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AAA No More: Credit Downgrade Hits France

France was among nine European countries that saw their sovereign debt ratings cut Friday. The move could boost borrowing costs in Paris and undermine a plan to contain the European debt crisis. But the loss of France's AAA rating is also likely to play a role in President Nicolas Sarkozy's re-election bid.
NPR

The Star Of Detroit's Auto Show? Fuel Efficiency

Automakers seek to make a splash at the Detroit Auto Show by unveiling new models and cars. This year, the unexpected star of the show is fuel efficiency. Compact cars are taking center stage. NPR's Sonari Glinton talks to Audie Cornish.
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S&P Has Downgraded France's Credit, Says Country's Finance Minister

Standard & Poor's downgraded France's sovereign debt rating to AA+. The move may affect the Eurozone bailout fund.
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Transcripts Show A Fed With An 'Embarrassing' Lack Of Foresight Into Housing Crash

Newly released transcripts show the year before the Great Recession was officially declared, the Fed was worried about the economy growing too fast.
NPR

Drugmakers Boost Prices, Despite Political Risks

This month, the biggest companies raised list prices for brand-name drugs an average of 4.5 percent. Back in Jan. 2008, the same companies raised prices an average of 2.8 percent.
NPR

Industrial Midwest States Challenge Union Power

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker won a tough fight to strip most public-sector unions of their collective bargaining rights. He now faces a recall effort. In Indiana, politicians want to exempt nonunion employees from paying dues when working alongside union workers. Host Michel Martin speaks with journalists from the two states.
NPR

Electronics Show Helps Good Products Catch On

Each year, thousands of companies converge on the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas hoping to generate buzz for their gadgets. Companies that succeed need luck, good PR and a product that seems cool or useful. HzO, a small company that makes waterproof coatings for phones and tablets, has broken through in a big way.
NPR

Investors Show Confidence In Spain, Italy

Spain and Italy have held their first bond auctions of 2012. Spain raised double its target amount, at interest rates a full point or more lower than last month. Italy did somewhat the same. One analyst said the painful austerity programs appear to be bearing fruit.
NPR

Mild Winter Could Hurt Western States Water Supply

Across much of Colorado, Utah, Montana and northern California, the snowpack is at less than half the average. There are concerns the skimpy snowpack won't fill the reservoirs and rivers. Millions of people depend on melting snow for their drinking water and farms.
NPR

Gingrich Backs Off On Private Equity Jabs At Romney

As Newt Gingrich campaigned in South Carolina Thursday, there were signs he was beginning to soften his critique of the private equity career of rival Mitt Romney. Gingrich had come under fire this week from fellow Republicans for his attack on Romney for his time at Bain Capital.

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