Business

1:01pm

Wed December 18, 2013
The Two-Way

Ex-BP Engineer Found Guilty Of Obstructing Justice

Former BP drilling engineer Kurt Mix, who has been convicted of obstructing justice.
Jonathan Bachman AP

The first of four current or former BP employees charged with crimes related to the 2010 Gulf oil spill has been found guilty of obstructing justice because he deleted text messages from his cellphone that contained information about the worst offshore spill in the nation's history.

NPR's Debbie Elliott tells our Newscast Desk that a federal jury in New Orleans convicted 52-year-old Kurt Mix on Wednesday.

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11:32am

Wed December 18, 2013
It's All Politics

5 Things We Learned From The Budget Debate

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 5:08 pm

Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., takes a break from the Senate floor Tuesday after a bipartisan budget compromise cleared a procedural hurdle.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Now that the bipartisan budget agreement has passed the Senate and is headed for the president's desk, it's a good time to consider some of the takeaways from the past two weeks of congressional Sturm und Drang.

Here are five:

Congress still works, sort of.

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9:07am

Wed December 18, 2013
Monkey See

Two Ways Of Seeing An iPhone Christmas

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 5:44 pm

Screen shot

Apple recently released a Christmas ad it calls "Misunderstood."

In it, a kid — maybe 14 or so? — spends Christmas with his family. He seems to be always looking at his phone when everybody else is decorating the tree, making a snowman, skating, or whatever else they're doing. He smiles, but he sets himself apart.

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9:03am

Wed December 18, 2013
The Two-Way

Already Down 50 Percent, Will Bitcoin Bite The Dust?

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 10:00 am

How low will they go?
Jens Kalaene DPA/LANDOV

Talk about a fall:

"Prices of virtual currency bitcoin fell 20% Wednesday and are now down more than 50% from their record high hit two weeks ago amid worries that China is moving to block the purchase and use of the currency by its citizens," The Wall Street Journal writes.

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5:37am

Wed December 18, 2013
Business

Virtual Currency Bitcoin Drops In Value

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 8:02 am

The tumble is due in part to China's central bank which had issued a warning about the currency.

5:37am

Wed December 18, 2013
Business

British Monetary Officials Announce Changes

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 11:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And changes may be brewing when it comes to another old tradition in Europe: the British pound. Our last word in business is: new currency.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The Bank of England will begin circulating plastic money in 2016, polymer versions of the paper bank notes Britons have used for more than three centuries.

GREENE: Bank officials say the currency should last longer and be harder to counterfeit.

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5:28am

Wed December 18, 2013
Business

Retail Workers Forced To Deal With Holiday Tunes

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 8:02 am

Morning Edition reports on retail workers who are subject to holiday music for hours on end.

5:28am

Wed December 18, 2013
Business

Law Schools See Drop In First-Year Students

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 1:18 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Could we be facing a shortage of lawyers? It hardly seems possible. But according to the American Bar Association, law schools are seeing their lowest number of first-year students since the 1970's.

NPR's Ina Jaffe has more.

INA JAFFE, BYLINE: This year, there were fewer than 40,000 first-year law students, which still seems like a lot. But it's an 11 percent drop from last year, and about a 24 percent drop from 2010, when new enrollments hit an all-time high.

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5:28am

Wed December 18, 2013
Economy

Fed's Final 2013 Meeting Could Indicate Course For Early 2014

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 8:02 am

Federal Reserve officials end a two-day meeting on Wednesday amid signs that the U.S. economy is slowly mending. David Greene talks to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, about the Fed's last meeting of the year.

3:05am

Wed December 18, 2013
The Salt

Is A 500-Year-Old German Beer Law Heritage Worth Honoring?

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 8:56 am

Germans are serious about their beer. Serious enough for the European country's main brewers association to urge the United Nations to recognize that fact.

The brewers association wants a five-century-old law governing how German beer is made to become part of the UNESCO World Heritage list. It would join the Argentinian tango, Iranian carpet weaving and French gastronomy, among other famous traditions, that are considered unique and worth protecting.

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