NPR's business news begins with China's grim trade outlook.
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GREENE: Numbers from the month of June offered more evidence that the world's second-biggest economy might be losing steam. Exports from China fell by more than 3 percent from a year earlier. Imports were down, as well, by almost a percent.
The rambling, funky ride called Banjo Billy's Bus Tours, in Boulder, Colo., is equal parts history, crime stories and comedy. It's all woven together by John Georgis â€” better known as Banjo Billy â€” in a playful, "choose your own adventure" style.
"You can either choose a PG tour, or a PG-13 tour, or an R-rated tour," he tells one group of riders. The crowd chooses the R-rated version, but they have to work for it.
"If you want the R-rated tour, you gotta say it like a pirate," Banjo says, drawing a bunch of "arrrrghs" from tour-goers. "R it is!"
If you've never grown garlic, here's how you do it: On a bright cool fall afternoon, before the ground has frozen, you pry an ordinary, unpeeled clove of garlic off the bulb. You plant it in the ground, about 4 inches down and pointy side up. Maybe you cover the soil with some straw to protect it from extremes of heat, cold and drought.
With new momentum for same-sex marriage from the Supreme Court, gays and lesbians are hoping for progress in another sphere: the workplace. In more than half the country, it's still legal to fire people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
On Wednesday, Senate lawmakers will once again debate a bill that would change that.
Investigators are continuing to examine the training and experience of the cockpit crew of the Asiana flight that crashed Saturday in San Francisco. The pilot at the controls had nearly 10,000 hours of experience flying large jets, but only 43 hours in that particular plane, a Boeing 777. Saturday was also the pilot's first 777 landing at San Francisco International.
Pilots transition from flying one airplane model to another all the time; it's a regular part of the job as airlines add new aircraft and pilots fly new routes or get promotions to piloting bigger jets.
One gray spring afternoon last year, thousands of people descended on Manhattan's Union Square for a rally to call for the arrest of George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin. It had been several weeks since Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old, was killed by Zimmerman, then 28, who identifies himself as Hispanic, after a confrontation one Sunday night in a gated housing community where both Zimmerman and Martin's father resided.
The police in Sanford, Fla., held Zimmerman for a night and released him after deciding he'd acted in self-defense.
News stories can often be distilled into good guys versus bad guys, heroes versus villains. But what makes a villain? What's the difference between a garden-variety bad guy and an evil genius, besides a couple of IQ points? Those are the questions pop culture critic Chuck Klosterman grapples with in his new book, I Wear The Black Hat.
Egypt has undergone profound change over the past 10 days. The military has overthrown an elected Islamist president and is back in control of the country amid deadly clashes between Islamists and the state security forces.
There's been another change as well: Egypt's police, long reviled by much of the population, have become unlikely heroes for opponents of the now-ousted President Mohammed Morsi.
During Egypt's 2011 uprising, revolutionaries fought pitched street battles with the police force, the protector of the autocratic regime.
The Senate is planning to vote Wednesday on a plan to bring interest rates on subsidized federal student loans back down to 3.4 percent for one more year. The rate doubled on July 1 when the chamber failed to agree on a plan.
While the Senate prepares to take the issue back up, college students are left staring at several competing proposals.
James Comey, the president's choice for FBI director, had a relatively easy time fielding questions Tuesday at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Lawmakers wanted to know about surveillance, waterboarding and other controversial issues, but they posed their questions gently.
Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said last night that U.S. aide to Egypt should be suspended and Senator Levin joins us now. Welcome to the program once again.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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On Wall Street, many things are bought and sold, including, occasionally, interest rates. That happened today. The owner of the New York Stock Exchange bought LIBOR, a hugely influential benchmark rate that is set in London. LIBOR is used to set many other interest rates, from credit cards to derivatives contracts.
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And I'm Robert Siegel. President Obama has not yet decided how many troops to keep in Afghanistan after the NATO mission ends in 2014. The Pentagon and the White House both confirmed that today. Their comments follow a New York Times report that the president is seriously considering withdrawing all troops by the end of next year.
In Washington on Capitol Hill, there are varying reactions to the events in Egypt. Congress was on vacation last week when Mohammed Morsi was ousted from power. Now, they're back and confronted with a big question about what happened in Cairo. Will they declare it a military coup? If they do, U.S. law would require all military aide to Egypt to be suspended. As NPR's David Welna reports, there's little consensus about whether that assistance should be cut off.
A former judge for the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court raised questions about the court's approval of government data collection programs on Tuesday. He was testifying before the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent agency considering recently uncovered surveillance efforts.
Scientists in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are still trying to understand what exactly caused a tsunami to strike the East Coast in June. There was no seismic record of the incident. But a team of scientists came together to analyze tidal and weather data. They believe the tsunami may have been caused by a weather phenomenon known as a "derecho."
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
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In San Francisco, federal investigators have spent two days interviewing the pilots on board Asiana Flight 214, which crashed there Saturday. Two people were killed in the crash, and scores injured. The aircraft, a Boeing 777, came down short of the runway. Its tail and landing gear clipping a seawall. And investigators want to find out why that happened.
And now for our regular primer on global economics, no student loan required. Remember the European economic crisis? Just months ago, there was near panic that the euro zone would collapse, bringing down with it the entire international economy, again. So, how is Europe doing now and what is the overall state of the global economy? Well, one place economists look for answers to those questions is in the exchange rate between dollars and euros.