As The Associated Press notes, the pace of construction — 1.04 million starts, at an annual rate — is the fastest in nearly five years and is another sign that the housing sector continues to recover from its 2007-08 crash.
NPR's business news begins with gold losing some of its glitter.
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INSKEEP: The explosions in Boston and a report showing China's economy to be slowing caused upheaval in many markets yesterday. But gold took the spotlight when its price dropped by more than 9 percent by the end of trading. This is the sharpest daily decline in the gold price in 30 years. Analysts say it suggests investors are losing faith in the precious metal as a safe haven.
Retired miners are converging on St. Louis Tuesday for a union rally to protest a proposed cut in health benefits. Patriot Coal is in bankruptcy and has asked a federal judge to allow it to shed most of the health coverage for nearly 10,000 retired miners. But most of those miners never worked a day for Patriot.
The 2013 Pulitzer Prizes were awarded today in journalism, fiction, poetry, drama and music. Among the winners: many of the most prominent news organizations and some less prominent. NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik joins us now from our bureau in New York. And, David, tell us about some of today's winners.
Is small-batch hard apple cider the next microbrew? It seems everybody and their brother is experimenting with ways to make the potent stuff profitable. Sales of domestically produced hard cider have more than tripled since 2007, according to beverage industry analysts — and that's not counting Europe, where it has held a steady popularity for centuries.
Imagine for a second what it would be like if you could talk to your radio, and your radio would actually listen. To get an idea of what this might be like, I downloaded an app called Talk to Esquire, from the magazine of the same name.
When I opened it, the app asked me a question: What's your favorite type of liquor? That's a little forward, but it's Esquire so I played along and told the app that I'm more of a beer drinker.
Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 1:33 pm
Bitcoins are a digital currency, attractive to those who prefer not to leave a paper trail when they buy and sell things online. Over the past two years, the Bitcoin community has widely expanded and the value of the currency has fluctuated wildly.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee in Washington. Imagine April 15 but without tax returns, without the mad scramble to finish them, the long wait at the post office, the piles of receipts piling up for deductible expenses, in other words an America without tax returns.
Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 5:27 pm
Hi, it's another installment of Ask A Banker. We've gotten lots of good questions, and also lots of bad questions, on Twitter and email, but answered only a fraction of them, in part because in some columns I just answered questions that I or Planet Money made up. Sorry. So let's make up for lost time by giving short answers to a bunch of real questions from real people, or at least real email accounts.