Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 5:09 pm
In the comments section of a recent Code Switch post, a reader named Aboubacar Ndiaye gave a long but thoughtful explanation for the many reasons why housing costs are rising, and why there's no easy solution to the problem. He was gracious enough to expand on his thoughts in this commentary.
Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 3:55 pm
Smithfield, the world's largest hog and pork buyer, announced Tuesday that it's asking the independent farmers with whom it has contracts to get rid of stalls for pregnant sows to improve the animals' living conditions.
To nudge these farmers to make the changes to their facilities by 2022, Smithfield is offering to extend their contracts once they've converted their gestational stalls into group houses, which are generally considered more humane.
Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 12:25 pm
This post was updated at 12:00 p.m. ET.
A three-month extension of federal unemployment benefits for 1.3 million jobless Americans won a key procedural vote in the Senate on Tuesday.
The 60-37 vote indicates there's enough Republican support to move the Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which expired on Dec. 28, forward to a full vote. As The Associated Press writes, the measure "is the leading edge of a Democratic program that also includes raising the minimum wage and closing tax loopholes on the wealthy and corporations."
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — President Barack Obama has named University of Alabama geologist Samantha Hansen as one of the recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers. The awards recognize scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers. The University of Alabama said Hansen is using energy signals from earthquakes to better understand how the Transantarctic mountain range was formed across Antarctica.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
I'm David Greene.
We have been hearing for, well, what feels like forever about skyrocketing health care costs. It's at the center of debates in Washington and state capitals. And many people feel the impact on their wallets and pocketbooks. But here's this reality: Spending on health care, while still going up, appears to be rising more slowly. 2012 was the fourth straight year of modest growth.
GREENE: Microsoft announced sales of its new Xbox One topped three million units by the end of 2013. In a blog post, the company called it the most epic launch of Xbox, by all measures.
The third-generation console was available a week before Thanksgiving. It's been competing with Sony's new baby, Playstation 4, which also launched in November. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
A new study from the Pew Research Center finds that age and income play a larger role than race when it comes to high-speed Internet access. Lower-income African-Americans often buy smartphones to compensate for not having a broadband connection at home. Smartphones, however, may not be enough.
Every year thousands of companies from all over the world flock to Las Vegas in the first week in January to show off the products they hope to sell in the coming year. What began as a trade show featuring the latest high-fidelity stereos 40 years ago has become an annual electronics circus.
Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 6:13 pm
The Senate has voted to approve the nomination of Janet Yellen as the next leader of the U.S. Federal Reserve. With Monday's vote, Yellen, 67, will become the first woman to serve as America's banking chief, heading an institution that was established in 1913.
The "Death Master File." It sounds like a ledger the Grim Reaper might keep, but in reality, it's a computerized list containing some 86 million names and other data kept by the Social Security Administration.
An obscure provision tucked into the budget deal that Congress approved last month would limit access to the list — and that has everyone from genealogists to bankers concerned.
Health care spending grew at a record slow pace for the fourth straight year in 2012, according to a new government report. But the federal officials who compiled the report disagree with their bosses in the Obama administration about why.
The annual report from the actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, published in the journal Health Affairs, found total U.S. health spending totaled $2.8 trillion in 2012, or $8,915 per person.
A north Alabama county is about it lose its biggest employer. International Paper says it’s closing the paper mill in Lawrence County after forty three years of operation. After the first round of layoffs we take a look at how the town of Courtland and the residents are doing.
Courtland Alabama has a population of around seven hundred people and one big employer. The International Paper mill provided jobs to over a thousand Lawrence County workers, but according to International Paper spokeswoman Laura Gipson that is about to change…