December 27, 2011 Customer satisfaction for credit unions soared this year, and roughly a million Americans moved their money into credit unions, according to the Credit Union National Association. This was partly due to backlash against big banks instituting new fees. Host Michel Martin hears from regular financial contributor Alvin Hall.
December 27, 2011 VPRWith government spending on roadways down nearly 6 percent, it was a tough year for many in the road-building business — but not in Vermont. There, pavers, excavators and other companies have had one of their busiest years ever, thanks to a storm named Irene.
December 26, 2011 Guest host Allison Keyes looks back at the victories gays and lesbians scored in 2011. Same-sex marriage was legalized in New York. And "don't ask, don't tell," the controversial ban that barred gays from serving openly in the military, was repealed. Keyes speaks with writer Kai Wright.
December 25, 2011 In 2011, people used Instagram to share their pictures — at a rate of 90 pictures every second. It's Apple's iPhone App of the Year, and people use it to take pictures and then share them.
December 24, 2011 Korean pop music groups turned a corner in 2011, expanding their audience worldwide, despite the language barrier. Two of the most popular bands are 21, whose music projects ideas of self-worth, and Girls' Generation, which has nine members.
December 21, 2011 Several cable networks invested heavily in new dramatic series in 2011, and those investments paid off, says Eric Deggans, TV and media critic for the St. Petersburg Times. HBO launched two series to wide acclaim: Boardwalk Empire and the lavish Game of Thrones. And Showtime's Homeland has been hailed as both engrossing and creative.
December 21, 2011 For most investors, 2011 was a lackluster year. Insured savings accounts offered virtually no interest, says NPR senior business editor Marilyn Geewax, and stocks mostly moved sideways or down. But there were two big winners this year: bond holders and gold bugs.
December 21, 2011 Many feel that 2011 will be remembered as the year the world learned how to wind down the HIV/AIDS pandemic, says NPR science correspondent Richard Knox. That hope stems from accumulating evidence on four different prevention strategies, plus one older proven approach.