From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block.
Some reassurance today for investors who worried the Federal Reserve might reverse course and start raising interest rates. Today, in testimony on Capitol Hill, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke gave a full-throated defense of those low rates. They're a centerpiece of the Fed's effort to stimulate the economy.
Another round of negotiations on Iran's suspect nuclear program got underway Tuesday in the Kazakhstani city of Almaty. Iran's envoys are pushing for relief from a vast array of economic sanctions while the U.S. and its partners in the so-called P-5 plus Germany are looking for signs that Tehran is prepared to roll back its nuclear program.
It's been an interesting year for National Hockey League fans. First of all, of course, the season was cut short after a long lockout, but now, in Chicago the Blackhawks are making up for lost time. They hold the record for the best start in NHL history. Last night, the Blackhawks faced off against the Edmonton Oilers and reporter Lauren Chooljian was there to see if Chicago's team could extend its streak.
With automatic spending cuts totaling $85 billion scheduled to start Friday, Congressional leaders and President Obama continued maneuvering to avoid the political fallout. Melissa Block talks to Tamara Keith about the state of play and has details from a poll that suggests that Americans want to cut the deficit, but only in the abstract.
General Motors Co. said today that its Chief Executive Dan Akerson will not take a pay raise this year.
Documents filed with the House Committee On Oversight and Government Reform showed that GM was asking the U.S. government to OK a $2.1 million raise for Akerson. The government still owns part of GM and when the automaker took a $49.5 billion bailout, it agreed to have executive pay approved by government.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. Tick-tock goes the sequester clock. Three more days until automatic across-the-board spending cuts kick in. And today, President Obama was once again on the road trying to build public pressure on Congress to delay or replace the cuts. NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson begins our coverage.
When we asked you (via our Facebook page) to tell us about the weekday challenges your families face, given the competing demands of work, commutes, schoolwork and activities, you didn't hold back. Especially on the subject of squeezing in a family dinner.
A new round of international talks on Iran's nuclear program is under way in Kazakhstan, where the U.S., Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany are asking Iran to give up any thought of building a nuclear weapon in exchange for relief from sanctions.
Western leaders do not predict a breakthrough, but they say small steps could be taken that would increase confidence on both sides.
Still, it's hard to imagine how such negotiations could proceed with lower expectations for progress.
Between them, Google Android and Apple's iOS account for more than 90 percent of U.S. smartphone sales, with Windows Phone, BlackBerry and a few smaller players rounding out the mobile market. But the tech world never stands still and other players are making a run for a piece of the growing mobile pie.