Business

3:01pm

Thu April 25, 2013
The Two-Way

Still In The Middle Class, But Standing On A Banana Peel

Most U.S. workers fit snugly into the middle class, but they worry a lot about falling out of it, according to a poll released Thursday.

After years of watching home prices slide and job creation stall, 6 in 10 Americans say they fear tumbling from the middle class in the next few years, the Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll suggests.

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2:25pm

Thu April 25, 2013
Economy

Signing Up For Food Stamps: The Choice And The Stigma

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Another promising report today suggests that the economy in general and employment in particular continue to improve, but there's another statistic that's more troubling. More Americans than ever participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.

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11:22am

Thu April 25, 2013
The Two-Way

Google Agrees To Change Display Of Search Results In Europe

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 12:16 pm

Google makes a deal with the EU.
Adam Berry Getty Images

Google has agreed to modify the way it displays search results in Europe as part of a deal to end a probe by the EU's antitrust body. But rivals Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle will first have to sign off on the changes, reports say.

As ZDNet writes:

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9:46am

Thu April 25, 2013
The Two-Way

Anger Rises Along With Death Toll At Bangladesh Factory

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 11:31 pm

Volunteers use a length of textile as a slide to move victims Thursday from the rubble of a collapsed building in Savar, Bangladesh.
AFP/Getty Images

Update at 11:28 p.m. ET: Toll At 275

Authorities said early Friday that 275 bodies have been recovered from the site.

Brig. Gen. Mohammed Siddiqul Alam Shikder, head of the rescue operation, said 61 people had been rescued since Thursday afternoon, according to The Associated Press. More than 2,000 people have been rescued since the building's collapse on Wednesday.

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9:23am

Thu April 25, 2013
The Two-Way

Weekly Jobless Claims Dip To Near Five-Year Low

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 10:07 am

Will there soon be more signs like this? A "now hiring" advertisement in San Francisco last year.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

There were 339,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 16,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

The drop brought claims down to around their lowest level since early 2008, when the latest recession was just getting started and before the downturn got its grip on the economy.

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5:37am

Thu April 25, 2013
Business

House Panel Examines Government Loan To Fisker Automotive

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 2:46 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Auto executives got a grilling on Capitol Hill yesterday. Not the usual suspects from Detroit's Big Three. Think much, much smaller. Executives from the hybrid carmaker Fisker testified about hundreds of millions of dollars in loans Fisker got from the government. Today, the company is on the verge of collapse.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Fisker, the car company, isn't dead yet. But Congress has already begun the autopsy.

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5:16am

Thu April 25, 2013
Business

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 2:46 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Our last word in business is good news for the jet setting romantic, possibly bad news for most everyone else on board.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Virgin Airlines has announced a new service called seat-to-seat delivery, now available on all U.S. flights, which allows passengers to send unsolicited treats to fellow travelers at the touch of a button.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIR RICHARD BRANSON: Just order a drink, meal or snack, select his or her seat and don't forget to seal the deal with a suggestive seat-to-seat chat.

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5:16am

Thu April 25, 2013
National Security

Should Air Traffic Controllers Be Included In Furloughs?

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 2:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Air travelers are growing less and less happy. Automatic budget cuts are now leading to hundreds of flight delays, about half of all delayed flights this week.

NPR's Tamara Keith reports.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Up until this point, the effects of the sequester have been scattered and hard to pin down: hiring freezes, delayed park openings. But then the furloughs of air traffic controllers the Federal Aviation Administration had been threatening for months hit and, bam, the sequester got real, real fast.

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5:16am

Thu April 25, 2013
Business

Business News

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 7:37 am

The lending arm of General Electric has stopped offering financing to retailers whose primary business is selling guns. Around 75 retailers are immediately affected. A company spokesman says this is a response to "industry changes, new legislation and tragic events."

3:30am

Thu April 25, 2013
Planet Money

Lady Gaga Writing A New Song Is Like A Factory Investing In A New Machine

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 2:46 am

But is it GDP?
Charles Sykes AP

I spoke yesterday with Dan Sichel, a Wellesley economist and a Lady Gaga fan. Both of these facts are relevant for this story.

The U.S. government is about to tweak the way it measures the economy, and some of the biggest changes will affect the entertainment industry.

Under the current system, Sichel told me, Lady Gaga's sales of concert tickets, online songs and CDs all count toward gross domestic product. But the value of the time she spends in the studio working on new songs isn't counted. That's about to change.

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