And that brings us to today's last word in business: melty money.
The Bank of Canada released new hundred dollar bills in 2011. The high-tech bank notes are made of polymers. They're sort of like plastic bills. The goal was to make them indestructible. They were put through a lot of tests. They were put through the wash, frozen, boiled. But some Canadians who have their hands on the money say the plastic bills melt when subjected to extreme heat.
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Farmers and ranchers across this country expected to start the year with a new farm bill in place. This is an important piece of legislation to many people. It sets agricultural policy for the next five years.
Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:50 am
On Friday, new unemployment numbers will be released for December. In last month's report, the unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent, a four-year low. For a preview of the labor market prospects for the new year, Steve Inskeep talks to Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, an international consulting firm.
A 32-year-old Bay Area prosecutor will be sworn in to Congress on Thursday after ousting a 40-year incumbent.
California Democrat Eric Swalwell — who will be the second-youngest member of Congress — capitalized on his opponent's gaffes and used old-fashioned door-knocking and high-tech mobile phone outreach to win votes.
His first challenge in Washington might be getting people to pronounce his name correctly. Even senior members of California's congressional delegation have gotten it wrong, saying "Stallwell" instead of "Swalwell."
The day after their neighborhood was flooded, the Hardys returned to their house to start bagging up the garbage. The contents of the fridge were spread all over the kitchen floor and even outside. There were sausages in the street. The kitchen floor was a mess of muddy puddles.
Credit Courtesy of Heather Hardy
The Hardy sisters (from left) Kaitlyn and Heather in their parents' Gerritsen Beach house.
Credit Marianne McCune for NPR
After Sandy, the Hardys' goal was to get their house together enough to have a normal Christmas. The ornaments survived the storm. Shown here, from left, are Linda Hardy, her granddaughter Annie and her daughter Heather.
Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 8:26 am
The Hardy family goes back generations in a tiny neighborhood called Gerritsen Beach at the southern end of Brooklyn. For them, Superstorm Sandy has created something like an extended family reunion.
Their 2 1/2 bedroom house is currently just barely livable. They removed a fallen tree, replaced drywall, fixed the electricity and heat, and threw down rugs to keep the dust and mold from overwhelming them until they do the work the house really needs.
The Hardy family is more closely knit than a lot of people could stand.