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Iran has been dealing with economic sanctions for years, but the country could soon face measures tougher than anything it has encountered before: Legislation moving through the U.S. Congress would target the central bank of Iran, with the likely effect of severely limiting Iran's oil exports.

Such sanctions would almost certainly damage Iran's economy. The challenge would be to make sure other countries are not hurt as well, given the fragile state of the global economy and the tight global oil market.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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:

Can you say blip?

Apparently that's what last month's all-time low popularity numbers were for President Obama's health overhaul law, according to this month's tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Overall, the federal Affordable Care Act still remains slightly more unpopular (44 percent) than popular (37 percent), but that's down from last month's 51-34 split.

That headline is pretty spectacular, but the software researcher Trevor Eckhart found in his HTC Android phone does just that. Eckhart posted a video on YouTube on Monday showing how the software works:

The Justice Department says the man who shot and wounded President Ronald Reagan in 1981 still poses a threat to public safety.

Prosecutors are fighting an effort by John Hinckley to win more freedom from a mental hospital where he's been confined for decades.

During a hearing in Washington, the prosecutors said the government has been watching Hinckley.

Secret Service agents followed Hinckley last summer, when he said he was going to the movies during visits to his mother's home in Williamsburg, Va.

The first civil lawsuit brought by an alleged victim of Jerry Sandusky is from a man who says he was sexually abused as a young boy more than 100 times by the former Penn State assistant football coach.

Vita Lee has lived in her Northwest Atlanta home for 53 years. But after a second mortgage was taken out on her home, she faced foreclosure and police planned to evict her yesterday.

But as Atlanta's WSB-TV reports, once Fulton County sheriff's deputies and the movers looked at the 103-year-old Lee, they declined to move forward with the eviction.

WSBTV reports:

GPS monitors can track your every movement. Brain scans can now see lies forming in your brain. And advancements in genetic engineering may soon allow parents to engineer what their children will look and be like.

These new technologies are "challenging our Constitutional categories in really dramatic ways," says George Washington University law professor Jeffrey Rosen. "And what's so striking is that none of the existing amendments give clear answers to the most basic questions we're having today."

The United States is doing a pretty miserable job of treating people with HIV.

The latest numbers show that only 28 percent of the nation's 1.2 million HIV-infected people are getting effective treatment — that is, antiviral medications to keep the virus in check.

When you buy food that is labeled fair trade, you do so to support farmers who meet certain social and environmental standards. But some companies now disagree about whether a new take on fair trade can really be called "fair."

Former Penn State defensive coordinator Gerald "Jerry" Sandusky was found guilty of sexual abuse, convicted of 45 out of 48 counts on Friday, June 22. He was accused of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period in a scandal that has rocked the university's community. Several alleged victims have testified in the trial, which began on June 11.

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NPR's business news begins with a surprising move by central banks.

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INSKEEP: The Federal Reserve took action this morning, along with the major central banks in Europe and Japan, to ease credit for commercial banks. This is an effort to free up funding for European banks battered by the eurozone's sovereign debt crisis. NPR's John Ydstie reports.

Republican voters may have saved the best for last in terms of the latest obstacle they've placed between Mitt Romney and what was supposed to have been his inevitable march to the 2012 Republican presidential nomination — Newt Gingrich.

Essentially written off after his campaign seemingly imploded last summer and because of the manifest personal baggage he brings to a presidential campaign, Gingrich stuck around long enough to have his moment, to catch fire after Herman Cain flamed out.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Now, the Occupy protests have focused on economic issues, which are also motivating a massive strike in Britain today. It is being described as the largest national strike in a generation. It is estimated that as many as 2 million public sector workers may be taking part, the latest in a wave of protests over austerity measures.

NPR's Philip Reeves is covering that story in London. And Philip, where are you?

A Democratic state representative in Arizona thinks it's wrong for a Scottsdale gun club to be giving folks, including children, a chance to have their photos taken with Santa Claus while "holding pistols and military-style rifles," The Associated Press says.

State Rep. Steve Farley says "to involve machine guns and Santa in a celebration in the birth of Jesus Christ is the worst kind of heresy I can imagine."

Gingrich Has Record Of Clashing With The Right

Nov 30, 2011

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich surprised viewers of last week's Republican presidential debate with his take on illegal immigrants.

"If you've been here 25 years and you've got three kids and two grandkids, you've been paying taxes and obeying the law, you belong to a local church, I don't think we're going to separate you from your family, uproot you forcefully and kick you out," he said.

His GOP opponents accused Gingrich of endorsing amnesty, a policy many conservatives deem unacceptable.

Tuesday's attack on the British embassy in Tehran by Iranian "students" has led the U.K. to order the expulsion of all Iranian diplomats and the closing of Iran's embassy in London, the BBC reports.

Foreign Secretary William Hague told Parliament that "if any country makes it impossible for us to operate on their soil they cannot expect to have a functioning embassy here."

The nation's private employers boosted their payrolls by 206,000 jobs this month, according to the widely watched ADP National Employment Report.

That's well above the 130,000 increase that economists had been expecting the report would show, Reuters reports.

Hillary Rodham Clinton has arrived in Myanmar for the first visit in more than 50 years by a U.S. secretary of state to the country also known as Burma — an isolated nation known for its brutal military dictatorship, but where there have been recent moves that may signal its leaders are ready to pay greater respect to human rights and give people a say in how they're governed.

The Federal Reserve and five of the world's other major central banks just announced "coordinated actions ... to ease strains in financial markets" and make more credit available to consumers and businesses by pumping money into the global financial system.

In a statement released at 8 a.m. ET, the Fed says:

"A huge spectrum" of government workers in the United Kingdom are striking today to show their anger over austerity plans.

As NPR's Philip Reeves told Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep earlier, "teachers, lecturers, immigration staff, tax officials, ambulance crews, midwifes, road sweepers, weather forecasters, librarians and many more" are planning to take part in what's being called Britain's biggest general strike in a generation.

The Occupy L.A. campsite near Los Angeles' city hall is "in shambles" this morning after police moved in to clear out protesters who had been ordered to leave, the Los Angeles Times writes. Tents have been "uprooted and strewn all over," the newspaper says.

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Four years ago in Florida, Mitt Romney failed to persuade Republicans that he should be the party's nominee for president. He aims to make sure that doesn't happen this time. Romney made two quick campaign stops in that state yesterday. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports he made a special effort to appeal to Florida's Latino voters.

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