Business & Education

Around the Nation
3:34 am
Tue December 17, 2013

FAA To Soon Pick Sites For Commercial Drone Testing

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:30 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Six states will soon be chosen as commercial drone test sites. So major companies like Amazon say they're hoping to use drones to ship products. But first, the Federal Aviation Administration has to figure out how to fly them safely in civilian airspace. Nevada is one of the states that wants to give commercial drones a try, as Will Stone from member station KUNR reports.

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Business
3:34 am
Tue December 17, 2013

New Owner Promises Handmade Steinways For Years To Come

Some Steinway company representatives and employees — like Wally Boot, pictured here — have been working for the company for decades. Boot is the last person to touch every piano that leaves the factory in Queens, N.Y.
Craig Warga Bloomberg/Getty

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:30 pm

For 160 years, the pianos made by Steinway & Sons have been considered the finest in the world. So when hedge fund billionaire John Paulson recently bought the company, it struck fear in the hearts of musicians: Would the famously handcrafted pianos be changed, for the sake of efficiency? Paulson, who owns several Steinways himself, says nothing will change.

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Business
2:17 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Economists, Unemployed Fret Over Long-Term Jobless Aid Lapse

Attendees of a job fair in California in October fill out paperwork.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:30 pm

Democrats in Congress are promising to try to retroactively extend emergency unemployment benefits after the new year. With the House already in recess, the benefits are expected to expire at the end of the month.

The Senate is still in Washington working on a bipartisan budget agreement passed by the House before it left town last week, but the bill does not include a benefits extension.

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Number Of The Year
2:16 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Year In Numbers: The Federal Reserve's $85 Billion Question

On Tuesday, Federal Reserve policymakers begin a two-day meeting where many analysts expect they will announce a reduction in the central bank's $85 billion monthly stimulus.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:30 pm

Many economists and investors think there's a good chance that at the end of their two-day meeting that begins Tuesday, Federal Reserve policymakers will announce that they'll begin reducing their $85 billion monthly stimulus, their third round of quantitative easing, or QE3.

The analysts think recent economic data, like a drop in the unemployment rate to 7 percent and a budget deal in Washington, have brightened the outlook for the economy enough that the Fed can pull back.

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It's All Politics
5:02 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

New Year Likely To Ring In Old Debt Ceiling Fight

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. (right), accompanied by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, takes reporters' questions during a Dec. 11 news conference.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 6:00 pm

At the moment, Washington fiscal policy is a good news, bad news story.

The good news is that the budget agreement, overwhelmingly passed by the House last week in a bipartisan vote, is likely to be approved by the Senate this week. That takes another costly government shutdown off the table.

The bad news? Another debt ceiling fight, with all the attendant risks of a U.S. government default, appears to be right around the corner.

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

General Motors CEO: In The Bailout, Fair Is Fair

General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson speaks at the National Press Club on Monday in Washington, D.C.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Retiring General Motors CEO Dan Akerson made a case Monday for how losing should feel like winning — at least for U.S. taxpayers who lost more than $10 billion in a GM bailout.

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Business
4:02 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

For 2014, Detroit Steps Up Its Game With Lighter, Smaller Autos

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 7:06 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now we're going to look ahead at emerging trends in the auto industry and what kinds of cars we'll be seeing in 2014. I'm joined by Dan Neil. He's automotive columnist for The Wall Street Journal. Dan, welcome back to the program.

DAN NEIL: Hi, Melissa.

BLOCK: And we just heard U.S. automakers have managed to turn it around. I'm curious to hear whether there's one new car coming out that you think really captures that turnaround.

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Business
4:02 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Years Of Tumult In The Rear-View, U.S. Auto Industry Revs Back Up

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 7:46 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. We begin this hour with a number. That number is 50. It's for our new series Number of the Year, where we explore the numbers that tell the story of 2013, numbers about same sex marriage, the minimum wage, Syria, even pandas. Today's number tells the story of a rebound in the U.S. auto industry.

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All Tech Considered
4:02 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Is Silicon Valley Automating Our Obsolescence?

One of several robots at the University of California, San Francisco's hospital pharmacy helps manage and track its drug inventory.
Leland Kim/University of California, San Francisco

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 1:58 pm

This week, we're exploring the San Francisco Bay Area and the way income inequality is affecting the region. Check out the other pieces of the week, aggregated on this page.

Silicon Valley has created mind-boggling amounts of wealth. Entire industries have been invented here. Smartphones, search engines, cloud computing and cars that drive themselves are designed here.

Billionaires are minted annually, but inequality is rising rapidly.

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Economy
4:02 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

As Bernanke Readies To Leave Fed, Investors Wonder About Stimulus

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 7:06 pm

This week the Fed's influential Open Market Committee meets to discuss some unfinished business. With Chairman Ben Bernanke getting ready to turn things over to Janet Yellen, Fed policymakers must decide whether it's time to start winding down the "quantitative easing" program put in place years ago to protect the recovery.

Early Childhood Education
3:58 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Nearly 25,000 Alabama Jobs Serve State's Children

A new report says early education programs in Alabama serve more than 192,000 children up to the age of 5.

A new report says early education programs in Alabama serve more than 192,000 children up to the age of 5.

The report says the industry accounts for nearly 19,000 full-time equivalent jobs with a payroll of nearly $370 million and non-pay roll expenditures of nearly $200 million.

The report was prepared by Auburn University at Montgomery economist Keivan Deravi for the Alabama Partnership for Children.

The partnership's executive director, Gail Piggott, said Monday that she was surprised by the large numbers.

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Shots - Health News
2:40 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Novice Neurosurgeons Train On Brains Printed In 3-D

A simulated patient at the University of Malaya makes use of different materials to mimic the look and feel of human tissue.
Courtesy of Vicknes Waran

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 8:58 am

There's no such thing as too much practice when it comes to brain surgery.

But it's hard for beginner neurosurgeons to get real hands-on experience. Most residents learn by watching and assisting experienced surgeons.

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Business & Education
9:08 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Tuscaloosa school kids still waiting on textbooks

Vanderbilt University

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Tuscaloosa schools officials say some students are awaiting new textbooks as winter break approaches. Assistant Superintendent, Elizabeth Davis, told the Tuscaloosa News the district's textbook committee was unable to find math books that matched new college and career readiness standards for middle and high school students. Pupils have been using old math books for part of the year. The committee found new textbooks in September, but the publisher faced a shipping backlog because other school systems ordered the same materials.

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Asia
4:03 am
Mon December 16, 2013

India's Workplace Cases Highlight Abuse Against Women

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 4:10 am

As India marks the anniversary of the infamous gang rape in New Delhi, it is ending the year as it began: in upheaval over its treatment of women. In a recent series of cases, men in positions of privilege are alleged to have sexually harassed or assaulted female employees. The episodes spotlight the absence of women's rights in the Indian workplace.

Movies
4:03 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Can 'Fast & Furious' Survive Paul Walker's Death?

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 4:14 am

Since the tragic death of actor Paul Walker in a car crash, Universal Pictures has been struggling with how to handle its billion-dollar Fast & Furious franchise. Production on the seventh movie was underway when he died. David Greene talks to reporter Kim Masters, who has been following the story for The Hollywood Reporter. Masters also hosts The Business on member station KCRW.

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