The first woman to be nominated to head the Federal Reserve takes the witness chair on Capitol Hill Thursday morning for her confirmation hearing. Janet Yellen's challenge will be to reassure her Democratic supporters that she's focused on job creation, while convincing at least a few Republicans that she'll keep inflation in check.
The Obama administration says just about 100,000 people managed to choose health plans through the federal and state health exchanges during their first month of the program. Critics say that shows the law is failing. But most analysts say the first month's numbers wouldn't have meant very much, even if the federal website had been working properly.
Bitcoin is an online currency backed by nothing except faith that others will accept it. A young American couple wondered how far could they could push it. The Wall Street Journal reports the couple traveled to three continents, and managed to persuade merchants everywhere to accept the currency. Almost everywhere — they did go hungry for a night in Stockholm.
The big numbers out today are the administration's counts of how many people actually enrolled in health exchanges between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2. More than 106,000 Americans selected health plans in the first month, the government said.
For the first time in nearly a century, Mexico is considering letting foreigners own land outright along the coast and near international borders. Right now, only Mexicans can hold the title to land in the so-called restricted zone. The president and many lawmakers want to relax the ownership laws in hopes of spurring a wave of foreign investment in the country.
But others are crying foul and reviving nationalistic fears of foreign invasion and domination that incited enactment of the law so many years ago.
Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 4:47 pm
More than 106,000 Americans selected health plans in the first reporting period of open enrollment for the new health insurance marketplace, according to data released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services.
That number is only "about 20 percent of the government's October target," as NPR's Scott Horsley reports for our Newscast unit.
Less than 27,000 people used the federal HealthCare.gov site to select a plan. The overall number includes enrollments made via federal and state marketplaces from Oct. 1 to Nov. 2, the agency says.
When you think of recycling, you probably think of cans, plastic bottles and newspapers. Well, think a little bigger.
There are businesses devoted to recycling metal, paper, plastic, oil, textiles, cell phones, computers, motors, batteries, Christmas lights, cars and more. The hidden world of globalized recycling and reclamation, and its impact on the environment and the global economy, is the subject of the new book Junkyard Planet by journalist Adam Minter.
Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 2:51 pm
(This post was updated at 4:40 p.m. ET)
How did TV's most storied newsmagazine make such a huge mistake? And why won't they explain exactly what happened?
Those are the questions left unanswered days after 60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan and CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager retracted an Oct. 27 story about the terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, that featured a suspect source: government contractor Dylan Davies.
Even though it's not a negotiating period, Boeing told the union that members have to vote Wednesday on an eight-year contract extension that includes higher health insurance costs and a pension freeze. Boeing says if they don't pass it, the company may build the next version of its wide-body 777 jet elsewhere.
Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 5:07 am
The computer coders who made healthcare.gov may not have had the best of e-commerce in mind. The site looks like something melded together by a dozen government bureaucracies, and is so bad, it's driven away online shoppers. But a group of coders in Silicon Valley says it doesn't have to be this way. They've created healthsherpa.com.
Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 12:57 pm
In Washington this week, calls to fix the problem of people getting insurance cancellation notices are getting louder and coming from all sides. But turning back the clock on health insurance cancellations turns out to be a lot harder than it sounds.
Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 5:06 am
The closure of bank branches can leave people in low-income areas vulnerable to predatory lenders and pricey check cashers. On the west side of Dayton, Ohio, residents and businesses are trying to entice banks to come back after a recent closure created a banking desert nearly five miles wide.
The late Irish-born painter Francis Bacon is known for dark and often disturbing imagery. Bacon's work shattered records when his portrait, "Three Studies of Lucian Freud," sold for more than $142 million.
This story is part of an ongoing project on commuting in America.
What's known as the "last mile" of a commutecan be the Holy Grail for many city transportation planners. How do you get people from their major mode of transportation – like a train station – to their final destination?
The Justice Department approved an airline merger Tuesday that will create the world's largest carrier. AMR, the parent of American Airlines, and U.S. Airways agreed to divest a number of slots and gates at key airports in order to enhance competition.
Two large industries — agriculture and oil — are fighting a pitched battle over access to your car's fuel tank. Americans are buying less gasoline, but a federal law requires the country to include an increasing amount of corn-based ethanol in the country's fuel supply. Facing billions of dollars in lost sales, the oil industry wants the government to reverse course on ethanol.
Timothy Massad is nominated to head the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. He would replace Gary Gensler, whose four-year tenure was marred by questions of his professional ties to Jon Corzine and the downfall of MF Global.
"Timothy Massad, the Treasury Department official responsible for overseeing the U.S. rescue of banks and automakers after the credit crisis, will be nominated to head the country's top derivatives regulator."
But leave it to The Wall Street Journal to neatly sum things up in a headline:
Tomorrow in Mexico, the unthinkable may occur. The nation's beloved soccer team may fail to qualify for next year's World Cup in Brazil. OK, this may not be the grimmest news to come out of Mexico in recent years, but it will be a blow.
And it's a business story because as NPR's Carrie Kahn reports from Mexico City, the team's failure could cost broadcasters, sponsors and sports teams hundreds of millions of dollars.