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Updated: 14 min 7 sec ago

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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The Middle Class Took Off 100 Years Ago ... Thanks To Henry Ford?

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 3:00pm

In January 1914, Henry Ford started paying his auto workers a remarkable $5 a day. Doubling the average wage helped assure a stable workforce and likely boosted sales since the workers could now afford to buy the cars they were making. It laid the foundation for an economy driven by consumer demand.

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NYT: NSA Can Exploit Mobile Apps For Information

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 12:29pm

According to leaked secret documents, the NSA can scoop up deeply personal data from mobile phone apps. The spy agency also exploits innocuous actions like updating a phone's software.

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Making Moonshine At Home Is On The Rise. But It's Still Illegal

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 11:46am

Let's be clear: Making spirits at home with plans to drink it remains against federal law, folks. Even so, more and more people appear to be taking up home distilling as a hobby. For some, it's the first step toward a professional, legit operation.

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CEO Of A Bitcoin Exchange Charged With Money Laundering

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 11:34am

The charge: That he conspired to sell more than $1 million in bitcoins to individuals who used the virtual money to buy drugs on the Silk Road website.

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FAA Orders Safety Checks On Boeing 767 Jets

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 11:15am

The agency is concerned about problems that could result in the loss of control of the aircraft. The order affects more than 400 jets.

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As Overseas Costs Rise, More U.S. Companies Are 'Reshoring'

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 8:52am

For decades, American companies have sent their manufacturing work overseas. Extremely low wages in Asia and elsewhere reduced costs. But as costs overseas go up, a growing number of American companies are rethinking that business model.

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Not Shaving Hurts Razor Sales

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 4:00am

Proctor & Gamble says the trend of letting facial hair grow is hurting sales in its razor division.

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Rate Of First-Class Stamp Increases

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 4:00am

A first-class stamp costs 49 cents as of Monday. That's a three-cent increase. It's the largest increase in consumer postage prices in more than a decade.

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IRS Wants To Tighten Its Rule On Social Welfare Groups

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 4:00am

The IRS is asking Americans to comment on how it should regulate social welfare groups. Under the tax code, they are known as 501(c)(4) groups. They are the new players in politics — heavily financed but done so anonymously.

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