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The Iran card

Feb 23, 2005
While he was in Germany President Bush used a photo-op with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to reassure European allies that the U.S. is not planning to attack Iran over its nuclear weapons ambitions. Just weeks ago the Administration pressured the subsidiaries of two major U.S. companies to leave Iran and urged European companies to reduce their presence there. That may have caused a few rumblings on the ground. But as Borzou Daragahi reports... so far no one's rushing to pull up stakes.

Coming home

Feb 23, 2005
What do you think of when you imagine troops arriving back home from tours of duty in Iraq? Judging from pictures of some of them returning this week... there's lots fanfare... balloons... big hugs and lots of kisses. That's all well and good but there's something else a lot of the returnees are facing... a financial ambush. Alison Saint John reports from the Camp Pendleton Marine Corp base outside of San Diego.

That was quick!

Feb 23, 2005
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia released its fourth-quarter earnings report today -- not a good thing. Martha Stewart, convicted felon, is scheduled to be released from prison next week -- a good thing, at least for her. Now... Martha the company is having trouble with the recipe for financial success. Wall Street seems convinced that having Martha, the person, back in the kitchen will fix everything. Marketplace's Bob Moon reports some analysts would rather order takeout.

More bad news for Disney?

Feb 23, 2005
The biggest split since Brad and Jen is about to hit Hollywood. From all reports Miramax studio chiefs Harvey and Bob Weinstein are breaking off from the Walt Disney company. Disney bought Miramax 12 years ago. The separation may be official by the end of this week, just in time for the Academy Awards. Ian Mohr covers Miramax for the industry bible Variety...

Up, up and away

Feb 23, 2005
Crude oil charged up to a four month high in New York yesterday, closing at $51.15 a barrel. Cold weather in the eastern U.S. and in Europe are partly to blame. But there's another factor - the falling dollar. Marketplace Business Editor Cheryl Glaser explains. Also, higher oil prices can also reflect political turmoil in oil-producing nations. But commentator Sebastian Mallaby says sometimes, the higher prices go, the more problems for those countries.

Medical bonuses

Feb 23, 2005
Workers in many companies get bonuses if they do well. But the idea of "pay for performance" is relatively new in health care, and it's not entirely popular. As Helen Palmer reports from the Health Desk at WGBH, the idea is giving some doctors heartburn.

The Bush "healing" tour

Feb 22, 2005
President Bush won a small concession from NATO today as he continues his tour across the pond. Europe's security force pledged to help train Iraq's military. Now even Iraq-war opponents like France and Germany have signed on. They won't send troops -- but they'll train Iraqi soldiers outside Iraq or pay for the training. The Bush administration is marketing such developments as signs of a thaw in transatlantic politics. From the European Desk in London Stephen Beard reports .... about a chill on any residual warmth.

All in the family

Feb 22, 2005
Tomorrow fans of the wealthiest sports franchise on the planet will march to protest the possible takeover of their team by an American business tycoon. Manchester United is a British soccer team -- football as the rest of the world calls it -- with numerous international titles, a global brand name and a global following. U.S. businessman Malcolm Glazer, who already owns the NFL's Tampa Bay Bucaneers, holds a 28 percent share of United and is trying to buy the team as a gift for his sons. Fans, players and most of the international soccer community are fighting to keep that from happening. Stephen Cohen is a soccer analyst for Fox Sports....

We'll toss in a driveway for $200,000

Feb 22, 2005
Just when you think that real estate prices can't go any higher in some major cities, they do. Prime example: Los Angeles. The median price of new and existing homes in LA County last month: $414,000. Same time last year: $352,000. Bubble? What bubble. Now all this may be great for real estate builders, brokers, and lucky sellers. But commentator and humorist Tim Bedore argues it's lousy for Hollywood.

Pennies from heaven ...

Feb 22, 2005
Wal-Mart debuted its new credit card today. The nation's biggest retailer is offering a Discover card -- take that Visa and Mastercard. Do we really need more credit cards? Americans are carrying more debt than ever before. As the cards and mortgages pile up you might turn to a credit counselor or a personal financial adviser. And some are seeking financial relief through... a higher power. Robin Urevich reports.

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