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Global Recession Hits Puerto Rico Hard

The island is paying nearly 10 percent interest on its bonds to attract reluctant investors. And some credit-rating analysts are saying Puerto Rico's bonds may soon get a downgrade. But optimists say they can help solve the island's problems from the bottom up.
NPR

50 Years Later, How The Politics Of Poverty Evolved

A lot has changed since President Lyndon Johnson delivered his State of the Union address 50 years ago. In that speech, Johnson declared war on poverty. These days, there are even tougher economic problems that President Obama is hoping to confront.
NPR

Sen. Rubio Proposes States Fight Poverty With Federal Funds

As Democrats stress the need to refiine the War on Poverty, the GOP says it needs wholesale changes. Sen. Marco Rubio and other Republicans on Wednesday critiqued the federal effort as a failure of big government — and said that the states know best how to help the poor.
NPR

Interior Secretary Wants To Create Jobs For Conservationists

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has a goal of putting 100,000 young people and veterans to work on the federal lands she oversees before the end of the Obama administration. These are basically public service jobs that don't pay a lot. But still, it's not an easy goal to reach during times of tight budgets, so that's why she's gone to corporate America to try to raise money.
NPR

Why Boeing Contract Has Implications For The Middle Class

Boeing's deal with machinists severely cuts back retirement and health benefits — concessions workers accepted to keep Boeing manufacturing its latest jetliner in the Seattle area. To talk about the broader implications for the middle class, David Greene talks to journalist Hedrick Smith about his OpEd in this week's Los Angeles Times.
NPR

Macy's To Cut Jobs, Close Stores In Reorganization

Macy's Inc. announced Wednesday that it is cutting 2,500 jobs as part of a reorganization. Other workers will be reassigned or transferred. The Cincinnati-based retailer also announced it will close five stores.
NPR

Manufacturers At CES Offer More In Home Automation

The Consumer Electronics Show is in Las Vegas this week. Renee Montagne talks to tech journalist Rich Jaroslovsky about the push to put WiFi in everything imaginable, from crockpots to stoves.
NPR

Blending Red Wine With Porter Ale: A Crossover Beer Worth The Buzz?

Two of mankind's oldest beverages are being mashed together in a new generation of brews. These beer-wine blends, boasting layered, complex flavors, are part of a broader trend of experimentation, as craft brewers seek to distinguish themselves in a crowded field.
NPR

The Fruits Of Free Trade: How NAFTA Revamped The American Diet

Signed 20 years ago this month, the landmark trade agreement radically altered the way we get our fruits and vegetables, encouraging year-round imports from Mexican farms. That's why it's now no big deal to find, say, raspberries in winter. But critics say it also has trained consumers to value convenience over flavor and has dulled knowledge of where food comes from.
NPR

No Rain On His Parade: Parisian Preserves Art Of Umbrella Repair

When an umbrella breaks, most people just throw it away and buy another one. That's sacrilege to Thierry Millet, who says fixing a much-loved parapluie is like giving a bit of youth back to its owner. France's government says the tiny shop run by the self-proclaimed "last umbrella repairman" is a "living heritage."

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