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2:58 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Big Investors Boosting Home Prices, And Not Everyone's Pleased

ReBOUND Residential in Florida has bought multiple properties like this one, a formerly bank-owned home in Sunrise, Fla., as investment properties. The houses are now bringing steady returns as rentals.
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 10:20 am

It's taken several years, but in many parts of the country, home prices are nearly back to where they were at the peak. In places like Florida, where the housing recession hit hard, home prices rose last year by one-fifth or more.

A major factor in the price rise is hedge funds, private equity firms and other large investors. They've moved aggressively into the residential market over the past two years, buying tens of thousands of distressed properties, often at bargain prices.

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Shots - Health News
2:57 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Of Cigs And Selfies: Teens Imitate Risky Behavior Shared Online

High school students whose friends posted photos of drinking and smoking were about 20 percent more likely to become drinkers or smokers themselves.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 9:59 am

Teenagers put a lot of stock in what their peers are doing, and parents are forever trying to push back against that influence. But with the advent of social media, hanging out with the wrong crowd can include not just classmates, but teenagers thousands of miles away on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

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The Two-Way
12:08 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Rights Advocates See 'Access To Justice' Gap In U.S.

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:01 am

Too many poor people in the U.S. lack access to lawyers when they confront major life challenges, including eviction, deportation, custody battles and domestic violence, according to a new report by advocates at Columbia Law School's Human Rights Clinic.

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

First Listen: Perfect Pussy, 'Say Yes To Love'

Perfect Pussy's new album, Say Yes to Love, comes out March 18.
Drew Reynolds Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 10:55 am

When it's nearly impossible to understand what a band is saying, discerning the message means cues have to come from elsewhere. The Syracuse noise-punk group Perfect Pussy issues maybe five easily discernible lines over the course of its frenetic 23-minute debut album, Say Yes to Love, but the band doesn't lack for conversation-starters.

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

First Listen: Kevin Drew, 'Darlings'

Kevin Drew's new album, Darlings, comes out March 18.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 10:54 am

Back in 2007, Kevin Drew (of Toronto's baroque-pop collective Broken Social Scene) gazed longingly at a woman and pronounced her too beautiful for the carnal escapades swirling inside his brain. That song, "Tbtf," was among the wondrous creations on his solo debut Spirit If — a worship-dream set in a sleek, gliding tempo, and sung in a mood of melancholy wistfulness.

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

First Listen: The War On Drugs, 'Lost In The Dream'

The War on Drugs' new album, Lost in the Dream, comes out March 18.
Dusdin Condren Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 10:56 am

"Under the Pressure," the nine-minute song that kicks off Lost in the Dream, opens with a few seconds of hair-raising electronic ticking and closes with two and a half minutes of full-band, synchronized, undulating feedback. In between, The War on Drugs shows many of the cards in its stacked deck: chugging drums, horn stabs, guitar runs that fly off into the atmosphere, keyboards with a strong melodic gravitational field pulling weight for singer Adam Granduciel's wandering mystic tenor.

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

First Listen: Ana Tijoux, 'Vengo'

Ana Tijoux's new album, Vengo, comes out March 18.
Inti Gajardo G. Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 10:57 am

In the '90s, Chile experienced an artistic wave as the children of political exiles returning after the fall of dictator Augusto Pinochet brought enormous changes. Of course, waves never come alone: They bring in shells and rocks and souvenirs from faraway lands. The returning children of exiles brought new cultural trinkets with them in the form of music, words and ideas they picked up as their parents roamed the earth, waiting to come back. That wave also brought in hip-hop, and Chile became a hot scene for the genre.

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Science
6:32 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

The '60s Are Gone, But Psychedelic Research Trip Continues

A volunteer participates in LSD research in Viejas, Calif., in 1966. Researchers are continuing work with psychedelics today, despite barriers, saying there are potential medical benefits.
AP

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 10:00 am

In 1966, psychedelic drug advocate and former Harvard professor Timothy Leary appeared on the Merv Griffin Show.

"I'm in the unfortunate situation of being about 20 years ahead of my time," Leary said. When asked how many times he'd taken LSD, he answered 311. The audience gasped.

Leary was fired for experimenting with psychedelics on undergraduates, and before long, LSD was classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning it had "no known medical use." Research on the medical uses of LSD and other psychedelics came to a halt.

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Asia
5:26 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

China's Crackdown On Corruption Opens Door To Abuse

Zhou Wangyan says his leg was broken by interrogators in China's secretive detention center in fall 2012. In January 2014, he still uses crutches to stand.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 7:00 pm

Chinese President Xi Jinping has made it a priority to eliminate corruption within the Chinese Communist Party.

"The [Communist Party] desperately wants the appearance of cracking down hard on corruption because they understand that rampant corruption is threatening the party's legitimacy," says Associated Press reporter Gillian Wong.

In a story published Sunday, Wong uncovers how that crackdown on corruption has led to another problem: abuse and torture of party officials.

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Author Interviews
5:23 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

'Boy, Snow, Bird' Takes A Closer Look Into The Fairy Tale Mirror

Helen Oyeyemi's previous books include Mr. Fox and The Icarus Girl.
Piotr Cieplak Penguin Group

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 7:00 pm

Boy, Snow, Bird reimagines the traditional Snow White fairy tale. Helen Oyeyemi's new novel explores beauty, envy and identity in New England in the 1950s — race and skin color shape the characters' experiences.

The wicked stepmother in this story is named Boy; the fair beauty is Snow. The birth of Snow's half-sister, Bird, reveals a long-buried family secret. Throughout the book, characters are haunted by a sense that things are not as they appear in their relationships and in the outside world.

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