The work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the federal oversight agency established by Dodd-Frank three years ago, has resulted in its first criminal referral — a case against a debt-settlement company it says defrauded thousands of people.
Patricia Volk's mother was beautiful in a way that stopped people on the street. Strangers compared her to Lana Turner and Grace Kelly. She was stylish and vain: Her beauty and its preservation mattered to her. "She had an icy blond beauty, an imperious kind of beauty," Volk tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The recession and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico hit New Orleans hard, and that was after Katrina. The population has yet to return to pre-hurricane levels. Some houses lie empty, some properties abandoned, and the city continues to suffer from crime and unemployment.
Monday night was the big night for unusual dresses (you may remember a previous post about Madonna's bunny ears): the Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, known as the "Met Ball." It had a loose punk theme (because the costume exhibit it's celebrating is punk-centric), but everyone got up to quite a bit of her own thing.
Ray Harryhausen, who brought sword-fighting skeletons to the 1963 movie Jason and the Argonauts and was known as the master of stop-motion animation for his work on that and other films such as Clash of the Titans and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, has died.
A little more than 16 years ago, independent producer Joe Richman equipped a group of teenagers with tape recorders to report on their own lives. The groundbreaking series, Teenage Diaries, produced some of the most personal and memorable stories heard on NPR, and helped to pioneer a movement of first-person narratives on public radio. Since then, listeners have often asked: Where are those teenagers now?
My dad was horrified when, at age 12, I struck out on my own and started reading comic books. He hated them. He'd raised me on a steady diet of "real" literature, from Treasure Island to Sherlock Holmes. Flimsy comics full of lurid drawings did not measure up.