Ireland is about to become the first European country to emerge from an international bailout in the wake of the financial crisis. Like other European countries, Ireland has been in a period of austerity — higher taxes and more cutbacks.
The nation's technology sector has been protected, however, as Ireland makes a concerted effort to attract foreign businesses through tax incentives and development programs.
But Ireland's methods have also been criticized — locally and internationally.
This story is part of a project on commuting in America.
Millions of commuters across the country have a new way to get around. In the past few years, bike-sharing systems have popped up from Boston to Minnesota to Washington, D.C. They're supposed to make commuting easier, greener and cheaper. But the people who arguably need these bikes the most are often the least likely to access them.
In Mexico, Dec. 12 is the day to celebrate the country's most revered religious icon: the Virgin of Guadalupe.
As many as 6 million pilgrims have made their way to the Mexican capital to pay homage to the country's patron saint on Thursday, and one woman has taken her devotion of the Virgin and turned it into a multimillion-dollar company.
Some of the biggest ski resorts anywhere lie in U.S. Rep. Jared Polis' Colorado district, dotting the peaks of Summit and Eagle counties, about a hundred miles west of Denver. The area has a high rate of uninsured people and also, it turns out, health plans that are much more expensive than similar plans in surrounding regions. So expensive that Polis, a Democrat, has asked the federal government to exempt some of his constituents from the requirement to buy health insurance.
We recently published a story about how used clothes that get donated in the U.S. often wind up for sale in markets in Africa. As part of the story, we published some photos of used T-shirts we found in a couple of markets in Kenya.
Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 7:38 pm
Unless Congress acts very quickly, some 1.3 million workers will lose their extended jobless benefits on Dec. 28.
Democrats were scrambling late Wednesday to link an extension of benefits to a budget deal that is expected to get a vote as soon as Thursday. But if the effort fails, they will come back at it in 2014.
"We're going to push here after the first of the year for an extension of emergency unemployment insurance when the Senate convenes after the new year," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said on Wednesday.
Meatpacking plants used to be located in urban centers like Kansas City and Chicago. Over the past few decades, many plants have moved to rural Midwestern towns, which have seen a huge influx of immigrants as a result. Yesterday, we reported on tiny Noel, Mo., which has struggled to help assimilate the newcomers who work at a large poultry plant.
And here's even bigger news from General Motors, it has chosen a woman as its next chief executive officer, a first in America's auto industry. She's an engineer at the company insider - which could be a lot more important to GM's future than her gender.
Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports.
TRACY SAMILTON, BYLINE: Mary Barra follows in the wake of two CEOs from outside the auto industry. Dan Akerson ran a large private equity fund before taking the helm of GM. Before him, it was Ed Whitaker - a telecommunications guy.
General Motors says high costs and a small market were behind its decision to stop making cars in Australia by 2017. This is fueling fears Toyota will follow suit, effectively killing Australia's auto industry. The GM move could see up to 40,000 auto workers lose their jobs.
Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 5:14 pm
House and Senate negotiators working to finish a farm bill say it is unlikely their work will be completed before the end of the year. The House is only in session for the rest of the week, and according to one of the negotiators, this week's snowy weather has delayed some numbers-crunching needed to figure out how much elements of a possible deal will cost.
"We're going to pass it in January," said Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., as she left a closed-door meeting to negotiate details of the five-year farm bill.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Audie Cornish.
It's been a big week for General Motors and it's only Tuesday. Yesterday, the Treasury Department sold off its remaining shares in the auto giant. That ends one of the most tumultuous periods in company history. Now, GM turns a page with a new CEO, Mary Barra.
As NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, she will become the first woman CEO of a major automaker.
For more on just how the Volcker rule will work and how it will be enforced, we're joined by Simon Johnson. He's professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and he's a member of the FDIC's systemic resolution advisory committee. Welcome to the program.
SIMON JOHNSON: Thanks for having me.
CORNISH: So let's talk more about proprietary trading. Give us some specific examples of this.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block.
Federal regulators today approved a tough new set of restrictions on the kinds of trading that banks can do. The so-called Volcker rule largely prohibits FDIC-protected banks from trading securities for their own financial gain. It's part of the Dodd-Frank overhaul passed three years ago.
This story comes to us from Harvest Public Media, a public radio reporting project that focuses on agriculture and food production issues.You can see more photos and hear more audio from the series here. Wednesday, we'll have a story from a meatpacking plant in Garden City, Kan., which takes a proactive stance toward its newest immigrants.
Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 2:49 pm
Princeton University has started vaccinating students against type B meningitis in an effort to stop an outbreak that's infected at least eight people.
The vaccine isn't approved for general use in the United States, though it is available in Europe, Australia and Canada. But the meningitis strain that hit the New Jersey campus isn't fazed by the vaccines typically used in the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration is allowing a Novartis vaccine that's usually sold in other countries to be administered on the Princeton campus.
Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 6:33 pm
The Volcker rule, a centerpiece of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial law aimed at stopping some of the risky banking practices that contributed to the economic meltdown, was approved by five key regulators on Tuesday, clearing the way for its implementation.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission became the fifth and final body to approve the rule. The Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. were also among the agencies that gave the green light.
Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 3:50 pm
Back in 1995, more than half of all people of color rented their homes — almost twice the proportion of white renters. Then the Clinton administration pushed policies to bolster homeownership rates, and those numbers began a gradual, decade-long decline. The number of people of color renting fell below 50 percent. This coincided with an increased willingness by lenders to extend credit including to subprime borrowers.
American bank regulators unveiled the final version of the so-called Volcker Rule, which prohibits banks from trading stocks, bonds and derivatives for their own accounts. For more, Steve Inskeep speaks to NPR's Jim Zarroli.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. If your wallet's already hurting this holiday season, we're going to spend the next part of the program helping you out a little. In a few minutes, we'll find out how to make the most money selling your used car. But first, some financial experts say if you're looking for extra cash, look no further than common things in your own house.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. We're going to spend some time today talking about money. In a few minutes, we'll ask how you can make some extra cash by selling either the junk around your house or the junker in your driveway.
NPR's business news begins with signs of a Chinese revival.
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MONTAGNE: The latest economic numbers out of China are adding to hope for a global economic upturn. Growth figures for November show China's factory output is up 10 percent from a year ago, and exports are up almost 13 percent. That rebound has been helped by a boost in demand for Chinese goods in the United States and the European Union in the lead-up to the holiday shopping season. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.