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The two largest chemical companies in America will become one entity named DowDuPont, as Dow Chemical and DuPont say they're joining in a "merger of equals." The new company will have a market capitalization of around $130 billion.

After the merger, the resulting behemoth would be split into what Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris calls "three powerful new companies," with a combined revenue of around $83 billion.

Citing a potential fire hazard, major U.S. airlines are banning hoverboards from their cabins and cargo holds. Announcing its ban, Delta acknowledged the toy's "presence on many gift lists this holiday season" but said safety comes first.

The bans come as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says it's looking into at least 10 reports of the self-balancing electric scooters bursting in flames — an occurrence that's allegedly been captured on video, in some cases.

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The middle class no longer represents America's majority. That's according to a report from the Pew Research Center. Rakesh Kochhar is the report's lead author, and we welcome him to the program now. Hey there, Rakesh.

Wal-Mart is launching a new mobile pay system, allowing customers to use their smartphones to pay for purchases with credit, debit, prepaid or gift cards.

The service will be available in select stores this month, and across the country next year, the retail giant says.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has imposed a $70 million civil fine on the parent company of Chrysler for failing to report safety data.

A statement from the agency said Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, or FCA, has acknowledged that it failed to turn in "early warning report" data about accidents, warranty claims and safety issues. The data are used to identify potential defects that could lead to a recall, the agency said.

Volkswagen's emissions cheating scandal was the result of a "chain of errors," Chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch said Thursday, admitting that the fault extends to the company as a whole, rather than a handful of rogue engineers.

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The tech giant Yahoo is forming a new company, a company made up of Yahoo. The move, announced this morning, is mainly meant to help Yahoo avoid paying taxes, but the company says it will also spruce up Yahoo's image. NPR's Aarti Shahani explains.

Americans have long lived in a nation made up primarily of middle-class families, neither rich nor poor, but comfortable enough.

This year, that changed, according to the Pew Research Center.

In the words of Wired magazine, it's "one of the most stubborn mysteries of the 21st century": Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?

Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym used to refer to the creator of bitcoin, which is the digital currency that has taken the financial world by storm.

For the black magnetic stripes on the backs of your credit and debit cards, Thursday will mark the beginning of the end — a shift that could be costly for retailers.

Since the beginning of credit cards, merchants were never liable if a thief used a stolen or counterfeit credit card to shop; the bank issuing the card usually made both the customer and the store whole.

Workers at a truck seat plant in Alabama could vote on Wednesday to bring union membership to a part of the U.S. where it's had an especially tough history.

Some employees at the CVG manufacturing plant in rural Piedmont, Ala., want to join the United Auto Workers over a number of issues, including higher wages and the heat inside the 40-year-old facility.

As a girl, Julie Luettgen hid in her room to escape her mother's Estee Lauder perfume. As an adult, she finds scents inescapable.

"Everywhere I go — theaters, I've been at restaurants — and it's like, 'Oh my God, do you smell that?' It's terrible," she says.

Luettgen, a Realtor in Milwaukee, says her nose keeps tabs on co-workers as they come and go. "I can tell who's been in there just by the smell," she says.

Updated 7:30 p.m. ET

"I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public," says Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn, days after the EPA said the German carmaker had purposefully rigged its diesel cars to pass emissions tests.

The CEO's sentiments did not stop investors from punishing VW's stock Monday in Europe, when they hacked away nearly a quarter of the company's market value.

The Labor Department is considering changing rules that define who qualifies for overtime pay and who does not, and businesses say it would have far-reaching consequences that may not be good for workers.

Currently, the rules say you have to make less than $23,660 a year to be automatically eligible for overtime, but the Labor Department's proposal would more than double that required salary level to $50,440. That would mean an estimated 6 million more people would be eligible for overtime pay.

Many workers' prospects have improved as the unemployment rate has slipped down to 5.1 percent. But not all are seeing better days in the economic recovery. Recent studies show most jobs are going to workers either in the top third or the bottom third of income.

A study by Georgetown University found that middle-wage jobs haven't fully recovered from the Great Recession. They represent nearly a third of the jobs gained in the recovery but are still 900,000 jobs short of pre-recession levels, the study said.

America needs more welders — and soon. Baby boomers with the skill are retiring and not enough young people are replacing them.

In the '80s, when Flashdance brought us Alex the welding woman who really wanted to be a ballet dancer, America had well over half a million welders. Welding was hot. Today, there are about 40 percent fewer welders.

In April, Chipotle Mexican Grill made a big splash when it launched a campaign called G-M-Over It.

"When it comes to our food, genetically modified ingredients don't make the cut," the chain said.

And customers seemed to eat up the message.

But a new class-action lawsuit against the Mexican chain alleges that the campaign's marketing claims don't hold up.

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