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Plunging Oil Prices Force Producers To Lay Off Skilled Workers

Gasoline prices have been plunging this fall, which is great for consumers. But it has been very hard on oil producers, who have been laying off legions of skilled workers. To hang on to their key employees, some companies are offering unpaid sabbaticals or trimming pay across the board to reduce labor costs without layoffs. But for many employers, times are so hard that they have no choice but to keep cutting employee ranks.

Once Prone To Danger On The High Seas, New System Protects Alaska Fishermen

When regulations were imposed to protect Alaska's fisheries it led to a dangerous race to catch fish as fast as possible. A new system to manage sustainable fishing is making the job safer.

Ecuador's Oil Bust Draws Parallels To 1990s Financial Crisis

Ecuador's economy is faltering thanks to a year of record low oil prices and fears of a "godzilla" El Niño forming in the Pacific Ocean. The situation is drawing bizarre parallels to the last major financial crisis to hit the small South American country in the late 1990s.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?
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Man Works To Preserve His Brother's Restaurant Dreams

When a restaurant owner suddenly died, his brother decided to take on his sibling's culinary legacy.


Premiums Rise Faster For Flexible Health Plans Than For HMOs

The cost of health plans that allow more choices of doctors and hospitals is rising almost twice as much as those with rigid networks, finds an analysis of markets around the country.

Low Energy Prices Force More Northeast Nuclear Power Plants To Shut Down

The actions raise questions about nuclear's future in the U.S., including its role in reducing climate change. It's left the rural community that's home to one of the plants reeling.

Blue Origin Announces Successful Launch, Landing Of Rocket

Commercial space startup Blue Origin announced Tuesday the successful launch and landing of one of its rockets. NPR explores what the success means for space travel.

Local Charities Capitalize On Holiday Rush With Day Of Giving

There's Black Friday and Cyber Monday and, in some places, a single day dedicated to getting people to give to local nonprofits. In Lancaster County, Penn., they call it the Extraordinary Give — 24 hours of events designed to entice donations to arts groups, charities and other nonprofits.

We Tried A Futuristic Cranberry. It Was Fresh And Naturally Sweet

Cranberry breeders in Wisconsin have developed a berry that's tart but also sweet, like a Granny Smith apple. They say the variety isn't ready for production but could one day become a fresh product.