Business & Education

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This may not be good news for your waistline, but your sweet tooth might appreciate it: Halloween candy sales are crackerjack this year.

"Consumer confidence is riding high, so consumers are likely to splurge a little more on edible goodies," David Deull, a senior economist with IHS Markit, said in his analysis of 2017 Halloween spending.

Halloween candy sales are expected to rise 4.1 percent from last year, reaching a seasonally adjusted $4.1 billion, he said.

Who's Watching Wall Street?

Oct 30, 2017

With guest host John Donvan.

It’s been nearly a decade since the financial crash that caused the Great Recession. In that time, the federal government stepped in to try to help stabilize the markets (remember those bank bailouts?) and shield consumers from negative effects by calling for companies to rein in bad practices.

Happy birthday, Orange Chicken.

There are a lot of home recipes now for this dish. But Panda Express, the country's largest Chinese-American fast food chain, claims to have created this sweet and sour concoction, its signature dish, 30 years ago today.

Open enrollment for people who buy their own health insurance starts Wednesday and ends Dec. 15. That means there are only 45 days to shop for coverage. The shorter enrollment period this year is just one of the changes to the process for buying insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Here are five important factors to keep in mind if you plan to sign up for ACA coverage for 2018.

1. The health law has not been repealed.

Despite the efforts of President Trump and the Republican-led Congress, the Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land.

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This story comes from Colorado Public Radio and Oregon Public Broadcasting.

The U.S. solar industry is booming, in large part because of cheap, imported solar panels. But a U.S. trade commission says those imports also hurt manufacturers here. It's offering recommendations to President Trump on how to repair that damage, but the industry is divided over whether any remedy would do more harm than good.

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Right after the U.S. election last year, Mike Tippett saw an opportunity.

He'd been talking to his friends in Silicon Valley and they were nervous about the newly elected president's attitude toward immigration.

"Many of the start-ups and technology companies in the States and across the globe are made up of people who are not necessarily from that country," Tippett says.

Almost half of all American start-ups were actually founded by immigrants.

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Charlene Aleck, an elected councilor of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, stands on the rocky beach of an inlet in British Columbia where flat waters are surrounded by hills, covered with evergreens.

These are the Tsleil-Waututh Nation's ancestral lands. Their name means 'people of the inlet' and their creation story is about these waters, just east of Vancouver; they have inhabited this place for thousands of years.

Facebook, Google and Twitter head to Washington this week for their first public congressional hearings on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign via their social networks. In the runup, NPR is exploring the growing social media landscape, the spread of false information and the tech companies that build the platforms in our series: Tech Titans, Bots and the Information Complex.

Last week in the Russia investigations: Washington, D.C., gears up for the big show; Trump campaign data firm's guru tried to link up with WikiLeaks; and Clinton, DNC helped pay for infamous dossier on Trump.

Get Ready For The Big Show

After weeks of buildups, letdowns, surprises, scoops and headlines, this is it: Three central players in the world of Big Tech are set to face off across the witness table this week from members of Congress.

At a ranch house in rural Montana, Rick White peels the bun off Arby's new venison sandwich.

"It looks like deer," he says. "Venison."

His dog, Finn, stares at the sandwich and whines.

"It's a gray meat," he says. "It doesn't look like a ground patty. It looks more like McDonald's style, but thicker."

Like a lot of people in Montana, White is a lifelong deer hunter. And he's just the kind of person Arby's wants eating their new venison and elk steak sandwiches.

Shortly after World War II, a young Buffalo company — Speed Motor Express — began transporting commercial freight around western New York.

As it weathered the ups and downs of the local economy over the decades, the company slowly expanded its fleet of trucks.

Then in 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, expanded trade among the United States, Canada and Mexico. Buffalo faces Canada along the Niagara River.

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What happens when you're faced with a workforce that seems unwelcoming or even hostile? For people like Dennis Jackson, often the answer is to become your own boss.

In Los Angeles, he is making the best of an October heat wave by selling solar panels. Jackson says he has essentially always been an entrepreneur. He started in landscaping and moved toward solar panel installation.

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Last week, a tiny company in Montana called Whitefish Energy Holdings announced that it had been given a $300 million contract with Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority to help restore electricity on the island, which was severely damaged last month by Hurricane Maria.

The U.S. economy grew faster than analysts had expected in the third quarter of 2017, with the Bureau of Economic Analysis saying America's real gross domestic product increased at 3 percent — below the 3.1 percent rise in the previous quarter, but showing resilience in the face of debilitating hurricanes.

"Together they represent the fastest six-month period of growth since 2014,' NPR's John Ydstie reports. He adds, "Economic growth has reached or exceeded the 3 percent rate a number of times during this recovery, but the economy hasn't been able to sustain that pace."

After serving five years in the Navy, Tyler Dunn has returned home to Hickman, Ken. These days, if he isn't at work at the local liquor store or completing assignments for a business degree, you might find him shadowed by one of several stray cats he saved from a parking lot.

It's hard to reconcile this image of Dunn — military veteran, serious student and sensitive pet owner — with another fact about his life. Nearly 10 years ago, he was fired by Tyson Foods, in Union City, Tenn., for animal cruelty.

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Is The NCAA Equipped To Handle Scandals?

Oct 26, 2017

With guest host John Donvan.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association is responsible for governing hundreds of thousands of students who compete in college-level sports.

But lately, the NCAA has come under fire for its handling of a massive bribery scandal that’s prompted a federal investigation into college basketball.

Less than 12 hours after sexual harassment allegations surfaced against Mark Halperin, the veteran political journalist has been put on leave by MSNBC, where he had been serving as a contributor. In a statement released Thursday morning, the news network said it finds the allegations first reported by CNN "very troubling."

"Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood," the network said.

Wake Up, Sleepy Ikea Shoppers!

Oct 26, 2017

Ikea sure makes Chinese shoppers comfortable. Customers of all ages nap on sofas and beds in showrooms all over China.

The Swedish furniture giant has had enough. In April 2015, a Beijing Ikea store introduced a new regulation, banning people from sleeping on furniture displays. But customers did not obey the rules. And Ikea staff members have found it difficult to implement the no-nap policy.

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