Business & Education

The Two-Way
8:18 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Economy Ended 2013 With Growth Still Strong, Data Suggest

FedEx employees sorted through mounds of packages in December at one of the company's facilities in Miami. Consumer spending helped fuel the economy in the third quarter. Gross domestic product grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate (a figure that adjusts for holiday spending to show the "real" growth).
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 8:36 am

The U.S. economy grew at a healthy 3.2 percent annual rate in fourth-quarter 2013, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday morning.

Coming on the heels of the third quarter's even better 4.1 percent pace, the news suggests the economy finished 2013 in better shape than it had been a year earlier.

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Business & Education
5:57 am
Thu January 30, 2014

11,000 Alabama students stranded by storm

AP

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A spokesman for the state Department of Education says about 11,000 students spent Tuesday night at Alabama public schools. Most of those were in the Birmingham area. Spokesman Michael Sibley says about 1,600 students remained at schools as of 2 p.m. Wednesday. He says there are plans to get most of them home by Wednesday evening, but some students will have to spend a second night at school. The students became stranded Tuesday when school buses couldn't get them home and parents couldn't drive to the schools.

Around the Nation
4:02 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Ridge Of High Pressure Blocks Snow From Oregon Ski Resort

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:24 am

Throughout the West, bone dry conditions are exacting a toll on places that rely on water to thrive. In southern Oregon, recreation plays an important role in the region's economy. The ongoing drought is drying up streams where fishing once was plentiful and it's left ski resorts wanting for snow.

Around the Nation
4:02 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Drought Forces Calif. Farmers To Cut Back On Planting

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 5:45 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Awful snowstorms and a brutal cold snap dominated the weather news this week. But in the background, a long dry spell in parts of the Central and Western U.S. has now turned into a full scale drought. Farmers and ranchers across 11 states are struggling with a severe lack of rain and snow. Among the hardest hit states, California.

NPR's Nathan Rott traveled to the Central Valley, California's agricultural hub, and has this story.

NATHAN ROTT, BYLINE: Let's jump in a truck, and I'll explain as we go.

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Around the Nation
4:02 am
Thu January 30, 2014

In Las Vegas, Lawns Are The Biggest Water Waster

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:24 am

Las Vegas depends on Lake Mead for its water and the reservoir is dropping. The city's water officials long ago instituted water conservation measures. Critics say they are not nearly enough.

Business
3:48 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Gunmakers Protest Microstamping Law In Calif.

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 6:24 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news includes halted gun sales in California.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Two of the nation's largest gun manufacturers have announced they will stop selling semi-automatic hand guns in California. This is because of a dispute over a new identification law.

NPR's Kirk Siegler reports.

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Business
3:48 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Lawmakers To Address Delaware's Troubled Casino Industry

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 3:27 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Delaware's gambling industry is struggling. Revenues at the state's three casinos have steadily declined in recent years, as competition from neighboring states grows. A state task force is set to make recommendations to lawmakers this week to save the troubled casino industry from layoffs - or worse. NPR's Allison Keyes reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF BACKGROUND CASINO NOISES)

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Around the Nation
3:48 am
Thu January 30, 2014

New York Looks To Bring Bitcoin Out Of The Shadows

Cameron (left) and Tyler Winklevoss testified Wednesday at a hearing about virtual currencies held by the New York Department of Financial Services.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 1:58 pm

New York could soon become the first state in the nation to write comprehensive regulations for the largely lawless world of virtual currencies.

The biggest one, Bitcoin, has many boosters, but it has also been connected with some spectacular crimes. On Monday, federal prosecutors announced the arrests of two men accused of using Bitcoin to help their clients buy and sell over $1 million in illegal drugs.

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Your Money
4:41 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Need A Retirement Starter Kit? This Might Help

With new accounts called myRAs, the government would protect workers' savings from losses.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 1:56 pm

Financial planners all say: The sooner you start saving, the better off you'll be in retirement.

But that advice often goes unheeded by young workers focused on paying down student debt and car loans. And even for those who can afford to set aside a little cash, investing can seem complicated and risky.

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Your Money
4:30 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Meet The myRA — Obama's New Retirement Plan

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 10:00 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Politics
4:30 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Farm Bill Clears House, On Its Way To Senate

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 10:00 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The Republican-run House of Representatives accomplished a feat of across-the-aisle cooperation today. A minority of House Democrats joined a majority of Republicans to pass a five-year renewal of the Farm Bill. The bill had been mired in partisan disputes for nearly two years. The most divisive issue was the food stamp program. It is by far the Farm Bill's biggest expenditure, and Republicans wanted to shrink it. As NPR's David Welna reports, the bill that passed does include some cuts but they'll be much smaller than many had sought.

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Economy
4:30 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Income Inequality, As Seen From Two Angles

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 10:00 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Economic inequality was a key theme of the president's State of the Union address. Clearly, it's a subject that he is determined to get the country talking about and talking about in a different way; more broadening of opportunity, less talk of raising taxes on the rich. Here's part of what he said last night.

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The Great Plains Oil Rush
4:30 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Oil Rush A Cash Cow For Some Farmers, But Tensions Crop Up

A drilling site rises from the middle of farmland near Fairfield, N.D. Many farmers and ranchers are profiting from the state's oil boom, but others complain that drillers are interfering with their business.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 10:00 am

A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.

Donny Nelson is a third-generation farmer and rancher near Keene, N.D., a rural community located in the center of an oil rush.

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All Tech Considered
2:25 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

A Boarding Pass Design That's So Much Better Than What We Have

The better boarding pass design.
Pete Smart

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 10:58 am

In our "Weekly Innovation" blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.

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The Two-Way
1:24 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Fed Will Continue To Taper Its Stimulus Program

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 3:14 pm

Because the economy continues to improve since it started tapering its stimulus program, the Federal Reserve said it would continue to slow the pace of its bond-buying programs.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee said:

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