The Northern Mariana Islands are about 4,000 miles west of Hawaii. They look like the kind of tropical islands you see in the movies with bright blue water and white sand beaches.
The people who live on the islands are American. The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is a U.S. territory. And just like a lot of U.S. states, the commonwealth has a pension plan for its government employees.
Greece holds parliamentary elections next month because the elections earlier this month failed to produce a governing coalition. The two big parties that had signed on to Europe's austerity terms no longer account for a majority of the seats in parliament. The big new player, coming in second was the Coalition of the Radical Left, or Syriza, which opposes Europe's terms for a bailout, but says Greece should continue to use the euro.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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This evening in Brussels, a dinner that was sure to cause some heartburn. European leaders met behind closed doors to talk about the region's worsening debt crisis. The heads of all 27 EU nations talked jobs, growth, and how to help troubled banks and the indebted Greek economy.
The Congressional Budget Office is warning the U.S. economy could fall back into a recession if Washington doesn't address the looming fiscal crisis. The Bush-era tax cuts are supposed to expire as is a temporary reduction in the payroll tax. Meanwhile, deep cuts in federal spending are supposed to take place if Congress and the White House can't agree on a debt-reduction plan.
If you pick up a cushion from any sofa or piece of furniture that has foam, you're likely to find a small white tag that reads: "This article meets all flammability requirements of California Bureau of Home Furnishings technical bulletin 117."
The law, referred to as TB 117, was passed in California in 1975. It says that the foam inside upholstered furniture must be able to resist a flame, such as from a cigarette lighter or a candle. Rather than make different furniture just for California, big furniture makers adhere to those standards in all 50 states and even Canada.
Xerox is one of America's most venerable companies. Founded in 1906, its name is virtually synonymous with "photocopy."
But in recent years, in an era of email and paperless offices, Xerox has struggled to stay relevant. Today, the company is trying to turn itself around and thrive in the digital age.
Leading Xerox through that transformation is Ursula Burns, a woman who has undergone tremendous change in her own life. Burns, 53, grew up in New York City's Lower East Side, an area she has described as a tough, drug-infested ghetto.
European stock markets have rallied in anticipation of an informal summit of European Union leaders Wednesday in Brussels. A major policy pivot is expected to address the eurozone's debts and deficits crisis.
Up to now, European leaders have emphasized austerity, and that has cost some of them their jobs. The new approach is likely to focus on the same kind of growth President Obama has pursued in the United States — where Democrats and Republicans are drawing opposite conclusions from the euro crisis.
Stay-at-home mom Holly McCall says she manages her family's finances and has perfect credit. But due to a federal law, she was denied a credit card because she doesn't make an income. McCall wants the law changed, but Aracely Panameno with the Center for Responsible Lending says the law is necessary. Host Michel Martin speaks with both women.
As sales of existing homes rose 3.4 percent in April from March, prices of those previously owned houses, townhouses, condominiums and co-ops also rose, the National Association of Realtors said this morning.
Unless leaders in Europe act quickly, the financial crisis there could drag down the global economy and kill what appears to be a "fragile, extremely uneven" recovery, the multi-national Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned today.
Economic issues are shaping this year's presidential campaign, as we're hearing in this morning's news. Arthur C. Brooks, of the American Enterprise Institute, says that debate involves more than money. It's a question of which economic policies are morally right.
A mass tax revolt is under way in Ireland, and hundreds of thousands of people have resolved to break the law and refuse to pay a newly-introduced levy on households. The tax is $125 a year, but protesters say it could lead to larger property taxes in the future.
One of the perks of living in Europe is the generous vacation schedule. But the austerity moves across the continent could be changing that, at least in some places. Portugal, for example, recently cut four of its 14 annual holidays.
And Spain is shuffling its calendar to shorten extended weekends — something the prime minister says it can no longer afford. The change could mean the loss of a celebrated tradition: the four-day weekend.
Making the decision to move a parent out of the homestead can hurt.
The house may be full of good ghosts and happy memories. But it also has too many steps and too much lawn to mow. So the time comes to pack up and move on.
A decade ago, at least one part of that transition wasn't so tough. When the for-sale sign went up, an eager buyer was likely to show up with a good offer. But today, families are facing a much more difficult real estate environment.
Casoria is a small town in the Naples hinterland known mostly as a hotbed of the local mafia. But last month, it achieved a different kind of notoriety when Antonio Manfredi, director of the Casoria Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) launched his provocative challenge to the Italian Ministry of Culture.
Manfredi's "art war" consists of setting works of art on fire to protest cuts to Italy's arts budget. He's pledged to incinerate two or three pieces of art each week from a museum collection housing about 1,000 exhibits.
A giant of American business goes on trial in New York today. Rajat Gupta is accused of insider trading. He's the one-time chief executive of the consulting firm McKinsey and Company and a former board member of Goldman Sachs.
Prosecutors allege he passed on information about Goldman to billionaire Raj Rajaratnam, who's already in prison for insider trading.
NPR's Jim Zarroli is covering this story from New York. Hi, Jim.
The head of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, has gotten an invitation to testify in front of the Senate Banking Committee about his bank's recent trading loss of at least $2 billion.
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Dimon is very much the public face of his firm. In a Wall Street culture where banks are defined as much by the executives who run them is by the assets they hold. So, what kind of culture led to the multibillion dollar losses at JPMorgan Chase?
Facebook hopes to raise more than $100 billion in its initial public stock offering. In a piece at Slate.com, tech columnist Farhad Manjoo warns that Facebook users can expect to see changes, including lots more ads. But he warns the company must balance profit seeking with the desires of users.
The Federal Trade Commission has announced that Skechers will pay more than $40 million to settle charges that the company made unfounded claims about its shape-up shoes. The FTC says the marketing was deceptive.
The Federal Reserve has unsealed the minutes of its Open Market Committee meeting in April. Fed officials warn that a failure to agree on a federal budget plan could mean businesses will delay hiring plans.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene. And let's talk a little TV now. The broadcast networks are all gathered up in New York this week for what's known in the biz as the upfronts. This is when they tout their fall lineups to advertisers with star-studded presentations, trying to get their share of about $9 billion worth of advertising.
NPR's business news starts with some good news for the housing market.
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GREENE: Home foreclosures in the United States are down for the third straight month, according to the foreclosure listing from RealtyTrack. Nationwide, a new RealtyTrack report finds foreclosure rates in April were down 14 percent over last year, hitting the lowest monthly level in nearly in five years. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Euros are being drained out of Greek banks at a rate of up to $1 billion a day this week. In the wake of the country's election turmoil, depositors are nervous about the heightened possibility of a Greek exit from the euro. If that were to happen, euros left in Greek banks could be worth much less than euros outside the country.
Beyond Meat, a new company based in Maryland, has come up with an alternative to chicken meat that it claims is a dead ringer for the real thing. And unlike other meat alternatives on the market, this one aims to be cheap as well as tasty.