Business

6:55am

Fri December 20, 2013
Business

Administration Offers A Stopgap Health Insurance Option

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with more changes to Obamacare.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Millions of Americans facing canceled health insurance policies under the Affordable Care Act will no longer be fined for being uninsured in the new year. Instead, they can now enroll in basic coverage, previously available only to those with a hardship exemption.

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5:50am

Fri December 20, 2013
Business

More Retail Chains Cater To Last-Minute Holiday Shoppers

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. If you do Christmas shopping, time is running out. But starting today, Kohl's department stores want to help take some of the pressure off. For the first time ever, nearly all the retailers - more than 1,100 stores - will remain open 24 hours a day - 24 hours a day - five days straight. And this is a thing.

LaToya Dennis of member station WUWM reports.

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3:35am

Fri December 20, 2013
The Salt

Deep Dish Or Thin Crust? Even Chicagoans Can't Agree

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 11:13 am

A server dishes up a slice of deep-dish pizza at Lou Malnati's Pizzeria in Chicago. The 1-1/2-inch thick legendary pie, loaded with sausage, mushrooms, pepperoni and onions, was invented in Chicago.
M. Spencer Green AP

The Daily Show's Jon Stewart recently ranted against Chicago-style deep-dish pizza.

"Let me explain something. Deep-dish pizza is not only not better than New York pizza — it's not pizza," said Stewart, calling it "tomato soup in a bread bowl. ... I don't know whether to eat it, or throw a coin in it and make a wish."

Some upset Chicagoans made their own wishes — which can't be repeated here.

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6:03pm

Thu December 19, 2013
All Tech Considered

Outdated Magnetic Strips: How U.S. Credit Card Security Lags

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 1:47 pm

The U.K., Canada and other countries have been using more secure chip credit cards for years now. Why hasn't the U.S. caught up?
Martin Keene PA Photos/Landov

Criminals may have stolen information from 40 million credit and debit cards used at Target. A possible weakness? The magnetic stripe on credit cards — which fraudsters can pull credit card numbers and expiration dates from to make counterfeit cards.

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5:26pm

Thu December 19, 2013
All Tech Considered

A City Turns To Lettuce Fields To Grow High-Tech Startups

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 8:46 pm

A lettuce thinner created by an agricultural tech startup uses cameras and sensors to thin lettuce rows. Salinas, Calif., has hired a venture capital fund to help it attract other high-tech agricultural companies to the area.
Courtesy of Foothill Packing Inc.

Salinas is just one hour south of California's Silicon Valley, but generations behind when it comes to technology. Many of its sprawling lettuce farms are stuck in the era of rakes and hoes.

City officials are hoping to change that — and also spur some job growth — by investing in high-tech agriculture.

At Taylor Farms in Salinas, Andrew Fernandez, the company's vice president of product, is stepping on heads of crunchy romaine lettuce, making his way over to a very big tractor. It's a water jet knife machine, and it's on the cutting edge of lettuce farming technology.

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12:33pm

Thu December 19, 2013
The Salt

Hold The Cheese: Israelis Sway Domino's To Make Vegan Pizza

Watch out Crazy Cheese: Vegan pizza is coming.
Dan Lev Domino's

In the U.S., Big Pizza is locked in a battle that's as much a testament to gluttony as it is to food science: How much cheese can you possibly stuff inside of wheat dough?

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12:21pm

Thu December 19, 2013
Economy

Why Congress Didn't Extend Unemployment Benefits

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 12:25 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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11:05am

Thu December 19, 2013
Economy

The Washington Two-Step: Dancing Back To Normal

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 1:24 pm

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., unveil a budget deal Dec. 10 in Washington.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Time and again, business leaders say the one thing they want out of Washington is more certainty.

But rarely do they get their wish.

In recent years, business owners have found themselves wondering whether their government would default on its debts, shut down national parks, change tax rules, cancel supplier contracts, confirm key leaders at federal agencies or hike interest rates.

Finally on Wednesday, they saw policymakers take two big steps toward a more certain future.

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8:58am

Thu December 19, 2013
The Two-Way

Existing Home Sales Dip, But Prices Rise

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 10:33 am

A "sale pending" sign in front of a home in San Anselmo, Calif., earlier this year.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Update at 10:30 a.m. ET: The day's second major economic indicator is another good news/bad news report.

The good news is that prices of existing homes continue to rise, the National Association of Realtors says.

"The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $196,300 in November, up 9.4 percent from November 2012," according to NAR.

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7:10am

Thu December 19, 2013
Business

Millions Of Credit Cards Affected By Data Breach At Target

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 12:08 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Target customers targeted.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: This is the story of a recent cyber-attack on Target customers around the country, which is now under investigation by the giant retailer. Over 1,500 stores may have been compromised, and at least one million customers. It's being described as one of the largest retail breaches to date. The credit card data was apparently stolen with software installed on the machines customers use to swipe their cards.

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