NPR's business news begins with fresh but not easy.
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GREENE: Britain's largest retailer is taking a big loss as it announces it will shut down its West Coast grocery store chain Fresh & Easy. Tesco launched the chain in 2007 with nearly 200 stores throughout California, Nevada and Arizona.
And today's last word in business is: out of this world - which is where the Dutch airline KLM will send two lucky customers at the start of next year -space, the final frontier.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
OK. To win the space journey, contestants have to correctly guess how far up a high-altitude balloon can make it before popping. Piece of cake - I know that's what you're thinking, right? Guesses submitted on KLM's website will be tested on April 22nd, when the company releases a balloon in the Nevada desert.
Google Glass is no longer merely a prototype. The company began delivering its high-tech glasses to a select group of test customers Tuesday.
The gadget looks kind of like a pair of eyeglasses, except it doesn't always have lenses and it has a tiny screen, about the size of the end of my pinkie, perched just above and to the right of the wearer's right eye.
Well, yesterday was not a day that you wanted to be traveling on American Airlines. The carrier cancelled all of its main routes for several hours, and also many of its commuter flights, as well. Almost 2,000 flights were infected in all. American blames computer networking problems.
A computer glitch in the reservations system at American Airlines caused all of the carrier's flights to be grounded for at least two hours on Tuesday.
"American's reservation and booking tool, Sabre is offline," American Airlines spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan told Reuters in an email. "We're working to resolve the issue as quickly as we can. We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience."
NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports that the outage was announced about 2:30 p.m. Eastern time.
The International Monetary Fund has lowered its projections for global economic growth, including in the United States, citing sharp cuts in government spending and the struggling eurozone.
The Washington, D.C.-based international lender's World Economic Outlook shaved its 2013 forecast to 3.3 percent from 3.5 percent. It also trimmed its projection for 2014 to 4 percent from 4.1 percent.
As The Associated Press notes, the pace of construction — 1.04 million starts, at an annual rate — is the fastest in nearly five years and is another sign that the housing sector continues to recover from its 2007-08 crash.
NPR's business news begins with gold losing some of its glitter.
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INSKEEP: The explosions in Boston and a report showing China's economy to be slowing caused upheaval in many markets yesterday. But gold took the spotlight when its price dropped by more than 9 percent by the end of trading. This is the sharpest daily decline in the gold price in 30 years. Analysts say it suggests investors are losing faith in the precious metal as a safe haven.