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Even Finish Masks Volatile Year For U.S. Economy

Stocks ended up around close to where they started the year. Markets were mostly unfazed by the U.S. debt downgrade. But big changes in the European economy and governments in the Middle East made for a tumultuous year, when what sent the market into a tailspin often took place overseas.
NPR

Year in Review: Science Stories of 2011

From the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant to the end of NASA"s shuttle program, a great deal of science stories made headlines this year. Science writers Mariette DiChristina, Matt Crenson, Steven Levy, and Paul Raeburn join Ira Flatow to discuss the year's top stories in science.
NPR

First 79 Of The 100+ Sears And Kmart Stores Being Closed Are Identified

Sears Holdings plans to close 100 to 120 of its locations as it seeks to cut costs. So far, Florida is home to the most that will be shuttered — 11.
NPR

'Outrage' Over Verizon's Plan For $2 Payment Fee

The company calls it a "convenience fee." Some customers call it "outrageous." Is Verizon headed for a "Bank of America moment?"
NPR

Customer Service Rep Is Fired For Email Response

A customer of Avenge Controller wrote the company wanting to know when the game controller he had ordered would arrive. A representative answering emails replied, "Grow up you look like a complete child bro." The customer forwarded the reply to some video game blogs. Within hours, a video lampooning the service rep had gone viral.
NPR

Was It A Good Year To Be In The Stock Market?

David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, talks to Steve Inskeep about the bumpy year the stock market had in 2011. And they discuss what the new year might have in store for investors.
NPR

Why Year's End May Be A Good Time To Buy A Car

Seven of the best days to buy a new car are in December. The year is almost over, and there is a last-minute push for big car sales.
NPR

China To End Breaks For Foreign Automakers

Bloomberg News reports Beijing will stop encouraging investment from outside companies with tax breaks and other incentives. A Chinese official said the move was to allow for healthy development of its own car market. It also comes amid a sharp slowdown in car sales there.

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