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You know it in your heart. You might not keep your New Year's resolutions. Your good intentions might fall on hard times. The plot might twist. You have no crystal ball.

Emily Dickinson noted it — the inscrutability of what's to come.

"The Future—never spoke—
Nor will He—like the Dumb—
Reveal by sign—a syllable
Of His Profound To Come—"

Tickets to the most popular concerts and other live events are often hard to find because of abusive practices by vendors who illegally use computer programs called bots to grab them up, according to a report released by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

In some cases, tickets to live events sell out within minutes, only to appear right away at enormous markups on sites such as StubHub, according to the report, which calls for major reform to the ticketing process.

Less than two weeks after international sanctions were lifted, Iran is already cutting megadeals with Europe. The French automaker Peugeot-Citroen said Thursday it will return to Iran, while Iran appeared poised to buy at least 100 planes from Airbus.

Thursday's developments came during a visit to France by Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, and follows his stop in Italy earlier this week, where he announced business agreements valued at around $18 billion.

This summer, Lego will release its first-ever minifigure that uses a wheelchair, the company says, confirming reports that emerged after one of the toys was seen at a toy fair. In recent years, the company has been urged to show more diversity in its offerings.

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In citrus-growing areas, you see lots of old converted school buses on the road; these are company buses, carrying the workers who will harvest oranges and grapefruit. And in the evening, some of those buses roll into a truck stop on a two-lane country road south of the town of LaBelle. Young men scramble out, trot into the store and line up at the taco counter.

This is where I met Esteban Gonzalez and his brother Isaac, from the Mexican state of Veracruz.

Made in China.

You can see those words stamped on countless consumer products — electronics, clothes, but not cars. For the first time on a mass scale, a car built in China will be on sale in the United States — the Buick Envision.

China is the largest car market in the world. Chinese shoppers easily buy twice as many cars as Americans do. Chinese companies have been investing billions in the auto industry. The latest example is Volvo — the Swedish carmaker known for its boxy, safe, brazenly unstylish vehicles is pride of the Swedish car industry.

Episode 679: You Asked For It

Jan 27, 2016

We ponder the origins of money, the economics of Santa, and the business of cemeteries. Why? Because you asked.

Today on the show, we answer listeners' questions.

Music: Matt Heaton's "Happy You Made It." Send us questions : Twitter/ Facebook.

The DeLorean Motor Co., which hasn't made a car in more than 30 years, is planning to build several hundred new replicas of the stainless steel, gull-winged car featured in the sci-fi movie trilogy Back to the Future.

Thanks to the Low Volume Vehicle Manufacturing Act, which was inserted in last year's transportation bill, companies can build small batches of replica vehicles.

Ray's Sporting Goods in Dallas' Oak Cliff is a neighborhood firearm dreamland.

It's stocked with the latest pistols, shotguns and AR-15 military-style rifles. Chuck Payne, the store's manager, says he has sold to a lot more women recently.

"A lot of married ladies with their husbands, some without, but they've decided that their husband's not home, they need to be able to do something and they need a different gun than what their husband had," Payne says.

DeVry University, which has at least 55 locations across the U.S., advertises that 90 percent of its graduates seeking employment found jobs in their field within six months of graduation.

That claim by the for-profit university is coming under fire. The Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit against the university's operators, saying the ads are deceptive.

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It's 5 a.m. in Lagos, Nigeria, and the Igwe twins are chopping and sweating in the kitchen. The generator is running because there's no electricity. It's hot. But the 27-year-olds, who run a catering service called Speed Meals, don't mind.

"For me it's fun. Really, I don't even feel the heat," says Tobias Igwe.

Tobias and Titus Igwe have huge hopes for their small business.

"By this time next year, we want to be feeding 1,000 people daily," says Titus. "The next 10 years, we want to be feeding at least 1 million people in Nigeria every day."

The Federal Reserve has decided to keep its benchmark interest rate where it is, even as Fed officials expressed somewhat more caution about global economic conditions.

In a statement issued after the end of policymakers' two-day meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee said the federal funds rate would stay at 25-50 basis points, where it was set at the Fed's December meeting.

If FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has his way, most people who subscribe to cable will stop paying a monthly fee to rent a set-top box from their provider.

As we've reported, about 99 percent of cable TV subscribers rent their cable boxes, netting cable companies about $19.5 billion a year.

Oysters are the sea's version of fine wine: Their taste varies with the water they grow in. And slow-growing oysters from northern waters — like the briny Wellfleets of Massachusetts and the sweet, mild Kumamotos of the Pacific Northwest — are among the most coveted.

That may be changing now. An oyster renaissance in the Southeastern U.S. is underway — from Virginia all the way down to Florida's Apalachicola Bay. The region is adopting the aquaculture that restored a decimated oyster industry in the north, and it has led to a huge boost in oyster production.

Local air regulators are suing Southern California Gas Co. over the massive ongoing natural gas leak near the Los Angeles neighborhood of Porter Ranch, seeking millions of dollars in penalties.

The civil suit alleges that the company's negligence led to injuries and has created "an ongoing public nuisance."

Last fall, Shalonda Brown decided she'd had it with paying nearly $1,000 a month for family health, dental and vision plans through her job at an independent lab in Dallas.

Casting about for an alternative, she checked out individual family plans on HealthCare.gov. No dice. The family's income was too high to qualify for subsidies and comparable coverage wouldn't be any cheaper.

Where a mainstream fashion magazine might do a special "black issue," like Italian Vogue back in 2008, or a black lifestyle magazine might run a queer feature, the perspective of queer black folks tends to occupy occasional outskirts in fashion and lifestyle glossies, never the mainstay.

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The Price Of Almonds May Have Met A Slippery Slope

Jan 27, 2016

Drive anywhere in Central California and you'll find fields of almonds. So many new trees have been planted in recent years that people have begun to wonder whether the growth of the almond industry is unsustainable. It seems like the price of the nut may have met a slippery slope.

It started out with almonds getting a lot of bad press over the last few years. The nut was called out for soaking up too much water, while at the same time farmers were making bank on the tree crop. Meanwhile, the commodity slowly lost value.

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is on a goodwill tour through Italy and France this week, trying to drum up investment for his country's sanctions-battered economy.

But Iran still faces challenges that make it hard for companies to do business with Tehran.

In a move that was loudly celebrated in Iran, the United States and other countries earlier this month agreed to lift an economic embargo that had been imposed in 2012 in an effort to curb Iran's nuclear program.

Stocks plunged in Asia on Tuesday as global oil prices slid and investors worried that China's currency would continue to lose value. European markets also fell as oil prices slumped again.

From Shanghai, NPR's Frank Langfitt reports for our Newscast unit:

"The Shanghai Composite was down more than 6 percent, hitting the lowest level in about 14 months. Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng indexes were both down around 2 percent. Panic selling came as crude oil dropped back below $30 a barrel in Asian trading.

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Charles Koch says he's not really spending all that much on politics. As one of the billionaire Koch brothers, Koch has made massive infusions of money to political causes — some of it in direct contributions to candidates, and much of it through support for think tanks and other political groups. The organization of donors led by Charles and his brother David has vowed to spend $889 million to influence the 2016 election.

Yet in an interview with NPR, Charles Koch suggested he is merely playing defense, not offense. The libertarian-leaning industrialist said he is outspent.

San Diego is the largest city in the country to commit to using only renewable energy, a goal that political parties, environmentalists and business groups hope to meet over the next 20 years.

That's right. There is broad consensus to reach this environmentally ambitious plan.

"A thriving business environment is one in which the quality of life is high so that we can attract the best and brightest talent from around the nation [and] around the world," says Sean Karafin, with the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

If you are getting spooked by plunging stock prices, you may be trying to figure out where the economy is heading.

Here's one new sign that better days are coming:

In the latest survey of business economists, most — 58 percent — say their companies plan to raise workers' wages this winter. That's the most upbeat wage outlook since mid-2014, according to the quarterly survey done by the National Association for Business Economics.

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