Today's Takeaway: Multi-Billion Dollar Foreclosure Settlement Imminent

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Tuesday, February 07, 2012

housing, house, foreclosure, foreclosing House in foreclosure. (Respres/flickr)

What's the Difference Between a Caucus and a Primary?; A Lesson on Making Better Home Movies; What Can the US Do to Quell Violence in Syria?; Is Our Constitution Out of Date? Ruth Bader Ginsburg May Think So...; Foreclosure Settlement Imminent; "Tebow Bill" May Allow Home-Schoolers to Play on High School Teams; On the Tenth Anniversary of the First "Torture Memo"; Newly-Discovered Recordings Shed Light on a Young Malcolm X

Top of the Hour: Caucus Day, Morning Headlines

Voters head to the polls today in three states to choose a Republican presidential nominee. Colorado and Minnesota hold caucuses, while Missouri has a primary election. All three contests are non-binding, but candidates are hoping to garner some momentum.


What's the Difference Between a Caucus and a Primary?

On Tuesday, Colorado and Minnesota will hold their Republican caucuses, either confirming or casting doubt onto Mitt Romney's lead. But why some states hold caucuses instead of primaries — or in the case of Missouri, use both — in order to determine how many delegates they'll send to a party's national convention is largely a matter of taste.


A Lesson on Making Better Home Movies

With an increasingly sophisticated crop of small, inexpensive digital cameras — in addition to those built into the tops of computer monitors and cell phones — more people are making movies than ever before. Equally significant, these little vignettes are reaching a greater audience than ever before. But not everyone's filmmaking skills have caught up.

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What Can the US Do to Quell Violence in Syria?

Over the weekend, China and Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that would've allowed action to be taken against Bashar al-Assad's regime. The U.S. has closed their embassy in Syria, and has begun discussing imposing sanctions. But more pressingly, unlike the intervention in Libya, there seems to be little that the international community can do to protect civilians.

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Scientists Discover Sub-Glacial Lake

After more than 20 years of drilling through two miles of glacial ice Russian scientists have reached the surface of Antarctica's largest sub-glacial lake. The lake hasn't been touched by light in millions of years and may be home to cold-loving organisms that have been left to their own evolutionary devices for millennia. Joining us now is Richard Black, science correspondent for our partner the BBC.


Is Our Constitution Out of Date?

Whether or not you buy into the idea of American exceptionalism, the U.S. constitution is an exceptional document: the way in which it was crafted, how it secured the rights of citizens, and how 94 percent of nations have modeled their own charters after it. But if you ask Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the constitution is exactly that: historically exceptional, but now a tad out of date. In a recent interview in Egypt, she stated: "I would not look to the U.S. Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012."

In line with her comments, a new study has found that fewer and fewer nations are modeling their constitutions after ours.

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Top of the Hour: Minnesota Prepares to Caucus, Morning Headlines

Another round of voting today in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Joining us now is Marty Owings, a political reporter for Minnesota Capital News and KFAI, our affiliate in Minneapolis. Marty tells us what he thinks the outcome might be.


Multi-Billion Dollar Foreclosure Settlement Imminent

Since early 2007, 4 million families have lost their homes to foreclosure. Only now have state officials around the country begun to finalize a multi-billion dollar settlement with the biggest mortgage-providing banks that engaged in abusive or misleading practices, like robo-signing. Some critics, including those who have already had their homes go underwater, worry that it may let the banks off too easily.

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'Tebow Bill' May Allow Home-Schoolers to Play on High School Teams

Named for Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow who was allowed to play sports at his local high school during his home-school days, a new bill could give Virginian home-schooled students the chance to play sports with their peers. While some are applauding the opportunity for these students to have a chance to participate, others say it's unfair to taxpayers.

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The Tenth Anniversary of the First 'Torture Memo'

Ten years ago today, President George W. Bush signed a two-page memorandum called "Humane Treatment of Taliban and al Qaeda Detainees." The memorandum, drafted in part by John Yoo, is now best known as the first of the so-called "terror memos." It argued that the government was exempt from the Geneva Conventions in any war on terror-related investigations, as, the document asserts, the treaty refers only to "High Contracting Parties."

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200th Birthday of Charles Dickens

A day of Great Expectations for fans of Charles Dickens. Today's marks the 200th birthday of the writer who gave us "A Tale of Two Cities," "A Christmas Carol," "David Copperfield," among many others. Joining us now from the BBC's studio's in Cambridge England is Dr Jan-Melissa Schramm a Dickens fan, a lecturer in Victorian literature at Trinity Hall of Cambridge University.


Newly-Discovered Recordings Shed Light on a Young Malcolm X

In 1961 Malcolm X came to Brown University to publicly rebut an article published in the school newspaper that criticized the Nation of Islam. Fast-forward to 2011. A Brown University student was assigned to create a historical narrative using anything in the school library and stumbled across one of the oldest recordings of Malcolm X in existence, heard by virtually no one since its initial taping.

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New Report Uncovers Suspicious Earmarks

Nationwide confidence in our lawmakers is at an all time low. And this news isn't like to change that. More than 30 members of Congress have used over $ 300 million in earmarks and other spending to fund many public projects close to their own properties. That's the finding of an extensive investigation published in today's Washington Post. The Post also found 16 lawmakers who had sent tax dollars to places where members of their families work or serve on boards.