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Citing concerns over pricing and pollution, the Obama administration on Friday unveiled a moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands. The change won't affect existing leases, which generated nearly $1.3 billion for the government last year.

The Department of the Interior says it wants to make sure the money it's charging for coal leases takes into account both market prices and what's often called the "social costs" of coal — its impact on climate change and public health.

The agency says federal lands account for roughly 40 percent of all U.S. coal production.

Sales Of 'Most Wanted Shirt' Skyrocket

Jan 15, 2016
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Back in the '70s at auto shows across the country, you could find Anita Mitzel wearing an extravagant gown and reciting scripted monologues in front of a shiny Cadillac that would slowly spin on a turntable. All these years later, she can still recite them.

Money is a big motivator. And the prospect of a cash payoff in any sort of gamble is alluring — just think of the Powerball buzz this week.

So, what happens when financial incentives are tied to weight-loss goals? A growing body of evidence suggests that it's not necessarily a slam dunk.

Goldman Sachs will pay about $5 billion to resolve state and federal investigations into its handling of mortgage-backed securities in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, the bank said today.

The secretive sale late last year of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nevada's largest news organization, to the family of one of the wealthiest men in the country set off shock waves in that newsroom.

The vast financial and political interests of the billionaire casino magnate and major Republican donor Sheldon Adelson raise nettlesome questions about how the paper can cover him.

In Fort Morgan, Colo., 150 Muslim workers were fired in late 2015 after a dispute over prayer breaks at a Cargill beef processing plant.

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It won't be long until passengers will be able to take a ferry to Cuba from Miami, an idea that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago in a city that's home to Cuban exiles who fled from the Castro regime. The Obama administration approved licenses last year to companies that want to run ferries to Cuba. Several are interested. Still, it came as a surprise last week when the port of Miami said it's considering building a new ferry terminal on land that had been slated for development.

Want to launder $20 million in illicit drug money? Buy a fancy penthouse in Miami with cash. It turns out, secretively purchasing luxury real estate is a popular way for the world's super-criminals to clean their dirty money.

"You can spend a lot of money to buy a house, and then you can sell that house a year later," says Heather Lowe, a lawyer with Global Financial Integrity. "And all of a sudden, all of that money is completely clean money." Her group tracks the transfer of illicit money out of developing countries.

Fair to say this was a brilliant day for Boston.

General Electric Co. announced on Wednesday that it will be moving its headquarters from Fairfield, Conn., to Boston, starting this summer.

That decision makes Boston the winner of an intense competition among dozens of cities — all hoping to become the hometown of one of the world's largest companies.

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Markets tumbled today, hard. It's a continuation of a recent rough patch on Wall Street. Already this year, both the Dow and the S&P are down more than 7 percent. NPR's Jim Zarroli joins us now to discuss the sour mood among investors. Hey, Jim

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Al-Jazeera told its staff on Wednesday that it was shutting down its American network in April.

Financed by the ruling family of Qatar, Al-Jazeera America was launched in the summer of 2013 promising thoughtful, serious news coverage.

Lego says it is changing its guidelines for the purchase of large amounts of its iconic toy bricks, a policy that had generated a social media firestorm when used to block sales to Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.

The company said in a statement that it will no longer ask people who want to buy the bricks in bulk what they're using them for:

The Internet had many, many responses to actor Sean Penn's account of meeting Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán, which was published by Rolling Stone on Saturday: shock, anger, derision, astonishment, utter bafflement ...

But from one quarter, at least, there was pure excitement.

"EL CHAPO GUZMAN WEARING BARABAS SHIRT !" was the all-caps announcement from the clothing company Barabas.

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In sunny Nevada, solar panel companies are shutting down operations. It's a protest of sorts because state regulators changed the rules.

Here's NPR's Jeff Brady.

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All right. Now to something else we heard from the president last night. He said the United States has the strongest and most durable economy in the world.

(SOUNDBITE OF STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS)

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After months of planning, maneuvering and dealing, NFL team owners have voted 30-2 in favor of relocating the St. Louis Rams to Los Angeles, while leaving open the option for the San Diego Chargers to share the facility.

MetLife says it's planning to break off part of its business that sells life insurance to U.S. households because of stiffer federal regulations regarding the amount of capital the company is expected to hold.

In a statement, MetLife said it is "currently evaluating structural alternatives for such a separation, including a public offering of shares in an independent, publicly traded company, a spin-off, or a sale."

Just as David Bowie left an indelible mark on music, he also played an important but lesser-known role in the world of finance.

In 1997, Bowie became the first musician to package his future royalties into a security that could be bought and sold by investors, an asset that came to be known as a "Bowie bond."

The sale of the bonds to Prudential Securities netted the musician $55 million. They were downgraded to junk by Moody's Securities in 2004, amid a wave of illegal downloading and weak overall music sales.

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The California Air Resources Board has rejected Volkswagen's plan to recall cars with 2-liter diesel engines that trick emissions tests, saying the company's plan is incomplete. The Environmental Protection Agency says it concurs.

They only met last summer — but now media mogul Rupert Murdoch, 84, and former supermodel Jerry Hall, 59, say they're planning a wedding. The pair announced their upcoming nuptials in Britain's The Times, which Murdoch owns.

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