Business

5:22am

Thu December 12, 2013
Latin America

Mexico's Patron Saint Is Also Its Hello Kitty

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 8:52 pm

The Virgencita Plis character from Distroller in Mexico.
Distroller

In Mexico, Dec. 12 is the day to celebrate the country's most revered religious icon: the Virgin of Guadalupe.

As many as 6 million pilgrims have made their way to the Mexican capital to pay homage to the country's patron saint on Thursday, and one woman has taken her devotion of the Virgin and turned it into a multimillion-dollar company.

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5:22am

Thu December 12, 2013
Shots - Health News

High Insurance Rates Anger Some Ski-Country Coloradans

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 2:36 pm

Early December brought a foot of fresh powder to the resorts of Vail, Colo., but some residents are still steaming.
Zach Mahone, Beaver Creek Resort AP

Some of the biggest ski resorts anywhere lie in U.S. Rep. Jared Polis' Colorado district, dotting the peaks of Summit and Eagle counties, about a hundred miles west of Denver. The area has a high rate of uninsured people and also, it turns out, health plans that are much more expensive than similar plans in surrounding regions. So expensive that Polis, a Democrat, has asked the federal government to exempt some of his constituents from the requirement to buy health insurance.

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5:22am

Thu December 12, 2013
All Tech Considered

Amid Cuts And Tax Hikes, Tech Companies Get Love in Ireland

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 8:47 am

Tech companies around the world have set up shop in the financial district in Dublin, Ireland.
Peter Muhly AFP/Getty Images

Ireland is about to become the first European country to emerge from an international bailout in the wake of the financial crisis. Like other European countries, Ireland has been in a period of austerity — higher taxes and more cutbacks.

The nation's technology sector has been protected, however, as Ireland makes a concerted effort to attract foreign businesses through tax incentives and development programs.

But Ireland's methods have also been criticized — locally and internationally.

Apple In Ireland

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5:22am

Thu December 12, 2013
Code Switch

Shifting Gears To Make Bike-Sharing More Accessible

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 1:51 pm

Bike-sharing is increasingly popular. But those who need it most often have the least access to it.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

This story is part of a project on commuting in America.

Millions of commuters across the country have a new way to get around. In the past few years, bike-sharing systems have popped up from Boston to Minnesota to Washington, D.C. They're supposed to make commuting easier, greener and cheaper. But the people who arguably need these bikes the most are often the least likely to access them.

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6:50pm

Wed December 11, 2013
The Two-Way

Extended Unemployment Benefits On Track To Expire Dec. 28

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 9:38 pm

A prospective job seeker gets information at a job resource fair for military veterans in Van Nuys, Calif., on Oct. 24.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Unless Congress acts very quickly, some 1.3 million workers will lose their extended jobless benefits on Dec. 28.

Democrats were scrambling late Wednesday to link an extension of benefits to a budget deal that is expected to get a vote as soon as Thursday. But if the effort fails, they will come back at it in 2014.

"We're going to push here after the first of the year for an extension of emergency unemployment insurance when the Senate convenes after the new year," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said on Wednesday.

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5:23pm

Wed December 11, 2013
Code Switch

A Midwestern Meatpacking Town Welcomes Immigrants

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 9:42 pm

Binh Hua (left) and My Nguyen, both 18, work in the Garden City Community College chemistry lab. Both of their parents are employed by the Tyson Foods plant in Garden City, Kan.
Peggy Lowe Harvest Public Media

Meatpacking plants used to be located in urban centers like Kansas City and Chicago. Over the past few decades, many plants have moved to rural Midwestern towns, which have seen a huge influx of immigrants as a result. Yesterday, we reported on tiny Noel, Mo., which has struggled to help assimilate the newcomers who work at a large poultry plant.

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12:43pm

Wed December 11, 2013
Law

No Cake For You: Saying 'I Don't' To Same-Sex Marriage

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 4:15 pm

A Colorado judge recently ordered Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, to serve gay couples, after he refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding.
Lindsay Pierce Denver Post via Getty Images

There were a few snickers when a Colorado state judge ruled that a baker has to produce wedding cakes for gay couples even though he opposes same-sex marriage on religious grounds.

A cake? What's the big deal?

But the decision, handed down late last week, is just the latest slice in a debate that has gone front burner with gay marriage now legalized in 16 states, and counting.

Can individual businesspeople like Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver be compelled to provide wedding (or commitment ceremony) goods and services to gay couples?

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11:39am

Wed December 11, 2013
The Two-Way

Lululemon Bets New Leaders Will Help It See Through Woes

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 12:27 pm

Lululemon clothes at a store in Pasadena, Calif.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Yoga clothier Lululemon began the year with an embarrassing problem — pants that allowed way too much of women's bottoms to be seen through their sheer fabric.

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11:37am

Wed December 11, 2013
The Salt

Robots Could Help Farmers Rein In Fertilizer Pollution

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 12:00 pm

Rowbot is designed to fit in between the rows of crops. Moving up and down each row, a fleet of 20 bots could fertilize and monitor the corn crops during the growing season.
Courtesy of Kent Cavender-Bares

Lately, robots have been taking over all kinds of jobs that humans used to do on the farm — from thinning lettuce to harvesting spinach.

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7:19am

Wed December 11, 2013
Business

GM's New CEO Marks A Return To Tradition

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 10:10 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And here's even bigger news from General Motors, it has chosen a woman as its next chief executive officer, a first in America's auto industry. She's an engineer at the company insider - which could be a lot more important to GM's future than her gender.

Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports.

TRACY SAMILTON, BYLINE: Mary Barra follows in the wake of two CEOs from outside the auto industry. Dan Akerson ran a large private equity fund before taking the helm of GM. Before him, it was Ed Whitaker - a telecommunications guy.

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