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California's Pot Farms Could Leave Salmon Runs Truly Smoked

Mon, 01/13/2014 - 10:10am

Marijuana cultivation is booming along the state's North Coast. But these plantations, critics say, guzzle enormous amounts of water while also spilling pesticides and fertilizers into waterways that are important sources of the West Coast's salmon species.

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California's Pot Farms Could Leave Salmon Runs Truly Smoked

Mon, 01/13/2014 - 10:10am

Marijuana cultivation is booming along the state's North Coast. But these plantations, critics say, guzzle enormous amounts of water while also spilling pesticides and fertilizers into waterways that are important sources of the West Coast's salmon species.

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Poverty As A Social Condition

Mon, 01/13/2014 - 2:08am

Defining poverty is not straightforward, says financial writer Tim Harford, author of the new book The Undercover Economist Strikes Back. He says it's also about how people think of you and how you think of yourself.

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Volkswagen To Invest $7 Billion In North American Operations

Sun, 01/12/2014 - 11:00pm

The cash infusion is part of an effort to boost sales in the U.S., which slid 7 percent last year. A new 7-seat SUV designed specifically for the American market is a central part of the new investment plan.

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Surveillance Controversy: NSA Versus Tech Companies

Sun, 01/12/2014 - 11:00pm

NSA officials say their relations with tech companies have been strained by the news of the agency's surveillance. Tech fortunes rest on the ability to keep their users' data secure, but the NSA wants access to that data. The proposed NSA overhaul due to be announced this week by President Obama will need to address conflicting NSA-tech interests.

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Internet In America: An On Again, Off Again Relationship

Sun, 01/12/2014 - 5:34pm

For some Americans, getting high-speed Internet can be a challenge. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, consumers rate Internet service providers worse than airlines, the postal service and health insurance in terms of satisfaction.

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Why Live Award Shows Have High Value, Even When We Hate Them

Sun, 01/12/2014 - 4:33pm

Award shows are a booming business these days. Major networks are bringing in new televised awards and revitalizing old ones. The Hollywood Reporter's Matt Belloni explains why there's a sudden surge in producing these largely "DVR-proof" programs.

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Insane Clown Posse Sues FBI For Targeting Fans

Sun, 01/12/2014 - 7:00am

Fans of the band Insane Clown Posse, known as Juggalos, were classified as a gang by the FBI in 2011. Now the band and four fans have filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice and the FBI. NPR's Rachel Martin talks about the suit with journalist Patrick Flanary, who covered the suit for Rolling Stone magazine.

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Neiman Marcus Credit Card Breach Heightens Consumer Concerns

Sun, 01/12/2014 - 7:00am

Upscale department store Neiman Marcus is the latest retailer to disclose data security breaches. The disclosure comes just a day after Target issued another apology for a data breach that occurred during the holiday season. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with Brian Krebs, who broke both stories on his blog krebsonsecurity.com

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Accenture To Replace CGI Federal Running Obamacare Site

Sat, 01/11/2014 - 6:49pm

The main contractor behind the embattled Affordable Care Act enrollment site, which suffered major technological issues after its Oct. 1 debut, will be replaced early this year.

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When The Right To Religion Conflicts With A Changing Society

Sat, 01/11/2014 - 3:00pm

Nuns sue to avoid contraceptive coverage. A baker refuses to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. These ongoing battles bring into question the scope of the right to religious liberty in America. Where do one person's rights end and another's begin?

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A New Rule For The Workplace: 'Hug Sparingly'

Sat, 01/11/2014 - 3:00pm

Research psychologist Peggy Drexler is calling for an end to the "hugging arms race," particularly at work. She has ways for non-huggers to avoid an unwanted embrace without feeling awkward.

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A First Look At New Tech Products To Hit The Market

Sat, 01/11/2014 - 11:38am

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas closed on Friday. Visitors were treated to more than 20,000 new products, with everything from Internet-connected clothing to giant television screens. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with reporter Steve Henn about some of the gadgets on the horizon.

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December Jobs Report Has Analysts Flummoxed

Sat, 01/11/2014 - 7:00am

The U.S. economy gained just 74,000 jobs in December. That's according to a disappointing report released by the Labor Department on Friday. The numbers could be just a fluke. Economists had been expecting nearly three times as many jobs. At the same time the unemployment rate fell slightly to 6.7 percent. But it's not that more jobs were created. Many of the long-term unemployed just stopped looking.

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Neiman Marcus Says Hackers Stole Credit Card Data

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 7:47pm

The upscale retailer isn't yet saying how many customers might be at risk, but it is confirming that a breach of credit card data took place. The company says it learned of "potentially unauthorized payment card activity" before Christmas.

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$1.35 Billion In Losses Reported By Nevada's Major Casinos

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 6:55pm

For the fifth straight year, Nevada's big casinos report net losses – a total of $1.35 billion in the most recent fiscal year. Statewide, 263 casinos grossed at least $1 million in gaming revenue, totaling $23 billion, according to a report released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

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Will Bad Jobless Data Spur Action On Unemployment Insurance?

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 6:17pm

Just as the Senate seemed to descend into another round of partisan gridlock, this time over extending emergency jobless benefits, the arrival of a surprisingly weak December jobs report raised the pressure on lawmakers to act.

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American Beer Fans, Praise The Heavens: A Trappist Brewery In U.S.

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 3:54pm

Trappist monks are known for producing some of the world's finest beers. But until recently, all of them were brewed in Europe. Next week, Spencer Trappist Ale, made by the monks of St. Joseph's Abbey in Massachusetts, hits retail shelves.

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How A Community Bank Tripped On Footnote 1,861 Of The Volcker Rule

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 3:00pm

An obscure provision in the finance overhaul is causing problems for small banks. It turns out, it's hard to figure out which risks banks should be allowed to take.

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Tech Companies 'Gob-Smacked' To Find NSA Collecting Data

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 3:00pm

Steven Levy, senior writer for Wired, has written an article called "How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet." He tells Audie Cornish about what he learned from security personnel at many of the top tech companies. They claim that they were surprised to learn of the National Security Agency's data gathering.

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