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Fed Won't Raise Rates Soon, Reserve Bank President Says

The Federal Reserve's policymakers seem to be reluctant to consider any more efforts to inject a monetary stimulus into the U.S. economy — but that doesn't mean you should expect the central bank to raise interest rates any time soon.

Update at 2:20 p.m. ET: Beige Book Is Out. The Federal Reserve Board has released its collection of regional U.S. economic data, noting that " the economy continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace from mid-February through late March." The report's name, you'll recall, comes from the color of its cover.

For NPR's Newscast desk, Steve Beckner of Market News International filed this report:

"Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart, a voting member of the Fed's policymaking Federal Open Market Committee, says he's 'reticent' about doing another round of bond buying to cut long-term interest rates."

"Talking to reporters at a conference in Stone Mountain, Ga., he says such 'quantitative easing' should only be done if the economy weakens and unemployment rises — something he does not expect. But, unlike a few of his colleagues, Lockhart says he's 'comfortable' with the FOMC's stated aim of keeping short-term rates near zero 'at least through late 2014.'"

Many of the bank presidents have been attending an annual financial markets conference in Atlanta. The Fed is set to release its "beige book" report on America's economic environment at 2 p.m. ET today.

Reuters has compiled recent quotes from the Fed Bank leaders, in which they weigh in on inflation, interest rates and potential threats to the U.S. economy.

And an additional perspective comes from Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren, who warned that money market funds should be regulated more tightly, calling them a "transmission channel" for financial turmoil originating in Europe.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Colson Whitehead On The Importance Of Historical Fiction In Tumultuous Times

Kojo talks with author Colson Whitehead about his new novel "The Underground Railroad" and its resonance at this particular moment in history.

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'Cup Noodles' Turns 45: A Closer Look At The Revolutionary Ramen Creation

Today instant ramen is consumed in at least 80 countries around the world and even considered popular currency in American prisons.
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Rating The United States On Child Care

A majority of parents in the U.S. work outside the home. That means about 12 million children across the country require care. A new report ranks states on cost, quality and availability of child care - and says nobody is getting it right.

NPR

Tech Giants Team Up To Tackle The Ethics Of Artificial Intelligence

Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and IBM form a group to set the first industrywide best practices for the technology already powering many applications, such as voice and image recognition.

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