Economy
5:18 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

For The Unemployed, Ideas To Help Bridge The Gap To Work

Job seekers line up to talk to recruiters during a job fair held in Atlanta in May.
John Amis AP

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 7:01 pm

When members of Congress return to work next week, at the top of the "to-do" list is whether to renew emergency unemployment benefits. An extension of the benefits expired at the end of 2013, which means 1.3 million out-of-work Americans are no longer getting unemployment checks.

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Annual Winter Tradition
4:51 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Ice Castle Rises Again After Two-Year Hiatus

Eagle River's 25-foot ice castle is complete.
Credit Eagle River Fire Department

Eagle River’s legendary ice castle has been built once again by the area fire department.  

The design is new every year, but the method isn’t:  Eagle River deputy fire chief Jim Bonson says the ice harvesting saws and other tools date back more than 80 years.   

 “We’ve been doing it since 1933 as a community and it just has become a tradition.  When we don’t have it, like the last two years due to weather conditions, people get excited when all of a sudden it appears.”

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The Two-Way
4:33 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Newspapers: 'Whistle-Blower' Snowden Deserves Clemency

An advertisement thanking NSA leaker Edward Snowden appears on the side of a Metrobus in downtown Washington, D.C., in November.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA /Landov
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It's All Politics
4:32 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Defying GOP Leaders, Rep. Trey Radel Won't Resign After Rehab

U.S. Rep. Henry "Trey" Radel, R-Fla., at a Capitol news conference on July 9.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 9:32 am

It was November when Republican Trey Radel, a first-term congressman from Fort Myers, Fla., was charged with cocaine possession — a misdemeanor in Washington, D.C. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year's probation.

A few days before Christmas, fresh from a month in rehab, Radel held a news conference with his wife by his side. He apologized and said that alcohol, not cocaine, is his main problem, and that's what he was treated for.

But the main point of his news conference was to say that he would not step down from Congress.

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The Two-Way
4:28 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Using Sound To Levitate Objects And Move Them Midair

An image shows particles levitating in space between four sets of speakers. A Japanese team says they have used the system to manipulate items in mid-air.
Yoichi Ochiai

Researchers in Tokyo have put a new twist on the use of sound to suspend objects in air. They've used ultrasonic standing waves to trap pieces of wood, metal, and water – and even move them around.

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Asia
4:27 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Lure Of China's Gray Economy Reaches Rich And Poor

Chinese 100 yuan bank notes being counted at a bank in Huaibei, in eastern China's Anhui province, in 2013. Undeclared income — sometimes the proceeds of corruption, often just of unclear provenance — is estimated to make up a staggering 12 percent of China's GDP.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 7:27 pm

The income gap is growing dramatically in China and the rich are getting exponentially richer — the richest 10 percent of China's population are more than three times wealthier than the official figures.

Much of that undeclared wealth is what Chinese people call "gray income," including proceeds from corruption and other ethically "gray" areas of the economy.

Living on the margins of the "gray economy" are people like migrant laborer Wang Haichuan. He rents a room far below street level in a dark, former air-raid shelter inhabited by other migrants.

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Charges unknown at this point
3:29 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Brief Skirmish Led To Death Says Police Chief

Credit WXPR

A brief skirmish in a downtown Rhinelander bar led to the death of a man early New Year's day, another man being injured with a third man involved.

Police Chief Michael Steffes says the person who died at Sackett's Bar on Brown Street was 48 year old James R. Tanner. The injured man was 62 year old John Klucarich. Both are from Rhinelander.

Steffes says Tanner and Klucarich were having a conversation when witnesses say Tanner threw a punch...

 

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Space
3:23 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

On Planet GJ1214 B, Expect Exotic Cloud Cover

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 5:18 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In recent years, scientists have discovered around a thousand planets orbiting other distant stars, including some called super-Earths. These planets are bigger than our rocky hole but smaller than any of our solar system's gas giants. Not much is known about these mysterious worlds.

NPR is Nell Greenfieldboyce reports on new evidence that one super-Earth is shrouded in clouds.

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Around the Nation
3:23 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Midwest, Northeast Brace For First Major Snow Storm In 2014

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 5:18 pm

The first major snow storm of the new year is expected to hit 22 states Thursday and Friday. About 100 million people are expected to be affected.

Economy
3:23 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

The Widening Wealth Gap: Bringing Income Inequality Into Focus

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 5:18 pm

The widening gap between the rich and poor in the U.S. has become a central touch point for economists, pundits and politicians across the U.S. New York City's newly sworn-in mayor, Bill deBlasio, was elected after campaigning against a city divided between the haves and have-nots. President Obama has called tackling inequality the defining challenge of our time, saying that growing inequality and a lack of upward mobility jeopardizes the American dream. But what, exactly, is income inequality?

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