Marketplace PM for December 20, 2005

Episode Description 
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China growing bigger, faster

Today China fine-tuned the way it measures its economy. The new numbers make China's economy 17% bigger than we thought it was. It's growing faster than expected, too. Jocelyn Ford reports.
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A hostile environment

A recent explosion at a chemical plant in Northeast China dumped 100 tons of benzene into the Songhua River. Which leads eventually to Russia. Which leads to an international incident. Jeremy Page, the Moscow correspondent for the Times of London, talks to Kai about it.
Posted In: Health
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You can't always get what you want

Singer Michelle Shocked relates a poignant Christmas story about the dangers of getting mad when you think you're not going to get the gift you want...
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Sic transit gloria New York

New York transit workers walked off the job today, stranding 7 million bus and subway riders. Officials said the walkout could cost as much as $1.6 billion if it lasts a week. What will it cost residents? Alisa Roth reports.
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Who pays for workers' retirement?

The New York transit strike is resonating with the labor movement around the country. A key point involves the degree to which new employees should bear the burden of retirement costs. Amy Scott reports.
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Visions of sugarplums

Next on the Senate's docket will be a $450 billion Pentagon spending bill. Holding up this bill is a last-minute amendment giving oil companies permission to drill in Alaska's National Wildlife Refuge. John Dimsdale reports.
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Alaska wants its natural gas NOW

There's a whole lotta natural gas in northern Alaska, and Exxon Mobil and BP are sitting on it. Yesterday, state authorities filed an antitrust suit against them for not selling it to consumers. Scott Tong reports.
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Under the sheltering lie

Lawmakers will be taking up capital gains and dividend tax breaks right after the New Year. The White House says lowering those taxes will create jobs and opportunity. Tax analyst and commentator Len Burman thinks not.
Posted In: Economy
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A different kind of popular vote in Iraq

The jury's still out on western-style democracy succeeding in Iraq, but western-style pop culture - with voting, no less - is thriving. Ben Gilbert reports on "Iraq Star," a Middle Eastern variation on "American Idol."

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