NPR's business news starts with good news for automakers.
U.S. auto sales last month were the best they've been in four and a half years. That's according to numbers compiled by the research firm Auto Data. Experts give credit the boost in sales to cheap financing for car loans and growing consumer confidence. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
A paradox of American health care is that hospitals are sometimes rewarded for doing things badly.
Patients who are discharged, for example, shouldn't have to come right back because they got worse after getting home. But if they do come back, hospitals benefit because they can fill an empty bed and bill for more care.
The federal government says, in fact, that Medicare alone pays $17.4 billion a year for unnecessary return visits.
California Gov. Jerry Brown (front left) rides in a driverless car to a bill signing at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., on Sept. 25.
Credit Eric Risberg / AP
California Gov. Jerry Brown signs a bill for driverless cars as state Sen. Alex Padilla (left) and Google co-founder Sergey Brin look on. The legislation opens the way for driverless cars in the state.
The 007 theme is one of the most famous themes in movie history. The infamous guitar riff that gives the theme its secret agent feel was performed by Vic Flick, who spoke to Morning Edition about the day he played it, 50 years ago.
In 1962, Flick was a 25-year-old studio guitarist who was asked to help give the James Bond theme more of a punch. Composer Monty Norman, who wrote the theme, was scrambling to complete the score for the first Bond movie, Dr. No. He'd scratched out a rough draft of the theme, but Flick says it fell a little flat.
Beer is processed at the New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colo. The brewery has embraced sustainability, making efforts to produce some of its own energy.
Credit Becky Lettenberger / NPR
Jenn Vervier, the New Belgium Brewing Co.'s director of sustainability, says the brewery's energy-saving efforts include making ice at night, when it's colder.
Credit Becky Lettenberger / NPR
Wade Troxell is an associate professor of engineering at Colorado State University and a City Council member in Fort Collins, Colo. He's passionate about the technology and the policy behind renewable energy.
The presidential debates are expected to cover a wide range of topics, from the economy to foreign policy to health care. Wednesday night's debate will focus on domestic policy — and one topic that's likely to come up is energy.
It's a subject that is certainly on the minds of voters in Larimer County, Colo. Last week, in a rural area outside Fort Collins, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan held a campaign event in a warehouse at Walker Mowers, a family-owned manufacturer of lawn mowers and tractors.
In western Michigan, there aren't enough apples to pick because bad weather decimated 85 to 90 percent of the crop. But Washington state has the opposite problem — there's an abundance of apples, but not enough pickers.
This should be the happiest, busiest time of year in Washington apple orchards. But now — just as the peak of apple harvest is coming on — Broetje Orchards manager Roger Bairstow is wincing.
So, we found out that the National Football League is too big to fail. But not so big that it couldn't make a complete fool of itself and show to the world that its owners are stingy, greedy nincompoops.
Not so big that it couldn't make its commissioner, Roger Goodell, stand out in front, looking lost and small, so that their erstwhile tough-guy commander suddenly became an errand boy, losing respect and dignity that will be hard to regain the next time he needs it.
Bernard Goutier, 25, has served time in prison twice. He's now learning construction skills with Emerge Connecticut, which offers paid on-the-job training, literacy classes and support groups to ex-offenders.
Credit Uma Ramiah for NPR
This map shows the cost of incarcerating all residents sent to prison in 2009 from each block in Brooklyn. Dark red blocks represent areas where the state will spend more than $1 million to incarcerate people sent to prison that year.
Credit Courtesy of Justice Mapping Center
The cost of incarcerating residents from individual blocks in and around Brownsville. In response to the concentration of people on probation in Brownsville, the New York City Department of Probation used mapping to locate and launch the Neighborhood Opportunity Network, which connects probation clients with services, jobs and civic participation opportunities.
Credit Courtesy of the Justice Mapping Center
The Brownsville NeON probation office partnered with the public arts group Groundswell to establish a community garden in Brownsville. Local probationers designed and created the garden and mural. Here, the commissioner of the New York City Department of Probation, Vincent Schiraldi (second from left), meets with local advocates involved in the project.
Credit Courtesy of Groundswell
The Brownsville section of New York's Brooklyn borough has long been considered one of the city's most dangerous neighborhoods. The Brooklyn-based Justice Mapping Center has been tracking the cost of incarcerating residents of neighborhoods like Brownsville, block by block, for almost 15 years.
Credit Shannon Stapleton / Reuters/Landov
Tywain Harris says Emerge Connecticut has provided him a place to go each day as he transitions from prison back into the New Haven community.