Consumers aren't the only ones frustrated by problems with the online health insurance exchanges being run by the feds.
Private companies that sell health insurance on the Internet are also in a bind. Websites like eHealthInsurance.com that were planning to start selling new, subsidized health care policies on Oct. 1 still can't offer them to customers.
A Montgomery judge is letting three parents intervene in the Alabama Education Association's lawsuit challenging the state's new private school tax credits.
Judge Gene Reese ruled Monday that Tequila Rogers of Mobile and Danyal and Mark Jones of Montgomery can become parties. They support the credits because they chose to enroll their children in private schools rather than failing public schools. They are represented by the Institute for Justice, which has defended school choice laws in several states.
Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 4:19 pm
A new trend is brewing in the coffee world: coffee prepared by a robot, able to be preordered via cellphone and picked up at an unmanned kiosk, perfectly adjusted to your taste and ready to go.
To some, this might seem lamentable: the beginning of the end of coffee shops as we know them. No more huddling around warm cups of coffee with friends or sipping a refreshing iced latte while reading.
When it finally came out Tuesday, the September jobs report — delayed for 18 days by the government shutdown — showed a labor market moving forward. But the pace was slow enough to prompt many economists to view it as a letdown.
Job growth "is disappointing, given that employment is still down by about 1.8 million from its peak prior to the recession," Gus Faucher, senior economist with PNC Financial Services Group, said in his analysis.
A woman displays Cuban pesos, or CUP (right) and the more valuable convertible pesos, or CUC (left), in Havana Tuesday. Raul Castro's government announced that it will begin unifying the two currencies.
Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 3:09 pm
Cuba will end the two-currency system it has used for nearly 20 years. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba has used either American currency or a peso that's pegged to the dollar alongside its national peso.
The monetary unification will phase out a system that has become a symbol of exclusivity and foreign wealth. Many products that are imported into the country can be bought only with the dollar-based convertible peso. But most Cubans are paid in the standard peso, which is worth just a fraction of the other currency.
Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 5:08 pm
Customers who hope to buy enough from Amazon's website to garner free shipping are now facing a higher bar, as the giant retailer raised its minimum order size from $25 to $35. The change took effect Monday, as the busy holiday shopping season looms.
"This is the first time in more than a decade that Amazon has altered the minimum order for free shipping in the US," the company said in announcing the change.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program, we'll hear about the latest project by Harvard professor and documentary filmmaker Henry Louis Gates Jr. It's a sweeping six-part series about the history of Africans in the Americas dating back to the 1500s. He'll tell us more about that in just a few minutes.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.
Let's talk about the latest employment numbers and what they mean. The economy, we're told by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, gained 148,000 jobs in September. The unemployment rate fell slightly to 7.2 percent. We're getting these numbers a couple of weeks late because of the government shutdown. NPR's Chris Arnold has been following the economy and the shutdown. He's on the line. Hi, Chris.
One year ago the Michigan apple harvest, hurt by a late winter warm-up and a spring freeze, was almost nonexistent at 3 million bushels. This fall, the crop is projected to yield a record-setting 30 million bushels, but now there's concern that not enough pickers will be in the orchards.
Dennis Chestnut stands next to a stretch of the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 2. Chestnut, who has been working to clean up the Anacostia for decades, says it can take a long time for a nonprofit to see an end result.
Credit Abbey Oldham / NPR
A worker from Doctors Without Borders speaks with a sick child in Gao, in the north of Mali, on Feb. 4.
There's one area of the economy that's growing faster than business or government.
According to the Urban Institute, in the 10 years between 2001 and 2011, the number of nonprofits increased 25 percent. But most of them aren't very good at measuring their effectiveness — at least, that's the conclusion of the nonprofit watchdog Charity Navigator, which rates thousands of nonprofits to help donors make decisions on their giving.
Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 6:12 pm
The hottest hot seat in Washington is the one occupied by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, whose office confirmed Monday she'll testify about the Internet disaster that is HealthCare.gov, the Affordable Care Act website.
When it comes to union organizing at an auto plant, the tension is typically between the workers and the management. But not at Volkswagen in Tennessee. There, the United Auto Workers is attempting to finally unionize the automaker's first foreign-owned plant in the South. And so far, Republican officials are the ones trying to stand in the way.