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Critics Wonder Whether Pennies Make Sense Anymore

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says the government is reviewing a proposal to stop making the penny. It actually costs nearly 2 cents to make a penny, so the government loses money.

Fine Brine From Appalachia: The Fancy Mountain Salt That Chefs Prize

An artisanal salt producer is processing brine from ancient ocean deposits below West Virginia's mountains. The company, J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works, ships to top chefs who value the salt's minerality.

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.