Business and Economy

Travel
9:06 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Holiday Driving Numbers Up In Oklahoma

More Oklahomans are expected to drive to their year-end holiday destinations in 2013.
Credit timo_w2s / Flickr Creative Commons

A record number of Oklahomans are expected to hit the roads and the skies during the end-of-the-year holiday season.

AAA Oklahoma says 862,000 Oklahomans are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home during the last two weeks of December.

AAA Oklahoma spokesman Chuck Mai says the number of Oklahoma travelers marks a 1 percent increase over last year's numbers.

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Business
3:34 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Glaxo To Stop Paying Doctors To Promote Drugs

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:30 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with new rules for Glaxo.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WERTHEIMER: The head of British - the British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline, told The New York Times yesterday that the company will stop paying doctors to promote its drugs. Pharmaceutical firms commonly pay physicians to speak at medical conferences - a practice criticized as a conflict of interest.

Business
3:34 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Italian Police Arrest 4 In Holiday Extortion Case

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:30 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is a Christmas con.

Just when we want to be thinking about generosity around the holidays, a story of extortion.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Police in Italy have arrested four alleged mafia gangsters for forcing shop owners to buy poinsettias for as much as $140 each. Owners who refused to partake in the Christmas special would have their shops vandalized.

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Business
3:34 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Mexico Opens Its Energy Sector To Private Investment

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:30 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Over the weekend, the majority of states in Mexico ratified constitutional changes that will allow foreign investment in Mexico's oil sector for the first time in decades.

Here's more from NPR's Carrie Kahn.

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Around the Nation
3:34 am
Tue December 17, 2013

FAA To Soon Pick Sites For Commercial Drone Testing

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:30 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Six states will soon be chosen as commercial drone test sites. So major companies like Amazon say they're hoping to use drones to ship products. But first, the Federal Aviation Administration has to figure out how to fly them safely in civilian airspace. Nevada is one of the states that wants to give commercial drones a try, as Will Stone from member station KUNR reports.

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Business
3:34 am
Tue December 17, 2013

New Owner Promises Handmade Steinways For Years To Come

Some Steinway company representatives and employees — like Wally Boot, pictured here — have been working for the company for decades. Boot is the last person to touch every piano that leaves the factory in Queens, N.Y.
Craig Warga Bloomberg/Getty

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:30 pm

For 160 years, the pianos made by Steinway & Sons have been considered the finest in the world. So when hedge fund billionaire John Paulson recently bought the company, it struck fear in the hearts of musicians: Would the famously handcrafted pianos be changed, for the sake of efficiency? Paulson, who owns several Steinways himself, says nothing will change.

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Business
2:17 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Economists, Unemployed Fret Over Long-Term Jobless Aid Lapse

Attendees of a job fair in California in October fill out paperwork.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:30 pm

Democrats in Congress are promising to try to retroactively extend emergency unemployment benefits after the new year. With the House already in recess, the benefits are expected to expire at the end of the month.

The Senate is still in Washington working on a bipartisan budget agreement passed by the House before it left town last week, but the bill does not include a benefits extension.

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Number Of The Year
2:16 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Year In Numbers: The Federal Reserve's $85 Billion Question

On Tuesday, Federal Reserve policymakers begin a two-day meeting where many analysts expect they will announce a reduction in the central bank's $85 billion monthly stimulus.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:30 pm

Many economists and investors think there's a good chance that at the end of their two-day meeting that begins Tuesday, Federal Reserve policymakers will announce that they'll begin reducing their $85 billion monthly stimulus, their third round of quantitative easing, or QE3.

The analysts think recent economic data, like a drop in the unemployment rate to 7 percent and a budget deal in Washington, have brightened the outlook for the economy enough that the Fed can pull back.

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The Salt
2:15 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Forget Golf Courses: Subdivisions Draw Residents With Farms

The Bucking Horse subdivision in Fort Collins, Colo., will include a working CSA farm, complete with historic barn, farm house and chicken coop.
Luke Runyon Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 9:00 am

When you picture a housing development in the suburbs, you might imagine golf courses, swimming pools, rows of identical houses.

But now, there's a new model springing up across the country that taps into the local food movement: Farms — complete with livestock, vegetables and fruit trees — are serving as the latest suburban amenity.

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Workers' Compensation
5:59 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Oklahoma Supreme Court Upholds Workers' Comp. Law

Credit Ronny Richert / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has rejected a constitutional challenge to the state's new workers' compensation law.

The court handed down the ruling Monday, just one week after justices heard oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging the law.

House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) authored the measure that changes the state's workers' compensation system to an administrative one.

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