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It's an obscure provision of a relatively obscure law, overseen, rather unpredictably, by the Librarian of Congress.

A section in the country's copyright law known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act prohibits unlocking of "access controls" (in simpler terms, breaking digital locks to dig around computer code) on various software.

A majority of Americans say electronic cigarettes should be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration the same way the agency handles cigarettes containing tobacco, according to results from the latest NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll.

Overall, 57 percent of people said the FDA should regulate e-cigarettes like tobacco products. The proportion of people in favor of regulation rose with age and education. Nearly, two-thirds of people with college degrees or graduate degrees supported regulation compared with 48 percent with high school diplomas or less.

A few months ago, Federal Reserve policymakers were all but promising they would raise interest rates before the end of this year. Now, as the U.S. economy shows signs of a slowdown, a hike in 2015 is looking a lot less likely.

When the health insurance marketplaces open Sunday, consumers shopping for 2016 coverage may find steeper premium increases than last year and more plans that offer no out-of-network coverage.

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One of the best-selling items right now at the High Bridge Arms gun shop in San Francisco is not a firearm or ammunition, says general manager Steven Alcairo. It's souvenir T-shirts that say "San Francisco's Last Gun Store."

Alcairo says people around the country are buying them to support the shop, which is closing at the end of the month.

"They're blowing out of here. We've been boxing them and sending them off to different states," he says.

High Bridge Arms has been open for 63 years, and it has sentimental value for customers like Steven Walker.

Signaling its intent to compete with Amazon and other companies in using drones to fill and deliver online orders, Wal-Mart has applied for permission to test drones for home deliveries and curbside pickup.

NPR's Laura Sydell reports for our Newscast unit that Wal-Mart has already been testing drones inside:

Whether you're planning a restaurant date night or picking out the next e-book for your bedside table, it wouldn't hurt to be more suspicious of online reviewers' expertise.

Catfishing and astroturfing don't take place in the Amazon or on the football field. They occur in cyberspace in the form of Internet scams. E-book catfishing involves contracting a book from a low-paid writer overseas, publishing it under a fake name and a fictional biography, and buying fake reviews to make the book look popular.

Here's a familiar story: Congress has to act fast or risk blowing past a major fiscal deadline.

According to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, the U.S. will hit the debt ceiling on Nov. 3. And shortly after that, a budget deadline also looms, on Dec. 11. Congressional leaders are nearing a deal on both, as NPR's Susan Davis reports.

If you're confused over what exactly Capitol Hill is fighting about and why, check out our explanation below:

In the tense relationship between Russia and the United States, the latest salvo comes via The New York Times: According to American military and intelligence officials, Russian submarines and spy ships are "aggressively operating" near submarine cables that carry Internet communications, raising concerns of a potential attack "in times of tension or conflict."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



The World Health Organization has deemed that processed meats — such as bacon, sausages and hot dogs — can cause cancer.

In addition, the WHO says red meats including beef, pork, veal and lamb are "probably carcinogenic" to people.

Some of the most important real estate in presidential politics is actually right in front of your nose. Or under your thumbs — it really depends on how you log onto Facebook.

The social network is now a key place for campaigns to advertise. One reason for that: It's getting easier and easier for campaigns to target those ads to very specific, tailor-made audiences.

"This is our hub of communication," explained Ken Dawson, who heads digital strategies for Ben Carson's presidential campaign. "We really see it as the heart of our campaign."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Volkswagen admitted it intentionally cheated on federal emissions tests. The German automaker now faces billions of dollars in fines and litigation, plus the cost of fixing some 11 million diesel cars worldwide.

That's just the company. The scandal is costing owners, too — at least those who are trying to sell their VW diesels. Not surprisingly, resale prices for the affected cars have been falling.

On Monday a bipartisan group of House members will try to revive the Export-Import Bank, a federal government agency that finances exports — which its critics deride as little more than a slush fund for big corporations.

The agency, known as the Ex-Im bank, essentially stopped doing new business on July 1, after House leaders let its charter lapse at the behest of conservative Republicans who attacked it as "corporate welfare."

As criticism mounts over its business practices, multinational drug company Valeant Pharmaceuticals will hold a conference call Monday morning, in an effort to persuade Wall Street not to bail on its stock.

"We look forward to our call on Monday where we will address and refute recent allegations," said J. Michael Pearson, chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement.

A Chinese investment holding company intends to put down stakes in the United States after signing a letter of intent to purchase oil properties in western Texas for $1.3 billion through a limited liability partnership.

Most likely, Congress will — as it always does — find a last-minute way to dodge a debt-ceiling crisis.

It's easy to get bored with it all. Scores of times over recent decades, lawmakers have taken the country to the brink of financial catastrophe only to swerve away by voting to allow more debt.

Perhaps it's only natural that inventor Joel Spira had an eye for aesthetics. His mother was a knockout, a model in New York City; his sister eventually went into the art world. In short, Spira came from a family of lookers — in more than one sense of the word.

The men around him were no slouches either: His father earned a seat on the state liquor board, while his father-in-law started an electronics company, then a giant magazine publishing business.

Weeks after hundreds of thousands of RushCard customers were unable to access their money due to what the company called a technical glitch, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has stepped in to "ensure a comprehensive response" to the situation.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Lawmakers want to know more about Volkswagen's massive cheat — how the automaker used software to crank up the power on a vehicle, and then hide the fact. By now everyone's heard of the VW emissions cheating scandal. But less discussed are the many products on the Internet that let you do, in essence, the same thing.

Dieselgate did not happen in a vacuum. There's an entire market — called the performance tuning market — that helps car owners to game the system.

Weeks after being named the company's permanent CEO, Jack Dorsey announced Thursday night that he's giving back a third of the stock he owns in Twitter, to be distributed among the employees. Valued at more than $200 million, the donation represents 1 percent of Twitter's stock.

Dorsey, a co-founder of Twitter, says he's sending a large chunk of his share in the company "to our employee equity pool to reinvest directly in our people."

American voters have long been intrigued by the idea of the outsider CEO who could bring corner-office credentials to Oval-Office problems.

Think Ross Perot, Mitt Romney and, of course, this presidential election season there's Donald Trump and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

Faced with a slowing economy, China's central bank has cut its benchmark rate for deposits and loans by 0.25 of a percentage point. It's the sixth time the bank has sliced rates since last November. It also dropped banks' reserve requirement ratio by half a percentage point.

At an outdoor market in London, Garfield Bloomfield, 30, who sells vegetables, offers an amused smile when asked if he's saving for retirement yet.

"My wife is not working at the moment because she decided to go back into studies ... and I got kids to take care of," he says. "I would like to save for the future, obviously, but at the moment I'm just working to get by, really."