Business & Education

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Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell has her work cut out for her.

She has to convince millions of people who get their health insurance through the Affordable Care Act exchanges or who have no coverage at all that they should go online and shop for a good deal.

Silicon Valley is a politically liberal place — and that is reflected in where people are sending their money this election season. Ninety-five percent of contributions from tech employees to the presidential campaigns have gone to Hillary Clinton, according to Crowdpac, a group that tracks political donations.

But one well-known outlier has caused a lot of friction in the Valley.

In the small town of Sunderland, Mass., is a 300-year-old, family-run plot of land that fuses fine art and farming.

Mike Wissemann's 8-acre cornfield maze is a feat of ingenuity, with carefully planned and executed stalk-formed replicas of notables such as the Mona Lisa, Albert Einstein and Salvador Dalí.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

The largest provider of health coverage on the Affordable Care Act's online marketplace in Maine has dropped coverage of elective abortion services.

Community Health Options, an insurance co-op, decided to eliminate the coverage as it tries to dig itself out of a $31 million financial hole that it accumulated in 2015. (It's one of six co-ops remaining of the 23 initially created by the Affordable Care Act.)

During political campaigns, many dollar figures get tossed about as candidates discuss the national debt, the deficit, and taxes.

But in some states, this could be the figure that will matter most: $7.25.

That's the amount minimum-wage workers get paid per hour under federal law. Polls show voters overwhelmingly support a higher wage, and 28 states and the District of Columbia already have passed laws forcing employers to pay more than the national minimum.

Episode 732: Bad Form, Wells Fargo

Oct 28, 2016

A couple of weeks ago, we did a show about the massive scandal at Wells Fargo bank. How good employees were pushed to do bad things. Like opening up bank accounts that customers never asked for.

American Airlines Flight 383, a Boeing 767, aborted its takeoff at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport Friday and caught fire. The airline gave the cause as "an engine-related issue." The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane blew a tire. Passengers were evacuated onto the runway.

The city's Office of Emergency Management said 20 people were injured. Earlier the airline had said seven passengers and one flight attendant reported minor injuries and were taken to a hospital. The airline said it rescheduled the rest of the passengers on other flights.

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There aren't many things the two major presidential candidates agree on, but here's one: Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump say they would spend more to rebuild the country's aging infrastructure.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

Maybe this election cycle really is getting to us.

On Friday, one report showed the economy is growing at a surprisingly quick pace, but another found consumers are feeling less upbeat.

The Commerce Department said the economy grew by 2.9 percent in this year's third quarter. That's a very solid expansion — the fastest pace in two years. It exceeded the 2.5 percent rate most economists had been forecasting.

Federal regulators said 12 U.S. hospitals, including well-known medical centers in Los Angeles, Boston and New York, failed to promptly report patient deaths or injuries linked to medical devices.

The Food and Drug Administration publicly disclosed the violations in inspection reports this week amid growing scrutiny of its ability to identify device-related dangers and protect patients from harm.

In Israel, A Push To Get More Arabs Into Management

Oct 28, 2016

Basel Egberiea, 26, says not many people have managed to leave his small hometown in northern Israel. He's an Arab citizen of Israel who studied accounting, and he says most of his Arab friends and neighbors either lacked the confidence to pursue their ambitions, or were blocked because of discrimination.

"Arabs too have dreams, have ambitions, have professional ambitions, and it is a democratic state and there should not be any ... blocks for people who want to advance," he said.

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

Smartphone chip maker Qualcomm Inc. has agreed to buy NXP Semiconductors for $38 billion. The agreement allows Qualcomm, which makes chips for Apple and Android, to become the top seller of semiconductors for the car business.

Qualcomm's core business is in processors and wireless chips for smartphones. The deal allows the San Diego-based company to reduce its dependence on smartphones, a huge business that has reached a plateau.

A police operation is underway in North Dakota to remove protesters from land owned by pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners.

The Associated Press reports several people have been arrested.

Twitter shocked the Internet Thursday with a farewell to Vine: "In the coming months we'll be discontinuing the mobile app."

We could have seen it coming. The six-second looped-video site hasn't gotten much love from Twitter, which is grappling with self-reflection: another quarter of losses, layoffs of 9 percent of the staff, constant rumors of a potential sale.

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

"It's the consumers' information. How it is used should be the consumers' choice." So said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler as the commission adopted rules requiring Internet service providers such as Comcast and Verizon to get customers' permission before selling the data they collect to marketers.

The vote was 3-2 along party lines.

The U.S. Department of Justice has charged 61 people and entities with conspiracy and fraud over a scam that involved phone calls from people pretending to be from the IRS or other government agencies.

The conspiracy defrauded at least 15,000 people of more than $300 million, the U.S. government says. The defendants — 56 people and five call center groups — were indicted last week, and the documents were unsealed on Thursday.

Hours after announcing a 9 percent staff cut, Twitter says it's also cutting the Vine looping-video app, which burst to popularity after its launch in 2013 but has struggled to match that growth in the past year.

The shutdown of Vine, which recently claimed more than 200 million monthly viewers, will occur "in the coming months," the company says in a blog post about the move.

Protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline have been raging for months, but tensions have been escalating. Recently, tribal leaders — led by Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II — called on the Department of Justice to look into what they describe as unnecessary use of force by state and local law enforcement.

Tesla surprised Wall Street Wednesday by posting a profit of nearly $22 million for the third quarter. It's a surprise because it's only the second time in the company's history that it has posted a quarterly profit.

As Hillary Clinton traverses battleground states across the country in the final stretch of the election, Donald Trump paid a visit Wednesday to the solidly Democratic, tiny District of Columbia.

He wasn't there for D.C.'s votes.

Trump was attending the opening of the Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C., in what is known as the Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue, blocks from the White House.

The U.N. General Assembly votes every year on a resolution calling for an end to the U.S. embargo on Cuba. The U.S. has always opposed the symbolic measure.

But today, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N Samantha Power told the General Assembly that for the first time, the U.S. would abstain.

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