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The federal government is moving to ban virtually all sales of items containing African elephant ivory within the U.S. For a long time it's been illegal to import elephant ivory. This new rule extends the ban to cover ivory that's already here.

In an old brick mill building in Skowhegan, Maine, production line workers are cutting, stitching and gluing New Balance sneakers. The company calls them lifestyle shoes, better known for their looks than their athletic performance.

Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, who built AIG into an insurance-industry powerhouse only to be forced out under pressure from regulators, must stand trial for accounting fraud, New York's highest court has ruled.

The New York Court of Appeals ruled that state officials can try to recover millions of dollars in bonuses and interest from Greenberg, 91, and his co-defendant, Howard Smith, 71, former AIG chief financial officer.

A new congressional report shows that at least four automakers are still equipping vehicles with the type of Takata air bags that have been responsible for fatalities and injuries worldwide.

For years, Heartland Regional Medical Center, a nonprofit hospital in the small city of St. Joseph, Mo., had quietly sued thousands of its low-income patients over their unpaid bills.

But after an investigation by NPR and ProPublica prompted further scrutiny by Sen. Charles Grassley, the hospital overhauled its financial assistance policy late last year and forgave the debts of thousands of former patients.

At the White Rose Diner in Linden, N.J., owner Rich Belfer tosses a dozen round, thick slices of processed pork to sizzle on the grill. To Belfer, it's beyond dispute that those are slices of Taylor Ham.

"It's pork, it's spices, it's salt, it's water. It's common ingredients," Belfer says.

But the flavor is more difficult to explain. "I don't know if anybody can really describe it," he says. "It has a little smoky flavor. It has a little spice. It has a little original Jersey flavor in it."

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday is proposing new regulations to protect consumers from predatory lending practices that the CFPB's top regulator calls "debt traps."

Americans are being "set up to fail" by payday and auto-title lenders, Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, tells NPR.

"The way these products are structured, it's very difficult to repay the loan, and therefore people end up borrowing again and again and paying far more in fees and interest than they borrowed in the first place," Cordray says.

Citing her company's problems, Forbes says it has sharply revised its estimate of the net worth of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes. One year after Holmes topped the magazine's list of the wealthiest self-made women with a worth of $4.5 billion, Forbes now values her fortune at "nothing."

In January 2009, as the U.S. economy was freezing up, employers were cutting roughly 800,000 jobs that month.

President Obama had just taken office and a few weeks later, he headed to Elkhart, Ind., where the unemployment rate was surging to 19 percent.

The key problem: Most jobs there were tied to the production of recreational vehicles. In the depths of the Great Recession, few Americans were buying expensive RVs.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Food and Drug Administration is leaning on the food industry to cut back on the amount of sodium added to processed and prepared foods.

The FDA on Wednesday released a draft of new sodium-reduction targets for dozens of categories of foods — from bakery goods to soups.

Raise A Glass To Perry, Craft Cider's Pear Cousin

Jun 1, 2016

It was a cool morning in the spring of 2004 when Charles McGonegal, owner of AEppeltreow Winery in Burlington, Wis., bit into his first "perry" pear. Crunching into the tough, tannin-suffused fruit, he was smacked with such astringency that he instantly spit it out, letting the juice dribble down his chin. "Later that day, my lips were peeling and my throat was sore," he recalls. "There's a reason why medieval folks thought perry pears were poisonous — they're full of acids and tannins. They are not for eating.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Lorenzo Mendoza greets and kisses worker at his shuttered brewery in Caracas, Venezuela. He's trying to boost morale.

Mendoza is the chief executive of Venezuelan food giant Empresas Polar, which was founded in 1941 and is now the largest private company in this socialist country.

But Polar has come upon tough times. Many of its processing plants are running at half-speed, and thousands of employees have been furloughed since April, when all four of the company's breweries were shut down by a barley shortage.

On the corner of the busiest intersection in Omaha, Neb., there's a square cement building, wrapped on two sides with a flashing LED billboard promoting the high-tech equipment and classes inside.

"I thought it was a 3-D printer sales place," says Frank Fu, a high school student.

Earlier this year, Fu stumbled upon Do Space, a technology library providing free access to powerful PCs loaded with software used by businesses and artists. There are 3-D printers and laser cutters.

Copyright 2016 KCUR-FM. To see more, visit KCUR-FM.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

In 2007, Rick Kinder was working for a contractor, building a house in southern Colorado. The workers had just finished putting in all the doors, windows and sealing the house. Kinder and a colleague were working in the crawlspace, hanging insulation.

"And we just heard this big roar and then a big boom, and it threw us against the walls, and it just blew the whole top of the roof off," Kinder says.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 WDET-FM. To see more, visit WDET-FM.

­­­­­­American farms should be in full swing right now. But some farmers are running behind, waiting on work visas for planters and pickers from out of the country. The H-2A visa program is delayed for the third year in a row.

It sounds like the setup to a bad joke: A professor and a doctor walk onto a farm.

Kathleen Terrence, a pediatrician, kneels in an onion field outside Lisbon, N.Y., with a bunch of kids. As they prepare to plant some 30,000 onions, they're all taking tips from Mark Sturges — but he's no farmer, either. He's a literary critic.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A handful of companies are offering parental benefits that go way beyond just paid leave, to include things like surrogacy reimbursement, egg freezing or breast milk shipping for traveling mothers.

As competition for talent heats up, companies see it as a relatively cheap way to recruit, retain and motivate their employee base.

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