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California Still Owes U.S. Billions For Unemployment

The state of California owes the federal government billions of dollars — money it borrowed to fund unemployment benefits. And even as the economy and job market recover, the state is going further into the red.
NPR

Shifting Gears To Make Bike-Sharing More Accessible

In the past few years, bike-sharing systems have popped up from Boston to Minnesota to Washington, D.C. The users so far tend to be young, male and wealthier than the rest of the population.
NPR

At 90, Disney Animation Nowhere Near Drawing To A Close

Nearly a century after it was founded by Walt Disney, the studio is still producing magical cartoons. NPR's Renee Montagne talks about history and the future with John Lasseter — the chief creative officer of both Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.
NPR

Mexico's Patron Saint Is Also Its Hello Kitty

As many as 6 million pilgrims have made their way to the Mexican capital to pay homage to the Virgin of Guadalupe on Thursday. One woman has turned the country's most revered religious icon into a cartoon characterization, using it to build a multimillion-dollar company.
NPR

High Insurance Rates Anger Some Ski-Country Coloradans

Gas, groceries and rents are all pricier in Summit and Eagle counties than in Denver, just a hundred miles away. Health insurance costs a lot more in these mountain communities, too, and some folks are crying foul. Their congressman — a Democrat — is asking the feds for relief.
NPR

WestJet Plays Santa To Calgary-Bound Passengers

Passengers told a virtual Santa what they wanted before boarding their flights. While they were in the air, secret shoppers at their destination hit the stores. The passengers arrived in Calgary to find their gifts on the baggage carousel.
NPR

Amid Cuts And Tax Hikes, Tech Companies Get Love in Ireland

Ireland has made a concerted effort to grow its tech industry, through tax incentives and development programs. Officials credit the initiative with helping uplift the country's economy. But the country has also faces local and international criticism for its approach.
NPR

Scotland's Royal Bank Fined For Violating Iran, Cuba Sanctions

The bank was fined $100 million Wednesday for violating the U.S. sanctions. It had given its U.K. employees step-by-step instructions on how to keep transactions from being detected for sanctions violations.
NPR

Extended Unemployment Benefits On Track To Expire Dec. 28

A congressional vote to renew extended unemployment benefits may have to wait until the new year. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will push for it in January if a last-minute extension fails to come together.
NPR

A Midwestern Meatpacking Town Welcomes Immigrants

Starting in the 1980s, leaders in Garden City, Kan., decided that they were going to treat the immigrant influx as a blessing, not a curse. Working conditions are tough, but the jobs offer decent wages, and a good support system provides a brighter future.

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