Business

The Two-Way
5:37 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Congress Will Vote On Keystone XL Pipeline, With An Eye On Louisiana

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., chair of the Senate energy committee, spoke Wednesday about getting congressional approval for the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline. With her is Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a member of the committee.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 9:19 am

Two bills that would authorize building the controversial Keystone XL pipeline will soon come to a vote in Congress, as their sponsors — Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La. — head toward a runoff election next month to decide who will win the Senate race.

NPR's Debbie Elliott reports:

"On the Senate floor, Landrieu called for action on the Canada-to-Texas pipeline project, saying, 'I believe with a push we could actually get the votes that we need to pass the Keystone pipeline.'

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NPR Story
3:12 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Miners At Risk Because Of Unpaid And Uncollected Fines

The injuries Jack Blankenship sustained after a 300-pound rock pinned him to the ground while working in a coal mine prevent him from sitting for long periods of time or walking far. He says he's in constant pain.
Anna Boiko-Weyrauch NPR

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 7:28 am

NPR probes the regulatory loophole that allows mine owners to ignore government regulators and operate unsafe mines. For years, the owners have failed to pay penalties even as workers are injured. Read our full report.

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Color Decoded: Stories That Span The Spectrum
1:45 am
Thu November 13, 2014

How Kodak's Shirley Cards Set Photography's Skin-Tone Standard

For decades, Kodak's Shirley cards, like this one, featured only white models.
Kodak

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 7:45 am

Jersson Garcia works at Richard Photo Lab in Hollywood. He's 31 years old, and he's got a total crush on Shirley.

"Beautiful skin tones, beautiful eyes, great hair," he sighs. "She's gorgeous."

Garcia is holding a 4-by-6-inch photo of an ivory-faced brunette wearing a lacy, white, off-the-shoulders top. She has red lipstick and silver earrings, and the photo appears to have been taken sometime in the 1970s or '80s.

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U.S.
10:03 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

After Solyndra Loss, U.S. Energy Loan Program Turning A Profit

Beacon Power President and CEO Barry Brits, at the company's plant in Hazle Township, Pa. He says a loan from the Department of Energy made it possible for his company to develop its flywheel energy storage technology.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 9:53 pm

In 2011, solar panel company Solyndra defaulted on a $535 million loan guaranteed by the Department of Energy. The agency had a few other high-profile bankruptcies, too — electric car company Fisker and solar company Abound among them.

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Economy
3:48 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

As U.S. Leads Growth, It Wants Others To Step Up

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says the global economy is relying too heavily on just the United States for growth.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 4:41 pm

The global economy rolls along more smoothly when it's not riding a unicycle. It needs additional wheels for momentum and stability.

That is, in effect, what Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is telling leaders of other advanced nations.

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Around the Nation
3:45 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

After Ferguson, Police Body Cameras Catching On

In its first earnings report since Ferguson, Taser International said bookings for camera and digital evidence storage nearly tripled from the same period last year.
Taser International

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 3:46 pm

It's a gray afternoon in Columbia, Mo., and Officer Cory Dawkins is escorting a man to jail — the suspect is charged with endangering a child. Dawkins pushes a button on his body camera to start recording, then exits his patrol car and walks the suspect inside the jailhouse.

The officer signs papers, talks shop with the guards, and returns to his vehicle.

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The Two-Way
3:42 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

New Volkswagen Policy OKs Interactions With Unions At U.S. Factory

Workers assemble Volkswagen Passat sedans at the German automaker's plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., on June 12, 2013. The automaker announced a new policy Wednesday that would allow interaction with labor unions at the plant.
Erik Schelzig AP

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 5:11 pm

Automaker Volkswagen announced today a new policy that would allow interaction with labor unions at its plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., but specifically excluded collective bargaining from what it's calling the Community Organization Engagement policy.

In a statement Wednesday, Volkswagen said the new policy would allow a "constructive dialogue" with groups, including labor unions.

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Business
3:33 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Treasury Secretary: Boosting World Economy Requires 'Tough Decisions'

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 3:36 pm

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

Media
2:42 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

'Washington Post' To Add Editor's Notes To Fareed Zakaria Columns

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 3:15 pm

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

Business
2:42 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Banking Giants Settle Currency Manipulation Charges

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 3:45 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Six big banks will pay more than $4 billion to U.S. and European regulators for more bad behavior, this time rigging foreign currency markets. Among the charges? That currency traders at the banks collaborated in online chat rooms to cheat customers.

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NPR News Investigations
1:35 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Coal Mines Keep Operating Despite Injuries, Violations And Millions In Fines

This photo of Roy Middleton working underground at the Kentucky Darby mine now sits on the mantel in the Middleton home in Harlan County, Ky. He was killed after an explosion in 2006.
Anna Boiko-Weyrauch/NPR Original photo courtesy of the Middleton family

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 7:21 am

Jack Blankenship was pinned facedown in the dirt, his neck, shoulder and back throbbing with pain.

He was alone on an errand, in a dark tunnel a mile underground at the Aracoma Alma coal mine in Logan County, W.Va., when a 300-pound slab of rock peeled away from the roof and slammed him to the ground. As his legs grew numb, he managed to free an arm and reach his radio. For two hours, he pressed the panic button that was supposed to bring help quickly.

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Big Banks Will Pay $4.25 Billion In Fines Over Currency Manipulation Charges

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 1:19 pm

Accused of working together to manipulate the foreign exchange market, six huge banks have been ordered to pay fines to agencies in the U.S., Britain and Switzerland totaling around $4.25 billion. U.S. firms Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase will pay the largest fines, about $1 billion each.

The fines are part of an agreement to settle civil charges, and the banks could still face criminal charges. Other banks that agreed to settle the accusations include Bank of America, UBS, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and HSBC.

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The Salt
11:15 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Golden State Joe: California Makes A Play For Coffee's Future

Jay Ruskey grows coffee next to avocados on his farm, Good Land Organics, in Goleta, Calif. The two crops are often grown together in Central America, partly because they can share fertilizer and water.
Lisa Morehouse KQED

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 1:29 pm

Coffee has been grown since at least the 13th century in places such as Indonesia, Ethiopia and Central and South America. Though it's not a traditional region for growing coffee, California is playing an increasingly big role in the future of this beloved and lucrative crop.

Sammy Venegas stands on a hillside in Goleta, Calif., outside Santa Barbara, that's shrouded in fog, thick with avocado trees, passion fruit and coffee plants. With a white bucket slung around his neck like a baby carrier, he picks only the reddest coffee beans.

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The Two-Way
5:08 am
Wed November 12, 2014

China And U.S., Titans Of Carbon Pollution, Move To Cut Gases

Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Obama, seen here during a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, announced pledges to reduce greenhouse gases.
HUANG JINGWEN Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 10:30 am

President Obama says the U.S. will sharply cut its emissions of greenhouse gases, announcing a new approach to climate change alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping. The plan also includes China's agreement to cap its emissions.

The two leaders' pledges are being called dramatic and ambitious — for the U.S., because Obama's earlier plans had called for a smaller cut in emissions, and for China, because the country had previously resisted calls for it to consider capping its emissions as it grows and modernizes.

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Business
3:17 am
Wed November 12, 2014

U.S., China Agree To Cut Tariffs On High-Tech Products

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 6:09 am

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

Fine Art
1:49 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Famous Paintings Sell For Millions At Auction, But The Artist Gets Zero

Andy Warhol's Triple Elvis [Ferus Type] is set to be auctioned at Christie's, and expectations are high — but Warhol's estate won't see any of the money.
Christie's Images LTD. 2014

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 12:02 pm

It's fall auction season in New York, and two Andy Warhol silkscreens are on the block at Christie's. One is of Elvis Presley — it's called Triple Elvis; the other is Four Marlons — as in Marlon Brando. In the late 1970s, a German casino bought both works for $185,000. This time around, they're expected to fetch more than $100 million. Andy Warhol's estate won't see any of that money: Unlike musicians or novelists, visual artists don't earn future royalties. But that may be about to change.

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The Two-Way
6:00 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Chinese Shoppers Set Record For 'Singles Day' Shopping Spree

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 7:26 am

You might not know this, but today is "singles day." That's according to China and the world's largest supplier of goods, Alibaba. Together the two have turned an obscure student holiday into the country's biggest shopping event.

In the 1990s, Chinese university students began celebrating being unattached on Nov. 11, which of course is abbreviated 11/11.

The idea was for singles to go out, go to parties, go to bars without all the Valentine's Day commercial schmaltz.

At least that's what it was. Now it's the biggest commercial holiday on the planet.

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Technology
2:48 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

NFL, Broadway Fight FCC Auction Of Broadcast Spectrum

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 4:24 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
8:56 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Pay Attention To The Health Insurance Calendar To Avoid Surprises

Mind the gap. When the 2015 open enrollment period begins on Nov. 15 for plans sold on the individual market, consumers would be wise to act promptly to avoid a gap in coverage.

Failing to do so could leave you exposed to unexpected medical bills. (Uh-oh, appendicitis!) And you could also be hit with a penalty for not having health insurance that kicks in if you go without coverage for three months or more during the year.

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Tue November 11, 2014

U.S. And China Move Toward Ending Tariffs On High-Tech Gear

An international tariff on high-tech goods could be rewritten, thanks to negotiations in China. Here, men use smartphones in Beijing last month, days after Apple released its iPhone 6 in the Chinese market.
GREG BAKER AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 11:29 am

A tariff system that adds as much as 25 percent to the cost of American high-tech products could be on the way out, thanks to negotiations at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in China. President Obama announced the new progress Tuesday.

The development could speed the adoption of a new agreement by the World Trade Organization. The current tariff system has been in place for nearly 18 years and now applies to more than $4 trillion in annual global trade, U.S. officials say.

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Business
5:03 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Politics And A Food Fight Are Stalling A Major U.S.-Asia Trade Deal

A Malaysian flag sits on a table among other flags during a news conference at the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement talks in July 2012 in San Diego. Nearly two and a half years later, the deal remains incomplete.
Gregory Bull AP

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 8:30 am

Earlier this year, some trade supporters had predicted this week's APEC summit would bring a breakthrough on a comprehensive trade deal.

They had hoped that when the 21 global leaders met at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, Obama would be able to use a smaller side meeting to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal involving the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as eight Asian and Latin American countries.

But the deal wasn't reached, and there's no telling when it will be.

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Business
4:42 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Just In Time For The Holidays: A Life-Size T. Rex Replica

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 4:54 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Research News
3:07 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Study Shows Long-Term Benefits Of Welfare Program

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 4:54 am

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

All Tech Considered
1:36 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Tech Star Wants To Make Diversity Plug-And-Play For Silicon Valley

Tristan Walker founded Code2040, an internship program designed to bring Latino and black engineering undergrads to Silicon Valley.
David Paul Morris Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 9:11 am

Tristan Walker is successful by anyone's standards: He went to a top-notch prep school, graduated as valedictorian at college, went on to become a trader on Wall Street, earned an MBA at Stanford, and then helped to launch the location app Foursquare.

But what makes Walker so remarkable is that he is one of the few African-Americans to rise up the ranks in Silicon Valley.

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All Tech Considered
5:23 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Microsoft Wants To Mine Data Like A Social Network

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at the Future Decoded conference in London on Nov. 10. The company hopes to create new social tools to increase productivity in and out of the workplace.
Kevin Coombs Reuters /Landov

Microsoft — a company most associated with Word documents and Excel spreadsheets — is getting a makeover.

Under new leadership, the software developer is analyzing vast troves of data about its users to create social tools for the workplace. They've got the goods — just think of all those Office emails that bind us together — but the question is, will customers want to cozy up socially with Microsoft, on and off the job?

Old Data, New Strategy

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The Salt
3:44 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

How Much Sugar Is Too Much? A New Tool Sheds Some Light

The average American consumes the equivalent of 19.5 teaspoons a day in added sugars, but there are no federal guidelines recommending a limit.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 3:09 pm

These days, sugar is pretty much everywhere in the American diet. A new initiative from the University of California, San Francisco spells out the health dangers of this glut of sugar in clear terms.

For the project, called SugarScience, a team of researchers distilled 8,000 studies and research papers and found strong evidence that overconsumption of added sugar contributes to three major chronic illnesses: heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and liver disease.

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Technology
2:30 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Obama Backs Net Neutrality, Asks FCC To Regulate Internet

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 5:08 pm

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

All Tech Considered
2:30 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

HealthCare.gov's Tech Improvements Mean You Can Now Window Shop

Consumers can window shop on HealthCare.gov leading up to open enrollment, which starts Saturday.
AP

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 6:59 am

HealthCare.gov barely worked when it launched last fall, with only six people able to enroll in a plan on opening day.

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Shots - Health News
1:35 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Kidney Dialysis Company Expands Into The Hospital Business

Dialysis giant DaVita HealthCare Partners is moving into the hospital business.
Courtesy of DaVita HealthCare Partners

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 5:08 pm

Critics of America's health care system say it's really a "sick care" system. Doctors and hospitals only get paid for treating people when they're sick.

But that's starting to change. Health insurance companies and big government payers like Medicare are starting to reward doctors and hospitals for keeping people healthy.

So, many health care companies are trying to position themselves as organizations that help people stay well.

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The Two-Way
10:14 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Reports: GM Ordered 500,000 Ignition Switches Before Recall Announcement

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 12:03 pm

Newly revealed emails seen by The Wall Street Journal and other news organizations appear to show that automaker General Motors ordered a half-million replacement ignition switches nearly two months before it alerted regulators to a defect in the switches that has since been linked to 32 deaths.

Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton has the background for our Newscast unit. Here's what she says:

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