Wed March 18, 2015
The Two-Way

Fed Sends Clear Sign On Raising Rates, But Says Hike Unlikely In April

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 5:42 pm

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, seen Feb. 25 on Capitol Hill.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Updated at 2:47 p.m. ET

The Federal Reserve moved a step closer toward ending its zero interest rate policy. In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, the Fed dropped a pledge to be "patient" before raising rates. But, the Fed's Open Market Committee said, it is unlikely to raise rates in April.

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Wed March 18, 2015

The Fed's Next Move Is A Delicate One

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 6:05 pm

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Wed March 18, 2015

A Nuclear Deal With Iran Could Increase Global Oil Glut

Originally published on Sat March 21, 2015 10:09 am

It's not just Benjamin Netanyahu and other world leaders who are scrutinizing the Iran negotiations. Oil traders are, too. That's because there's already an oil glut, and an Iran deal could lift sanctions and mean even more oil.

"Even the thought that Iranian oil could be unleashed on the global market is, you know, getting people to sell first and ask questions later," says Phil Flynn, a senior market analyst and oil trader at The Price Group in Chicago.

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Wed March 18, 2015

Kentucky Right-To-Work Battle Shifts To Counties

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 7:21 am

A Teamsters union from Lexington, Ky., was on hand as Warren County became the first county in the U.S. to pass a local right-to-work law.
Lisa Autry WKU Public Radio

This past January, the Republican-led Kentucky Senate did what it does just about every year: It passed a statewide right-to-work bill.

Keeping with tradition, when the bill arrived at the Democratic-controlled House, it died.

For decades, Democrats have rejected efforts to allow employees in unionized companies the freedom to choose whether to join a union.

Now, the battle has shifted from the statehouse to individual counties.

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Wed March 18, 2015

After Toxic Ash Spill, Energy Company And Locals Struggle Over Solution

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 12:23 pm

The abandoned Cherokee Clay and Brick Mine in Lee County, N.C., may become a landfill for coal ash.
Dave DeWitt WUNC

When utility companies burn coal to make electricity — and it generated 39 percent of U.S. energy in 2013 — it leaves behind ash that can contain arsenic, selenium, boron and many other toxic substances.

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Tue March 17, 2015
The Two-Way

European Allies Defy U.S. In Joining China-Led Development Bank

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 5:33 pm

Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, and Asian leaders approved an agreement on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in Beijing in Oct., 2014. European countries are beginning to sign up too.
Takaki Yajima AP

Four key European allies have broken ranks with the U.S. to join a major new development bank created by China. Germany, France, and Italy today agreed to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Last week, the U.K., one of America's staunchest allies, became the first Western nation to join the new bank.

The Obama administration opposes the AIIB, due to open later this year, and has pressured allies such as South Korea, Japan and Australia not to join the new bank. The administration says there's no need for another international lending institution.

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Tue March 17, 2015

Sex Discrimination Trial Puts Silicon Valley Under The Microscope

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 8:18 pm

Ellen Pao, a former partner at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, says women were excluded from all-male meetings at the company and denied seats on boards. The firm says she was fired for poor performance.
Robert Galbraith Reuters/Landov

When the venture capital firm that funded Google and Amazon fired Ellen Pao in 2012, it said it let her go because she didn't have what it takes.

Pao disagreed — and sued her former employer, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, for gender bias and retaliation. The trial, now underway in San Francisco, is providing a rare look into allegations of sex discrimination and the world of venture capital.

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Tue March 17, 2015
The Salt

To Eat Authentically Irish This St. Patrick's Day, Go For The Butter

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 2:11 pm

Butter labels from Irish creameries operating in the 1970s.
Roland Paschhoff Cork Butter Museum

As scholarly buzzkills have long told us, corned beef isn't really Irish. So what to do if you want a taste of the Emerald Isle on St. Patrick's Day? Instead of green, maybe look for yellow — a pat of Irish butter. Although most Americans are familiar with images of Ireland's rolling green hills, few realize that those hills are the secret to a deliciously buttery empire.

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Tue March 17, 2015

Are Humans Really Headed To Mars Anytime Soon?

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 9:15 am

Mars, anyone? Six researchers from the Mars Society sport their best space duds during this 2014 simulation of the conditions that explorers of the Red Planet might face. (From left) Ian Silversides, Anastasiya Stepanova, Alexandre Mangeot and Claude-Michel Laroche.
Micke Sebastien Paris Match via Getty Images

With recent news headlines proclaiming that dozens of people have been selected as finalists for a Martian astronaut corps, it might seem like a trip to this alien world might finally be close at hand.

But let's have a little reality check. What are the chances that we really will see people on the Red Planet in the next couple of decades?

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Mon March 16, 2015
All Tech Considered

What Cockroaches With Backpacks Can Do. Ah-mazing

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 11:48 am

An attempt to build the perfect cockroach cyborg.
Carlos Sanchez, Ph.D. student of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University

Cockroaches are widely despised. They're attracted to filth. They frighten people, even give them nightmares.

But for a team of scientists at Texas A&M University, the roach is a hero: the first animal that humans might successfully transform into a robot, a hybrid of insect and machine that we can send anywhere to be our eyes and ears.

The Perfect Roach

Professor Hong Liang opens the door to a small laboratory with hundreds, maybe thousands, of cockroaches. It's not for the faint of heart.

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