4:13 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Las Vegas Housing Market Attracts Asian Investors

A vacant home in Las Vegas owned by Bank of America. Nevada continues to top the nation in unemployment, foreclosures and bankruptcies.
Isaac Brekken AP

Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 5:31 pm

Investors from Asia are taking advantage of housing prices that have plummeted in recent years, buying foreclosures and short sales at below what it would cost to build them.

Kevin Chu's Hong-Kong investment firm owns property in Las Vegas, but he's never seen any of it. So his first visit to the U.S. is to inspect the houses in Las Vegas.

In the past 18 months, the firm he works for, The Creations Group, bought up distressed homes all over the U.S. — including 13 Las Vegas houses at fire sale prices.

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The Salt
4:06 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

For Russians, New Year's Eve Remains The Superholiday

Brightly-wrapped chocolates are traditional for Russian New Year.
Nancy Shute NPR

Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 4:28 pm

While for many people the frenzy of holiday cooking and feasting is subsiding, for Russians, it's just revving up.

During the Soviet era, Christmas was erased from the calendar. But its traditions were too strong to suppress; they were transplanted to New Year's.

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The Two-Way
4:02 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

U.S. Treasury: China Is Not Manipulating Its Currency

The United States Treasury has decided not to accuse China of manipulating its currency. Instead, the Obama administration acknowledged that the yuan, which is also known as the renminbi, was appreciating but not at an "insufficient" rate.

The AFP report:

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It's All Politics
3:48 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Playing The Expectations Game And Other Last-Minute Candidate Tricks

Texas Gov. Rick Perry walks to his bus after a campaign stop at the Glenn Miller Museum in Clarinda, Iowa on Dec. 27.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:10 am

In this final week before the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3, each of the Republican presidential candidates is starting an all-out scramble to shore up support in a contest that's still up for grabs.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are competing for the votes of moderate, mainstream Republicans. Both of them have spent time at the top of the polls.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Sean Collins, Who Told Surfers Where To Go For The Best Waves, Has Died

Sean Collins created a way for surfers to learn about where the best waves are just about anywhere in the world and in the process became a legend in the surfing community. Monday, at the age of 59, he died.

According to The Orange County Register, "his youngest son, A.J., said Collins was playing tennis at his club in Newport [Calif.] at about 2 p.m. when he died suddenly from a heart attack."

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The Two-Way
2:27 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Members Of Congress Weather Recession, Become Richer

The flag waves in front of the U.S. Capitol.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Both The Washington Post and The New York Times have stories today that highlight the fact that members of the United States Congress are increasingly wealthier than their constituents and they're also getting richer at a faster rate than even their fellow private-industry rich folks.

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Leaving Iraq
2:23 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Iraqi Interpreters Hope Visas Come Before Militants

The U.S. troops are gone from Iraq. But there are still a few thousand Iraqis, especially interpreters, who worked with the U.S. military and are desperately waiting for American visas — a process that takes years.

Many of these Iraqis were branded as traitors by hard-line Iraqi groups. They have often been targeted by militias in recent years, and they fear that will continue even though the American forces have left.

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Music Interviews
2:09 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Gregory Douglass: Controlling His Own 'Lucid' Dreams

Gregory Douglass.
Kelly Griffith Closed Circle Photography

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 12:20 pm

As 2011 winds down, Morning Edition is looking at music we missed over the past 12 months. Gregory Douglass is a pianist and guitarist from a small town in Vermont who blends electronic pop with folk and rock. At 31, he has already recorded eight albums, most of them released on a label he founded.

Douglass creates the sort of textured sound that you'd think comes from a big-budget studio, but he's on his own. His fans pre-order his albums before they're recorded, which helps pay his production costs. His latest is titled Lucid.

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It's All Politics
2:06 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

A Week Out In Iowa, Most Republican Presidential Candidates Are All In

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum leaves the Fort Dodge, Iowa, GOP headquarters after speaking Tuesday.
Charlie Neibergall Associated Press

Let the buses roll. A week before Iowa caucus-goers start the 2012 Republican presidential nominating contest, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich were starting cross-state bus tours on Tuesday (although Gingrich's would be an abbreviated tour, The Des Moines Register reported.)

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