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Home Prices Rise At Best Pace In Seven Years

Led by more strong gains in Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles, home prices in major U.S. cities were up just more than 12 percent on average in July vs. July 2012, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report.

The average increase was the largest since February 2006, Reuters adds, and is yet another sign that the housing sector is among the economy's strongest sectors.

But David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, suggests in the group's report that coming months may look less strong: "Following the increase in mortgage rates beginning last May, applications for mortgages have dropped, suggesting that rising interest rates are affecting housing."

More news about the economy is due at 10 a.m. ET, when the private Conference Board releases its look at where consumer confidence stood in September.

Update at 11:45 a.m. ET. Confidence Down Slightly:

The Conference Board says its consumer confidence index slipped to 79.7 in September from 81.8 in August.

Economist Lynn Franco, who directs the board's work on the index, says in its release that "concerns about the short-term outlook for both jobs and earnings resurfaced, while expectations for future business conditions were little changed."

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NPR

Jhumpa Lahiri Finds Freedom In Italian Memoir: 'No One Expected Me To Do It'

The Interpreter of Maladies author is a successful, Pulitzer Prize-winning English-language writer. But she found writing in Italian gave her true freedom; "Language is a very messy thing," she says.
NPR

Gulf Of Mexico Open For Fish-Farming Business

For the first time, companies can apply to set up fish farms in U.S. federal waters. The government says the move will help reduce American dependence on foreign seafood and improve security.
WAMU 88.5

What's Behind Trends In U.S. Violent Crime Rates

FBI data suggest there was a slight uptick in violent crime in the first half of last year, but overall violent crime rates in the U.S. have dropped dramatically over the last twenty years. What led to the long-term decline, and why do some say it’s likely to continue?

WAMU 88.5

Blocked: Twitter's Role In Combating Violent Extremism

Over the course of seven months, Twitter has suspended over 125,000 accounts for threatening or promoting terrorist acts.

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