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Updated at 2:12 p.m. ET.

For the third time this year and the fifth time since the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve has increased interest rates another quarter of a point.

A lot of women have come forward in the last few months with stories of being sexually harassed, and often the perpetrators have lost their jobs. But in other cases, women have shared their experiences and there's been no change.

Silicon Valley engineer Niniane Wang wanted to be certain that when she came forward the man responsible paid a price.

Wang has the kind of pedigree that should equal dollar signs for any investor: a master's in computer science, founder of Google Desktop, and lead engineering positions at Microsoft.

House and Senate GOP lawmakers have agreed on a final tax package, combining the House and Senate tax bills passed over the last month, according to Senate Finance Committee chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

"We reached the agreement," Hatch said. "Between the House and the Senate."

Hatch declined to give any details of what would be included in the deal, deferring to President Trump to decide when the information will be released.

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How much would you pay to avoid traffic jams on your daily commute? $10? $20? How about $40?

That's how much a tollway in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., charged for a short time last week. Outraged commuters call it highway robbery.

But transportation officials say the high-priced toll is less about money and more about changing commuter behavior and reducing congestion, and commuters all across the country might soon see more tolls in the future.

The long and growing list of high-profile men losing their jobs amid sexual-harassment allegations speaks to a big cultural sea change. But is that shift driven by generational differences in how sexual harassment is viewed, or by bigger changes in the workplace?

Seattle executive consultant Kim Arellano has taught classes on generational differences, and says sexual harassment makes for the liveliest discussions.

In Westfield, N.Y., perch, bass, catfish and trout are growing fat on the byproducts of an adjacent brewery and distillery. The fish, still young but intended to be harvested and eaten next year, are the first fruits of an innovative project aimed at turning waste into food while addressing a suite of problems associated with more conventional means of catching and farming seafood.

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Let's explore the unique financial world of Paul Manafort. President Trump's former campaign chairman is under house arrest. He's accused of conspiracy against the United States and of laundering money.

Apple Buys Song-Recognition App Shazam

Dec 12, 2017

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. Quick question for you - what is this song?

(SOUNDBITE OF MADONNA SONG, "VOGUE")

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel with All Tech Considered.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

One of the things we do at the Indicator is steal stuff we like from other podcasts. Today, we're stealing from Tyler Cowen. He's an economist and public intellectual who has his own podcast (of course).

It's an interview show, and in the middle of every episode Tyler does this thing we love: He goes through a list of subjects and asks the guest to say whether each subject is overrated or underrated, and to explain why.

Throughout history, being on the receiving end of anything involving cavitation, a miniscule underwater implosion, has been bad news. Millions of years before humans discovered cavitation — and promptly began avoiding it, given its tendency to chew up machinery — the phenomenon has provided the shockwave and awe behind a punch so ridiculously violent that it's made the mantis shrimp a honey badger-esque Internet mascot.

Celebrity chef Mario Batali is stepping aside from directing his restaurants and taking leave from his TV cooking show following reports of sexual misconduct over a 20-year period.

The move was apparently spurred by a report published Monday morning on the dining and food website Eater, in which four women allege that Batali touched them inappropriately:

Three deals of acquisitions and investments that were rumored over the past week, and that are all now confirmed, have something in common — none of them involve companies owned by major record labels. All involve technology companies or insurrectionists to entrenched industry leaders. One noted below, Tencent, holds such power in its home country that all three major labels agreed to let it broker their deals in that country.

Lyft is unveiling a new education program for drivers, offering access to discounted GED and college courses online. The move is an interesting experiment in the gig economy, where a growing class of workers receive zero benefits from a boss and yet competition for their time is fierce.

Many Lyft drivers see their work for the company as a stopgap measure, a flexible way to make money while they try to build a career.

The retail economy in rural America has been rough for decades. But where thousands of stores have closed in recent years, Dollar General is thriving, sometimes at the expense of local shops. Dollar Generals are discount stores that sell goods from hand tools to hot dogs. They're reshaping the retail landscape in small towns. And making lots of friends — and enemies — in the process.

On their first day of trading, bitcoin futures surged past $18,000, adding to a streak for the digital currency that began the year at just $1,000 and has nearly tripled in value over the past month alone.

Reuters reports that bitcoin futures, traded through the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), saw January contracts, which opened at $15,460 in New York on Sunday evening, leap to a high of $17,170 during Asian hours.

If you usually ring in the holiday with a freshly cut evergreen, your reality this Christmas could very well be a scrawny Charlie Brown tree instead — or you may wind up paying more for a lush Fraser fir.

This year, there is a tree shortage. Most growers blame the tightened supply on the Great Recession, says Valerie Bauerlein, who covered the story for The Wall Street Journal.

Labor Abuses After Harvey

Dec 10, 2017

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Gaming The Tax Code

Dec 9, 2017

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The House and Senate have approved bills that would overhaul the nation's tax code and spent this week trying to patch those bills together. The legislation promises to be enormously complicated. Some tax experts say it presents huge opportunities to game the tax system. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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Republicans call their tax bill the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. But critics say maybe it should have been named the Tax Cut and Robots Act.

That's because it doesn't create new tax incentives that specifically encourage companies to hire workers and create jobs, some employers and economists say. But it does expand incentives for companies to buy robots and machines that replace workers.

Republicans say that lowering taxes will boost the economy and spur job creation. But critics say that the tax legislation would create an imbalance favoring machines over workers.

Updated December 9 at 11:50 am ET

"The Defense Department is starting the first agency-wide financial audit in its history," the Pentagon's news service says, announcing that it's undertaking an immense task that has been sought, promised and delayed for years.

Of the tally that is starting this week, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said, "It demonstrates our commitment to fiscal responsibility and maximizing the value of every taxpayer dollar that is entrusted to us."

The U.S. economy added 228,000 jobs in November, according to the monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate remained steady at 4.1 percent, unchanged from October.

"Employment growth has averaged 174,000 per month thus far this year, compared with an average monthly gain of 187,000 in 2016," the agency's acting Commissioner William J. Wiatrowski said of the report.

Sheryl Connelly has a crazy job. She's in charge of looking into the future for Ford Motor Co. The automaker is trying to predict how people my age — from Generation Z — will use cars.

"I have two Gen Zers at home," Connelly says. "So my 16-year-old daughter is thrilled, actually. Her car is ready to go. As soon as she has her license, it's in the driveway. And so she sits in her car and she listens to the radio and she loves her car."

That's definitely not me.

Bryan Singer, the director best known for the X-Men series of films, is being sued over an allegation that he raped 17-year-old boy during a party 14 years ago.

Singer has denied the accusation.

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