Business

12:04pm

Tue April 10, 2012
The Two-Way

U.S. Coal Exports Soar To 1991 Heights

Originally published on Tue April 10, 2012 12:05 pm

As U.S. coal consumption has fallen, its exports of coal have risen. Pictured, Midwest Generation's Crawford Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant in Chicago. The city's two coal-fired plants are closing under a deal with city officials and environmental groups.
M. Spencer Green AP

America's reliance on coal to produce electricity has declined by more than 20 percent in recent years — but in 2011, the U.S. exported coal at a rate not seen in 20 years, according to the AP. And much of the new surge in coal exports comes from Asia and Europe.

Here's a rough guide to who's buying America's coal, based on the AP story:

  • South Korea: Up 81 percent to more than 10 million tons.
  • India: Up 65 percent, to 4.5 million tons.
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10:37am

Tue April 10, 2012
The Two-Way

State Approves Bill To Ban Employers From Seeking Facebook Login Info

A woman uses her smartphone to access Facebook. Several states are close to banning employers from asking job applicants for their social media login information.
Juan Mabromata AFP/Getty Images

The practice of employers asking job applicants for their account login information for Facebook and other social media sites is meeting its backlash, as Maryland is poised to be among the first states to ban the practice. The state's General Assembly has passed the bill, which now awaits the signature of Gov. Martin O'Malley, reports The Baltimore Sun.

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10:06am

Tue April 10, 2012
Economy

For Economy, Government Work Is No Panacea

Some states are still struggling; California has lost 32,000 teaching positions since 2008. Here, teachers, parents and supporters rally as the Los Angeles Unified School District board meets to consider budget cuts and layoffs on Feb. 14.
Damian Dovarganes AP

At the end of most previous recessions, hiring has increased among state and local governments, helping the broader economy to recover.

That's not happening this time around.

Layoffs have started to taper off, and tax receipts are starting to improve. But states are still a long way from bringing their workforces back up to pre-recession levels. And cities and counties remain in greater fiscal peril.

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6:55am

Tue April 10, 2012
The Two-Way

Carriers, FCC Join In Bid To Curb Cellphone Thefts

On the phone in Manhattan.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Wireless providers have agreed to create a national database of stolen cellphones that it is hoped will make the devices somewhat less tempting to thieves.

Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, and a group of lawmakers and law enforcement officials are set to announce outlines of the plan at 10 a.m. ET.

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2:00am

Tue April 10, 2012
Business

Microsoft To Buy Patents From AOL For $1.1 Billion

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Moving on to another billion dollar tech deal, Microsoft has agreed to pay AOL over $1 billion for hundreds of patents. Microsoft outbid several rivals, including Amazon and eBay, in a deal which saw AOL's stock price jump by over 40 percent. The over 800 patents include internet search, email and customized advertising and are seen as a push by Microsoft into the lucrative smartphone and tablet market.

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