'Mystery Shoppers' Help U.S. Regulators Fight Racial Discrimination At Banks

When the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau looked into the Mississippi-based regional bank BancorpSouth, it didn't just review thousands of loan applications. It sent in undercover operatives — some white, some black — who pretended to be customers applying for loans."They had similar credit scores and similar background and situations," says CFPB Director Richard Cordray. "Our investigation had found that BancorpSouth had engaged in illegal redlining in Memphis, meaning refusing to lend...
Read More

Police Break Up Zimbabwe 'Mega-Demonstration' In Defiance Of Court Order

In Zimbabwe's capital city, police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse a demonstration that the country's top court had ruled could proceed.Opposition leaders termed Friday's march in Harare a "mega-demonstration." It marked "the first time that Zimbabwe's fractured opposition joined in a single action to confront President Robert Mugabe's government since 2007," as The Associated Press reports.Former Vice President Joice Mujuru, who is now at odds with Mugabe, told reporters that 50...
Read More

Good news: We've got a Code Switch podcast extra for you this week — Karen Grigsby Bates sat down with NPR's movie critic, Bob Mondello, to talk about Southside with You, a new independent film about Michelle and Barack Obama's very first date, back in the summer of 1989.

The film takes place over the course of a single afternoon, and, as the title suggests, is set on the South Side of Chicago.

Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Pedestrian safety has been priority one for Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse in the weeks since a teenage girl was struck and killed trying to cross 787.

When the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau looked into the Mississippi-based regional bank BancorpSouth, it didn't just review thousands of loan applications. It sent in undercover operatives — some white, some black — who pretended to be customers applying for loans.

"They had similar credit scores and similar background and situations," says CFPB Director Richard Cordray. "Our investigation had found that BancorpSouth had engaged in illegal redlining in Memphis, meaning refusing to lend into specific areas of the city."

In Baton Rouge, La., people are using whatever tools they have to help their community recover from the flood.

That includes cameras.

Four photographers have been creating portraits of those affected. Their project, "Humans of the Water," focuses not on what people lost, but on what they saved.

One of those photographers is Collin Richie. He says documentary photography isn't typically his style. Most of his work involves snapping photos for weddings, magazines and corporate advertisements.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's been another big week for voting laws — especially when it comes to the courts. More twists and turns are likely before the election. But for now, here's an update:

The White House announced today that President Barack Obama will expand the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii, creating the world’s largest marine protected area.

The move quadruples the size of the monument from 50 miles to 200 miles. But it’s caused some controversy in Hawaii.

The University of Virginia is facing criticism for raising the cost of tuition for students over the last few years while at the same time, setting aside more than $2 billion in an investment fund.

Many major universities have these funds, but UVA’s is among the biggest for a public school. Today, the state legislature’s subcommittee on higher education will question top university officials about the fund, including President Teresa Sullivan.

Here are some of Sullivan’s remarks from her appearance before a Friday joint meeting of the Virginia State Legislature:

Hope is dwindling for finding survivors in central Italy, where more than 267 people were killed in Wednesday’s 6.2-magnitude earthquake.

Questions are now being raised over how the massive destruction could have been prevented. But in a country filled with ancient and medieval architecture, that task can be difficult and expensive.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Barack and Michelle Obama's first date in Chicago back in 1989 is the subject of a new movie called "Southside With You." Film critic David Edelstein has a review.

Pages

WAMC Podcasts

Check out our new podcasts

Find your favorites and subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher.

Don't miss anything.

Sign up for Airwaves and get weekly updates on news and events.

Donate Your Car

Events Schedule

What are you doing this week?

Find an event near you.

Follow WAMC