Marketplace AM for December 23, 2005

Episode Description 

The Knit Cap

TV writer Sam Johnson recalls learning the meaning of Christmas from an old knit cap and his elementary school bully.

Christmas Crafts

Morning Report producer Wendy Sykes uncovers the tyranny of hand-made gifts at her family's Christmas celebrations.

The Job Files: Salvation Army bell ringer

This installment of the Job Files looks at Salvation Army bell ringer Pam Wright.

What's the real cost?

The strike is over. The subways and buses are running. And New York City has returned to something like normal this morning. Economists are whipping out their calculators to come up with a price tag. But as Amy Scott reports, it won't be easy.
Posted In: New York

Harry Potter prevents injuries

It may not be magic, but the release of Harry Potter books coincides with a drop in traumatic injuries to children, studies show. Helen Palmer reports.
Posted In: Health

Help for the Gulf Coast

The defense budget bill includes $29 billion to help jumpstart the economy of the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast. The money will be used to rebuild levees, highways, bridges, schools and houses. John Dimsdale reports local government officials got their wish, but much of the federal money comes with few strings attached.

H&R Block settlement

The personal accounting giant agrees to pay $62.5 million to settle charges that it duped people into paying exorbitant lending fees for advances on tax returns. Janet Babin reports.

Home heating blues

With home heating costs a concern for many this year, state programs to help low-income residents pay their bills are in high demand. But as Stacey Vanek Smith reports, states may not have enough money to go around.

Tsunami relief

The United Nations estimates the world pledged more than $13 billion to help the survivors of the Indian Ocean Tsunami that swept away 220,000 lives. But an investigation by the Financial Times suggests a lot of money spent by the United Nations portion of that didn't make it to the victims. Jocelyn Ford reports.

Not so merry Christmas for Wal-Mart

Just in time for Christmas, America's biggest employer got a lump of coal. A California jury said that Wal-Mart owes employees $172 million for not letting them take lunch breaks. Wal-Mart promises to appeal. But their troubles may just be starting. From WLRN in Miami, Marketplace's Dan Grech reports.

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