This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Another promising report today suggests that the economy in general and employment in particular continue to improve, but there's another statistic that's more troubling. More Americans than ever participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.
Google has agreed to modify the way it displays search results in Europe as part of a deal to end a probe by the EU's antitrust body. But rivals Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle will first have to sign off on the changes, reports say.
Authorities said early Friday that 275 bodies have been recovered from the site.
Brig. Gen. Mohammed Siddiqul Alam Shikder, head of the rescue operation, said 61 people had been rescued since Thursday afternoon, according to The Associated Press. More than 2,000 people have been rescued since the building's collapse on Wednesday.
Auto executives got a grilling on Capitol Hill yesterday. Not the usual suspects from Detroit's Big Three. Think much, much smaller. Executives from the hybrid carmaker Fisker testified about hundreds of millions of dollars in loans Fisker got from the government. Today, the company is on the verge of collapse.
NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.
SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Fisker, the car company, isn't dead yet. But Congress has already begun the autopsy.
Our last word in business is good news for the jet setting romantic, possibly bad news for most everyone else on board.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Virgin Airlines has announced a new service called seat-to-seat delivery, now available on all U.S. flights, which allows passengers to send unsolicited treats to fellow travelers at the touch of a button.
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SIR RICHARD BRANSON: Just order a drink, meal or snack, select his or her seat and don't forget to seal the deal with a suggestive seat-to-seat chat.
Air travelers are growing less and less happy. Automatic budget cuts are now leading to hundreds of flight delays, about half of all delayed flights this week.
NPR's Tamara Keith reports.
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Up until this point, the effects of the sequester have been scattered and hard to pin down: hiring freezes, delayed park openings. But then the furloughs of air traffic controllers the Federal Aviation Administration had been threatening for months hit and, bam, the sequester got real, real fast.
The lending arm of General Electric has stopped offering financing to retailers whose primary business is selling guns. Around 75 retailers are immediately affected. A company spokesman says this is a response to "industry changes, new legislation and tragic events."
I spoke yesterday with Dan Sichel, a Wellesley economist and a Lady Gaga fan. Both of these facts are relevant for this story.
The U.S. government is about to tweak the way it measures the economy, and some of the biggest changes will affect the entertainment industry.
Under the current system, Sichel told me, Lady Gaga's sales of concert tickets, online songs and CDs all count toward gross domestic product. But the value of the time she spends in the studio working on new songs isn't counted. That's about to change.