Some of America's biggest retailers announced new steps yesterday aimed at improving safety standards in Bangladesh's troubled garment industry. Wal-Mart and the Gap were among the companies that formed a group called the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety after the deadliest accident ever in the garment industry.
NPR's business news starts with some home improvement.
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MONTAGNE: Home Depot says it had one of the best quarters in recent history. The number behind that claim, a 17 percent jump in earnings this past quarter. The company credited the recovering housing market in the U.S. and said spending by both contractors and regular customers was up.
And let's stay in Colorado to hear about another business traditional to the West - gold mining. After peaking a couple of years ago, the price of gold has fallen dramatically, which has forced many gold mines to close. Bucking that trend is the largest mine in Colorado - and it's expanding aggressively, taking the long view. From Colorado Public Radio, Ben Markus reports.
Among the news organizations following every development in Egypt is Al Jazeera. And now they are making a bit of news of their own. Al Jazeera America went on air yesterday afternoon, entering the crowded and competitive world of cable TV news in the United States. The new network is available in about 45 million households.
But as NPR's David Folkenflik reports, there are many people inside the industry skeptical that its promise of thoughtful and serious news coverage will woo American audiences.
The American workforce is graying. And while many people aren't saving enough for retirement, that's especially true for women. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with reporter Paul Solman and aging specialist Helen Dennis, about a gender gap in retirement earnings.
Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 7:15 am
We told you recently about new allegations of violations at three Chinese factories that make Apple's popular iPhones and iPads. Now, we have more allegations of labor violations – this time against Apple's main rival, Samsung, and its operations in Brazil.
Farmers are getting older. In the last census taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 25 percent of farm operators were more than 65 years old. Neighbors and younger farmers would like to have their land. But for a variety of reasons, it's hard to convince an older farmer to give it up.
CEO Gary Knell announced on Monday that he is leaving NPR to take the helm at National Geographic Society. The offer was too good to refuse, Knell told NPR staffers, giving him the chance to lead a larger educational and publishing and television organization on a "global stage."
Some politicians across the country are getting crafty — trying to woo businesses to their states. But in North Carolina, it wasn't an elaborate government sales pitch that got a company in Connecticut interested in expansion. It was the state's high unemployment rate.
Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 4:25 am
On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported the Justice Department is investigating the bank over improper energy trading. That follows the news that the anti-bribery unit of the Security and Exchange Commission is looking into whether JPMorgan hired the children of Chinese officials to help win business.
Shanice is about to start her job as the receptionist at a new local government office in London. She also happens to be a hologram. Officials say that at a cost of $19,000, she's much cheaper than a living and salaried alternative.
Back in this country, a major hedge fund manager, Philip Falcone and his company, Harbinger Capital Partners, have agreed to pay $18 million to settle charges over the improper use of his company's money.
As NPR's Richard Gonzales reports, Falcone is also barred from the securities industry for five years.
The aid propping up both sides of Egypt's ongoing political crisis largely comes from regional rivals. Saudi Arabia leads the financial support of Egypt's military rulers. Qatar leads the support of the Muslim Brotherhood. Renee Montagne talks to Max Rodenbeck, Middle East correspondent for The Economist, about funding sources
The Egyptian Exchange was shut down at the end of last week as protests and violence raged in Cairo and elsewhere. It re-opened on Sunday, but trading hours were shortened to give employees more time to get home before curfew. Many foreign investors reportedly pulled out of the exchange earlier this year.
For a long time, investors aiming for city profits have maintained that the smart money was on emerging markets. Economic growth in Brazil, Russia, India and China, the BRIC countries as they're known, has outstripped opportunities in the U.S. But in recent months, there is evidence that trend is starting to change. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports investors are turning back to markets in the U.S. and other developed economies.
The professional connections site LinkedIn is launching a new section of its social network Monday: University Pages targets younger users who want to connect with colleges. More than 200 schools now have profile pages, according to LinkedIn. As part of the new effort, the company also dropped its minimum age to 14 in the U.S.
The new college profiles allow prospective students to see how many of a school's graduates are on LinkedIn, as well as a breakdown of the main fields in which they work. The pages also list the top employers of alumni.
Long Island art dealer Glafira Rosales is scheduled to be arraigned Monday on charges of money laundering and wire fraud. Prosecutors say Rosales was involved in selling $80 million worth of counterfeit Modernist paintings that turned out to be the work of one anonymous painter.
The average cost of an American wedding cost more than $28,000 last year. Travelers insurance is now offering wedding insurance. There's coverage for failed wedding pictures, the caterer goes out of business, gifts go missing, etc.
It's been nearly 10 months since Superstorm Sandy hit the Northeast — and coastal communities are still trying to rebuild. Many homeowners are turning to building professionals to reduce the risk of future floods. But in doing so, architects and designers may be exposing themselves to legal risk.
The Securities and Exchange Commission reportedly has opened a bribery investigation into whether JPMorgan Chase hired the children of powerful Chinese officials to help the bank win lucrative business. JPMorgan says it is fully cooperating with investigators.
Manufacturing is increasingly being done with robotic power tools that cost tens of thousands of dollars. They're known as CNC or computer-numerical-control machines. A California company is making low-cost CNC machines that will help in the classroom.
The Oct. 1 launch of the new health insurance exchanges is now less than two months away, and people are starting to pay attention to the changes these new marketplaces may bring to the nation's health care system.
Almost as soon as they started rolling off the assembly lines, automobiles became synonymous with freedom. And in the post-World War II boom our relationship with cars intensified.
It was about horsepower, status, being American, and for young people: rebellion. For generations cars inspired countless songs, books and movies. But now there are signs that our car culture is losing some of its shine.