Business

Book News & Features
2:52 am
Thu December 25, 2014

Demand For Audio Books Keeps Penguin Random House Recording

Originally published on Thu December 25, 2014 3:27 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Around the Nation
1:29 am
Thu December 25, 2014

Christmas Tree Farmers Invest Long-Term In The Holiday Spirit

The Carrolls, who once raised cattle, decided three decades ago to raise Christmas trees instead. The trees take seven to 12 years to mature.
Courtesy of Claybrooke Farm

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.

Read more
The Salt
1:27 am
Thu December 25, 2014

Inside The Indiana Megadairy Making Coca-Cola's New Milk

Cows rotate in the milking parlor at Fair Oaks Farms, a large-scale dairy and tourist attraction, near Rensselaer, Indiana.
Dan Charles NPR

Coca-Cola got a lot of attention in November when it announced that it was going into the milk business. Not just any milk, mind you: nutritious, reformulated super milk.

It also invited ridicule. "It's like they got Frankenstein to lactate," scoffed Steven Colbert on his show. "If this product doesn't work out, they can always re-introduce Milk Classic."

Read more
Around the Nation
1:26 am
Thu December 25, 2014

Pittsburgh Tries To Attract Enterprising Immigrants And Refugees

The city of Pittsburgh is hoping that drawing more skilled immigrants will give it an entrepreneurial boost.
Gene J. Puskar AP

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.

Read more
Around the Nation
2:42 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

'Greening' Squeezes Florida's Citrus Industry

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 3:09 pm

Copyright 2014 WMFE-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wmfe.org.

The Two-Way
10:17 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Sony To Stream 'The Interview' On YouTube, Other Sites Starting Today

A poster for The Interview, which will now be shown on streaming services as well as some theaters.
Jim Ruymen UPI/Landov

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.

Read more
All Tech Considered
6:02 am
Wed December 24, 2014

In Its Strange Journey, 'The Interview' Becomes An Art House Film

The Alamo Drafthouse theater chain will show The Interview starting on Christmas Day.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

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."

Read more
Movies
3:08 am
Wed December 24, 2014

More Than 200 Theaters To Show 'The Interview' On Christmas Day

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 5:46 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Planet Money
3:05 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Poker Players Use Science To Effectively Give To Charities

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 6:02 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Here is the final moment from this year's World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

(SOUNDBITE OF ESPN BROADCAST)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: And the king will finish it. Martin Jacobson is poker's 2014 world champion.

Read more
Economy
3:02 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Despite Some Clouds, U.S. Economic Forecast Looks Sunny

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 1:25 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Read more
Economy
3:02 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Lower Gas Prices Add Fuel To U.S. Economic Recovery

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 1:21 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Read more
Europe
3:02 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Lower Oil Prices Drain Value Of Russians' Money

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 6:02 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Read more
Around the Nation
1:20 am
Wed December 24, 2014

The Year In Air Travel: Packed Planes And More Perks — For A Price

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.

Read more
Economy
5:04 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

A Backlash Brews Against Low Pay On The Factory Floor

Nissan workers at a plant in Canton, Miss. The auto company received financial incentives, including tax relief, from the state for the factory.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

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."

Read more
The Two-Way
11:00 am
Tue December 23, 2014

'The Interview' To Play In More Than 200 Theaters On Christmas Day

A poster for The Interview. Some theaters now say they will show the comedy, which Sony Pictures had pulled following threats.
Jim Ruymen UPI /Landov

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.

Read more
The Salt
8:57 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Farm Fresh? Natural? Eggs Not Always What They're Cracked Up To Be

Cage-free eggs for sale in 2008 in Knoxville, Tenn.
Joel Kramer/Flickr

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.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:18 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Keurig Recalls 7 Million Coffee Machines Following Reports Of Burns

Keurig is recalling 7 million Mini Plus Brewing Systems, with the model number K10 (previously identified as B31).
Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

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.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:21 am
Tue December 23, 2014

U.S. Economy Grew At A 5 Percent Rate; Dow Surpasses 18,000

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

Read more
Europe
4:11 am
Tue December 23, 2014

We Go Underground To Tour London's Crossrail Project

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 5:28 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Read more
Business
3:05 am
Tue December 23, 2014

A Year Later, Delivery Services Up Their Holiday Game

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 3:12 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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.

Read more
All Tech Considered
3:05 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Is Sony Hack Really 'The Worst' In U.S. History, As CEO Claims?

Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton says the computer hacking against his company is "the worst cyberattack in U.S. history." Experts say other attacks have affected more people.
David McNew Reuters/Landov

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.

Read more
All Tech Considered
3:50 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

What You Need To Know About Subprime Lending For Smartphones

Startup Better Finance is offering lease-to-own programs for high-end smartphones. But some customers say that retail stores, such as MetroPCS, aren't always clear about the lease terms up front.
Larry W. Smith EPA/Landov

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.

Read more
Business
6:47 am
Mon December 22, 2014

The 5 Business Stories That Made 2014 A Memorable Year

James Franco (left) and Seth Rogen, stars of The Interview, arrive for the film's Los Angeles premiere on Dec. 11. The comedy about a CIA plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was pulled from theaters after a cyberattack on Sony Pictures, the studio behind the film. The FBI said the attack was traced to the North Korean government.
Jim Ruymen UPI/Landov

As the year's end approaches, economists are looking back and assessing the news stories that shaped 2014.

Though their lists may vary, most analysts are pointing to five developments that had very big impacts on the U.S. economy. These were the biggies for 2014:

Oil Prices Plunge

No one saw this one coming. When 2014 began, a barrel of crude oil was selling for about $110. It hovered there until late spring, when the price ticked up to nearly $115.

Read more
Movies
3:37 am
Mon December 22, 2014

For Updated 'Annie', The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 5:37 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Technology
3:25 am
Mon December 22, 2014

What's Hot In Tech Gifts This Year?

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 8:18 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
3:05 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Treasury Nomination Sparks Fight Among Democrats

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 5:37 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Energy
1:44 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Heating New England Homes: The Good And Bad News

Low heating oil prices mean New Englanders don't have to bundle up at home this year, but they will have to watch their rising electric bills.
iStockphoto

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.

Read more
The Two-Way
7:58 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Obama Calls North Korean Hack 'Cybervandalism'

Sony Pictures Studios headquarters building is seen in Culver City, Calif., on Friday. President Obama has criticized Sony for cancelling distribution of The Interview following after the studio was hacked by North Korea.
Damian Dovarganes AP

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.

Read more
Latin America
3:06 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

Renewed U.S.-Cuba Ties Could Mean Big Things For Cigar Market

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 4:40 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Think Cuba, think cigars. David Savona is the executive editor of Cigar Aficionado magazine. David, welcome to the program.

DAVID SAVONA: Thanks, glad to be here.

Read more
Asia
3:06 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

While U.S. Focuses On Sony Hack, Some Of The World Is In The Dark

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 4:40 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Read more

Pages