This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Another promising report today suggests that the economy in general and employment in particular continue to improve, but there's another statistic that's more troubling. More Americans than ever participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.
Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 11:16 am
Google has agreed to modify the way it displays search results in Europe as part of a deal to end a probe by the EU's antitrust body. But rivals Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle will first have to sign off on the changes, reports say.
Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 10:31 pm
Update at 11:28 p.m. ET: Toll At 275
Authorities said early Friday that 275 bodies have been recovered from the site.
Brig. Gen. Mohammed Siddiqul Alam Shikder, head of the rescue operation, said 61 people had been rescued since Thursday afternoon, according to The Associated Press. More than 2,000 people have been rescued since the building's collapse on Wednesday.
Auto executives got a grilling on Capitol Hill yesterday. Not the usual suspects from Detroit's Big Three. Think much, much smaller. Executives from the hybrid carmaker Fisker testified about hundreds of millions of dollars in loans Fisker got from the government. Today, the company is on the verge of collapse.
NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.
SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Fisker, the car company, isn't dead yet. But Congress has already begun the autopsy.
The lending arm of General Electric has stopped offering financing to retailers whose primary business is selling guns. Around 75 retailers are immediately affected. A company spokesman says this is a response to "industry changes, new legislation and tragic events."
Our last word in business is good news for the jet setting romantic, possibly bad news for most everyone else on board.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Virgin Airlines has announced a new service called seat-to-seat delivery, now available on all U.S. flights, which allows passengers to send unsolicited treats to fellow travelers at the touch of a button.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
SIR RICHARD BRANSON: Just order a drink, meal or snack, select his or her seat and don't forget to seal the deal with a suggestive seat-to-seat chat.
Air travelers are growing less and less happy. Automatic budget cuts are now leading to hundreds of flight delays, about half of all delayed flights this week.
NPR's Tamara Keith reports.
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Up until this point, the effects of the sequester have been scattered and hard to pin down: hiring freezes, delayed park openings. But then the furloughs of air traffic controllers the Federal Aviation Administration had been threatening for months hit and, bam, the sequester got real, real fast.
The U.S. Senate may vote this week on the Marketplace Fairness Act, a bill that would allow states to collect sales tax from more online retailers. And as the political and retail landscape has shifted from the last time around, the Senate is expected to approve the measure.
The proposal to require online sellers to collect out-of-state sales tax has been kicked around for many years. For a decade, Amazon was a fierce opponent.
I spoke yesterday with Dan Sichel, a Wellesley economist and a Lady Gaga fan. Both of these facts are relevant for this story.
The U.S. government is about to tweak the way it measures the economy, and some of the biggest changes will affect the entertainment industry.
Under the current system, Sichel told me, Lady Gaga's sales of concert tickets, online songs and CDs all count toward gross domestic product. But the value of the time she spends in the studio working on new songs isn't counted. That's about to change.
General Motors has been the American car company in China. Even when GM was in bankruptcy, the Chinese continued to view Buick as a high-status, luxury brand.
But now Ford, an also-ran in the market for years, is making a push to change all that. Last year, Ford's sales were up more than 30 percent in China, and the Ford Focus was the best-selling car in both the world and China.
Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 7:30 pm
The redesigned U.S. $100 bill will begin appearing after October with new security features that will make it "easier for the public to authenticate but more difficult for counterfeiters to replicate," the U.S. Federal Reserve said Wednesday.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. Boeing says its 787 jetliner should resume passenger service early next month. The so-called Dreamliner has been grounded since problems with the lithium ion batteries surfaced back in January. Batteries on two different planes overheated. One of them, a Japan Air Lines jet, caught fire. Boeing is now working with airlines to retrofit its planes with redesigned batteries now housed in fireproof boxes.
That market dip yesterday that Steve mentioned, the result of a hacked Twitter feed, highlights how much the financial industry relies on computer algorithms. U.S. stock markets lost $200 billion in value in just a few minutes. The markets bounced back when the Associated Press made clear there was no explosion at the White House and the tweet was a hoax.