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WAMU 88.5

Minimum Wage Debate Comes Back To Capitol Hill

It's been three years since the federal government increased the national minimum wage, and activists and lawmakers alike plan to rally this week to call for a hike in the national pay standard.

NPR

Rifts Emerge Amid 'Frac Sand' Rush In Wisconsin

Western Wisconsin counties bordering the Mississippi River have a unique geography: steep bluffs with layers and layers of silica sand. The sand is extremely valuable because it's strong enough to prop open underground veins in shale fields so oil and natural gas can be released. It's called "frac sand," and Wisconsin appears to have more of it than any other state. But the hills are private property, so sand mining companies have to negotiate with local farmers — not all of whom are on board.
WAMU 88.5

Housing Starts In D.C. Area Increase

Housing starts and home sales in the D.C. region have increased since last month.

NPR

LIBOR Spotlight Shifts To U.S. Regulators

In the unfolding LIBOR scandal, attention has shifted to why U.S. financial regulators, who knew about the rate rigging, didn't move to stop it more swiftly. Host Scott Simon talks with Robert Smith, a correspondent for NPR's Planet Money.
NPR

For Stockton, Calif., Bankruptcy 'Freezes Everything'

Many cities around the country are faced with growing costs and shrinking revenue. Despite making sweeping cuts, Stockton, California recently became the largest city to file for bankruptcy. Host Michel Martin talks with Stockton Mayor Ann Johnston about how she's managing a city that's operating in the red.
NPR

Public Pensions Are About To Look Less Healthy

Numbers from state and local governments suggest their public pension plans are underfunded by about $1 trillion. New accounting rules are about to make that gap between what they owe and what they have on hand look bigger — much bigger, in some cases.
NPR

Tough Austerity Plan Incites Spanish Protesters

Tens of thousands of Spaniards staged angry protests this week against new cutbacks that represent the biggest single dose of austerity in Spain's democratic history. Public employees will suffer pay cuts as part of a nearly $80 billion package of cuts and tax hikes. New austerity measures are the conditions attached to a European bailout for Spanish banks.

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