Now just as the U.S. economy seems to be picking up, China's is not. The Chinese government has downgraded its economic growth target to the slowest rate in eight years. China's premier says the country needs to boost consumer demand, and address what he calls unsustainable development.
Lawyers for BP, and thousands of people affected by the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill, had been expected, for a long time, to be in a New Orleans courtroom this morning for a civil trial. Instead, they're reviewing a deal to settle the case.
BP estimates it would pay nearly $8 billion in the settlement. In exchange, the company would avoid revisiting, in a courtroom, what led up to the drilling rig explosion that killed 11 men and poured massive amounts of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
And today's last word in business is a blast from the past: Datsun, a name that you may remember if you're of a certain age. The cut-priced Japanese cars first appeared in the United States in 1958, when Elvis topped the charts. Datsun was produced by Nissan, which decided to phase out the brand in the 1980s. Now a Japanese newspaper says Nissan may bring it back.
Sadly, American Datsun enthusiasts may have to travel far to find one. Nissan's plans to sell low-priced cars only in emerging markets like India and Russia.
NPR's business news starts with more bad news for News Corp.
An FBI investigation of Rupert Murdoch's media company is now looking to Russia. A billboard company, News Outdoor Russia, owned until last year by News Corp, is being scrutinized over possibly bribing public officials. The FBI began looking into News Corps' operations after its British newspapers were embroiled in a bribery and phone hacking scandal.
Ryan Shank-Rowe, 9, takes part in a therapeutic riding program at Little Full Cry Farm in Clifton, Va., last month.
Credit Melissa Forsyth / NPR
Thelma Balmaceda, age, 4, pets Viola, the resident canine at the Children's Inn on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. Families stay at the inn when their children are undergoing experimental therapies at NIH.
Credit Maggie Starbard / NPR
Cathy Coleman is a speech pathologist for the Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program. She uses a horse named Happy in her therapy sessions with 9-year-old Ryan Shank-Rowe, who has autism.
Those of us who own pets know they make us happy. But a growing body of scientific research is showing that our pets can also make us healthy, or healthier.
That helps explain the increasing use of animals — dogs and cats mostly, but also birds, fish and even horses — in settings ranging from hospitals and nursing homes to schools, jails and mental institutions.
A welder at Specialty Fab in North Lima, Ohio, works March 1 on a piece of a compressor skid frame that is bound for the Ohio Shale project. Manufacturing companies such as Specialty Fab could receive tax breaks if a proposal from the Obama administration goes through.
Credit Anne Shybunko / Courtsey of GSE Dynamics
An employee at GSE Dynamics, a small manufacturing company that makes parts for the Navy and Air Force.
The White House says restoring the U.S. manufacturing sector is an essential part of getting the economy back on track.
GOP candidate Rick Santorum wants to see tax breaks for manufacturing companies, and the Obama administration proposed something similar last week. But economists say tax breaks may not be the best way to help manufacturers right now.
Over the years, the steady loss of good factory jobs is a big reason why wages have stagnated for people who never went to college, says Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
This campaign season, inconsistency seems to be, well, almost everywhere. Each flip-flopping politician revels in pointing out the flip-flopping ways of his opponents.
Why are politicians and those of us who vote for them so obsessed with inconsistency? We take that question on from three angles: how our brains are wired; the psychology of judging what's consistent; and how consistency plays out in leadership styles.
Pedestrians walk along a section of Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven, Queens, New York. The neighborhood is part of an area targeted for congressional redistricting, but the process is still dragging on as the state's primary draws near.
By now, most states around the country have redrawn their political boundaries based on the 2010 census — and then there's New York.
For voters in the Forest Hills section of Queens, it has been rough. A year ago, they were represented by Democrat Anthony Weiner, who tweeted his way to infamy. Now, they're represented by Republican Bob Turner, who won a special election after Weiner resigned.
Right now, nobody even knows what district they're in.
Ohio is one of 10 states holding contests to pick their party's presidential nominee on Super Tuesday, but it has been the main focus of attention for GOP candidates because it will be a major battleground state in the general election this November.
The conventional wisdom has been that whoever takes Ohio in the general election goes on to win the White House, which gives Tuesday's contest a lot of potential momentum for the eventual winner.
Two mysterious men pull up to the courthouse and head to the public records office. They're strangers, and they ask a lot of strange questions like, "I'd like to look at Mayor John Doe's property deeds." Or, "I want to see Congressman Smith's voting records."
Adele Jedynak makes monkey sounds to a group of kids who are steps away from playing Sock Monkey bowling and plush-primate parachuting. It's all part of the Sock Monkey Madness Festival, the eighth annual festival dedicated to the sock monkey in Rockford, Ill.
Every so often, pieces of heaven crash into Earth.
They can come from our own solar system, or millions of light years away. Few of us are lucky enough to get our hands on one of these space rocks. But for meteorite hunters and dealers such as Ruben Garcia, touching a piece of outer space is a daily routine.
The Best Hunting Grounds
One of Garcia's favorite spots to go meteorite hunting is an enormous dry lake bed in southern Arizona.
The vast majority of the 175 indigenous languages still spoken in the United States are on the verge of extinction.
Linguist Elizabeth Little spent two years driving all over the country looking for the few remaining pockets where those languages are still spoken — from the scores of Native American tongues, to the Creole of Louisiana. The resulting book is Trip of the Tongue: Cross-Country Travels in Search of America's Lost Languages.
There's a Mystery Machine sitting outside Andrew Borakove's nondescript warehouse on a quiet street in Lincoln, Neb.
"I can never be depressed driving around town, because there's always some 4-year-old waving to me manically," Borakove says.
The mystery about the Scooby Doo replica van starts to fade, however, once you notice the bumper stickers on the back. Black background, white font, like a "Got Milk?" ad: "Happiness Is a Warm Gong." "Gongs, Not Bongs." "My Child Is an Honor Gong Player."
Spanish politicians spent $220 million on the sparkling new Castellon airport on Spain's Mediterranean coast — $40 million alone was spent on TV ads and other marketing. They also paid $600,000 for ferrets and falcons to kill birds that endanger aircraft.
Yet no plane has yet taken off. Construction, which began in 2004, went over budget, partly to fund a 75-foot statue of a local politician out front.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney received a key endorsement Sunday morning when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia endorsed Romney on NBC's Meet the Press.
Cantor cited the economy as the top issue of the campaign.
"What I have seen is a very hard-fought primary. And we have seen now that the central issue about the campaign now is the economy," Cantor said. "I just think there's one candidate in the case who can do that, and it's Mitt Romney."
Residents in parts of the Midwest and South are recovering from a wave of deadly and destructive tornados and storms. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Pastor B.J. Donahue of Piner Baptist Church in Piner, Ky., who describes what his town looks like now.