General Motors CEO Mary Barra faced another grueling hearing on Capitol Hill, two weeks after a critical internal report blasted the company's handling of defective ignition switches as incompetent. GM has recalled 20 million vehicles already this year and has set aside $700 million to cover repairs related to the recall.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has canceled six trademark registrations held by the Washington Redskins. Today's ruling determined the football teams trademark name is disparaging to Native Americans and unfit for federal registration. But as Hansi Lo Wang of NPR's Code Switch team reports, the team still owns the Redskins name and can continue to use it.
A year ago, the housing market looked like it was finally recovering. Sales and prices were picking up. But then home sales fizzled. Currently, they are down about 7 percent from last spring.
A big part of why housing remains so stunted is that there are more than 2 million "missing households" in the U.S. That's how economists describe the fact that fewer people are striking out on their own to find places to live.
Questions about a potential cover-up and an unhealthy corporate culture dominated a congressional hearing today about General Motors' handling of a deadly safety flaw in ignition switches in millions of its cars.
As more urban folk strive to produce their own food, gardens both large and small are popping up everywhere. And while it's not unheard of for city dwellers to keep bees and even chickens, only a brave few have been willing to try their hand at goats.
Like hedge fund manager Mark Spitznagel, who recently tried to revitalize Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood with a herd of 18 baby goats.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has revoked the trademark of the NFL's Washington Redskins, after ruling in a case brought by five Native Americans who say the name disparages them. While the decision could have wide repercussions, it does not require the team to change its name. It is also subject to appeal, which the team has confirmed it will pursue.
A large swath of the Atlantic Ocean could soon be used to generate electricity, as a U.S. agency proposes opening more than 1,000 square miles of ocean to wind energy projects. The area is off the coast of Massachusetts, which has been working on the proposal with federal officials.
A near-record snowpack in the central Rockies means rivers in Colorado are running high this year, which is good news for whitewater rafting companies. Swollen rivers now should mean rapids that will be rushing throughout the summer. Marci Krivonen of Aspen Public Radio reports.
MARCI KRIVONEN, BYLINE: Long-time rafting guide Bob Morse is giving his safety spiel to a small group preparing to board a bright yellow raft.
BOB MORSE: OK, and the way we sit in the boat is sidesaddle - both feet inside.
A corporation has one core obligation: to make money. But some companies are signing a deal, promising to create not only profit but also a tangible benefit to society and the environment. They're called benefit corporations, and their movement has caught the ear of lawmakers across the country.
In the tiny town of Gilsum, N.H., you'll find the headquarters of W.S. Badger Co. Inc. The company makes all-natural cosmetics marketed under the name Badger Balm. When CEO Bill Whyte founded the company two decades ago, the staff was lean.
SunTrust has agreed to pay $968 million as part of a settlement with the government over charges that it failed to comply with standards required for federally backed mortgages.
The settlement between SunTrust Mortgage and the Justice Department and other agencies includes money for homeowners and a requirement that the company improve its procedures for mortgage loans and foreclosures.
Yahoo has responded to the years-long calls for tech companies to disclose their staffs' gender and racial breakdowns. The numbers released Tuesday show its workforce, like much of the tech industry, is dominated by white and Asian males. In its post releasing the data, Yahoo explained its reasoning:
Local governments across the U.S. are struggling to decide how to handle new ride-sharing services, which are often at once popular and unrelated — or even illegal. Odette Yousef of WBEZ reports on the debate in Illinois, trying to determine the answer to one important question: What makes ride-share services different from taxis?
Stewart Butterfield has a problem the rest of us can only dream of. His business has turned into a runaway train. Daily users of his product, Slack — aimed at helping corporate teams communicate better — have grown from 10,000 to 90,000 in just five months.
How'd he do it? Not with a marketing or sales team — because he doesn't have one. It's all been word of mouth.
"We're hiring as fast as we can right now. We've got 34 people. A month ago we had 20. And six months ago we had eight," he says.
Buying health insurance, even on the exchanges created by the health law, can be an expensive proposition. And some consumers are already wondering how much coverage will cost next year. That led to a recent question about the rules that apply to insurance premiums.
I understood that under the health law, premiums for individuals could not increase by double digits, that rate increases were capped at under 10 percent unless approved by the government. Isn't that right?
Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 11:52 am
Net neutrality has become a hot topic this summer, despite its snooze-inducing name. The principle governs that data on the Internet should be served to customers on a level playing field — at the same speeds — without priority for certain companies that might be able to pay for "fast lanes" for content.
When a severe hailstorm hammers a community, it's often a group of PDR technicians who straighten things out. Vermont Public Radio's Nina Keck tell us more about the nomadic, little-known world of paintless dent repair.
NINA KECK, BYLINE: Last month, Rutland, Vermont, got hit with something it rarely encounters - big, destructive hail.
NPR's Business News starts with giving on the rise. Americans last year gave $335 billion to charity. That's according to a new report released today by the Giving USA Foundation. That is close to the levels of donation before the recession. NPR's Pam Fessler reports.
PAM FESSLER, BYLINE: After the recession, experts predicted it would take many years - maybe even a decade - for charitable giving to get back to where it was before the economic downturn. But it now appears to be right around the corner.
Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia now have laws allowing for some form of medical marijuana.
Florida appears poised to join the club. Polls show that voters there are likely to approve a November ballot measure legalizing marijuana for medical use.
If it passes, regulations that would set up a market for medical marijuana in Florida are still at least a year away. But cannabis entrepreneurs from around the country are already setting up shop in the state.
It seems that everybody, going back at least to Thomas Jefferson, loves small family farms.
Yet those beloved small farms are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Big farms are taking over.
According to the latest census of American agriculture, released this year, there are two million farms in America. But just four percent of those farms account for two-thirds of all agricultural production.
It's been only a couple of weeks since Google released the diversity numbers on its workforce, and there's been a lot of talk since then about why the tech giant and others in the industry don't really reflect the American population as a whole.
General Motors has announced the recall of 3.2 million more cars for faulty ignition switches. The latest recall is in addition to the 2.6 million cars that GM has already recalled for a similar problem.
"The safety recall follows a review of ignition issues following the recall in February of 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars. GM is aware of eight crashes and six injuries related to this recall," GM said in a statement.