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Minnesota gamblers no longer have to rip paper pull-tabs to see if they've won cash: As of this week, they can use iPads to play, and play again, at the click of a button. The venture was sparked by the need to help pay for a new Minnesota Vikings football stadium, which will cost an estimated $975 million.

A Close Look At Your Bills' 'Fine Print'

Sep 20, 2012

Americans are paying high prices for poor quality Internet speeds — speeds that are now slower than in other countries, according to author David Cay Johnston. He says the U.S. ranks 29th in speed worldwide.

Every election season, political signs sprout like dandelions from lawns across America. They also pop up at more than a few businesses. For some, expressing political preferences is a calculated move to attract customers. But it can just as easily turn clients away.

Jeff Reiter, who owns the Blue Plate Lunch Counter & Soda Fountain in Portland, Ore., proudly displays a 2008 Obama campaign sign inside his restaurant and says he has "never tried to hide" his support for the president.

For more, see this story from NPR's Marilyn Geewax on how Congress might pass some stopgap measures to blunt the effect of the fiscal cliff.

A bunch of federal tax increases and spending cuts are scheduled to kick in around Jan. 1, 2013. This is what people are talking about when they talk about the "fiscal cliff."

Members of Congress are about to flee Capitol Hill, and they'll be gone until Nov. 13, one week after Election Day.

As they shift to full-time campaigning, lawmakers are leaving behind many questions about the "fiscal cliff," a massive cluster of automatic spending cuts and tax-break expirations that come together around year's end.

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Correction To Taxpayer Stories

Sep 20, 2012

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We also have a correction for you this morning. Two reports in our air in recent days listed Americans who do not pay income taxes, and those lists included mentions of active duty-military service members. Those statements were too broad.

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Google To Become Display Ad Leader

Sep 20, 2012

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NPR's business news begins with good news for Google.

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'Forbes' List: Richest People In America

Sep 20, 2012

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Our last word in business today is: the rich getting richer.

Forbes magazine just came out with its yearly list of the 400 richest Americans. Their combined net worth increased 13 percent since last year.

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Samsung Keeps Up Patent Fight Against Apple

Sep 20, 2012

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Nearly 13 million Americans have gotten, or will soon be getting, rebates from their health insurance companies. This is because of a provision in the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) that's supposed to force insurance companies to run better.

But while the idea of getting a check from your health insurance company may sound great, some economists worry this rule could actually make health insurance more expensive.

The big names on the Internet are forming a new lobbying group they hope will influence lawmakers when it comes to privacy and piracy.

The Washington Post reports that Google, Amazon, eBay, Facebook and 10 other Web companies formed the Internet Association to counter any efforts to issue new rules for their industry.

The Post adds:

Texas state Rep. Wayne Christian was born two blocks from where he now lives in what is called Deep East Texas.

"We were not wealthy people, [we were] common laborers, but that was typical in rural East Texas at that time," he says.

When he was growing up, Christian says, by first or second grade, an East Texas boy would accompany his father or grandfather on a hunting trip. But before a boy got a gun, he had to learn how to act — how to address the other men respectfully, to watch how it worked.

Chicago Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno, who led the opposition in his city to the opening of a Chick-fil-A restaurant there because of company President Dan Cathy's outspoken stand against same-sex marriage, now says he won't stand in the fast-food chain's way.

It's not quite as iconic as falling leaves, crisp air, and football, but the McDonald's McRib is usually something folks look forward to enjoying in the autumn months. Not happening this year, according to a company memo obtained by Advertising Age.

(This post was updated at 10:05 a.m. ET.)

In the morning's second sign of strength in the housing sector, the National Association of Realtors reports that sales of existing homes rose 7.8 percent in August from July and were 9.3 percent above the pace of August 2011.

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NPR's business news starts with an adjustment to the oil supply.

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MOMA To Display Munch's 'The Scream'

Sep 19, 2012

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And our last word in business today is - well, a question. What does $120 million look like when it's hung on a wall?

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Far more than half of Americans pay some form of federal, state and local taxes. But one thing all parties seem to agree on, is that the proportion of people not paying federal income taxes has grown larger in recent years.

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Congress is set to make a brief appearance in Washington this week, then recess until after Election Day. That means a farm bill is likely to be left undone, just one of the many items on lawmakers' "to-do" lists that won't happen anytime soon.

In Chicago, parents were fuming over a weeklong strike by teachers. Around the rest of the country, in the face of growing evidence that many U.S. students are falling behind, administrators have tried to devise different ways to motivate teachers.

Careful planning can transform the shape and life of a city. But sometimes, a city's features develop spontaneously — like the immigrant enclaves that grow around certain jobs and trades in urban centers like New York.

Occupational cliches have been a fact of life in the Big Apple for generations. Historically, New Yorkers thought of Jewish tailors, Italian greengrocers or Irish policemen, says Philip Kasinitz, a sociologist with the City University of New York.

I'm a Pepper, You're a Pepper, but clearly, some people are not Peppers.

Dr Pepper's new Facebook ad campaign featuring an ape moving from all-fours, to seeing a soda on a rock, to an upright man, enjoying a Pepper, is apparently red meat to some creationists who are loudly expressing outrage at the idea that humans evolved from soda-discovering apes.

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Can Anyone Compete With Apple?

Sep 18, 2012

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Big Data And Its Big Problems

Sep 18, 2012

Imagine every thousandth blood cell in your body has a tiny radio transmitter in it. Imagine that 10 times a second that transmitter sends each cell's location to a computer storing the data. Along with position, it also sends the concentration of a list of 10 chemicals encountered at receptors distributed at 10 sites over the surface of each cell. Now imagine following all those blood cells for an hour. That makes a billion blood cells being sampled 10 times a second for 3,600 seconds.

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NPR's business news starts with a delay in Arctic drilling.

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And today's last word in business is: red, white or diet - wine, that is.

Weight Watchers has announced a new line of reduced-alcohol wines soon to be available in the U.K., the wines billed in the trend of popular diet alcoholic drinks in the United States.

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