When the North American Free Trade Agreement was being negotiated, supporters promised it would increase the income of Mexicans. And the middle class did grow over the past two decades. But it's clear that the country's ultrarich are its big winners.
The giant inflatable is supposed to project peace and harmony. But Tuesday, it suddenly burst. This isn't the first time that one of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's floating works of art has gone pffff.
There was news this month that car maker Audi and Google may be planning to partner on developing an Android operating system for cars. The two companies have collaborated before, but this new partnership -- which could be announced at next week's consumer electronics show in Las Vegas -- might be a very big deal. Dave Sullivan, analyst at AutoPacific, joined us to help explain why.
Click play on the audio player above to hear more.
The Dow is up 28 points, two tenths percent to 16-thouand 532. That's up 29 percent from the close of business last New Year's Eve. The S&P 500 is up a tenth percent, 39 percent for the year with a few hours to go.
2014 is upon us. Auld Lang Syne makes us think about getting older, and for many, older means an investment portfolio that should be a little more prudent and less risky. So, the advice is often get more bonds into that portfolio and move a bit away from the volatile stock market. But is the economic climate safe enough even for bonds?
And, as we hear more about the commercial development of drones, a new state law seeks to control how law enforcement can use them. January 1, the Freedom from Drone Surveillance Act goes into effect in Illinois. This limits how police can use drone surveillance (they'll need a warrant). Also, business consulting is about selling outside expertise and can be very lucrative. But did you know companies like Disney and MTV are also in the consulting game?
A train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in North Dakota on Monday.
“This is just one in a string of legitimate concerns about the movement of crude oil by rail,” says Sandy Fielden, an energy analyst at RBN Energy.
In July, a train carrying oil exploded in Canada, killing 47 people. Last month, in Alabama, an oil-carrying train caught fire when it derailed.
Depending on the investigation, says Fielden, there may be pressure to make some regulatory changes. But don’t expect anything too dramatic: North Dakota is the second largest oil producing state. By some estimates, trains will move 90 percent of North Dakota’s crude next year.
“There’s no question, this oil is going to get to the market,” says Robert Bryce from the conservative Manhattan Institute. He supports the Keystone Pipeline project — as an alternative to moving oil by train. But, he says, it’s going to get to market one way or another.
It’s too early to know exactly what happened in North Dakota. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating. There are questions about the tracks, the trains, the tankers that were moving the oil.
Holly Arthur, with the Association of American Railroads, says rail is safe. Rail has been used to move crude oil since the early days of the industry. Business has picked up dramatically since 2009 and the rise of fracking.
“Today 99.997 percent of all hazmat moved by rail reaches its destination without a release caused by an accident,” says Arthur.
99.997 percent is a reassuring number. But people who live along these lines know there are also more trains hauling oil.
NPR has been taking a look at the numbers that tell the story of 2013. These 13 reflect the highs and lows of the year, from deadly wildfires and the war in Syria, to football stadiums and same-sex marriage.
The conflict pits the country's president against his former vice president, who is accused of plotting a coup. But the violence in the oil-rich nation also has tribal and ethnic dimensions that threaten the world's newest country.
The quarterback won fans across the nation a few years back, but hasn't been able to build a solid NFL career. He'll be a college football analyst on TV. Does that sound like the right move for him?
The new year has arrived in Australia, New Zealand and other places in the Pacific. As 2014 begins around the world, we'll watch for highlights of the celebrations. Among the things to watch for: Dubai's bid to set a new world record for biggest fireworks display.