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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with an acquisition for Nestle.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Later this week, we get some key data to help judge the state of the nation's housing market. There are some early signs of recovery, but home prices are still falling in many areas, as NPR's Chris Arnold reports.

CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: Tomorrow, we'll get the latest word on home prices from what's called the S&P Case-Shiller index. That keeps showing price declines in many areas. Though those price drops have been leveling off, so things definitely aren't as bad as they were.

The Export Boom: Who's Buying American?

Apr 21, 2012

In his State of the Union address two years ago, President Obama argued there were a few things the U.S. needed to do in order to recover from the economic recession. One of them was to export more of our goods around the world.

"The more products we make and sell to other countries, the more jobs we support right here in America," Obama said.

That night, the president unveiled a new goal: to double U.S. exports over the next five years. It would be an increase that the president said would "support two million jobs in America."

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Boston is getting the country's first commercial route flown by the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Now, the flight lifts off tomorrow afternoon, nonstop service from Boston to Tokyo. The Japan Airlines flight will also give a lift to Boston's economy, with Japanese tourists and business travelers now just 13 hours away.

From member WBUR in Boston, Curt Nickisch reports on the city's nonstop excitement.

Even before the financial crisis, Detroit was known for its undervalued real estate. Now, a bad situation is even worse.

Michael Bradley and his sister Annette Foreman have spent the last several months cleaning their mother's home. She died on Christmas Eve last year, and they're putting her house up for sale.

The four-story house, known as Stone Hedge, was originally built for Walter O. Briggs in 1915. Briggs was in the car business. His company built auto bodies, and he owned the Detroit Tigers.

It's the unscripted, offhand comments that get you in hot water in journalism. Yesterday, in an on-air conversation that introduced a piece on All Things Considered about how farmers in California's Salinas Valley try to keep harmful microbes out of bagged salad greens, we had this exchange in the studio:

Allison Aubrey: Does that mean we need to wash this stuff?

Audie Cornish: I wash it every time, I just don't know if it helps.

Arithmetic can be quite enlightening sometimes. One of the country's top agricultural economists just fiddled with the government's balance sheet on crop insurance, and arrived at a shocking conclusion: We'd spend billions of dollars less than we do now if we just gave away a simplified version of the insurance for free.

The Last Word In Business

Apr 20, 2012

Vegetarians and others were highly distressed after finding out that Starbucks uses a red coloring in some of its drinks that's made from crushed bugs. An online protest campaign delivered thousands of angry emails to Starbucks headquarters.

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It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

And I'm Lynn Neary.

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The Florida judge in the case of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed teenager Trayvon Martin in February, set bail this morning of $150,000. Zimmerman took the stand during the hearing and told Martin's parents that he was sorry for the loss of their son. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder, but he claims self-defense. Cable TV news channels carried the bail hearing live.

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Business News

Apr 20, 2012

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LYNN NEARY, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a poor reception for Nokia's new smartphone.

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Some other news. The Federal Reserve and other banking regulators have granted banks a two-year grace period to come into compliance with the Volcker Rule. That's one of the provisions of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill passed a couple of years ago. It restricts American banks from making trades that put the bank and depositor funds at risk.

But as NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, regulators are struggling to iron out the details.

Two billionaires took the stand this week — both named Larry. Google's Larry Page and Oracle's Larry Ellison have very different styles and personalities. And that came across in court.

Yesterday, we reported on the fundraisers that lobbyists hold for Congressmen every day in Washington. Today, we hear what happens inside those events. The stories are part of our series on money in politics.

Two years after the Deepwater Horizon accident killed 11 men and sent oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, the oil industry says it has learned valuable lessons from the disaster that are making drilling safer today.

But there's still a pressing issue looming for the oil industry: Oil field workers are retiring in huge numbers, leaving a workforce that's younger and — more importantly — less experienced.

On the eve of the spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the IMF's managing director, Christine Lagarde, says there's a spring wind blowing in a recovery for the world economy.

But, she cautioned, there are still dark clouds on the horizon — a reference to the continued threats posed by Europe's sovereign debt crisis. Lagarde says making sure the IMF has the resources to manage that threat is this meeting's top priority.

TV Goes To The Dogs At Home Alone

Apr 19, 2012

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A new TV channel is going to the dogs.

BECKY LUBEACH: It is TV that is shot from a dog's perspective.

CORNISH: That's Becky Lubeach of DOGTV.

LUBEACH: It's been enhanced, that the colors that they see pop out. And the music has all been composed for them.

CORNISH: In other words, entertainment made not for you, but for your stay-at-home hound. No sitcoms about dogs. No "Jersey Shore," no ads either.

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For those of you boycotting Starbucks over the red dye made from crushed bugs it's been using, this Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino® is for you.

As we reported last month, vegetarians and others who'd rather not eat insects protested when they found out the the company uses cochineal, the red "juice" a tiny white bug called Dactylopius coccus exudes when crushed, to color certain food and drinks.

Business News

Apr 19, 2012

The $760 million factory is part of Ford's plan to double its production there by 2015. The new factory should up Ford's production in China to 1.2million cars — about half of what it produces in the U.S.

The Last Word In Business

Apr 19, 2012

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LYNN NEARY, HOST:

And now to the news that the country's biggest digital book seller is teaming up with one of the biggest names in spy fiction, which brings us to our last word in business.

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DANIEL CRAIG: (as James Bond) The name is Bond, James Bond.

NEARY: Amazon has acquired the rights to publish all 14 of the classic James Bond novels.

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At their annual meeting, Citigroup shareholders gave a no-confidence vote to a $15 million compensation package for the company's CEO. It's the first time this kind of vote has happened at a Wall Street firm. Lynn Neary talks to Columbia Law School professor Robert Jackson about the implications of the vote.

U.S. companies and the U.S. government have long complained that China purposely undervalues its currency to maximize its exports. But on Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner offered some praise to China for making its currency more responsive to market forces.

It was international news recently when a small fishing boat was found adrift in the Pacific Ocean, several hundred miles from the Panama town where it launched. After 28 days at sea, only one of the three men who had been onboard was still alive. The other two died from lack of water and exposure.

This story is part of our series on money in politics.

We imagine the lobbyist stalking the halls of Congress trying to use cash to influence important people. But it doesn't always work that way. Often, the Congressman is stalking the lobbyist, asking for money.

The House is scheduled to vote Thursday on a GOP measure to cut taxes on small businesses.

Now, the mental image most of us have of a small business is probably something like this: a handful of employees, a shop, maybe a restaurant or a little tech firm.

It turns out the reality of the nation's 28 million small businesses is, in many cases, quite different.

House Republicans say their tax cut would help millions of small businesses.

Benjamin Davies, a urologic cancer specialist, doesn't mince words.

On Twitter today, the good doctor said he would fire on the spot any medical resident who biopsied the prostate of an 81-year-old man.

And that would include Warren Buffett, the 81-year-old CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, who disclosed Tuesday that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

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The Supreme Court yesterday handed a victory to the generic drug industry. In a unanimous decision, the high court said generic drug makers can challenge how the big pharmaceutical companies describe their patents to the Food and Drug Administration.

It sounds like an obscure legal battle, but as NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, it has potentially big implications for the industry.

Business News

Apr 18, 2012

At Citigroup's annual meeting Tuesday, 55 percent of shareholders voted against big paychecks for the firms top executives. Citigroup's latest pay package saw the CEO take home some $25 million, despite dwindling share values. The vote is not binding, but analysts call it historic.

The Last Word In Business

Apr 18, 2012

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In the world of advertising, the success of a billboard often depends on its location. And in the sporting world, what's a better local than the tall, imposing bodies of professional basketball players - which brings us to our last word in business: basketball billboard.

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At an NBA meeting last week, team owners floated the idea of slapping corporate logos on team uniforms.

The turmoil in Europe appears to have died down, at least for now. Interest rates have fallen except for Spain. European Central Bank officials say they have contained the crisis — even if a recession occurs. But not everyone is so sure, and the recent rise in interest rates in Spain is making some investors nervous.

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