As Mortgage Rates Climb, A Hot Housing Market Cools

Higher mortgage rates are putting a damper on the U.S. housing market. Home prices are down and sales of existing homes have now fallen for seven months in a row.

The ripples in the housing market are being felt as the Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates to fight inflation. And those higher borrowing costs mean that monthly mortgage payments have shot up.

We hear from would-be buyers who say that soaring mortgage rates are pushing them out of the market. And we talk to NPR’s Chris Arnold about how the Fed’s moves are affecting buyers and sellers.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

Is the Electoral College Anti-Democratic?

The Electoral Count Reform Act is a bipartisan response to the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol where rioters and the former president attempted to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence into subverting the election count.

But some critics think it doesn’t go far enough and argue that real reform would mean making significant changes to the Electoral College and to the winner take all allotment of electoral votes.

Host Michel Martin talks to Stanford Historian Jonathan Gienapp about the origins of the Electoral College, and Elie Mystal, justice correspondent at The Nation.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

Russia’s Illegal Annexation Ushers In A Dangerous New Phase Of The War

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the formal annexation of four territories in Ukraine on Friday, after the conclusion of what U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called “sham” referendums and “a complete farce.”

NPR’s Kat Lonsdorf talked with Ukrainians near the frontline about how the turmoil is affecting them.

Dara Massicot, a Russian military analyst with the RAND corporation, says, with this move, Putin has “burned bridges behind him,” leaving him with few options to force a closure to the war. She says that makes this the beginning of a dangerous new phase.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

Hurricane Ian Tears Across Florida

Hurricane Ian carved a path of destruction through central Florida, with extreme winds, heavy rains and a torrent of waters flooding in from the Gulf of Mexico.

Roads and bridges were washed away, coastal cities were swamped and electrical systems were wrecked – leaving millions of homes and businesses without power.

While the full scope of the disaster is not yet known, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says it will take years to rebuild.

We’ll hear an eyewitness account of the destruction in Ft. Myers and check in with NPR’s Greg Allen in Sarasota, where many neighborhoods are flooded.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

In Iran Protests, Anger At Hijab Rules Is “The Tip Of The Iceberg”

The widespread protests in Iran were sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. She died after being detained by Iran’s morality police for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code.

The fuel that’s keeping them going is a broader, deeper resentment at life under the regime.

Karim Sadjadpour, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace explains what risk the protests pose to the regime, and why he believes it is incapable of reform.

This episode also features excerpts from NPR’s Steve Inskeep’s interview with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and reporting from NPR’s Peter Kenyon.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

The Heartbreak And Cost Of Losing A Baby In America

Every year, more than 300,000 U.S. families have infants who require advanced medical care in neonatal intensive care units.

Specialized treatments and round-the-clock care rack up enormous bills for parents as they try to navigate their baby’s care. And in the worst case scenarios, some families are left with millions of dollars in medical bills long after their child has passed.

We talk to Kaiser Health News correspondent Lauren Weber about her reporting on how steep medical bills have impacted families and what resources are available for parents with infants in the NICU.

We also hear from Kingsley Raspe about the bills that piled up from treatments for his daughter, Sterling, and the heartbreak of dealing with insurers after she passed away at eight months old.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

The Civil Rights Activist Sharing Her Story With A New Generation

Ruby Bridges was just six years old in 1960 when she became the first Black child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans.

She was escorted by four federal marshals and greeted by a mob of angry white protesters.

Today, Bridges is a civil rights activist and author, and she is sharing her experience with a new generation of kids in her latest children’s book, I Am Ruby Bridges.

Bridges tells her story through the eyes of her six-year-old self and talks about what today’s children can learn from her experience.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

What’s Really Causing America’s Mental Health Crisis?

This week the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force announced recommendations that doctors screen all patients under 65 for anxiety.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve heard about sharp increases in the number of people suffering from mental health problems.

With a health care system already overburdened and seemingly unable to deal with the rise in mental health issues, America is facing what is being called a mental health crisis.

But are we losing sight of another crisis – the issues causing increased anxiety and depression in Americans?

Host Michel Martin speaks with Dr. Danielle Carr about her recent essay in the New York Times, Mental Health Is Political.

Scandals? What Scandals? The NFL Keeps Surging.

The NFL has dealt with plenty of scandal this century, but this offseason was pretty rough.

Accusations of racist hiring practices, star players charged with sexual assault, and owners behaving badly have all been embarrassments for the league.

None of that has affected the bottom line. TV ratings are as high as ever and NFL programs dominate the Nielsen top ten.

Our host Juana Summers talks to Kevin Draper, sports reporter for the New York Times, about what, if anything, can slow down the NFL juggernaut.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what’s going on in your community. Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

The Stories Of People Serving Life Sentences, In Their Own Words

More than 55,000 people in the U.S. are serving life sentences without the possibility of parole, according to research from The Sentencing Project.

Behind bars, they are largely unseen and unheard.

The Visiting Room Project is an effort to change that. It’s a collection of first-person testimonials of people who are serving life sentences.

We hear inmates tell their stories and talk with Calvin Duncan, co-creator the project, which invites the public to sit face-to-face with people who have no chance of parole.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.