Chinese President Xi Jinping begins a two-day meeting later today with President Obama near Palm Springs, California. There's a good deal of significance behind the choice of California as a venue for this summit. The state one of China's largest trading partners. And is also home to a recent boom in Chinese real estate investment.
Singer Justin Bieber is the latest celebrity to score a booking on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, destined for its first suborbital test flight sometime this year.
The Bieb and manager Scooter Braun join the likes of Ashton Kutcher, Leonardo DiCaprio and Angelina Jolie on the elite passenger list of those willing and able to pay $250,000 for a seat on Richard Branson's commercial space-flight venture.
Chinese computer maker Lenovo celebrated the opening of its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Whitsett, N.C., on Wednesday. The company is trying to boost its brand and U.S. market share. Other high-tech firms, including Motorola, have announced plans to manufacture in the U.S.
The Lenovo plant celebration was a patriotic affair. A large sign was on display featuring the American flag and the words "Assembled in the U.S."
Currently, Amazon.com only offers food delivery in Seattle, where the company is based. Food goes bad fast and it's hard to make a profit. But slim profit margins are what have made Amazon a juggernaut.
Detroit's Masonic Temple Theatre was headed to foreclosure until an anonymous donor paid off its $142,000 in back taxes. That donor is now revealed: former White Stripes singer Jack White. He has performed there nine times and hung out there as a kid. His mom was an usher.
The National Security Agency is collecting the phone records of millions of Americans for three months. The news was first reported by the Guardian newspaper. The request for the records was placed with a special intelligence court days after the Boston bombings.
The Affordable Care Act, which has become known as Obamacare, will require small businesses with 50 or more employees to offer health care coverage to their workers. Some have suggested that could be discouraging hiring by small businesses.
President Obama travels to Mooresville, North Carolina today. He'll highlight the town's middle school and its focus on technology and digital learning. It's part of what the White House is calling the president's Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour. Jobs and education are big issues for younger voters, one of the most sought after demographics for both parties.
When the Transportation Security Administration recently said it was changing the rules to allow small knives and sports equipment as carry-on items on planes, that sparked an outcry over safety. The TSA is backing down and will require travelers to check those items after all.
After conquering the online department store model, Amazon is eyeing an expansion into the world of grocery shopping. The company has been testing out an online grocery called AmazonFresh in Seattle. Today, there are reports that Amazon plans to expand to other cities around the country. But the business landscape is littered with the graves of online grocers who didn't make it. Remember Webvan? No? That's OK.
Mayor Michael Bell hopes Chinese investment will help revive his blue-collar city. He helped broker a deal to sell a chunk of Toledo's waterfront to Chinese investors. Host Michel Martin and Mayor Bell discuss investments with China and what he thinks President Obama and China President Xi Jinping can accomplish during their U.S. visit.
Box office receipts in China reached new highs last year, and American filmmakers want to tap into that market. Host Michel Martin speaks with Los Angeles Times reporter John Horn, about the growth of the Chinese movie market, and how Hollywood plans to cash in.
For the last five years, graduation day has been as much a time for apprehension as for celebration.
Even now, with the Great Recession over, many recent graduates are still struggling to turn their high school and college diplomas into tickets for a better life. The unemployment rate for Americans under age 25 remains more than double the overall rate of 7.5 percent.
NPR's business news begins with a big no from Chrysler.
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MONTAGNE: The Detroit automaker is taking the unusual step of defying the government by refusing to recall some 2.7 million of its vehicles. Federal safety officials say 1993 to 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees and the 2002 to 2007 Jeep Liberties are dangerous and should be taken off the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says rear-mounted gas tanks in those vehicles are vulnerable to leaking and catching fire in rear-end collisions.
Apple could face problems with some of its older models of iPhones and iPads in the U.S. This, after the U.S. Trade Commission ruled yesterday that the devices violated a patent owned by Apple's archrival, Samsung.
The ruling is unlikely to have a big impact on Apple's earnings. But as NPR's Steve Henn reports, the decision raises more questions about how the U.S. patent system can be used.
Now we turn to a scathing report on expensive conferences held by the IRS. The report by the agency's own inspector general noted the IRS spent about $50 million on employee meetings between 2010 and 2012.
NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.
WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: Some of the most egregious examples of questionable spending occurred at a 2010 gathering in Southern California. The IRS paid dearly for some lavish hotel rooms, and spent $34,000 for lodging and related expenses for employees who lived nearby.
Blockbuster console game franchise Halo is going to have a new installment for mobile phones. Microsoft made the announcement Tuesday. It's a confirmation of the way the gaming industry is going, away from relying on $60 console games and closer to mobile and micropayments.
For the past five years, graduation day has been a time of apprehension as much as celebration. Prospects for those entering the workforce for the first time were bleak. The class of 2013 — whether from high school or college — has cause for more optimism than previous classes.
NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.
A U.S. trade agency says Apple infringed on its Asian rival Samsung's patent in its manufacture of some older models of the iPhone and iPad.
Bloomberg reports on the order from the U.S. International Trade Commission: "It's the first patent ruling against Apple in the U.S. that affects product sales, covering models of the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G made for AT&T Inc."
Philadelphia is training owners of Chinese takeout restaurants to cut some of the salt in their menu items.
The city is working with about 200 takeout restaurants, providing free cooking lessons and tips on adding flavor without salt. None of the restaurant owners were paid to participate in the program, which offers advice such as how to find suppliers who sell low-sodium ingredients at a reasonable price. Participants are also encouraged to limit the number of soy sauce packets they hand to customers.