Ruby Keeler was an unknown actress when she starred in the 1933 production of Busby Berkeley's 42nd Street.
But the movie was so popular she was able to land two more splashy musicals that same year — and seven more by the end of the decade. There was nothing extraordinary about her talents as a vocalist or as an actress, but audiences of the Depression era really bought into Keeler's "innocent" onstage persona. In fact, they craved it.
The mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac got hit so hard by the housing crisis that they required a massive federal rescue. Now lawmakers are looking to scale back the two entities' role — and the government's — in the mortgage market.
The Senate Banking Committee is expected to vote Thursday on President Obama's nominee to head the agency that oversees Fannie and Freddie.
In an interview this week, Univision's Adriana Vargas asked President Obama if, in the event Congress failed to pass immigration legislation, he could simply use his presidential power to give amnesty to the estimated 11 million people currently in the U.S. illegally.
The president didn't exactly shut the door on that possibility, though he did strongly suggest it was a portal he'd rather not go through.
Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 2:59 pm
In this installment of Sense of Place: Rio, songwriter Sylvio Fraga performs two songs with his trio. There are underlying hints of samba in his performance, as well as a hefty dose of American songwriting. It makes sense that he would combine the two styles, given that he grew up in both Rio de Janeiro and New York City.
Fraga recently released his debut album Rosto, which he's made available for free download on his website.
Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 7:41 am
The music of Seu Jorge occupies a singular place in today's Brazil. His songs are widely hailed as a return to the traditional songwriting of Tom Jobim and Caetano Veloso. But his style, and his background, lead many to call Jorge a hero of life on Rio's streets. It was his history in the slums of Rio de Janeiro that led to bigger things for Jorge, including a high-profile appearance in the 2002 film City of God.
The Beige Book is weird. It's an economic report released by the Federal Reserve every few months, but it doesn't have many numbers in it. Mostly, it's a bunch of stories gathered by talking to businesses around the country. A Fed economist once described it as the "Ask Your Uncle" approach to figuring out what's going on in the economy.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
One month ago, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke introduced the idea of winding down the Fed's massive stimulus programs. On that announcement, the markets tanked. Today, Bernanke said pretty much the same thing. But this time, the markets yawned.
As NPR's John Ydstie explains, the Fed chairman appears to have finally found the formula to ease Wall Street's concerns.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
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Three months after the Boston Marathon bombing, money continues to roll into The One Fund, that's the charity set up for victims of the attack. More than 200 claims have already been paid out, but some victims are questioning the methods used to divvy up the funds. And as NPR's Tovia Smith reports, they're asking the state attorney general to intervene.
Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 7:28 am
Forro in the Dark gets its name from the Forro, a type of dance and music that's been popular in northeastern Brazil for more than 100 years. The style's traditional incarnation involves a three-piece band with a triangle, an accordion and a bass-like drum called a zabumba.
National Geographic is less reserved and gets right to the obvious point: "Paleontologists have discovered a new dinosaur, a Triceratops relative with a supersize schnoz that once roamed present-day Utah."
This is a big year for mayor's races. And it was supposed to be "the year of the woman" for mayoral candidates.
When 2013 began, there was a fair amount of hope that women could make up for their relatively measly representation in local offices nationwide by capturing the mayoralty in three of the nation's five largest cities.