-- There were 360,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up 32,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. At 360,000, the pace was the fastest since the last week of March. But it remained well below the 400,000-and-higher rate that lasted from mid-2008 into 2011.
Minnesota. Vermont. South Dakota. OK. These are not states people normally associate with fantastic wine - or wine at all, for that matter. Grapes didn't always ripen in the state's short growing season. And even when they did, the grapes were better suited for jelly and juice. Their musty taste left little to really desire in a glass of wine.
The broadcast networks are in New York this week pitching their fall TV shows to advertisers. David Greene talks with reporter Kim Masters, of The Hollywood Reporter, about the new shows and indications the industry is in decline. Masters also hosts The Business on member station KCRW.
The House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday approved a sweeping farm bill that would trim the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program. The panel rebuffed Democratic efforts to keep the program whole, as debate on the farm bill turned into a theological discourse on helping the poor.
The competition for your ears — and dollars — just got a little tougher. On Wednesday, Google launched a paid music subscription service that will put it in direct competition with other streaming services like Spotify and Pandora. The announcement may just be the beginning for Google.
Wal-Mart says it has drafted its own plan for improving safety at garment factories in Bangladesh rather than join other Western retailers in a legally binding agreement to pay for improved conditions for workers in the South Asian country.
It turns out that the desire to speak with Apple CEO Tim Cook, along with $610,000, will buy you a cup of coffee. That's the winning bid offered in a charity auction for up to an hour of Cook's time.
As we reported last month, the chance to grab coffee with Cook at Apple's headquarters zoomed past the suggested value of $50,000 set at the Charitybuzz auction site, rising to more than $600,000 in just three days.
In the stodgy world of global oil, we don't hear the term revolution tossed around very often. But oil analysts are watching dramatic change take place on the supply side of the industry. Things like where the oil is coming from and who is buying it.
As the economy improves, the federal budget deficit is growing dramatically smaller. The Congressional Budget Office has sharply revised its estimates from just a few months ago, knocking off $200 billion in red ink for the current fiscal year. Some temporary factors are being cited for the projected improvement.
The next time you see a father out shopping with his kids, you might need to check your assumptions.
"I'll get the, 'Oh, look, it's a dad! That's so sweet!' "says Jonathan Heisey-Grove, a stay-at-home father of two young boys in Alexandria, Va., who is pretty sure the other person assumes he's just giving Mom a break for the day. In fact, he's part of a growing number of fathers who are minding the kids full time while their wives support the family and who say societal expectations are not keeping up with their reality.
Across the country, cash-strapped state and local governments are not just cutting services — they're also cutting access to courts. The tip of the iceberg may be small claims courts.
These courts, dealing with disputes involving small sums of money, are the workhorses of the judicial system. There are thousands of such courts across the country, but perhaps nowhere are they being cut more dramatically than in California.
U.S. oil production is rising sharply and increased output from shale will be a "game changer" in global energy markets in the coming years, according to a new report out Tuesday by the International Energy Agency.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
There is a global race on, an odd one. Countries are competing to be the cheapest source of goods. We're not talking about low-wage countries, like China or Bangladesh. No. This is a battle between Japan and Germany and the United States. And today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed the latest scores in this race.
Attorney General Eric Holder has defended the Justice Department's actions in secretly obtaining journalists' phone records as part of a probe into leaks of classified material, but said he himself had nothing to do with the subpoena.
The election year was dominated by talk about jobs and the economy, but neither the administration nor Congress seems to have any grand ideas for jump-starting a still sluggish recovery — and they're not even talking about it much.
President Obama sought to turn attention back to economic issues with a speech last week in Texas on manufacturing, but that's already long since been forgotten. A cascade of scandals has driven the issue entirely off the Washington radar.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, by now, you've probably heard about so-called Tiger Moms and Dads. That term refers to Asian-American parents who allegedly keep their cubs on a tight leash and demand academic excellence. Now we're learning more about whether that parenting style really works. We'll talk about that in just a few minutes.
But first we want to talk about something you've probably heard about, even
This IRS scandal has given Republicans an unexpected opportunity to chide the Obama administration. And it comes as the GOP was resurrecting questions about how top Washington officials, including the president, handled the attacks on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya last year.
NPR's David Welna has more on the latest political firestorm.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.
We're going to spend some time this morning, examining tax examiners at the IRS. The Internal Revenue Service is under fire for paying extra attention to conservative groups that were seeking tax exempt status. The groups had names suggesting they were linked with the Tea Party.
GREENE: Now, social welfare organizations can claim tax exemptions, political groups are treated differently.
Last year, almost the entire Michigan apple crop was lost because of 80-degree days in March and then some freezing April nights. This year, the apples are back, but everything always depends on the weather. The state was under a freeze warning Sunday night — a scary prospect if you're an apple grower and your trees have just come into bloom.
The Associated Press is protesting what it calls a massive and unprecedented intrusion into its gathering of news. The target of that wrath is the U.S. Justice Department, which secretly collected phone records for several AP reporters last year. The AP says it's caught in the middle of a Justice Department leak investigation.
The scope of the Justice Department subpoenas is what gives David Schultz, a lawyer for AP, pause.