Business

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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3:40pm

Mon December 16, 2013
Shots - Health News

Novice Neurosurgeons Train On Brains Printed In 3-D

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 9:58 am

A simulated patient at the University of Malaya makes use of different materials to mimic the look and feel of human tissue.
Courtesy of Vicknes Waran

There's no such thing as too much practice when it comes to brain surgery.

But it's hard for beginner neurosurgeons to get real hands-on experience. Most residents learn by watching and assisting experienced surgeons.

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5:10am

Mon December 16, 2013
Asia

India's Workplace Cases Highlight Abuse Against Women

As India marks the anniversary of the infamous gang rape in New Delhi, it is ending the year as it began: in upheaval over its treatment of women. In a recent series of cases, men in positions of privilege are alleged to have sexually harassed or assaulted female employees. The episodes spotlight the absence of women's rights in the Indian workplace.

5:03am

Mon December 16, 2013
Movies

Can 'Fast & Furious' Survive Paul Walker's Death?

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 5:14 am

Since the tragic death of actor Paul Walker in a car crash, Universal Pictures has been struggling with how to handle its billion-dollar Fast & Furious franchise. Production on the seventh movie was underway when he died. David Greene talks to reporter Kim Masters, who has been following the story for The Hollywood Reporter. Masters also hosts The Business on member station KCRW.

5:03am

Mon December 16, 2013
Business

Demand Grows For Trappist Monks' Beer

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 7:27 am

In Belgium, the Trappists produce Orval. Forbes Magazine reports there simply aren't enough monks to expand production of Orval. The abbey once had 35 monks, but today that number is down to just a dozen.

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