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Around the Nation
4:27 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Florida Pitches New Facilities To Clinch Spring Training

Baseball fans watch an exhibition spring training game between the Washington Nationals and the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Spring training contributes $35 million to the local economy.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 6:00 pm

For baseball fans, spring training is a time for renewed hopes and a reminder that winter is almost over. But for the major league teams and Arizona and Florida communities, spring training is big business. In Florida, 1.5 million fans attend spring training games with an estimated $750 million annual economic impact, and the state is working to keep the teams from fleeing.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
12:29 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

You Be The Judge: Is The Housing Market Really Improving?

A home for sale in Glenview, Ill. Existing-home sales hit the highest level in more than 3 years in February. But not everyone is convinced that the housing sector's momentum has staying power.
Nam Y. Huh AP

This week, optimists had no trouble finding fresh evidence to suggest that the housing market is recovering.

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Europe's Central Bank Issues Cyprus Ultimatum

People line up at an ATM in Nicosia to withdraw cash on Thursday.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 2:42 pm

The clock is ticking on Cyprus' fiscal cliff.

The European Central Bank has given the Mediterranean country just four days to come up with its own bailout plan, or a eurozone lifeline to its struggling banks will be severed.

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Applications For Unemployment Benefits Tick Up; Monthly Average At 5-Year Low

There were 336,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, up 2,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

The big news here is that the 4-week moving average was 339,750, a drop from of 7,5000 from last week and the lowest level in 5 years.

Bloomberg reports:

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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Book News: Is Amazon Building A CIA Cloud?

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveils new Kindle reading devices at a press conference in 2012.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 1:44 pm

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Business
5:30 am
Thu March 21, 2013

In China, Treasury's Lew Discusses Cybersecurity, Yuan

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 9:23 am

Steve Inskeep talks to Richard McGregor of the Financial Times about Treasury Secretary Jack Lew's trip to China. He bought a long list of economic agenda items to his meetings with top officials, ranging from cyberwarfare to China's currency controls.

Politics
5:10 am
Thu March 21, 2013

House, Senate Budget Plans Offer Different Future

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., holds a copy of his budget plan during a news conference last week. On Thursday, the Republican-controlled House narrowly passed the measure. The Senate is not expected to follow suit.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 1:36 pm

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan's House GOP budget balances in a decade and re-shapes Medicare. That is, it would if the measure passed by the House on Thursday ever became law — which it won't.

Washington Sen. Patty Murray's Democratic budget raises almost $1 trillion in taxes by closing loopholes and adds $100 billion in new spending on infrastructure. But it won't become a reality, either.

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Planet Money
3:03 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Why Cyprus Matters

People wait in line to use the ATM at a bank in the Cypriot capital Nicosia.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 10:25 am

Banks on Cyprus remain closed today. The Cypriot Parliament has rejected the terms of a bailout from the European Union. The finance minister is in Moscow looking for financial help from the Russians.

Cyprus has about as many residents as the Bronx. When you add up all the country's banks, they don't even match the 30th largest bank in the U.S. But people all over the world have good reason to be freaked out over what's happened there this week.

The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Ahead Of Federal Reserve Statement, Stocks Are Up

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 2:27 pm

Update at 2:03 p.m. ET. Rates Unchanged:

Following a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve said in a policy statement today that it is continuing with its "highly accommodative stance of monetary policy."

That means that it will stay the course with its aggressive stimulus, buying $85 billion of bonds a month.

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Monkey See
11:48 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Men Are From Mars, Women ... Love Cup Holders?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 12:37 pm

When you read the words of Clotaire Rapaille, a "French-born psychiatrist-turned-marketer" quoted in yesterday's interesting Slate article about the marketing of cars to women, it's hard not to read them in a voice that's sultry and French and not entirely serious, as if he's some kind of sales expert crossed with Pepe Le Pew (despite the fact that this doubtless has no basis in reality).

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