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Congress Tries, But Still Can't Save Payroll Tax Cuts

People who are lucky enough to have jobs could still see a cut in their paychecks next month unless Congress votes to extend a payroll tax cut. NPR's Scott Horlsey and Tamara Keith join host Scott Simon to talk about the status of the cut.
NPR

Complicity In Crisis: Can We Trust Ratings Agencies?

The current world economic crisis has raised hard questions about the assessments made by the big three ratings firms, S&P, Moody's and Fitch. It's also brought charges that they not only missed the onset of financial crisis, but helped fuel it with faulty judgments. Host Scott Simon talks with Roben Farzad, a senior writer for Bloomberg-Businessweek.
NPR

Diners' Guide Rates Working Conditions Inside Restaurants

Does your favorite restaurant give its employees a living wage, or paid sick days? A new guide points consumers toward restaurants with the most employee-friendly business practices.
NPR

Behind Unemployment Figure, A Nuanced Outlook

The U.S. unemployment rate took a big tumble in November, from 9 percent to 8.6 percent, according to the government's monthly jobs data. Still, it's probably too soon pop the champagne corks. A combination of forces caused the big drop, some good and some bad.
NPR

Turks Enjoy A Little Schadenfreude At EU's Expense

After years of seeing their bid to join the EU stalled, Turks are trying not to show too much pleasure at the doom-laden economic news emanating from Europe. However, economists warn, Europe's debt crisis could easily spill in Turkey's direction.
NPR

Siri's Position On Abortion? A Glitch, Not Conspiracy, Apple Says

When it was discovered earlier this week that Apple's new iPhone assistant had trouble telling users where to find abortion providers, abortion rights groups immediately cried foul.
NPR

Sears Considers Leaving Illinois For Better Tax Deal

The company has called Illinois home for more than a century but is now at the heart of a bidding war between states, which are increasingly looking to take businesses away from one another as new-job creation remains slow. One offer from Ohio is reportedly worth up to $400 million in tax incentives.
NPR

Lower Unemployment May Paint Incomplete Picture

The Labor Department reports that the country's unemployment rate fell sharply last month. It dropped from 9 percent to 8.6 percent. Unfortunately, the real labor market may not have improved all that much. Many workers have given up looking for jobs, and their "retirement" can skew the unemployment rate, making it look better than the reality.

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