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Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, whose larger-than-life personality was well-suited to the nation's biggest city but could also get him in trouble, has died. He was 88.

His spokesman, George Arzt, says Koch passed away early Friday from congestive heart failure.

Koch was famous for asking his constituents this question: "Hey! How'm I doing?" He insisted this was more than just shtick. He told NPR in 1981 that he really wanted to know.

Google Offers Reward For Hacking Contest

Feb 1, 2013

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And now to Google, which is looking for some hackers to ride to the top in an unusual competition. Our last word in business is pi contest, as in 3.14.

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Netflix customers will soon have a new option: Along with the company's usual offerings, viewers will be able to watch a new show called House of Cards, a political drama adapted from a British show, and starring Kevin Spacey. David Fincher (known for The Social Network and Seven) will direct the first two episodes. But what's new about House of Cards is that all 13 episodes will be available at once — and they were financed by Netflix itself.

Hillary Clinton leaves her job Friday as secretary of state with sky-high approval ratings, and there's already a superPAC established urging her to run for president in 2016.

Grand Central Terminal opened its doors for business for the very first time 100 years ago Friday. The largest railroad terminal in the world is housed in the magnificent Beaux Arts building in the heart of New York City on 42nd Street. And while it no longer serves long-distance trains, the station is still a vibrant part of the city's ecosystem.

It took years for Democratic Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina to become who he is today: the highest-ranking African-American in Congress.

And those years included many failures. During a visit to StoryCorps, his granddaughter Sydney Reed, who was 10 at the time of the recording, asks Clyburn a personal question: "Have you ever felt you wanted to quit?"

German Company's Giant Cookie Goes Missing

Jan 31, 2013

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Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

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And I'm Renee Montagne.

Advertisers Grow To Like Facebook

Jan 31, 2013

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NPR's business news starts with advertisers liking Facebook.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Note: We originally published a version of this post a few weeks ago. We are republishing it now to coincide with our story airing today on Morning Edition.

All kinds of proposals to reduce gun violence have been floated recently. One idea that has gotten the attention of economists is liability insurance. Most states require car owners to have liability insurance to cover damages their vehicles cause to others; some economists think we should require the same of gun owners.

We reached out to a few economists to get their thoughts.

Boeing is scrambling to figure out why batteries malfunctioned on its 787, prompting officials to ground the airplane this month. And at a time when Boeing most needs its skilled engineers, they're weighing a possible strike. Union leaders are considering the company's final contract offer.

The standoff between Boeing and about 23,000 engineers and technicians — mostly in the Seattle region — has been brewing for months. Dozens of them recently packed a union hall south of Seattle for training in how to run a picket line.

Chuck Hagel, who spent more than a decade in the Senate asking witnesses questions at hearings, will be the one answering them Thursday as his confirmation hearing to be secretary of defense begins.

His hearing follows that of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who was confirmed this week to be secretary of state.

Kerry and Hagel have a prominent biographical detail in common: service in Vietnam.

There's always a question surrounding San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Years ago, people wondered whether the talented athlete would be good enough to start in college.

Then there was the question of what role he would play in the NFL. And after the 49ers took him, fans questioned whether he could throw enough to be more than a backup.

Ben Harper grew up roaming the aisles and restoring guitars at his family's music store, the Claremont Folk Music Center. Going on its 60th year of business, the storefront in Southern California is where Harper first discovered the harmonica playing of blues legend Charlie Musselwhite.

"We had Charlie's records stacked high at my family's store and at my house," Harper tells NPR's Steve Inskeep.

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It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep, with Renee Montagne. Good morning.

Gnomes Allowed To Stay On Utility Poles

Jan 30, 2013

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In popular lore — movies, books and blogs — criminals who go to prison don't come out reformed. They come out worse.

For a half-century, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been in the beach business, dredging up new sand as shorelines wash away. Federal disaster aid for Superstorm Sandy could provide billions more for beach rebuilding, and that has revived an old debate: Is this an effective way to protect against storms, or a counterproductive waste of tax dollars?

On a recent blustery day at Virginia Beach, the latest beach nourishment project is in full swing. A bulldozer smooths out pyramids of sand, and on the horizon, a large, black hopper dredge appears with another load.

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