Business

8:12am

Tue January 7, 2014
The Two-Way

Senate Votes To Move Ahead On Extending Unemployment Benefits

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 1:25 pm

President Obama listens as Katherine Hackett of Moodus, Conn., speaks during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, on Tuesday.
Susan Walsh AP

This post was updated at 12:00 p.m. ET.

A three-month extension of federal unemployment benefits for 1.3 million jobless Americans won a key procedural vote in the Senate on Tuesday.

The 60-37 vote indicates there's enough Republican support to move the Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which expired on Dec. 28, forward to a full vote. As The Associated Press writes, the measure "is the leading edge of a Democratic program that also includes raising the minimum wage and closing tax loopholes on the wealthy and corporations."

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8:05am

Tue January 7, 2014
Business

Colo. Marijuana Merchants Forced To Deal Mostly In Cash

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 6:56 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today's last word in business today is: cash only.

Colorado's retailers may be allowed to sell marijuana now, but under federal law, the state's banks cannot knowingly do business with them.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This has forced marijuana merchants in the state to operate almost solely in cash. Denver's city council, not happy. They called yesterday for Washington to change the law.

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8:01am

Tue January 7, 2014
Business

Microsoft Reveals 'Epic' Xbox Sales

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 6:56 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with console sales.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Microsoft announced sales of its new Xbox One topped three million units by the end of 2013. In a blog post, the company called it the most epic launch of Xbox, by all measures.

The third-generation console was available a week before Thanksgiving. It's been competing with Sony's new baby, Playstation 4, which also launched in November. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

4:59am

Tue January 7, 2014
Business

Class Trumps Race When It Comes To Internet Access

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 6:56 am

Smartphones offer a way for lower-income people who don't have broadband access at home to connect to the Internet.
iStockphoto

A new study from the Pew Research Center finds that age and income play a larger role than race when it comes to high-speed Internet access. Lower-income African-Americans often buy smartphones to compensate for not having a broadband connection at home. Smartphones, however, may not be enough.

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4:59am

Tue January 7, 2014
Business

In 2012, Health Care Costs Grow More Slowly Than U.S. Economy

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 6:56 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

I'm David Greene.

We have been hearing for, well, what feels like forever about skyrocketing health care costs. It's at the center of debates in Washington and state capitals. And many people feel the impact on their wallets and pocketbooks. But here's this reality: Spending on health care, while still going up, appears to be rising more slowly. 2012 was the fourth straight year of modest growth.

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2:56am

Tue January 7, 2014
All Tech Considered

In Gaming, A Shift From Enemies To Emotions

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 6:56 am

The game That Dragon, Cancer is an interactive memoir about raising a child with pediatric cancer.
That Dragon, Cancer

A generation has grown up with video games — and video games are growing up, too. Developers are using the medium to tell sophisticated, emotionally complex stories.

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6:21pm

Mon January 6, 2014
All Tech Considered

CES 2014: Toothbrush? Bed? Car? Put Some Internet On It

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 11:18 am

The Kolibree toothbrush, billed as the world's first Internet-connected toothbrush, monitors dental hygiene.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

The International Consumer Electronics Show is nothing less than a gadget-lover's dream.

Every year thousands of companies from all over the world flock to Las Vegas in the first week in January to show off the products they hope to sell in the coming year. What began as a trade show featuring the latest high-fidelity stereos 40 years ago has become an annual electronics circus.

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6:01pm

Mon January 6, 2014
The Two-Way

Senate Confirms Janet Yellen As Federal Reserve Chair

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 7:13 pm

The Senate has approved Janet Yellen as the next head of the Federal Reserve. At a ceremony commemorating the Fed's centennial last month, Yellen sat with (from left-to-right) former chairmen Paul Volker and Alan Greenspan, and current Fed leader Ben Bernanke.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

The Senate has voted to approve the nomination of Janet Yellen as the next leader of the U.S. Federal Reserve. With Monday's vote, Yellen, 67, will become the first woman to serve as America's banking chief, heading an institution that was established in 1913.

Update at 6:31 p.m. ET: Some Senators Left Out

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5:54pm

Mon January 6, 2014
Politics

Tighter Access To 'Death Master File' Has Researchers Worried

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 10:51 am

To help cut down on fraud, Congress is limiting access to the Social Security Administration's data about people who die in the United States each year.
iStockphoto

The "Death Master File." It sounds like a ledger the Grim Reaper might keep, but in reality, it's a computerized list containing some 86 million names and other data kept by the Social Security Administration.

An obscure provision tucked into the budget deal that Congress approved last month would limit access to the list — and that has everyone from genealogists to bankers concerned.

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5:43pm

Mon January 6, 2014
Shots - Health News

Health Care Costs Grew More Slowly Than The Economy In 2012

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 4:55 pm

NPR

Health care spending grew at a record slow pace for the fourth straight year in 2012, according to a new government report. But the federal officials who compiled the report disagree with their bosses in the Obama administration about why.

The annual report from the actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, published in the journal Health Affairs, found total U.S. health spending totaled $2.8 trillion in 2012, or $8,915 per person.

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