth Of The American Mafia In Lehane's Latest

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 1:08 pm

Here's how the new novel from crime writer Dennis Lehane begins: "Some years later, on a tugboat in the Gulf of Mexico, Joe Coughlin's feet were placed in a tub of cement."

Pretty hard to stop reading after an opening line like that — at least you'd think. "It was funny, a guy came up to me the other night, and he said, 'I really loved this book once it got going,' " Lehane tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "I thought, 'Jesus Christ, read the first sentence! How much more "getting going" is it going to get?' "

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Latin America
3:20 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Uruguay's Drugs Policy: Regulating Market For Pot

Supporters of legalization of cannabis in Montevideo march toward the Legislative Palace in May as part of the 2012 Global Marijuana March.
Miguel Rojo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 8:16 pm

Increasing drug use and narcotrafficking has made some Latin American countries among the most violent places on Earth. But tiny, progressive Uruguay, where it's always been legal to use marijuana, is leading the way with an alternative drug policy.

The government of President Jose Mujica has proposed a law that would put the state in charge of producing and selling marijuana to registered users.

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Business
12:51 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Big Banks Now Required To Improve Service On Home Loans

Bank of America

Getting a mortgage modified should be significantly easier as of today - assuming five of the nation's largest lenders deliver on promises they made in a $25 billion settlement signed six months ago.

Today is the deadline for Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Ally Financial to implement hundreds of improvements to customer service for home loans.

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Local News
12:36 am
Tue October 2, 2012

1930s Building Goes Down Today To Make Way For Uptown Baseball

Virginia Paper Company Building back in the day
Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission

Construction is underway on the Charlotte Knights' stadium uptown.  To make room for that, another building must tumble.  That's the Virginia Paper Company warehouse built in 1937.  We didn't know much about the building, so WFAE decided to check into its history.

The Virginia Paper Company building looks unremarkable.  It's a two-story brick building on West 3rd Street, just north of Bank of America Stadium.  But it offers a window into the city's commerce during the first half of the 20th century. 

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Charlotte Talks
12:00 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Author Kevin Duffus On The Real Blackbeard

Blackbeard (c. 1736 engraving used to illustrate Johnson's General History)
Wikipedia Commons

Almost 300 years ago, Blackbeard the Pirate ran aground off the coast of North Carolina and, to this day, treasure hunters believe there is a rich trove of pirate's booty hidden somewhere in the state. Historian and author Kevin Duffus believes he has found Blackbeard's treasure, but it's not the form of riches you might imagine and you won't find it in history books. Duffus will join us to paint a detailed picture of Blackbeard's impact on the state, the real treasure he sought and a glimpse into a pirate's life that may surprise you.

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Local Media
8:22 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

WTVI Changes Name, Adds New Programs

Central Piedmont Community College's Jeff Lowrance explained the new programming changes.
Tasnim Shamma

WTVI is now WTVI-PBS Charlotte.  That’s because the station will be carrying more PBS programming like new Masterpiece shows including Downton Abbey and Sherlock.  And it won’t have to air PBS programs on a delay like it did before under its previous agreement with PBS.   

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The Two-Way
7:38 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

New York Sues JPMorgan Over Mortgage-Backed Securities

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 8:42 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Jim Zarroli reports

New York's attorney general has sued JPMorgan Chase, alleging that a unit now owned by the banking giant fraudulently sold mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis.

The civil lawsuit filed Monday by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is the first to be brought by the RMBS Working Group – the task force formed by President Obama in January to pursue alleged wrongdoing at the time of the financial crisis.

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The Two-Way
6:53 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Mandolinist Chris Thile, Novelist Junot Díaz Among 2012 MacArthur 'Geniuses'

Junot Diaz won a Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.
Nina Subin Penguin Group

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 6:14 pm

The mandolinist Chris Thile, better known for his work with the bluegrass band Nickel Creek, and the novelist Junot Díaz, who won a Pulitzer for his novel The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, are among those awarded 2012 "genius" grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The 23 MacArthur fellows will receive $500,000 over the next five years. They are allowed to do whatever they wish with the money, whether that's continue their work or change fields.

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Middle East
6:20 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Turkey Pushes Syrians Into Limbo Across Border

Syrian refugees gather amid olive trees in an area controlled by the rebel Free Syrian Army, in northern Syria near the Turkish border, on Sept. 25. The area has become a way station for Syrian refugees pushed out of neighboring Turkey.
Michel Moutot AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 5:34 am

Long before the Syrian uprising, Antakya, Turkey, was a storied place. Once known as Antioch, the city was home to Greeks, some of the earliest Christians, Jews and Armenians. It once was a major stop on the Silk Road.

Most recently, the Turkish city became a hub for the Syrian rebellion. For many months, Turkish authorities tolerated Antakya's status, and even encouraged it. Turkey built refugee camps for tens of thousands of Syrians, and even one for officers who defected from the Syrian army to join the rebel cause.

That support, however, is starting to fade.

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