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With a July 1 deadline looming, Congress was scrambling this week to quickly set a national standard for labeling food products that contain genetically modified ingredients.

Parenting can be an angst-ridden journey.

And one bump along the road is that horrible feeling that comes over you when you see your baby break out in hives after eating a particular food – say, peanuts — for the first time. (One of my three kids gave me that kind of scare.)

The concern is real. Between 1997 and 2008, the incidence of peanut and tree nut allergies nearly tripled, according to one published study.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Many Americans tell pollsters and politicians that they're angry. Why?

At least part of the answer might be tucked inside the February jobs report, released Friday by the Labor Department. Consider this:

For the past several years, a scientist in Brookings, S.D., has been engaged in an escalating struggle with his employer, the USDA's Agricultural Research Service. The scientist, Jonathan Lundgren, says that he has been persecuted because his research points out problems — including harm to bees — with a popular class of pesticides called neonicotinoids.

Insurance giant Humana Inc., which operates some of the nation's largest private Medicare health plans, knew for years of billing fraud at some South Florida clinics but did little to curb the practice even though it could harm patients, a doctor alleges in a newly unsealed whistleblower lawsuit.

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AMC Entertainment is buying Columbus-based Carmike Cinemas for $1.1 billion. The deal would create the world's largest multiplex chain, with more 660 cinemas and nearly 8,400 screens. 

The U.S. economy gained 242,000 jobs in February while average wages dropped slightly, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Friday.

The unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent.

The report indicates stronger job growth than expected, and an improvement over the previous month. January's count of 151,000 new jobs — far lower than had been anticipated — was revised upward, to 172,000. And the job gains for December were also revised upward, from 262,000 to 271,000.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A few miles outside Glacier National Park in northwest Montana is land known as the Badger-Two Medicine, the ancestral home of the Blackfeet tribe.

But it's also the site of 18 oil and gas development leases, and an energy company is heading to federal court March 10 to fight for the right to drill there after decades of delay.

Blackfeet tribal historian John Murray doesn't want the drilling to begin.

Apple's legal battle with the FBI over iPhone encryption continues: A federal magistrate, at the FBI's request, has ordered the tech giant to write software to help investigators circumvent iPhone security features to access a phone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. Apple is fighting the order, calling it dangerous, illegal and unconstitutional.

Today was the deadline for amicus briefs, or "friend of the court" filings in the case.

The legal dispute over whether Apple should be forced to help the FBI hack into the iPhone used by one of the terrorists in San Bernardino is making headlines in the U.S.

But it's just one skirmish in a broader global conflict: American tech companies are feeling similar pressure from law enforcement agencies around the world, and they say the lack of international legal standards is creating a crisis.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Oscar hopefuls strode down the red carpet on Sunday — walking advertisements for some of fashion's biggest names. But Chanel and Armani weren't the only winners that night.

A brand that targets more modest, socially conscious consumers got attention, too.

Oregon's biggest power companies will have 14 years to wean themselves from coal, under a new bill approved by lawmakers Wednesday. The measure has the support of Gov. Kate Brown — and the state's two largest electric companies.

Several environmental groups have backed the bill, which calls for requiring large utilities to ensure that at least 50 percent of their power comes from renewable sources by 2040.

Is It Time To Write Off Checks?

Mar 3, 2016

Remember checks?

You know, those slips of paper where you spell out the numbers, rip them from the book, put them in an envelope, add a stamp, then drop them in a mailbox?

They've been around for centuries, but like many traditional tools nowadays checks are in rapid decline, disrupted by digital payments, the Internet and technology in general. Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com, calls it a "consumer-driven change."

At the Lee Valley consignment sale near Tekamah, Neb., dozens of used tractors, planters and other equipment were on the auction block for farmers trying to save a few extra dollars. It was a muddy day, with trucks and four-wheelers leaving deep black ruts — fitting conditions for an industry wallowing in bad news.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Majestic Yosemite Hotel. Big Trees Lodge.

Visitors to Yosemite National Park could be forgiven for not recognizing those hostelries' names.

They used to be called — and were famously known as — the Ahwahnee and Wawona hotels.

"It's just really surreal," said Monica Hubert, a former manager of the Wawona. "I mean, it's a National Historic Landmark."

The hotels and other Yosemite landmarks have been renamed because of a contract dispute.

If you've stopped for gas lately, you've probably noticed a price jump.

A week ago, the national average for a gallon of regular gas was around $1.70. Now it's about $1.80, according to GasBuddy.com, which tracks prices.

So rising gas prices must reflect shrinking oil supplies, right?

Nope.

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Aubrey McClendon, the former CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corp. who was charged Tuesday with orchestrating a conspiracy, has died in a car crash.

The fatal crash occurred Wednesday morning, the Oklahoma City Police Department said on Twitter.

The local media are calling it the "Robin Hood" budget. The government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, eager to win support among the urban and rural poor, is announcing programs to improve conditions for low-income people and provide tax breaks for necessities and items that might improve their lives.

Meanwhile, to bring in more funds for government spending, there are now higher taxes for luxury items.

Removing any doubt about whether you're allowed to puff away on an electronic cigarette while airborne, the Department of Transportation has explicitly banned vaping on commercial flights.

Medical device maker Olympus Corp., already under federal investigation for its role in superbug outbreaks, has agreed to pay $646 million to resolve criminal and civil probes into illegal kickbacks and bribes to doctors and hospitals.

Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that the company's settlement is the largest ever for violations of the U.S. Anti-Kickback Statute. A portion of the company's payout, $22.8 million, will resolve similar bribery allegations in Latin America.

Sports Authority has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, looking to restructure its debt and close a number of stores to try to regain its financial foothold.

The sporting goods retailer is carrying a heavy debt load.

In its restructuring, Sports Authority plans to access nearly $600 million in debtor-in-possession financing and close or sell approximately 140 stores and two distribution centers. The company operates more than 460 locations.

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow Tuesday to nascent efforts to track the quality and cost of health care, ruling that a 1974 law precludes states from requiring that every health care claim involving their residents be submitted to a massive database.

The arguments were arcane, but the effect is clear: We're a long way off from having a true picture of the country's health care spending, especially differences in the way hospitals treat patients and doctors practice medicine.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The U.S. Postal Service is in dire financial straits. If the price of stamps goes down as scheduled in April, it could cost the already hemorrhaging post office $2 billion per year, according to a statement released by USPS.

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