Economy & Business

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What some Central Texans think about taxes

Dec 6, 2017

As the Republican tax bill makes its way through reconciliation in the House and Senate, people are talking about what it might mean for them.

That's true in Horseshoe Bay, a community mostly of retirees on Lake LBJ in Central Texas. It’s right on the edge of Burnet and Llano counties, which both voted 75 percent in favor of President Donald Trump.

What if someone gave you bitcoin for your wedding?

Dec 6, 2017

Bitcoin has gained $1,000 in value over the last 24 hours. The current exchange rate as of today's date is somewhere around $13,000 to one bitcoin. The frenzy around the cryptocurrency has many wondering if there is a bitcoin bubble. But what if someone had given you a bitcoin several years ago? Would you have cashed out early or ridden the wave?

High-ranking U.S.-based Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt has been sentenced to seven years in prison and ordered to pay a $400,000 fine for his part in a decade-long diesel-emissions cheating scandal.

Rumors of a deal between Walt Disney and 21st Century Fox are getting louder. Multiple sources are reporting that the two entertainment giants are in talks and could strike a $60 billion deal as early as next week. It looks as if Disney would snatch up a good deal of Fox’s empire, including its movie and TV studios. Meanwhile, Fox would keep its news, sports and broadcast network. What would a deal like this mean for Disney?

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What happens when a town loses its only grocery store?

Dec 6, 2017

The former grocery store in the village of Carrollton, Ohio, looks like your typical creepy abandoned building. It’s dark inside. It’s boarded up with moldy wood.

Last January, residents of Carrollton — population 3,135 — showed up to find the doors locked and a sign attached that read, simply, “store closed.” It was the only dedicated grocery store in a county of nearly 28,000 people.

Airlines including American, Delta and Alaska have announced restrictions on so-called smart luggage because the lithium-ion batteries found in many of these suitcases pose a fire risk.

These kinds of bags have proliferated in recent years, including motorized suitcases you can ride and one pitched as an autonomous "robot companion" that follows you around.

There are major differences between the Senate and House versions of the GOP tax plan. And while corporate America writ large appears to be the big winner in both versions, not all corporations are treated equally. Here’s a look at which industries come out on top and which do not.

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Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

This year, the price of the digital currency bitcoin has gone up more than 1,200 percent. A single bitcoin is now worth more than $13,000.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

NPR's Uri Berliner is here with us now to talk about it. Hey, Uri.

When Republicans launched their tax push this fall, they said, here's the plan: We are going to lower taxes for people and companies. And part of the way we're going to pay for that is by getting rid of loopholes and special deductions and lots of little perks hiding in the tax code.

Today on the show: What happened to that plan, and what it says about the way our tax code works.

My Economy tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

Today’s installment is from James Fox-Smith, owner and publisher of Country Roads Magazine:

Two months ago raging wildfires in Northern California destroyed thousands of homes and businesses, intensifying an already chronic homelessness problem in the city of Santa Rosa.

The GOP tax plan is inching closer to final passage, with lawmakers preparing to hammer out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. And there are some significant differences on everything from personal tax brackets to deductions for mortgages and children to the requirement for individuals to have health insurance.

Walk into Claire’s with $20, and you’ll step out with sterling silver hoops, rhinestone studs, and maybe even a fashionable scarf. The retailer’s claim to fame has been cheap and cute accessories for its customers, mostly tweens and twenty somethings meandering through malls. Its primary model has been simple: to draw upon the foot traffic from popular mall department stores like Macy’s, Sears, and J.C. Penney.

(Markets Edition) While tech stocks have been kind of tepid this week, it's been a while since the markets have seen any serious downward jump. Susan Schmidt, senior vice president and portfolio manager at Westwood Holdings, explains whether this is cause to worry. Afterwards, we'll look at how Britain's Brexit plans have hit a major roadblock. While Britain's prime minister wanted to figure out a future trade relationship with the EU, there's disagreement over what happens to the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

A massive corporate tax cut is at the center of the Republican tax overhaul, in both the House and the Senate bills.

But as lawmakers race to iron out the differences between the two bills, they will have to deal with a wrinkle that could greatly weaken many of the benefits for corporations: the corporate alternative minimum tax. The House bill would scrap it, and the Senate bill would keep it around.

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