Originally published on Thu December 25, 2014 2:52 am
When you step into the bright red barn at Claybrooke Farm in Louisa, Va., it instantly feels like Christmas. A pot of hot cider bubbles on the stove. Friends, neighbors and extended family make wreaths while owner John Carroll hauls in wood for the fire. It's gray outside, but the barn is full of holiday cheer.
Originally published on Thu December 25, 2014 2:52 am
When Ammar Nsaif was 8, in Iraq, he often thought about his future wife and kids, about the car and house and business he'd own. As an adult, he became an electrical engineer and made his 8-year-old self proud.
"Before the war, I did many things," Nsaif says. "My cousins, my friends, my neighbors, they know Ammar. He's working, making business. I did very well."
But he lost everything when he fled Bagdad suddenly, in 2006. Nsaif, 39, says he received a death threat from terrorists over his work with an American company. They already had killed one of his older brothers.
Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 11:40 am
Sony Pictures' The Interview, the comedy that centers on a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader, will be shown on streaming services starting today, the studio said in a statement.
Starting at 10 a.m. PST, the comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco will be available to rent in HD on Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft's Xbox Video and a dedicated website at a price of $5.99. The film can also be bought in HD for $14.99, the statement said.
Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 6:59 am
A buddy flick about killing North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un will be shown on Christmas Day after all, at least in about 200 independent theaters. This kind of small-scale distribution model and the politics surrounding The Interview give what was once a big-budget Hollywood release the spirit of an art house film.
In the satirical film, which is at the center of a geopolitical tussle, Seth Rogen and James Franco play television producers who get an interview with Kim but are then hired by the CIA to "take him out."
Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 8:37 am
It's been a good year for commercial airlines.
With the economy recovering, more people are getting on planes and flying for both business and pleasure. And the cost of fuel, one of the airlines' biggest expenses, is dropping.
But as anyone traveling for the holidays can tell you, airfares remain high. And many frequent fliers at Chicago O'Hare International Airport say they wouldn't give the airlines perfect grades this year.
Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 11:37 am
Forty years ago, a manufacturing job was often a ticket into the middle class. That's not the case today. Wages for manufacturing jobs are plummeting, and some states are questioning whether competing for those jobs is still worth it.
For Cynthia Hunter, a $9-per-hour manufacturing job offer meant she could stay in the workforce after taking a buyout from her management job at Exxon Mobil in 2012.
"I was scared to stay out of the marketplace," says Hunter, 58. "I mean, I have worked all these years, and I never in my life collected unemployment — ever."
Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 6:32 am
Updated at 8:20 p.m. ET
More than 200 theaters will now show The Interview on Christmas Day, a spokesperson for Sony Pictures tells NPR.
Sony had pulled the controversial comedy that centers on a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after ominous threats were made, allegedly by a group that hacked the studio's emails. The nation's largest theater chains had also said they won't show the movie starring Seth Rogen and James Franco.
Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 1:49 pm
You're in the supermarket gathering ingredients for eggnog and a Christmas Bundt cake, and you're staring at a wall of egg cartons. They're plastered with terms that all sound pretty wonderful: All-Natural, Cage-Free, Free-Range, Farm Fresh, Organic, No Hormones, Omega-3. And so on.
And yet the longer you stare at them, the more confused you become. You are tired and hungry, so you just grab the cheapest one — or the one with the most adorable chicken illustration — and head for the checkout line.
Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 10:50 am
Keurig, the company that makes the popular single-serve coffee machines, is recalling 7 million Mini Plus Brewing Systems, with the model number K10 (previously identified as B31), the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission announced today.
Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 12:55 pm
The U.S. economy grew at a surprisingly fast 5 percent annual rate in the third quarter of 2014, up sharply from the 3.9 percent of the last revision. The figure blew past the consensus estimate of 4.3 percent put forth by economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
It's the fastest the U.S. economy has grown in one quarter in more than a decade: The GDP grew at a 6.9 percent pace in the third quarter of 2003.
Update at 10:30 a.m. ET: Dow Tops 18,000 For First Time
Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 3:12 pm
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Well, here's an idea for a lampooning December movie - it's the holidays and shipping companies can't get their act together. They disappoint millions of customers because they can't deliver gifts on time.
Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 4:54 pm
The CEO of Sony Pictures has been saying that the cyberattack against his company is "the worst cyberattack in U.S. history." And you can see where he's coming from. An entire feature film got canned — at least for now. And his corporate networks were so damaged, Sony workers had to revert to using fax machines to communicate. That said, "the worst" is a big claim.
Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 4:51 pm
If you visit a local strip mall or downtown shopping street, it's not hard to find a store where customers can lease-to-own. That is, you can pay over time and eventually, after some chunky fees, a flat screen TV or living room set is yours.
Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 6:34 am
Falling oil prices are perhaps nowhere more welcome than in northern New England, where most homes burn heating oil in their furnaces. But cheaper heating oil is refilling consumers' pockets just as high electric prices are emptying them out.
For example, a heating oil truck delivers 600 gallons of heating oil every two weeks to an old, four-story brick building in Concord, N.H. At last year's oil prices, each refill would have cost around $2,200. Right now, it's more than $300 cheaper.
Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 12:40 pm
Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET
President Obama told CNN that he doesn't consider North Korea's hack of Sony Pictures an act of war, but instead a case of "cyber-vandalism." But he stands by his criticism of the movie studio for pulling the satirical film The Interview because its plot angers Pyongyang.