Weeks after its financial troubles forced it to file for bankruptcy protection in Japan, Mt. Gox has obtained similar protection in the U.S. The Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange suffered a collapse after a reported theft of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Mt. Gox had been the most active bitcoin exchange before it announced the loss of hundreds of thousands of units of the cryptocurrency in an attack by hackers. The company said its own bitcoins were stolen along with those of customers.
When Jonette Øyen bought her first electric car, it turned heads. "Now nobody turns around!" she says with a laugh.
Sometime in April, Norway is expected to become the first country where one in every 100 cars is purely electric. One percent may not sound like a huge figure, but in the U.S., the equivalent number would be something close to .07 percent.
Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 8:48 am
From its earliest days as America's homegrown whiskey elixir, Kentucky bourbon has been traveling on boats.
In fact, boats were a key reason why Kentucky became the king of bourbon. In the late 1700s, trade depended on waterways, and distillers in the state had a big advantage: the Ohio River. They'd load their barrels onto flatboats on the Ohio, which flowed into the Mississippi, taking their golden liquor as far down as New Orleans.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We're going to start the program today by returning to our series of conversations about and with women in tech. All this month, which happens to be Women's History Month, we're hearing from innovators from around the world as they tweet a day in their lives using the hashtag #NPRWIT. We're also speaking with trailblazers about new ideas they're bringing to tech and how they're encouraging more women and girls to enter the field.
NPR's business news begins with Congress investigating a GM recall.
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GREENE: General Motors last month recalled 1.6 million older-model compact cars. The concern was that faulty ignition switches could cause the cars engines to turn off - a problem that's been linked to 13 deaths. GM employees knew of the issue as early as 2004, according to the company's own chronology.
So far this winter, lots of snow and ice has forced major U.S. airlines to cancel more than 74,000 flights. At an aviation conference in New York yesterday, top executives of some of the nation's biggest airlines spoke about how those cancellations are affecting business.
NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.
JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: American Airlines said it cancelled 28,000 flights in January and February. Almost as many flights were grounded by United Continental. At Southwest 6,500 flights were cancelled.
Now for an update on a more recent disaster here in the U.S. In September of last year, heavy rain flooded large areas of Colorado, killing 10 people, damaging businesses, homes, and roads. Many towns are still struggling to recover.
Grace Hood from member station KUNC traveled to two communities in northern Colorado that were among the hardest hit to see how they are coping today.
And our last word in business today is: Doggie Cam.
There has been a lot in the news lately about the Internet and privacy. And now it seems that even pets are under surveillance by owners.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
That's right. Thanks to a newly-improved smartphone app and device called the Dropcam, pet owners can check in on their furry friends while they're at work or out of town. Through the app, you can not only see your dog, but talk to them through a speaker as well.
Every year, Americans send millions of tons of food to the landfill. What if you could use all of those pizza crusts and rotten vegetables to heat your home? That's already happening in one unlikely laboratory: the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Brooklyn.
Uber, Lyft, and similar companies that pair people who pay for a car ride with drivers who operate outside the traditional taxi system are facing new limits in Seattle, where the City Council's Taxi Committee recently voted to cap the number of "ride-share" drivers.
The full council had been scheduled to vote on a limit of 150 drivers per ride-share company today; the vote, which has sparked intense interest in the city, has been postponed until next Monday.
The United States has threatened economic sanctions against Moscow, but America is light on financial leverage in Russia: The country represents less than 1 percent of U.S. trade, and few major U.S. companies have significant investments there.
But one company with a long history in Russia is Pepsi.
So how did the American soft drink giant get its foot in the door to build a major market in Russia?
The task of building your very own toy, or robot, or radio can seem daunting for someone without much background in engineering. But a set of color-coded electronic bits that can be magnetically snapped together called littleBits is aiming to make creating your own electronics easy for everyone. It's like Legos, if only Legos could be connected into circuits that light up, move or make music.
"Circuits in seconds," promises the outside of the box.
Short selling a stock - betting that it will go down instead of up - is common on Wall Street. But what about placing a bet against a company and then trying to get the government to do things that would drive down the company's share price?
When it comes to getting ahead in the world, a lack of savings can be a big hurdle, especially for low-income families. Most don't have enough money set aside for emergencies, let alone for college or a house. Some people think the answer is to make savings more fun, like the lottery, with the chance to win big prizes.
It's called prize-linked savings, something that's been available in Great Britain for decades. Now, it's starting to catch on in the United States.
Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 9:41 pm
If there's anything most of us are tired of this winter, it's bone-chilling cold. It's enough to drive you to drink.
Literally. Because frigid weather is just what some enterprising artisans need to make a dessert wine that has been showing up on trendy tables and menus. Ice cider was invented in Quebec in the 1990s.
This time of year, it's fermenting on the other side of the border as well, as a few snowy states try to tap into the locavore market and turn perishables into profits.
NPR's business news begins with a soon-to-be top banana.
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MONTAGNE: An American company long synonymous with bananas is merging with an Irish rival to create the world's biggest banana company. The new company will be called ChiquitaFyffes, and it's expected to have annual sales of $4.6 billion.
The "Dirty Dozen" is not just the name of an action film from the 1960s. It's also the name of the list the IRS puts out each year documenting the most common tax scams. For the past two years, identity theft has topped the list. That's when thieves first steal someone's identity and then steal their tax refund by filing a fraudulent return.
It's taken several years, but in many parts of the country, home prices are nearly back to where they were at the peak. In places like Florida, where the housing recession hit hard, home prices rose last year by one-fifth or more.
A major factor in the price rise is hedge funds, private equity firms and other large investors. They've moved aggressively into the residential market over the past two years, buying tens of thousands of distressed properties, often at bargain prices.
William Clay Ford, a descendant of auto industry pioneer Henry Ford and owner of the Detroit Lions, has died at age 88. He was the son of Edsel Ford.
Ford's death was confirmed by the automaker that bears his family's name Sunday. The company said Ford died at home after suffering from pneumonia. And it said that during his 57 years with the company, Ford led the Design Committee and helped develop cars such as the Continental Mark II, a sleek two-door built in the mid-1950s.
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 11:53 am
Italy has more UNESCO world heritage sites than any other country in the world, and its art and cultural riches have drawn visitors for centuries.
It also prides itself on being a culinary mecca, where preparing, cooking and serving meals is a fine, even sacred, art. And now that the country is in the deepest and most protracted recession since World War II, why not cash in on its reputation as a paradise for visiting gourmets and gourmands?
Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.
After years of selling drugs and serving prison time in Detroit, 54-year-old Isaac Lott is now a site supervisor with the organization Reclaim Detroit. The group deconstructs abandoned homes to reclaim materials from them.
Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 10:16 pm
The crowds are so thick in Austin, Texas, that locals are using an Avoid Humans app to find some peace and quiet, and the warning at the convention center of South By Southwest Interactive goes something like this: "Only one person per escalator step OR YOU WILL BREAK IT!"
Job training programs are failing to turn out enough skilled workers to fill job openings in the U.S., a phenomenon that puzzles some European companies that expand into the U.S.
President Obama freely admits that America needs to improve the way it trains workers. In a speech at a General Electric manufacturing plant in Wisconsin earlier this year, he said, "We gotta move away from what my labor secretary, Tom Perez, calls 'train and pray.' You train workers first and then you hope they get a job."