Business

Business
3:52 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Microsoft Announces Biggest Layoffs In Company's History

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:00 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's Business News starts with a downsized Microsoft. Microsoft announced the biggest layoffs in its history yesterday. It's cutting 18,000 jobs worldwide over the next year - that's 14% of its workforce. The company's new CEO wants to adapt to a society and an industry increasingly dependent on mobile devices. From member station KPLU, Bellamy Pailthorp reports.

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All Tech Considered
1:37 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Better Culture Could Have Prevented Viral Comcast Call

The call center of Zappos.com gets high marks from consumers for strong customer service.
Shashi Bellamkonda Flickr

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 9:13 am

This week, one man's customer service call to Comcast turned into a badgering — a simple request to cancel his service was repeatedly beaten back by the employee on the other end of the line. It was a familiar feeling for a lot of us, which perhaps explains why more than 4 million people have listened to it in less than a week.

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The Two-Way
6:07 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

FedEx Charged With Shipping Drugs For Illegal Online Pharmacies

FedEx was indicted Thursday on charges of assisting illegal online pharmacies by shipping controlled substances.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:28 pm

A federal grand jury has indicted FedEx on charges of assisting illegal pharmacies. Prosecutors say the shipping company knowingly distributed controlled substances, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.

FedEx is "accused of conspiring to distribute prescription drugs to people who never met with doctors — a violation of the Controlled Substances Act," Johnson says.

She says prosecutors in San Francisco demanded that representatives for FedEx appear in court on July 29.

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Economy
3:36 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Latest Wrinkle In The Jobs Debate: Blame The Boomers

Participation in the workforce has dropped significantly since 2007, and economists say more than half of the dropouts may never return.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 11:46 am

Since late 2007, the U.S. labor force has shrunk significantly, raising questions about where former workers have gone and why.

Now the White House Council of Economic Advisers says it has found answers and has compiled them into a detailed research report released Thursday.

As it turns out, most of the missing workers have been hiding in plain sight: They are retiring baby boomers.

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News
3:24 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

White House Urges Lawmakers To Address Popular Tax Dodge

Ireland (shown here in this Dingle Peninsula photo) has been among the greenest pastures for countries seeking to reduce their tax liabilities through a process called "corporate inversion."
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:40 pm

When is it OK for an American company to avoid paying American taxes?

That's the question the Senate Finance Committee will wrestle with next week as the Obama administration urges lawmakers to make it harder for companies to duck corporate taxes by setting up shop overseas.

The latest tax-cutting strategy to go under the microscope, these so-called corporate inversions are a buttoned-down variation of an older, sexier tax dodge called the "naked inversion."

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Business
2:53 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Lawmakers Call For GM's Top Lawyer To Step Down

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:40 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

At a Senate hearing today, there were calls for General Motors top lawyer to step down. Recent media reports have made clear that company lawyers knew faulty ignition switches were causing fatal accidents. Despite that GM blocked internal efforts to issue a recall and they kept information from federal safety regulators. The ignition defect is responsible for at least 13 deaths and will cost GM billions of dollars. NPR's Sonari Glinton has the latest.

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Business
2:53 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Microsoft Announces Largest Job Cut In Its History

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:40 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Microsoft announced today the largest job cuts in the company's history. Eighteen thousand jobs will be eliminated over the next year. During Microsoft's last big round of layoffs, the company was coping with a worldwide recession. That was in 2009. Today Microsoft is trying to catch up with the mobile explosion, as NPR's Aarti Shahani reports.

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The Two-Way
10:31 am
Thu July 17, 2014

CEO Of Ignition Switch Maker Says No Responsibility For GM Deaths

Executive vice president and general counsel at General Motors Co. Michael Millikin (from left), GM CEO Mary Barra, CEO and president of Delphi Automotive PLC Rodney O'Neal and chairman of the firm at Jenner & Block Anton Valukas testify before a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 12:52 pm

The CEO of the manufacturer of the ignition switches that ended up in recalled General Motors cars said his company bears no responsibility for deaths resulting from the part, which was redesigned according to GM specifications.

"We had a product that we worked with General Motors to develop," Delphi Automotive's Rodney O'Neal told a Senate subcommittee looking into the ignition switch failure that caused at least 13 deaths among drivers and passengers in GM cars.

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The Protojournalist
10:09 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Kooky Kickstarters — Why They Succeed

Project Title: Secrets Of A Kick*ss Kickstarter

Category: Journalism

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Business
9:22 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Microsoft Announces Biggest Layoffs Yet: Up To 18,000 Workers

In the largest layoff in the company's history, it's stripping 14 percent of its workforce. CEO Satya Nadella says it's part of a plan to make the 39-year-old company more agile and productive.

The Two-Way
8:07 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Australia Repeals An Unpopular Tax On Carbon Emissions

An oil refinery is pictured in the southern Sydney suburb of Kurnell earlier this week. Australia's Senate voted on Thursday to scrap the country's carbon tax and plans for emissions trading — a major victory for conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 8:47 am

Australia became the first country in the world to repeal a carbon tax on the nation's worst greenhouse gas polluters, as Prime Minister Tony Abbott made good on a campaign promise to get rid of the unpopular law.

The Senate voted 39 to 32 to eliminate the tax enacted by the previous center-left government two years ago. The law imposed the equivalent of a $22.60 tax per metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions on about 350 of the nation's worst polluters.

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Microsoft Will Cut As Many As 18,000 Jobs

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 7:23 am

A large layoff is under way at Microsoft, as the technology company says it will cut 13,000 jobs in the next six months. All but 500 of the layoffs are related to the Nokia phone division the company acquired in April. Microsoft says it might shed as many as 18,000 jobs as it restructures itself.

The company says it will complete most of the layoffs by the end of this year, and complete the restructuring by next June.

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Business
5:31 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Russian Officials Promise To Make U.S. Businesses Suffer

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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NPR Story
3:55 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Seattle Cab Drivers Go Back To School To Learn Manners

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:09 am

The cabbies are trying to win back customers lost to ride service companies like Uber and Lyft, whose customers rate their drivers.

Business
3:33 am
Thu July 17, 2014

U.S. Firms Beat Corporate Taxes By Moving Their Headquarters Abroad

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We're joined now by David Wessel with the Brookings Institution. He's also a contributor to the Wall Street Journal. Good morning.

DAVID WESSEL: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: Now, American corporations have been complaining about the tax code for decades. Why are we seeing more companies looking at moving overseas now?

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Planet Money
3:21 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Evaluating The Benefits And Costs Of Patents

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The electric car company Tesla recently took the unusual step of effectively giving up all its patents. That means any competitor is now free to take the company's ideas and run with them. David Kestenbaum with our Planet Money team looked at why Tesla did it and what the world might be like if we got rid of patents altogether.

DAVID KESTENBAUM, BYLINE: Back in 2007, I road in an early Tesla prototype with the guy who is now the company's CEO, Elon Musk.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

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U.S.
4:59 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Lotteries Take In Billions, Often Attract The Poor

A customer holds his Mega Millions lottery ticket at Tobacco Plus in Muncie, Ind. Researchers say lotteries often draw low-income gamblers who are on welfare.
Darron Cummings AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:13 pm

Santo Domingo Liquors in Lawrence, Mass., has two cash registers. But sometimes only the lottery register has a line.

Elizabeth Correia, eight months pregnant, is running that register with her mother — her family owns the store.

"We do this seven days a week. Seven days a week. My mom, sometimes she'll do it open to closing," Correia says.

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

U.S. Sanctions Major Russian Banks And Energy Companies

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk visits forces stationed near the small city of Izyum on Wednesday.
Sergey Bobok AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 6:18 am

President Obama outlined a new package of sanctions against Russian firms and individuals on Wednesday.

"These sanctions are significant but also targeted," Obama said. "Russia will see that its actions in Ukraine have consequences."

The administration targeted large banks, as well as energy and defense firms. The sanctions stopped short of covering entire sectors of the Russian economy.

Obama said they were designed to inflict pain on Russia without harming U.S. companies or the nation's allies.

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All Tech Considered
2:45 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Visa Makes Big Move To Boost Consumer Spending Online

Visa Checkout will store customers' credit card numbers and billing addresses once without their having to re-enter the information each time they shop online.
Visa

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 9:28 am

Here's an experience many of us have had: You're shopping on your smartphone. You click on the shoes or books you want. But then, when you get to the shopping cart, you abandon ship.

Visa says that's a big problem for retailers. On Wednesday, the credit card company announced it's rolling out a brand new system designed to get us to spend more money online.

One Password, Many Tokens

Visa is actually trying to fix two problems with one swipe.

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Media
2:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Time Warner Rebuffs Rupert Murdoch's Big-Dollar Bid For Media Giant

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. There are few media companies bigger than 21st Century Fox and Time Warner. And today came reports of a possible merger that would create a huge new empire. If Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox bought Time Warner, all of these media brands could have the same owner. (SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE SIMPSONS")

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing) The Simpsons...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

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All Tech Considered
12:20 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Don't Fire The Comcast Guy, Says Caller Who Tried To Cancel

We don't know the fate of the Comcast service rep at the center of a viral call recording.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 3:12 pm

Ryan Block, whose hilariously tedious customer service experience with Comcast struck a chord with millions, says the customer service rep who harangued him should not be fired.

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Goats and Soda
10:19 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Move Over Hong Kong: The World's Priciest Cities Are In Angola And Chad

Photos of Luanda, Angola, tell a tale of two cities: sprawling poor neighborhoods and a glitzy waterfront.
Saul Loeb/Getty Images; Michael Gottschalk/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 11:23 am

Ask someone to guess the world's two most expensive cities and it's a safe bet that the capitals of Chad and Angola — two of Africa's more impoverished nations — won't leap to mind. Geneva, perhaps, the home of Rolex watches, or one of those moneyed Asian capitals — Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore or Tokyo — or maybe, if you're thinking Nordically, somewhere in Scandinavia, somewhere like, say, Oslo, where a beer in a pub can famously set you back $15.

But Luanda? N'djamena?

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Business
8:32 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Murdoch Says His Bid For Rival Time Warner Was Rejected

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox confirmed that it made an offer to buy the owner of HBO, Warner Bros., TBS and CNN but got shot down.

The Two-Way
6:54 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Murdoch Confirms A Spurned Bid For Time Warner

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:43 am

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox says it sought to buy Time Warner last month, confirming reports of a deal that would have reshaped America's media landscape. The offered price, which Time Warner rejected, was reportedly $80 billion.

The deal would have put HBO, CNN and other Time Warner properties under the same corporate umbrella as Fox News, a situation that The New York Times said would have forced the sale of CNN.

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The Two-Way
6:28 am
Wed July 16, 2014

EEOC Announces Tougher Rules Protecting Pregnant Workers

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's new guidance states that employers who allow parental leave must provide it to men and women equally.
Yuri Arcurs iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:32 am

Discrimination against female workers who might get pregnant in the future, or have been pregnant in the past, is against the law, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said this week. For the first time in 30 years, the agency has updated its rules against pregnancy discrimination.

The agency clarified several policies, including one that spells out when businesses may have to provide pregnant workers light duty and another that bans employers from forcing a pregnant worker to take leave even in cases when she's able to continue on the job.

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NPR Ed
6:21 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Students React To The Closure Of A Giant For-Profit College

Everest Institute in Boston.
Mallory Noe-Payne WGBH

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 9:49 am

Listen to this story on Morning Edition.

After a long reign as the fastest-growing and most problematic sector in higher education, for-profit colleges are on the ropes.

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NPR Story
3:02 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Apple Teams Up With Former Rival On Business App

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:32 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's Business News starts with old rivals teaming up. Apple and IBM were intense competitors 30 years ago during the early days of the personal computer. But now, in the mobile age, the two companies have struck a deal to develop business apps. The hope is to translate IBM's vast corporate computing services into easy-to-use apps. The deal also includes plans to sell iPhones and iPads to IBM's corporate customers, expanding Apple's traditional customer base beyond consumers. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR Story
3:02 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Marvel Comics Rewrites Thor Into A Woman

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:32 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And our last word in Business is Goddess of Thunder.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Marvel Comics is turning one of its biggest superheroes into a woman. Thor is the hammer-wielding, long-haired protagonist, based on the god of Norse mythology.

INSKEEP: Who's been fighting aliens, demons and even Dracula since 1960s. The new Thor will be the eighth title from Marvel to feature a lead female. The publisher says it's aiming to speak directly to women and girls, not the traditional target audience for comic books.

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The Salt
1:42 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Craft Beer Reaches New Depths As Mainers Brew A Batch From Seaweed

A glass of the seaweed beer created by Marshall Wharf Brewing Co. in Belfast, Maine.
Jay Field MPBN

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 10:14 am

More craft breweries are using exotic ingredients in their creations these days. There are ales made with all kinds of fruit, beers infused with coriander and other spices, stouts brewed with oysters — even beer made from yeast scraped off 35 million-year-old whale bones. But what about a beer made with seaweed?

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Shots - Health News
1:27 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Coping With A Co-Worker's Body Odor Takes Tact

We can all work up a stinky sweat — welders, ballerinas and number-crunchers alike. Would you want to know?
emreogan/iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 11:14 am

It's summer. It's sweaty. And sometimes that means people are trailing some pungent body odors that their colleagues can't help but smell. But how do you tactfully inform co-workers that they stink and need to address it? As Cath Ludeman-Hall will tell you, it isn't easy.

She was just out of college and a newbie at a staffing firm when she was asked to gently talk to an older worker in a retail warehouse after his colleagues complained that he stank.

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