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Energy
4:17 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

Big Solar Project Moves Forward Without Uncle Sam

SolarCity has received financing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch to install solar electricity systems on houses on military bases, like one here at Soaring Heights Communities at Davis Monthan Air Force Base outside Tucson, Ariz.
Lend Lease

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 3:05 am

We've heard a lot about Solyndra, a solar panel maker that went bankrupt despite lots of federal subsidies. But on Wednesday, a solar installation company and one of the country's biggest banks announced a billion-dollar project to put solar systems on the roofs of military housing. And they're doing it without the kind of federal help Solyndra got.

When SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive came up with a plan to put solar on the rooftops of military housing around the country, he was sure he'd need federal backing to get loans for such a big project.

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Energy
4:17 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

A Debate Over Who Regulates Gas 'Fracking' in Pa.

A drilling rig looms behind a barn in Tioga County, Pennsylvania.
Scott Detrow StateImpact Pennsylvania

A new Pennsylvania law could curb municipalities' ability to zone and regulate hydraulic fracturing — or "fracking." And that raises questions about how much say a local government should have over what goes on within its borders.

State lawmakers are grappling with how to update Commonwealth's decades-old Oil and Gas Act to catch up with a natural gas drilling boom.

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The Two-Way
4:13 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

Survey: Americans Will Forfeit $34 Billion Worth Of Vacation Days In 2011

A traditional arabic Dhow sails in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Chris Jackson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 4:28 pm

For the past few years, the travel site Expedia has conducted a survey about the world's vacation habits and like in years past, this year's survey found that the United States is one of the countries that gives its workers fewer vacation days and one of the countries in which workers leave the most number of vacation days unused.

CNN Money reports:

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Opinion
4:01 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

A Father's Promise, Reinvented And Renewed

istockphoto.com

Ken Harbaugh is a former Navy pilot and an NPR commentator.

When I was five, my father made a promise he never intended to keep. He had returned from a long trip, with presents. I got a fossilized shark tooth, and spent the next month asking about fossils.

At some point, my father made the mistake of describing a massive fossil bed somewhere in Germany. I begged him to take me. There were good reasons that could never happen. Dad knew nothing about fossils; Germany was far away; I was five. But I would not be deterred.

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Economy
3:41 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

Stocks Soar, But How Strong Is The Economy?

The U.S. economy is experiencing its strongest across-the-board growth of the year, as private companies hire more people, some manufacturers expand and the stock market surges on a plan to ease Europe's financial crisis. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 490 points Wednesday, an increase of more than 4 percent.

But analysts say the economy isn't growing robustly enough to lower unemployment, stem government layoffs or revive a housing market that remains extremely weak.

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It's All Politics
2:40 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

In South Carolina, A Resurgent Gingrich Attracts Jubilant Crowds

House Speaker Newt Gingrich talks with Rep. John Kasich of Ohio while President Bill Clinton signs the Balanced Budget Agreement on the South Lawn of the White House in 1997.
PAUL J. RICHARDS AFP/Getty Images

Newt Gingrich traveled across South Carolina this week appearing at a number of town-hall-style meetings where he talked to voters and answered questions — mostly the same questions at every stop. He talked about the improving the economy, creating a new immigration policy, repealing President Obama's health care reform plan and transforming Washington.

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The Two-Way
2:38 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

80-Year-Old Says He Accidentally Left His Life Savings In Donated Suit

A Goodwill store.
screenshot WQAD

This is a pretty heartbreaking story: An 80-year-old man donated a suit to a Goodwill store in western Illinois. The problem is that he didn't realize until it was too late that his $13,000 life savings were in the suit's pocket.

The AP reports:

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

Medal Of Honor Winner Sues Defense Contractor

Guy Raz speaks with Julian Barnes, the Wall Street Journal's Pentagon reporter, about Dakota Meyer, a Marine who was recently awarded the Medal of Honor. Meyer is suing a defense contractor that he worked with, alleging they blocked him from another job in the defense industry as retaliation for his objections to selling high-tech instruments to the Pakistani military.

NPR Story
2:00 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

Obama Pushes Payroll Tax Cut in Scranton, Pa.

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 5:49 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Guy Raz.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

President Obama took his call for payroll tax relief to Scranton, Pennsylvania today. It was his ninth visit to the state this year, underscoring the role that Pennsylvania will play in the 2012 election. The president told a crowd at Scranton High School that extending the payroll tax cut should trump partisan politics.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Send your senators a message. Tell them - don't be a Grinch.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

Pa. Lawmakers Grapple With Governing 'Fracking'

Pennsylvania lawmakers are about to restrict local governments' ability to zone and regulate hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Advocates of the new bill say it will help grow the state's natural gas drilling industry, but many local officials say they should have control over what happens within their own borders. StateImpact Pennsylvania's Scott Detrow reports.

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