Business

4:34am

Tue December 17, 2013
Around the Nation

FAA To Soon Pick Sites For Commercial Drone Testing

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:30 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Six states will soon be chosen as commercial drone test sites. So major companies like Amazon say they're hoping to use drones to ship products. But first, the Federal Aviation Administration has to figure out how to fly them safely in civilian airspace. Nevada is one of the states that wants to give commercial drones a try, as Will Stone from member station KUNR reports.

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4:34am

Tue December 17, 2013
Business

New Owner Promises Handmade Steinways For Years To Come

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:30 am

Some Steinway company representatives and employees — like Wally Boot, pictured here — have been working for the company for decades. Boot is the last person to touch every piano that leaves the factory in Queens, N.Y.
Craig Warga Bloomberg/Getty

For 160 years, the pianos made by Steinway & Sons have been considered the finest in the world. So when hedge fund billionaire John Paulson recently bought the company, it struck fear in the hearts of musicians: Would the famously handcrafted pianos be changed, for the sake of efficiency? Paulson, who owns several Steinways himself, says nothing will change.

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3:17am

Tue December 17, 2013
Business

Economists, Unemployed Fret Over Long-Term Jobless Aid Lapse

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:30 am

Attendees of a job fair in California in October fill out paperwork.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Democrats in Congress are promising to try to retroactively extend emergency unemployment benefits after the new year. With the House already in recess, the benefits are expected to expire at the end of the month.

The Senate is still in Washington working on a bipartisan budget agreement passed by the House before it left town last week, but the bill does not include a benefits extension.

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3:16am

Tue December 17, 2013
Number Of The Year

Year In Numbers: The Federal Reserve's $85 Billion Question

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:30 am

On Tuesday, Federal Reserve policymakers begin a two-day meeting where many analysts expect they will announce a reduction in the central bank's $85 billion monthly stimulus.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Many economists and investors think there's a good chance that at the end of their two-day meeting that begins Tuesday, Federal Reserve policymakers will announce that they'll begin reducing their $85 billion monthly stimulus, their third round of quantitative easing, or QE3.

The analysts think recent economic data, like a drop in the unemployment rate to 7 percent and a budget deal in Washington, have brightened the outlook for the economy enough that the Fed can pull back.

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6:02pm

Mon December 16, 2013
It's All Politics

New Year Likely To Ring In Old Debt Ceiling Fight

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 7:00 pm

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. (right), accompanied by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, takes reporters' questions during a Dec. 11 news conference.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

At the moment, Washington fiscal policy is a good news, bad news story.

The good news is that the budget agreement, overwhelmingly passed by the House last week in a bipartisan vote, is likely to be approved by the Senate this week. That takes another costly government shutdown off the table.

The bad news? Another debt ceiling fight, with all the attendant risks of a U.S. government default, appears to be right around the corner.

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5:17pm

Mon December 16, 2013
All Tech Considered

Is Silicon Valley Automating Our Obsolescence?

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 2:58 pm

One of several robots at the University of California, San Francisco's hospital pharmacy helps manage and track its drug inventory.
Leland Kim/University of California, San Francisco

This week, we're exploring the San Francisco Bay Area and the way income inequality is affecting the region. Check out the other pieces of the week, aggregated on this page.

Silicon Valley has created mind-boggling amounts of wealth. Entire industries have been invented here. Smartphones, search engines, cloud computing and cars that drive themselves are designed here.

Billionaires are minted annually, but inequality is rising rapidly.

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5:17pm

Mon December 16, 2013
Economy

As Bernanke Readies To Leave Fed, Investors Wonder About Stimulus

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:06 pm

This week the Fed's influential Open Market Committee meets to discuss some unfinished business. With Chairman Ben Bernanke getting ready to turn things over to Janet Yellen, Fed policymakers must decide whether it's time to start winding down the "quantitative easing" program put in place years ago to protect the recovery.

5:17pm

Mon December 16, 2013
Business

For 2014, Detroit Steps Up Its Game With Lighter, Smaller Autos

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:06 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now we're going to look ahead at emerging trends in the auto industry and what kinds of cars we'll be seeing in 2014. I'm joined by Dan Neil. He's automotive columnist for The Wall Street Journal. Dan, welcome back to the program.

DAN NEIL: Hi, Melissa.

BLOCK: And we just heard U.S. automakers have managed to turn it around. I'm curious to hear whether there's one new car coming out that you think really captures that turnaround.

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5:17pm

Mon December 16, 2013
Business

Years Of Tumult In The Rear-View, U.S. Auto Industry Revs Back Up

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 8:46 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. We begin this hour with a number. That number is 50. It's for our new series Number of the Year, where we explore the numbers that tell the story of 2013, numbers about same sex marriage, the minimum wage, Syria, even pandas. Today's number tells the story of a rebound in the U.S. auto industry.

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5:08pm

Mon December 16, 2013
The Two-Way

General Motors CEO: In The Bailout, Fair Is Fair

General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson speaks at the National Press Club on Monday in Washington, D.C.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Retiring General Motors CEO Dan Akerson made a case Monday for how losing should feel like winning — at least for U.S. taxpayers who lost more than $10 billion in a GM bailout.

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