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Will New Free Trade Agreements Downsize U.S. Jobs?

Congress approved free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama Wednesday night. They represent the biggest trade pacts since the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement. President Obama has promised to sign them into law. Supporters say the pacts will open new markets to U.S. companies, but others say they will hurt industries already weakened by imports.
NPR

Italy's Parliament To Vote On Berlusconi's Future

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is fighting for the survival of his center-right government as he goes before parliament for a vote of confidence Friday. He faces growing discontent within his own party over his personal lifestyle and judicial woes. The test comes as Italy is increasingly engulfed in the eurozone debt crisis.
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U.S. Banks Can't Hide From Europe's Debt Crisis

U.S. banks have become cautious about lending to European banks, and money markets are pulling out. But there are other, indirect ways Europe's problems bounce back, making it hard to quantify the threat to the U.S. financial system.
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Gas Drilling Boom Brings New Life To Steel Industry

A natural gas drilling boom in Pennsylvania is helping the economies of Rust Belt cities long accustomed to bad news. Drilling requires steel — lots of it — and that has manufacturers expanding and hiring new workers.
NPR

Will Free Trade Agreements Really Create Jobs?

Congress voted to approve three much-delayed free trade deals with Panama, Colombia and South Korea. The Obama administration and supporters in Congress have labeled these agreements as jobs bills, though there are questions about how many jobs will really be created.
NPR

Facing Planetary Enemy No. 1: Agriculture

A new study looks at whether we can feed the world without destroying the Earth. The answer is yes, but how to make it happen is complicated, and will require big changes in the way we practice agriculture.
NPR

Could The Volcker Rule Rein In Propriety Trading?

American banks have, for years, been accustomed to making risky bets — not only on behalf of clients but also with their own money. But many are now protesting, and preparing for, a new measure in the works that would reign in what's called proprietary trading: The Volcker Rule. Robert Siegel talks with Ben Protess of the New York Times about a new rule intended to reign in this behavior on the part of banks.
NPR

GOP Candidates Take Shots At Cain's Economic Plan

Former pizza chain executive Herman Cain, who's risen to second place in several polls, was the new target for attacks from his Republican rivals at Tuesday night's presidential debate in Hanover, N.H. With his 9-9-9 economic plan, Cain plans to scrap the tax code and replace it with a 9 percent income tax, sales tax and corporate tax.

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