In a poor city in a poor country on a poor continent, there is a group of people with a singular purpose: to look rich.
Or, rather, to look good — and to fully embody the suave, elegant style that a wardrobe of three-piece suits, silk socks, fedoras and canes might suggest.
They are called sapeurs or members of the Societe des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elegantes (the Society of Tastemakers and Elegant People). And when they go out, they turn the streets of Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of the Congo, into a fashion runway.
Patricia Volk's mother was beautiful in a way that stopped people on the street. Strangers compared her to Lana Turner and Grace Kelly. She was stylish and vain: Her beauty and its preservation mattered to her. "She had an icy blond beauty, an imperious kind of beauty," Volk tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The recession and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico hit New Orleans hard, and that was after Katrina. The population has yet to return to pre-hurricane levels. Some houses lie empty, some properties abandoned, and the city continues to suffer from crime and unemployment.
President Obama says the United States and South Korea are determined to stand firm against North Korean threats and that the days of Pyongyang manufacturing a crisis to get international concessions "are over."
In a joint news conference with South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Tuesday, Obama said the two leaders "very much share the view that we are going to maintain a strong deterrent" against North Korea.
"We're not going to reward provocative behavior, but we remain open to the prospect of North Korea taking a peaceful path," he said.
The work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the federal oversight agency established by Dodd-Frank three years ago, has resulted in its first criminal referral — a case against a debt-settlement company it says defrauded thousands of people.