Features By Rebecca Singer

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Sealskin ban puts ruffle in Scottish kilts

The sporran is the little pouch that for centuries the Scottish have attached to their kilts. But its production is under threat. The EU banned the sale of sealskin recently, which is the preferred material to make a sporran.
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More pregnancy leave upsets Euro biz

If you're an expectant mother in the U.S., the Family and Medical Leave Act gives 12 weeks unpaid leave. But in Europe, pregnant women get 14 weeks and part of their salary. Now there are plans to give them even more.
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Cost of pope's visit to U.K. upsets some

Pope Benedict XVI is in Scotland meeting Queen Elizabeth. But his visit to the U.K. is marred in controversy because it will be paid in part by the British government.
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Japan intentionally weakens currency

The Bank of Japan took a big step overnight to help the Japanese economy. It intentionally weakened Japan's currency for the first time in six years.
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Consumers pay for rising cotton prices

The price of cotton has risen more than 50 percent in the past year due to droughts and floods wiping out a lot of the cotton harvest in China and Pakistan. That may have a big impact on the cost of making clothes.
Posted In: Retail
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U.K. unions may strike over budget cuts

As the U.K. grapples with budget cuts, unions are so angry over, they're calling for a widespread protests. Could they bring the country to a halt?
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Scientists crack wheat's genetic code

British researchers have successfully mapped the genetic makeup of wheat. The BBC's Rebecca Singer reports now on how the scientific breakthrough could help wheat farmers worldwide.
Posted In: Agriculture
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BP halts plans to drill off Greenland

BP has pulled out of a controversial plan to drill for oil off the coast of Greenland. Why?
Posted In: Oil
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Ireland's credit rating downgraded

It will be harder for Ireland to borrow money after the S&P downgraded the country's credit rating. The move throws into question Ireland's struggling economic recovery and again exposes the catch-22 faced by European countries.
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Filling up on whisky: To drive, not drink

Researchers at a university in Scotland have developed a hopeful new biofuel. But this technology could raise some questions about driving with alcohol -- because it actually will power your car, with alcohol.
Posted In: Travel

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