Business

Business
3:03 am
Tue March 31, 2015

With 'Single-Stream' Recycling, Convenience Comes At A Cost

At Resource Management's materials recovery facility, workers pull plastic bags, other trash and large pieces of cardboard off the conveyor belts before the mixed single-stream recyclables enter the sorting machines.
Véronique LaCapra St. Louis Public Radio

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 10:58 am

Read more
The Salt
1:41 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Our Food-Safety System Is A Patchwork With Big Holes, Critics Say

Walking through the warehouse of food processor Heartland Gourmet in Lincoln, Neb., shows how complicated the food safety system can be. Pallets are stacked with sacks of potato flour, and the smell of fresh-baked apple-cinnamon muffins floats in the air.

Heartland Gourmet makes a wide range of foods — from muffins and organic baking mixes to pizzas and burritos. That means business manager Mark Zink has to answer to both of the main U.S. food safety regulators, the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.

Read more
The Salt
12:42 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Grocery Stores Are Losing You. Here's How They Plan To Win You Back

A little booze can't hurt: The Hy-Vee grocery chain has added a Market Grille to several of its locations in the Midwest and Great Plains. You can order drinks and dinner before or after you do your grocery shopping.
Courtesy of Hy-Vee Market Grille

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 4:41 pm

If pushing a cart up and down the lengthy aisles of your neighborhood supermarket — past dozens of brands of packaged cereal and crackers lit by fluorescent lights — feels overwhelming and soul-sucking, you're not alone.

But there's some good news: The days of shopping this way may be numbered.

Read more
U.S.
1:42 am
Mon March 30, 2015

With So Much Oil Flowing, U.S. May Be Reaching Storage Limits

Cushing, Okla., is a major oil storage site. Amid record oil production, some analysts worry the U.S. will run out of places to put it all.
Daniel Acker Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 9:16 am

Never before has the U.S. had so much oil spurting up out of the ground and sloshing into storage tanks around the country. There's so much oil that the U.S. now rivals Saudi Arabia as the world's largest producer.

But there has been some concern that the U.S. will run out of places to put it all. Some analysts speculate that could spark another dramatic crash in oil prices.

Read more
Politics
3:43 pm
Sun March 29, 2015

Proposed Payday Industry Regulations Must Strike Delicate Balance

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 3:54 pm

The federal government is moving to reign in the payday loan industry, which critics say traps consumers in a damaging cycle of debt. A look at the possible effects of proposed regulations and what push back they might face.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Read more
Asia
5:39 am
Sun March 29, 2015

How Singapore Became One Of The Richest Places On Earth

A couple enjoys the view of Singapore's financial center. Conservatives saw Singapore as a free-market success story, but Lee Kuan Yew's government played a big role in the economy.
Wong Maye-E AP

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 8:33 am

Singapore has been called the 20th century's most successful development story.

"I don't think any other economy," says Linda Lim, an economist at the University of Michigan, "even the other Asian tigers, have that a good a statistical record of rapid growth, full employment, with very good social indicators — life expectancy, education, housing, etc. — in the first 20 years," she says.

Read more
The Salt
5:26 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Cheez Whiz Helped Spread Processed Foods. Will It Be Squeezed Out?

A Cheez Whiz ad from 1952.
Courtesy of Kraft Foods

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 8:33 am

Will Cheez Whiz survive the merger?

Read more
The Salt
3:24 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

Not Just Sugary-Sweet, Hard Cider Makes A Comeback

The Wassail cider bar, which recently opened in New York City, offers a dozen ciders on tap and another 80 or so in bottles.
Noah Devereaux for Wassail

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 3:27 pm

There's a new bar in New York City devoted to the fastest-growing alcoholic beverage in America. But don't expect a list heavy on craft beer or bourbon.

Wassail is a cider bar.

"You can see the color, very deep," says Ben Sandler, co-owner of the bar and restaurant on Manhattan's Lower East Side. He's filling my glass with a delicious amber liquid from E.Z. Orchards in Salem, Ore. "You can see it's kind of cloudy, so it's not filtered. Really dry."

Read more
World
3:44 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Nostalgic Cars: Sour Automotive Fruit Of Cuban Embargo Gets New Life

Daily traffic in Havana resembles a vintage car rally, even if it does share the city streets these days Hyundais and Peugeots and rattletrap Russian Ladas.
Eyder Peralta NPR

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 10:12 pm

In Havana, Cuba, the old cars that crowd the streets used to symbolize a stagnant nation. Now enterprising Cubans have begun renting cars out to tourists who are hungry for the cars of their youth.

During my reporting trip to Havana, I spoke with Julio Alvarez, the owner of Nostalgicar in Havana.

He joked that one thing Cubans should thank Fidel Castro for is all the old, majestic American cars that are now making him money.

You can listen to the story using the player above.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:18 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Yemen's Turmoil Sparks Big Swings In The Global Oil Market

Yemenis walk past near oil tankers that were burnt during clashes between Shiite Houthi rebels and their opponents in the capital, Sanaa, in September. Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes this week to counter the Houthis' offensive.
Mohammed Huwais AFP/Getty Images

The current upheaval in Yemen is a sharp reminder of the fragility of the global oil market. Airstrikes by Saudi Arabia against Houthi rebels in Yemen has stoked fears of a disruption to the supply market.

Yemen and Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, share a long border. While Yemen is only a small producer of crude oil, it controls the Bab el-Mandeb Strait at the southern entrance to the Red Sea.

Read more
The Salt
12:53 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Did That Restaurant Pass Its Health Inspection? Now Yelp Will Tell You

A health inspection grade is posted outside a Manhattan eatery. In several cities, Yelp users can now find out how a restaurant scored on its health inspection well before they walk through the door.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 4:00 pm

Log onto Yelp, and you'll find what all your neighbors have to say about your favorite restaurant. You'll find prices, locations, menus, photos, even parking tips.

And if you're in the right city, you'll also find the restaurant's health inspection score.

"What we're trying to do ... is reduce foodborne illness [by] warning consumers when they're in the middle of making a decision," Luther Lowe, Yelp's director of public policy, tells The Salt.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:25 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Airlines Worldwide Rush To Adopt '2-Person' Cockpit Rule

A Southwest Airlines pilot and co-pilot preparing for a flight from Dallas last year. In the wake of the Germanwings crash this week, many European airlines are rushing to adopt a two-person cockpit rule similar to the one already in place in the U.S.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 8:14 am

The global aviation industry is moving swiftly to change policies to reassure the traveling public in the wake of the apparently deliberate crash of airliner into the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard.

Airlines from around the world have announced that they will begin requiring two crew members in the cockpit at all times after investigators on Thursday announced that the crash of Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 occurred when the co-pilot locked the pilot out of the cockpit and placed the Airbus A320 into a deliberate descent.

Read more
NPR Story
3:02 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Examining Right-To-Work Laws Impact On Income And Economic Growth

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 6:00 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
NPR Story
3:02 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Evaluating Whether It's Time To Cut The Cord

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 6:00 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more
The Salt
2:44 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Was Your Seafood Caught By Slaves? AP Uncovers Unsavory Trade

A 3,000-ton cargo ship at Thajeen Port in Samut Sakhon, Thailand, 15 days after it set sail from Benjina, Indonesia. The company that owns the ship said it is not involved with the fishermen. "We only carry the shipment and we are hired, in general, by clients," said owner Panya Luangsomboon. "We're separated from the fishing boats."
Wong Maye-E AP

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 2:04 pm

Some of the seafood that winds up in American grocery stores, in restaurants, even in cat food may have been caught by Burmese slaves. That's the conclusion of a yearlong investigation by The Associated Press.

The AP discovered and interviewed dozens of men being held against their will on Benjina, a remote Indonesian island, which serves as the base for a trawler fleet that fishes in the area.

Read more
Around the Nation
2:42 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Police Departments Open Up 'Safe Lots' For Craigslist Transactions

The Hartford Police Department is one of a number of police departments across the country that are offering up their parking lots as "safe zones" for Craigslist transactions.
Courtesy of the Hartford Police Department

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 12:55 pm

The online classified site Craigslist updated its safety page this week, encouraging users to make exchanges at local police stations. Some police departments across the country are already offering up their headquarters as voluntary "safe zones" for Craigslist deals.

Sebastian Rivera likes to ride BMX bikes. And when he's customizing his ride, he says he'll hop onto Craigslist to look for free stuff or to trade bike parts with people in his area.

Read more
The Salt
3:42 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Think Nobody Wants To Buy Ugly Fruits And Veggies? Think Again

Not so ugly, eh? Supposedly imperfect produce rescued and reclaimed for consumption by Bon Appetit and Better Harvests.
Far left and far right: Courtesy of Ron Clark/Better Harvests. Center three images: Courtesy of Bon Appétit Management Company

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 8:47 am

Remember that old movie trope, in which the mousy girl who never gets noticed takes off her eyeglasses and — voila! — suddenly, everyone can see she was beautiful all along?

Well, a similar sort of scenario is starting to play out in the world of produce in the U.S. (minus the sexist subtext).

Read more
Sports
2:54 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Did You Place Your Bet? March Madness Betting Could Surpass Superbowl

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 6:01 pm

The American Gaming Association estimates that Americans will bet $9 billion over the course of this year's March Madness tournament, more than double what they bet on the Super Bowl. NPR's Robert Siegel interviews Jay Rood, vice president of racing and sports books at MGM Resorts, about this busy time of year for betting in Las Vegas.

Read more
The Salt
1:32 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Is Colorado Primed To Become The Silicon Valley Of Agriculture?

A drone built by Agribotix, a Boulder startup, flies over a farm in Weld County, Colo. The drone has a camera that snaps a high-resolution photo every two seconds. From there, Agribotix stitches the images together, helping the farmer see what's happening in a field.
Luke Runyon Harvest Public Media/KUNC

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 6:31 am

Colorado is famous for its beer and its beef. But what about its farm drones?

Read more
The Two-Way
12:46 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Census Data Prove It: We Prefer Sunshine And Golf Carts

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 1:17 pm

If you live in a town still dotted with dirty piles of old snow, this is not going to come as good news:

The U.S. Census Bureau today listed the nation's fastest-growing metro areas. And it turns out, Americans prefer Florida's sunshine, lakes and beaches to your cloudy, cold climes.

Read more
Shots - Health News
8:31 am
Thu March 26, 2015

High-Deductible Health Plans Cut Costs, At Least For Now

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 3:07 pm

Got a high-deductible health plan? The kind that doesn't pay most medical bills until they exceed several thousand dollars? You're a foot soldier who's been drafted in the war against high health costs.

Read more
Politics
5:59 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Payday Loans — And Endless Cycles Of Debt — Targeted By Federal Watchdog

Maranda Brooks stands in January outside a payday loans business that she used to frequent. Troubled by consumer complaints and loopholes in state laws, federal regulators are proposing expansive, first-ever rules on payday lenders, aimed at helping cash-strapped borrowers from falling into a cycle of debt.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 6:01 pm

Updated at 4:50 p.m. E.T.

For millions of cash-strapped consumers, short-term loans offer the means to cover purchases or pressing needs. But these deals, typically called payday loans, also pack triple-digit interest rates — and critics say that borrowers often end up trapped in a cycle of high-cost debt as a result.

Read more
Animals
4:36 am
Thu March 26, 2015

SeaWorld Ads Counter Criticism Over Treatment Of Whales

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 1:18 pm

Two years after the release of the documentary Blackfish, SeaWorld continues to struggle. The film shone a critical spotlight on the theme park's treatment of its captive orcas, also known as killer whales.

Since then, SeaWorld has experienced a decline in profits. Attendance was down by a million people last year. But it is launching a new ad campaign aimed at restoring its image and winning back the public.

Read more
Around the Nation
1:49 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Closure Of Private Prison Forces Texas County To Plug Financial Gap

A riot late last month forced officials to close the Willacy County Correcitonal Center in Wallcy County, Texas.
John Burnett NPR

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 7:17 am

The Willacy County Correctional Center is empty now. The tall security fences and dome-like housing units set out on the coastal prairie have no one inside them.

One morning late last month, the prisoners rioted. They set fires and tore the place up. Guards put down the uprising in about five hours. But the destruction was so severe that the sprawling detention compound has been shut down. All 2,800 inmates were transferred.

Willacy County is now facing the question — what does it do now that its biggest moneymaker is out of business?

Read more
The Two-Way
8:42 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Midwest Town Braces For More Steel Layoffs

U.S. Steel's Granite City Works in 2011.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 11:40 pm

U.S. Steel will be shutting down a steel mill in southern Illinois, laying off more than 2000 workers. The company says in a statement that it will consolidate its North American flat-rolled operations and temporarily close its Granite City Works plant, which is across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.

Read more
The Salt
3:37 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Heinz And Kraft: Before They Were Food Giants, They Were Men

Henry J. Heinz
Library of Congress

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 6:00 pm

Heinz and Kraft.

When we hear those names we think ketchup and Velveeta, right?

But before they were products and companies that will merge to become a giant with $28 billion in revenue, Heinz and Kraft were men.

Read more
The Salt
2:44 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Arsenic In California Wines: Should Drinkers Be Concerned?

"There's no reason to believe that exposure to arsenic in food and wine is above levels that are considered to be safe," says Susan Ebeler, a professor and chemist in the Foods For Health Institute at the University of California, Davis.
Erik Schelzig ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 8:57 am

There's been a lot of buzz around the story that some inexpensive California wines, including a Charles Shaw (aka two-buck Chuck) white Zinfandel sold at Trader Joe's, have been found to contain traces of arsenic.

Read more
Business
2:39 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Kraft, Heinz Merger Brings Together Famous Food Brands

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 6:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
The Two-Way
9:35 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Supreme Court Revives Pregnant UPS Worker's Discrimination Lawsuit

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 2:58 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court gave a former UPS driver another chance to show her employer discriminated against her when she was pregnant, sending the case back to a lower court.

Read more
Shots - Health News
6:55 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Affordable Care Act Makes This Tax Season Painful For Many

Tax preparation software doesn't always calculate the complexity of Affordable Care Act subsidies and credits properly.
Daniel Acker Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 3:08 pm

This tax season, for the first time since the Affordable Care Act passed five years ago, consumers are facing its financial consequences.

Whether they owe a penalty for not having health insurance, or have to figure out whether they need to pay back part of the subsidy they received to offset the cost of monthly insurance premiums, many people have to contend with new tax forms and calculations.

Read more

Pages