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Planet Money
5:49 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

A Tiny Taper, In 2 Graphs

Tapir
Flickr

In the past five years, the Federal Reserve has created roughly $3 trillion out of thin air.

The Fed uses the money it creates out of thin air to buy bonds. The idea is to drive down interest rates, which encourages people and businesses to borrow and spend money. It's called quantitative easing.

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The Two-Way
5:46 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Top SAC Capital Manager Guilty Of Insider Trading

Michael Steinberg (left) departs federal court in Manhattan on Wednesday after being found guilty on charges that he traded on insider information.
Lucas Jackson Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 7:42 pm

Michael Steinberg, a top portfolio manager at SAC Capital Advisors, has been found guilty of insider trading — the latest conviction stemming from a years-long federal investigation into the hedge fund's activities.

Steinberg was found guilty on five counts of conspiracy and securities fraud.

Reuters writes:

"Prosecutors said he traded on confidential information that was passed to him by an employee, who later admitted to swapping illegal tips with friends at other firms."

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Africa
5:17 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

U.S. Envoy: Time For Intervention In Central African Republic

Soldiers from Burundi arrive at the airport in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, on Dec. 15 to join the African Union and French efforts to restore security in the troubled nation.
Sia Kambou AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 7:57 pm

The Obama administration's ambassador to the U.N. says this is a pivotal moment for the Central African Republic and time for the international community to take steps to prevent further atrocities there.

Samantha Power, a former journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, is well-known as an advocate for humanitarian intervention. How she and the Obama administration handle the conflict in the CAR is a major test of that.

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Around the Nation
5:17 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Judge Softens Utah's Anti-Polygamy Law To Mixed Reactions

Alina, Valerie, Joe and Vicki Darger live in a polygamous relationship and have 25 children.
Laurentiu Garofeanu Barcroft Media /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 7:56 pm

A federal judge's decision to strike down a key part of Utah's ban on polygamy over the weekend came as welcome news to Joe Darger.

Darger, a compact man with a beard and a shaved head, calls himself an "independent Mormon fundamentalist." He has three wives and 25 children.

"When we got the news, it was really surprising how emotional it all hit us," Darger says. "At first, it was excitement, and then as it settled in, it was just kind of some tears of joy."

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It's All Politics
5:16 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

What Santa Gave Your Senator This Year

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 7:12 pm

In a year that featured divisive fights over the budget, health care and presidential nominations, the United States Senate took a break from partisan bickering Tuesday night to get in the Christmas spirit.

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