Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 12:25 pm
This post was updated at 12:00 p.m. ET.
A three-month extension of federal unemployment benefits for 1.3 million jobless Americans won a key procedural vote in the Senate on Tuesday.
The 60-37 vote indicates there's enough Republican support to move the Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which expired on Dec. 28, forward to a full vote. As The Associated Press writes, the measure "is the leading edge of a Democratic program that also includes raising the minimum wage and closing tax loopholes on the wealthy and corporations."
GREENE: Microsoft announced sales of its new Xbox One topped three million units by the end of 2013. In a blog post, the company called it the most epic launch of Xbox, by all measures.
The third-generation console was available a week before Thanksgiving. It's been competing with Sony's new baby, Playstation 4, which also launched in November. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
I'm David Greene.
We have been hearing for, well, what feels like forever about skyrocketing health care costs. It's at the center of debates in Washington and state capitals. And many people feel the impact on their wallets and pocketbooks. But here's this reality: Spending on health care, while still going up, appears to be rising more slowly. 2012 was the fourth straight year of modest growth.
Every year thousands of companies from all over the world flock to Las Vegas in the first week in January to show off the products they hope to sell in the coming year. What began as a trade show featuring the latest high-fidelity stereos 40 years ago has become an annual electronics circus.
Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 6:13 pm
The Senate has voted to approve the nomination of Janet Yellen as the next leader of the U.S. Federal Reserve. With Monday's vote, Yellen, 67, will become the first woman to serve as America's banking chief, heading an institution that was established in 1913.
The "Death Master File." It sounds like a ledger the Grim Reaper might keep, but in reality, it's a computerized list containing some 86 million names and other data kept by the Social Security Administration.
An obscure provision tucked into the budget deal that Congress approved last month would limit access to the list — and that has everyone from genealogists to bankers concerned.
Health care spending grew at a record slow pace for the fourth straight year in 2012, according to a new government report. But the federal officials who compiled the report disagree with their bosses in the Obama administration about why.
The annual report from the actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, published in the journal Health Affairs, found total U.S. health spending totaled $2.8 trillion in 2012, or $8,915 per person.