Zoe Chace

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When the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba goes public, it's going to the biggest public offering ever. When investors buy their shares, however, they won't be buying an ownership stake in Ali Baba's profitable websites. Instead, they will be buying shares in a holding company based in the Cayman Islands. It's illegal for Chinese Internet companies to accept investment from outside the country, but Alibaba has found an ingenious way to still get the $20 billion they want from outside investors.

Last year, Shawn Hector bought some baby chicks. He put them outside in a little chicken coop, but it did not go well. The chicks were eaten by hawks, foxes and raccoons.

Shawn decided the world needed a better chicken coop. He and a buddy, Steve Deutsch, should build it themselves. They figured there might be a market for a high-tech chicken coop, and dreamed of starting a little business.

For people who want a good-paying, stable nursing job, one class stands in the way: Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology. And it's a tough one.

At the first day of anatomy class at West Kentucky Community and Technical College, Jonathan Harned sits in the front row, taking notes. He has safety goggles pushed up on his head — he just came from work. He's got a military crew cut.

Harned was the first one at class today; he was an hour and a half early. He's been waiting 20 years to get to this moment, he says.

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Every year, the U.S. government loses money minting pennies. They cost around twice as much to make as they're worth. And some politicians and economists say we ought to just get rid of them. They want the U.S. to kill the penny, take it out of circulation. If that happens, a small group of people plan to make a bunch of money.

NPR's Zoe Chace has that story from our Planet Money team.

Any time a song is popular, you'll find people debating it. And at some point during that debate, someone is going to Google the lyrics.

There are roughly 5 million searches for lyrics per day on Google, according to LyricFind. Those searches often lead to websites that post lyrics to lots of songs — and, in many cases, sites that post ads alongside those lyrics.

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Already for many Americans, there are few options when it comes to high-speed broadband. And the reason, says Zoe Chace with our Planet Money team, goes back to a moment when the U.S. decided to go one way and the rest of the world went another.

There were so many winter storms in New Jersey this year that the state nearly ran out of the salt used to melt snow and ice on the roads.

State officials thought they had found a solution when they discovered an extra 40,000 tons of rock salt for sale up in Searsport, Maine.

The state bought the salt but ran into problems getting it to New Jersey — despite the fact that there was an enormous, empty cargo ship, sitting at the Searsport port, headed down to Newark.

When people talk about the Volcker Rule, they often mention JPMorgan Chase, the giant bank where a trader recently made a bad bet that lost $6 billion. The Volcker Rule is supposed to put an end to that sort of thing, by prohibiting banks from trading with their own money.

But some banks that are very, very different from JPMorgan Chase are struggling with an obscure provision in the rule. Specifically, footnote 1,861, which bars banks from investing in something called trust-preferred securities — a rather obscure investment favored by lots of small, community banks invest

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Now NPR's Zoe Chace, from our Planet Money Team, reminds us about one industry that played a big role in NAFTA's passage: men's underwear.

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