Economy

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As midnight strikes on New Year's Eve, many minimum wage workers will have an extra reason to celebrate: They'll be getting a raise.

In 18 states and 20 localities, lawmakers are forcing up the minimum wage on Jan. 1.

For years, a large number of state and local governments have been driving up wages in response to federal inaction. Congress has kept the federal minimum wage at $7.25 an hour since 2009.

Show Business Icon Rose Marie Dies At 94

Dec 29, 2017

Rose Marie, as she was known, had quite a career as an entertainer — it spanned nine decades. On Thursday she died in Van Nuys, Calif. She was 94.

Shortly after winning a talent contest at the age of 3, Rose Marie Mazzetta was on her way to becoming a child star. She began her professional career as Baby Rose Marie and performed under that name until she was a teenager.

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When the year comes to a close this Sunday night, we'll have the stock market to thank for a good bit of good news in 2017. The Dow Jones has risen by more than 25 percent this year, and the other major indexes saw huge gains as well. NPR's Jim Zarroli explains why.

As car companies make strides toward expanding the reach of electric cars in the U.S., the same is happening in the world of two wheels.

Outside the U.S., motorcycles, mopeds and scooters are vital, affordable forms of transportation that alleviate congestion. They also run on fossil fuels, and many of the smaller motors are more polluting than regular cars.

Underrated in her '50s heyday and forgotten by many outside the noir aficionados who restored her to posthumous cinephile glory, the Hollywood movie star Gloria Grahame both endured and brought on herself a difficult life.

Poignant and complex if occasionally frustrating, Fatih Akin's In the Fade is the story of a marriage. Not a conventional one, as the director announces with a prologue in which white-suited Nuri (Numan Acar) struts through a lineup of wedding-day well-wishers to meet his much-tattooed bride, Katja (Diane Kruger). Nuri's pals are fellow inmates, and the ceremony is performed in a prison classroom.

Recovery efforts are ongoing in Houston from nearly $200 billion worth of damage caused by Hurricane Harvey in late August.

More than 100,000 homes were damaged in historic flooding, and thousands of residents are still living in hotels and rental housing while they wait for insurance checks.

The South Carolina lottery game is called Holiday Cash Add-A-Play, and the rules are pretty simple: Get three Christmas tree symbols in any vertical, horizontal or diagonal line, and you win a prize.

Monday was Christmas, and some folks in the Palmetto State were feeling jolly.

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(SOUNDBITE OF THE SHERMAN BROTHERS' "IT'S A SMALL WORLD")

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A personal shopping service - it's the sort of thing that's been associated with the wealthy elite and luxury brands, certainly not a company like Walmart, at least, until now. Here's NPR's Alina Selyukh.

Contaminated food is taking too long to be removed from store shelves, according to a report issued by the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The report says the Food and Drug Administration "did not always have an efficient and effective food-recall process that ensured the safety of the nation's food supply."

Federal investigators reviewed 30 of 1,557 food recalls between 2012 and 2015.

In recent years, films about terrorism have become their own kind of genre. They're often geopolitical thrillers or espionage dramas, but a new film from Germany takes a different — and more intimate — approach.

In the Fade, Germany's entry to the Oscars, tells the story of a survivor picking up the pieces of her broken life. German filmmaker Fatih Akin says he made the film to spotlight something terrorism stories often overlook.

There are few regions in the world where you can make true "ice wine," a sweet, dessert-style vintage. You need warm summers to grow quality grapes. But the fruit must be picked and pressed when it's well below freezing. So you need frigid winters.

Most of the ice wine in the U.S. is imported from Canada or Germany. But a growing number of wineries in places like upstate New York, Michigan and Pennsylvania have started making their own, giving American consumers the option of buying domestically produced bottles.

The Trump administration says it will no longer criminally prosecute companies that accidentally kill migratory birds. The decision reverses a rule made in the last weeks of the Obama administration.

A legal memo from the Department of the Interior posted Friday declares that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act applies only to purposeful actions that kill migratory birds, and not to energy companies and other businesses that kill birds incidentally.

At The Indicator, we've been covering numbers in the news for literally weeks now. And we've hit some of the big stories — sexual harassment, jobs, taxes.

For today's show, we decided to do something a little different: Stacey and Cardiff looked back over 2017 and picked one indicator each — not necessarily the biggest or most important indicator, but one that stood out for one reason or another. These may not be the indicators of the year. But they're our indicators of the year.

Tesla founder Elon Musk says his company will build an electric pickup truck, feeding interest among the entrepreneur's fans and sparking speculation about when it might be produced. Tesla is still working to get several vehicles to market, including its Roadster and Semi.

Musk made the remark on Twitter, responding to a request for a pickup truck by saying, "I promise that we will make a pickup truck right after Model Y."

Episode 544: The M&M Anomaly

Dec 27, 2017

One day we noticed something strange: a pack of Milk Chocolate M&M's weighs 1.69 ounces, but a pack of Peanut Butter M&M's weigh a tiny tiny bit less, 1.63 ounces. The two packs are the same price, but you get slightly less of the Peanut Butter M&M's! 0.06 ounces less! It turns out there is a whole weird world living down there at the third decimal place. When you pull on that little thread, lots of things start to unravel.

After today's show, you will never pop a piece of candy in your mouth and think about it the same way again.

California regulators say Nestle may have to stop collecting a large portion of the water it bottles from the San Bernardino National Forest, because it lacks the legal permits for millions of gallons of water. Nestle sells the water under the Arrowhead label.

The State Water Board says that of the 62.6 million gallons of water that Nestle says it extracted from the San Bernardino spring each year on average from 1947 to 2015, the company may only have a right to some 8.5 million gallons. Those numbers come from a nearly two-year investigation.

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Standard caveats: I don't watch everything! I am behind on many things. That's just the way the world is. So if something you loved isn't here, it is not a rebuke.

A little-remarked-upon provision changing the way inflation is calculated is among the big changes contained in the tax overhaul signed by President Trump last week.

The new method, using the so-called "chained" consumer price index to determine when to adjust tax brackets and eligibility for deductions, is expected to push more Americans into higher tax brackets more quickly. In the past, the tax code used the traditional CPI measure issued by the Labor Department each month.

Since 2010, Library of Congress has been archiving every single public tweet: Yours, ours, the president's.

But today, the institution announced it will no longer archive every one of our status updates, opinion threads, and "big if true"s. As of Jan. 1, the library will only acquire tweets "on a very selective basis."

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Updated at 7:43 p.m. ET

Part of the Republican tax overhaul that President Trump signed into law last week has homeowners around the country doing something unusual: rushing to pay their 2018 property taxes well before the due date.

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Allie Hill got really serious about eating local food about eight years ago. She was cooking for three young children. "I was able to go to the farmers' market and find my produce — fruits and veggies," she says. "I was able to find meat, and even some dairy."

She simply couldn't find local version of other foods, though. These are foods that fill her pantry, like marinara sauce, apple sauce and everything else that comes to us preserved in sealed jars and cans.

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