This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
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And I'm Renee Montagne. It's been 20 years since President Bill Clinton signed into law a trade pact that wiped out many of the commercial barriers between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The North American Free Trade Agreement was controversial. Although Congress in the end approved NAFTA, it divided lawmakers, and on both sides of the aisle.
Morning Edition has been looking back at the year through numbers — and the number for today is $15 billion. That's the approximate amount JP Morgan Chase has agreed to pay out in various fines and settlements this year. The company is widely seen as a well-managed bank but it faces big regulatory problems and its legal bills are mounting.
NPR's business news starts with a tax hike for la creme de la creme.
Yesterday, French President Francois Hollande's millionaires tax got the official go-ahead from the nation's Constitutional Council. Now all salaries over a million euros will be taxed at a rate of 75 percent.
Part of the tax hike will be shouldered by companies who are paying the higher salaries. Business leaders complain the new tax will only drive more entrepreneurs and wealthy into exile.
In Japan, you can buy an incredible range of things from vending machines: bags of rice, fishing tackle or fresh flowers. And now you can add bras to that list — in particular the wireless "Fun Fun Week" bra.
Federal regulators this month opened a new era in the treatment of a deadly liver virus that infects three to five times more people than HIV. Now the question is: Who will get access to the new drug for hepatitis C, and when?
The drug Sovaldi will cost $1,000 per pill. A typical course of treatment will last 12 weeks and run $84,000, plus the cost of necessary companion drugs. Some patients may need treatment for twice as long.
Millions of people are turning their thoughts to self-improvement and New Year's resolutions this week. And one of the most common resolutions, after promises to lose weight or get in better shape, is to be better about money.
A handful of entrepreneurs in the Bay Area have taken note — and they believe the time has come for you to try a different way of managing your money.
The giant retailer Target continues to feel the fallout from a massive security breach at its stores. The latest revelation: Hackers who stole credit and debit card numbers this holiday season also collected encrypted personal identification numbers.
But Brigitte Clark had no worries as she left a Target in Los Angeles on Saturday morning, her cart full of groceries.
This month, NPR's been looking at some of the numbers that bring 2013 into focus. Today, the number 10. That's how many cities and states have passed laws guaranteeing access to some kind of family leave this year, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families. That group's long championed such leave policies. And joining us now to talk about such trends is Vicki Shabo, the partnership's director of work and family programs. Welcome.
VICKI SHABO: Thank you, Jennifer. It's so great to be here.
It's not been a good year for Florida's citrus industry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that, for the second year running, the orange crop is expected to be almost 10 percent lower than the previous year.
The culprit is citrus greening, a disease that has devastated Florida's oranges and grapefruits, and has now begun to spread in Texas and California.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
And we begin this hour with a milestone of 2013, a remarkable feat with far-reaching implications both at home and abroad. According to the Energy Information Agency, the United States became the world's biggest producer of oil and natural gas. NPR's John Ydstie has more on the turnaround in America's energy fortunes.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. Retailers are wrapping up a lackluster holiday season. Overall, sales were tepid, but growth exploded online, on mobile devices and with the sale of gift cards. NPR's Sonari Glinton has that story.
Though hackers did obtain "strongly encrypted PIN data" when they got into Target's information systems, the retailer said Friday that sensitive information from customers' debit cards should not be at risk.