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A bustling market has sprung up across several blocks of downtown Tacloban two weeks after Typhoon Haiyan destroyed much of the city. Vendors sell ice-cold sodas, as well as goods looted in the frenzy that followed the storm. Some are even offering haircuts, making more now than before Haiyan struck.

American studios are working hard to play well in China's gigantic — and growing — movie market, all while negotiating complex rules and competing with popular domestic films.

Everybody knows that you're not supposed to smoke while you're pregnant because it's bad for the baby. But nicotine patches often used to help women quit may pose a risk too, researchers say. Other forms of nicotine replacement may do less harm.

Iran's economy is in terrible shape. Inflation is rampant, Iran's currency — the rial — has plunged in value and oil exports have fallen dramatically. There's wide agreement that sanctions have squeezed Iran financially and increased pressure on its leaders to negotiate over the country's nuclear program.

This week on the podcast edition of All Things Considered, host Arun Rath goes inside the double lives of "fake" ATF hitmen, explores the new — and reformed — Sin City, and traces the money paid by banks for their roles in the financial crisis.

Indeed, the gaming industry is not recession-proof. The financial collapse hit Las Vegas hard, and casino revenues dropped for 22 straight months. The city is now taking steps to claw its way back. In doing so, it may emerge as more than a one-economy town.

Charles Hunt — that's not his real name — works for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. To prevent contract killings, he and colleagues pose as killers themselves. Journalist Jeanne Marie Laskas, who wrote a profile of the agent for GQ, says in real life he's a "lovely man" playing a "bit of a superman role."

The Scotch whisky is the ninth best-selling brand of distilled spirit in the world. Journalist Afshin Molavi says it has grown globally by appealing to the expanding middle classes in places like Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and India.

Travelers will find gasoline prices are down considerably from last Thanksgiving. But consumer confidence is slumping too. So AAA, the auto club, says it expects to see a dip in holiday travel, compared with 2012.

Afghanistan's Loya Jirga resoundingly approved an agreement to allow up to 9,000 U.S. troops to stay in the country after the NATO mission ends next year. But President Hamid Karzai said he won't sign the deal, at least, not yet.

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