Business

Business
2:49 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Phyllis Diller's Estate To Be Auction Next Month

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:43 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: Dress like Diller.

In Beverly Hills, Phyllis Diller's estate will be auctioned off next month.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

On stage, the late comedienne dressed like a disheveled, chain-smoking housewife with freakish hair - and now some lucky bidders can too. The sale will include many of her trademark props: blond fright wigs, feather boas, ankle boots and cigarette holders.

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Business
2:49 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Bank Of America To Close Some Drive-Up Tellers

Bank of America won't say exactly how many drive-through lanes are closing. A spokeswoman did say the decision is not a cost-cutting move but a response to the way people are banking. At branches where drive-through lanes are closing, the bank says ATMs will be available.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:43 am

Some Bank of America branches with drive-through tellers from Georgia to Texas have already closed the lanes, according to spokeswoman Tara Burke.

She wouldn't divulge exactly how many are closing. She did say the decision is not a cost-cutting move but a response to the way people are banking.

About 13 million customers bank by mobile phone and 29 million participate in online services. Among them is 19-year-old Brittney Sprague who says, "Not too many folks will really miss the drive-through teller because everybody uses apps. It's all about the new technology."

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Business
2:49 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Asian Markets Move Lower On News From Fed Meeting

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:43 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We'll begin NPR's business news with fallout from the Fed.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Stock markets across Asia fell and India's currency continued its plunge after minutes from the July meeting of the Federal Reserve were released yesterday. The records from that meeting showed that officials were comfortable with scaling back its huge bond-buying program as the economy grows stronger.

The Salt
12:53 am
Thu August 22, 2013

In Canada, Maine Lobstermen Get Both A Rival And A Tutor

Sternman Scott Beede returns an undersized lobster while checking traps in Mount Desert, Maine.
Robert F Bukaty AP

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:43 am

There's nothing quite like the sweet, succulent taste of Maine lobster. And fishermen off the state's rocky coastline have been catching more and more of the tasty crustacean over the past five years.

But that surging supply has overwhelmed Maine's limited marketing and processing capabilities and driven down the prices paid to lobstermen.

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Business
12:41 am
Thu August 22, 2013

As Housing Recovers, Lots Of Boats Rise In U.S. Economy

A worker at the Cataumet Sawmill in Falmouth, Mass., where the improved housing outlook has led to more hours for employees.
Chris Arnold NPR

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 10:02 am

In just the past week we've seen a bunch of signs that the housing recovery is gaining steam. Data out Wednesday showed that existing-home sales rose to their highest level in nearly four years, while prices were up 14 percent from a year ago.

Retailers Home Depot and Lowe's both reported strong earnings growth and attributed that to the housing rebound.

And most important for the economy, homebuilders are hiring more workers and building more houses.

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Technology
3:22 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Facebook CEO's Internet Crusade Hopes To Bring Billions Online

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 4:38 pm

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has teamed up with other tech giants to pursue the goal of providing Internet service to five billion people in the developing world. The group, called Internet.org, says data can be used more efficiently and participating partners can work cooperatively to make access to the web affordable in emerging economies. Zuckerberg makes the case on his Facebook page for how a global Internet infrastructure can be created. But the document doesn't have tangible commitments from Facebook or other participating companies.

Parallels
11:47 am
Wed August 21, 2013

India And Other BRIC Economies Now Facing Headwinds

The Indian rupee has fallen nearly 16 percent against the dollar since May. The drop comes amid a slowdown in the country's economy. India's troubles are mirrored in other emerging economies that drove global growth for the past decade.
Zheng Huansong Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 3:21 pm

High food prices, a currency in free fall, battered investors and slowing growth: India is facing a host of problems that have taken away the sheen from an economy that's had a decade of mostly stron

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The Salt
10:38 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Forget Cronuts: London's 'Townies' Take On Hybrid-Dessert Craze

American baker Bea Vo, who runs Bea's of Bloomsburg, a string of bakeries in London, came up with this answer to the cronut: the townie, a tartlet-brownie with a gooey center and a crisp outer shell.
Courtesy Bea's of Bloomsburgy Helena Marie Fletcher

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:45 am

What's a baker to do when all foodies can talk about, on both sides of the Atlantic, is the cronut craze, a croissant-doughnut that NPR reported on earlier this year? Simple: Come up with an equally addictive hybrid dessert.

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Sales Of Existing Homes Rose 6.5 Percent In July

A "sale pending" sign in San Anselmo, Calif., earlier this year.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 9:22 am

There was a strong increase in sales of existing homes in July, the National Association of Realtors reports, in yet another sign that the important housing sector is back on its feet.

In fact, says The Associated Press, sales approached "a healthy level for the first time since November 2009."

According to the NAR:

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The Two-Way
8:17 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Tech Giants Launch Internet.org, A Global Plan To Widen Access

A new project announced by Facebook seeks to make it more affordable to access the Internet via cellphones around the world. In Africa, 16 percent of the population currently uses the Internet. Here, a man looks for a network signal in Somalia.
Roberto Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

Citing the billions of people worldwide who can't access the Internet, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the leaders of other technology firms are launching an ambitious project to narrow the digital divide Wednesday. The plan focuses on widening access via mobile phones.

"There are huge barriers in developing countries to connecting and joining the knowledge economy," Zuckerberg says. "Internet.org brings together a global partnership that will work to overcome these challenges, including making Internet access available to those who cannot currently afford it."

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Business
6:17 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Lowes Reports Earnings On The Heels Of Home Depot

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:03 am

Home Depot says it has had "one of the best quarters in its recent history." It credits the recovery in the housing market. Main rival Lowes also benefited from the housing recovery, and strong demand for home refurbishings.

The Two-Way
5:24 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Book News: Barnes & Noble Founder Pulls Plug On Buyback Plan

A Barnes & Noble store in Bethel Park, Pa.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 7:19 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Television
3:27 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Al Jazeera Offers Americans An Alternative For News

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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.

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Business
3:27 am
Wed August 21, 2013

U.S. Retailers Vow To Upgrade Bangladesh's Safety Standards

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

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Business
3:27 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Earnings Report On Home Depot And J.C. Penney

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with some home improvement.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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.

Business
3:27 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Math Class: Oreo's Double Stuf Doesn't Measure Up

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is a bit of confectionery math: one plus one equals 1.86.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Now you may remember the minor scandal that was kicked up when it was proved that Subway's foot-long sandwiches were actually less than a foot long.

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Around the Nation
3:27 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Colorado Gold Mine Bucks Closing Trend

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

(SOUNDBITE OF BULLDOZER)

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The Two-Way
2:41 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Kodak Reinvents Itself As Judge Approves Bankruptcy Exit

Guy Solimano Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 11:54 am

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper has approved Kodak's plan to emerge from court oversight. That paves the way for it to be a much smaller company focused on commercial and packaging printing.

The plan received the judge's approval on Tuesday, and the company hopes to put it into effect as soon as Sept. 3, reports Kate O'Connell of member station WXXI in Rochester, N.Y.

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Your Money
10:06 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Women Shortchanged In Retirement Earnings

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.

Shots - Health News
8:06 am
Tue August 20, 2013

More Options This Fall For Some Small-Business Workers

NPR Staff

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 11:58 am

Workers at small companies are generally starved for choice when it comes to health insurance.

If their employers offer health coverage at all — and only about a third of companies with fewer than 50 workers do — chances are there will be just one plan on the menu.

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Parallels
6:58 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Samsung Under Fire For Alleged Brazil Labor Violations

A man holds up a Samsung S4 smartphone against a video screen. Samsung is accused of labor violations in Brazil, home to its largest manufacturing operation.
Dado Ruvic Reuters /Landov

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.

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Business
3:54 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Older Farmers Seem To Be In No Hurry To Call It Quits

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.

Media
3:36 am
Tue August 20, 2013

NPR CEO Knell To Leave After 2 years On The Job

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."

Business
3:13 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Conn. Firm Lured To N.C. By 'Hungry Workforce'

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 5:57 am

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.

Business
3:13 am
Tue August 20, 2013

JPMorgan Chase faces Growing Legal Problems

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.

Business
3:13 am
Tue August 20, 2013

British Firm Tries Out Virtual Receptionist

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 5:20 am

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.

Business
3:13 am
Tue August 20, 2013

SEC Bans Falcone From Trading For 5 Years

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 3:40 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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.

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Business
3:13 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Money Flows Into Egypt, But Where Does It Come From?

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 4:46 am

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

Business
3:13 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Rocky Road Predicted For Egypt's Stock Exchange

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 5:15 am

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.

Business
3:13 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Some Investors Choosing U.S. Over Emerging Markets

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 4:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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.

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