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Updated: 1 hour 55 min ago

NCAA To Fight Football Team's Decision To Unionize

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 4:00am

College football and basketball are big business. So are the players of those sports just students, or are they employees with the right to unionize? Football players at Northwestern University have voted to form a union.

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Product Launches Expected To Drag Ford's 2014 Profits Down

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 4:00am

Ford Motor Company closed the books on 2013 with a strong fourth quarter. For the year, Ford's net earnings surpassed $7 billion. It delivered 6.3 million vehicles, an increase of more than half a million over 2012. But Ford is warning this year will be a tough one.

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Cold Temperatures Boost Demand For Natural Gas

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 4:00am

Prices for natural gas are rising again with much of the nation experiencing cold weather. In Ohio, utilities are asking customers to turn down thermostats to make sure there's enough gas for everyone.

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Farmers Face New Ag Policy In Compromise Farm Bill

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 4:00am

It's been a long time coming but the House is expected to vote Wednesday on a farm bill. Because so much of the spending in the measure depends on enrollment in programs like food stamps, it's hard to know if it will save taxpayers money.

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On The Plains, An Oil Boom Is Transforming Nearly Everything

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 1:55am

Black gold is bringing thousands of big-money jobs to the once-sleepy North Dakota plains. But the flood of people has also meant a spike in crime, overflowing schools, infrastructure that's strained to the limit — and towns that longtime residents barely recognize.

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Who Are The Long-Term Unemployed? (In Three Graphs)

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 3:15pm

In 2013, nearly 40 percent of unemployed workers had been looking for work for 6 months or longer.

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A Chinese Company Brings Hope To Former GM Workers In Ohio

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 2:58pm

For years, industrial cities across the U.S. have watched factories pack up and leave, taking their operations to Mexico or China. But recently a Chinese auto glass maker announced plans to bring new life to a former General Motors plant near Dayton, Ohio.

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Illinois Train Conductor's Challenge: Keep The Beer From Freezing

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 2:01pm

In extreme cold, beer is particularly vulnerable when it's waiting to go into "the beer house." The bottles and cans are fairly safe as long as the cars they're in are kept moving, a train conductor says.

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How A Divorce Can Boost Health Insurance Subsidies

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 9:56am

If a couple divorces, each person's eligibility for insurance-related tax credits will generally be based on his or her own annual income. The former spouse's income won't be counted, even if the couple filed taxes jointly the previous year.

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One Way Lawmakers Are Trying To Prevent Government IT Disasters

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 9:51am

HealthCare.gov's launch problems inspired legislation aimed at ending a cycle of costly federal IT failures. The measure would create a Digital Government Office charged with reviewing and guiding major IT projects and boost competition for contracts.

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One Way Lawmakers Are Trying To Prevent Government IT Disasters

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 9:51am

HealthCare.gov's launch problems inspired legislation aimed at ending a cycle of costly federal IT failures. The measure would create a Digital Government Office charged with reviewing and guiding major IT projects and boost competition for contracts.

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Obama To Raise Minimum Wage For Federal Contracts

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 7:00am

The president will announce in his State of the Union address that he's signing an executive order to lift the pay in new federal contracts. A top adviser tells NPR that Obama has "warmed up to" the idea of using executive orders to move his agenda ahead.

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P&G To Roll Out Chocolate-Flavored Crest

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 4:00am

Mint Chocolate Trek is one of three new flavored toothpastes P&G has announced. The other two: Lime Spearmint Zest and Vanilla Mint Spark. Procter and Gamble says the dessert flavored toothpastes are as effective on teeth as any toothpaste.

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Capitol Hill Lawmakers Reach Bipartisan Farm Bill

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 4:00am

After a more than two-year stall, lawmakers have reached a compromise on the Farm Bill. That mammoth piece of legislation deals with agriculture policy and governs the federal food stamp program. For more on the legislation, Steve Inskeep talks to Derek Wallbank of Bloomberg News.

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White House Reminds Firms Not To Overlook Long-Term Jobless

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 4:00am

President Obama is asking a group of CEOs to pledge not to discriminate against the long-term unemployed. But new research suggests that these job seekers may face an even greater challenge — many of them are not even being considered by employers. Our Planet Money team looks into the research and challenges facing these job seekers.

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Researchers Examine The Gap Between Rich And Poor

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 4:00am

Steve Inskeep talks to Harvard economist Nathan Hendren, a co-author of the study, which shows social mobility in the United States is not decreasing. David Wessel, of the Brookings Institution and a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, says while mobility isn't getting any worse, there still is a big gap between rich and poor.

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More Cities Mandate Paid Sick Leave

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 4:00am

This month, Rhode Island became the third state to offer workers paid family leave. That's time off to care for a new baby or a loved one. Portland, Oregon, and Jersey City, New Jersey, are the latest in a small wave of cities mandating paid sick leave. Such laws cover both public and private sector workers, and a dozen more places are considering them.

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Tech Leader Quasi-Apologizes For His Nazi Rampage Analogy

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 8:17pm

After comparing the outrage over the richest one percent to Kristallnacht, venture capitalist Tom Perkins quasi-apologized Monday night. "The use of the word ... was a terrible misjudgment," he said, before noting "I don't regret the message."

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New Bipartisan Farm Bill Emerges From Long Debate In Congress

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 7:04pm

A five-year farm bill will end months of uncertainty for farmers and agriculture workers, its backers say. The Agricultural Act of 2014 would also end a long-criticized farm subsidy program.

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U.S. Agencies, Tech Firms Agree To Rules On Surveillance Info

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 4:31pm

While the agreement gives tech companies more options in publishing data about government requests for information, it also includes several limitations. It's part of President Obama's plan to change how U.S. intelligence agencies handle personal data.

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