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July 29, 2014 | NPR · House and Senate negotiators reached a compromise, $17 billion agreement to improve medical care for veterans. The deal comes in the final week before Congress leaves town for a monthlong recess.
 
July 29, 2014 | NPR · Washington Post reporter Liz Sly tells Renee Montagne that U.S. arms may be flowing to moderate Syrian rebels, but the aid seems to be too little too late to affect the course of the civil war.
 
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July 28, 2014 | NPR · The militant group threatens to kill parents who immunize their children. As a result, polio has come roaring back in Pakistan. Eradication now hinges on whether the country can control the virus.
 

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July 28, 2014 | NPR · A new salvo has been fired in the fight over teacher tenure. A group led by former TV anchor Campbell Brown filed a complaint in New York state court, arguing that tenure laws are preventing the state from providing every child with the "sound, basic education" its constitution guarantees.
 
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July 28, 2014 | NPR · Why are so many low-income and minority kids getting second-class educations in the U.S.? That question is at the center of the heated debate about tenure protections and who gets them.
 
July 28, 2014 | NPR · Only one movie in July, Transformers: Age of Extinction, has broken the 100 million mark during its opening weekend. Box office receipts all summer have proven anemic. Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst with RENTRAK, talks to Audie Cornish about the box office slump.
 

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July 26, 2014 | NPR · Hezbollah has been a longtime ally of Hamas, but during this most recent conflict between Israel and Gaza they've taken a sideline role. NPR's Scott Simon talks to the BBC's Kim Ghattas in Beirut.
 

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July 27, 2014 | NPR · Fighting in Ukraine near the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 has international investigators staying away. NPR's Arun Rath talks with OSCE's Michael Bociurkiw about the investigation.
 

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The State Of The American Small Business

May 9, 2014 — The Securities and Exchange Commission is poised to let small businesses get financed by the masses. Investing in startups is risky, though. Meanwhile, critics are wary of regulation.
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May 2, 2014 — There's a lot of money and attention going toward wearable devices, though the sophistication of the technology varies. One company is developing wearables with clusters of tiny high-tech senors.
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Apr 24, 2014 — As online and mega stores take up more of the retail landscape, small mom-and-pop shops are getting more specific. We examine one of the ways small stores are looking to survive and possibly thrive.
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Apr 17, 2014 — Most often, when married business owners divorce, both relationships sour. But that's not always the case. Some couples have figured out a way to make their companies succeed even after they've split.
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Nov 26, 2013 — Crowdfunding is popular among musicians, filmmakers and artists looking for a way to finance their next project. Now the Securities and Exchange Commission is considering rules that would allow small companies to solicit investments over the Internet and sell shares to the public.
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Oct 31, 2013 — New businesses normally create many of the new jobs in the American economy. But since the financial crisis, the pace of business formation has slowed sharply. Some economists worry that with fewer companies forming for five years now, that's going to stunt job growth for years to come.
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Oct 25, 2013 — Digital tools make starting a small business easier than ever. There are apps and websites to incorporate, find lawyers, make payroll, manage HR and marketing. Convenience can come at a price, however, if it means entrepreneurs aren't making personal connections as they establish their businesses.
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Oct 17, 2013 — Franchising is commonplace throughout the retail and service economy, whose pioneers included a former servant turned hair salon owner in the late 19th century. Such businesses are not for everyone, but Gary Robins, who owns dozens of Supercuts, says the setup has allowed him to grow more quickly than if he were on his own.
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Oct 10, 2013 — When politicians say that small businesses are key to job growth, what most people imagine are mom-and-pop shops — the dry cleaner or coffee place. It may make a good sound bite, but research shows that most small businesses stay small. Only a fraction of these do grow into something big.
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Sep 24, 2013 — The neighborhood hardware store, the cozy diner, the independent bookstore — they have seen customers leave in droves for Lowe's, Starbucks and Amazon.com. After shrinking dramatically during the Great Recession, small businesses are starting to grow again. But they still face plenty of headwinds.
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