OK, so banks in Cyprus are opening today, but there's no doubt that some people who have funds stashed in the country are going to be hunting around for a new place to put their money. We wondered what types of things make a place a popular tax haven.
So we called up Professor James Hines at the University of Michigan Law School. He specializes in tax havens.
At the New York Auto Show this week, Honda is cleaning up. The carmaker has wowed people with its new Odyssey minivan because of the built-in vacuum cleaner.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Yeah, the carmaker says it worked with Shop-Vac to design its HondaVAC, which it tells is the first ever in-car vacuum cleaner. It is tucked inside the driver's side rear cargo space, and it comes with all sorts of attachments.
WERTHEIMER: And so our last word in business today is: Why did it take a car company so long to do this?
Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 7:18 am
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
And I'm Linda Wertheimer.
In Cyprus today, banks reopened after being closed for nearly two weeks. Customers could see the limits on cash withdrawals last for months, as leaders of the island-nation try to prevent a bank-run. Lots of people there are nervous about an EU bailout agreed to this week. The terms of that deal are a shocking outcome for a country which built its wealth on its banking industry.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
And I'm Linda Wertheimer.
When you're filling up a car with gas, chances are you are not looking at the price per gallon and thinking how low it is. And maybe thinking that the government ought to do something about that and raise prices. But the economic wizards at the International Monetary Fund are recommending exactly that, not just for the U.S. but for the entire world.
And let's stay on the topic of energy. Millions of Americans have lost factory jobs over the past decade, but U.S. manufacturing is coming back to life, in large measure because of abundant supplies or cheap natural gas. From member station KUHF in Houston, Andrew Schneider reports on how the Texas Gulf Coast is booming as companies build new plants.
Last year, a new drug called Zaltrap was approved as a kind of last-chance therapy for patients with colorectal cancer. Studies suggested Zaltrap worked almost exactly as well as an existing drug called Avastin. In fact, the main difference between the two drugs seemed to be the price.
"I was rather stunned," Dr. Leonard Saltz, who specializes in colorectal cancer, told me.
Zaltrap costs about $11,000 per month — about twice as much as Avastin, Saltz said.
Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 7:48 am
One day, the legislature in the state where you live passes a new law: Until further notice, you're not allowed to take your money to another state.
There are exceptions. You can take a few thousand dollars with you if you go on a trip. You can do some out-of-state shopping on your credit card, but not too much. Beyond that, all your money — your checking account, your savings account, the cash you buried in your backyard — has to stay in your state. You're free to leave the state, as long as you don't take your money with you.
Nearly 500 farmers and workers have suffocated in grain storage bins in the past 40 years. The worst year on record was 2010, with 26 people dying. Hefty fines and criminal charges are possible for negligent employers. But NPR and The Center for Public Integrity found that enforcement is weak, even as workers continue to die.
And to talk more about T-Mobile's new pricing strategy, we reached Rich Jaroslovsky. He's technology commentator for Bloomberg News and a regular guest on our program. And Rich sounds busy there in the Bloomberg newsroom in San Francisco. How are you?
RICH JAROSLOVSKY: I'm fine.
GREENE: Let's talk about what we're hearing from T-Mobile. I mean, how radical a change is this for a U.S. carrier?
Think about farms in the Midwest, acres and acres of corn and soybeans. Now, picture instead fresh saltwater shrimp - shrimp. Landlocked Midwestern farmers are finding ways to raise those shellfish far away from any ocean.
Genetically-modified seeds — and the technology to produce them — have been at the center of a bitter legal fight between the two companies. Dupont will pay Monsanto more than $1.5 billion in the deal. With that, the companies will drop their patent and antitrust claims against each other.
The Solar Impulse, a solar-powered plane, flies over Switzerland. The makers will be journeying across the U.S. this spring, hoping the flight helps challenge assumptions about what solar technology can do.
The Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle recently said they will start charging readers for online content, joining big papers like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Some large papers have made it work because they offer a lot of unique content.
Nick d'Aloisio displays his mobile application Summly, which Yahoo recently purchased for a reported $30 million. But the Internet company is killing the app and integrating the algorithm that drives it into its own technology.
A British teenager has sold his mobile application to Yahoo for a reported $30 million. Seventeen-year-old Nick D'Aloisio created his app called Summly when he was only 15. As NPR's Jeff Brady reports, the teen will now go to work for Yahoo.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
Federal regulators are taking aim at a practice they say is forcing millions of struggling homeowners to pay higher insurance premiums. The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued an order today. It bars banks from charging lucrative fees and commissions on so-called lender-placed insurance policies. NPR's Jim Zarroli explains.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act — the federal law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. And among those asking the justices to strike it down is a broad cross section of corporate America.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, the day when white people no longer make up the majority of the American population is coming, and coming a lot faster than initially predicted. Today, we are going to look at how the browning of the nation could lead to a real divide between the older, white minority and a younger, growing, brown majority. We'll start the conversation about what that might mean for the country's future. That's ahead this hour.
Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 12:56 pm
The chairman of the Bank of Cyprus abruptly stepped down after a special administrator was appointed to oversee its restructuring in the wake of a painful bailout of the island nation by international lenders.
Amazing but true, Popeye and Frosty the Snowman have something in common with General Douglas MacArthur and Mark Twain. They're all known for smoking a corn cob pipe. Corn cob pipes have made a comeback in recent years, welcomed news for the last company in the U.S. mass producing them. It's located in Washington, Missouri, about an hour west of St. Louis.
Still, as St. Louis Public Radio's Rachel Lippmann reports, last summer's brutal heat and drought have been a big challenge.
And out next business story fits in the category of what were they thinking? Ford Motor Company is apologizing for ads sketched up by an agency in India - ads that have been decried as demeaning to women. They are cartoon drawings showing off how spacious a Ford trunk can be. One spoofs Italy's former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi. He's at the wheel, and in the trunk, three women, tied up.
GREENE: OK, it's just a fantasy. But actually, in some countries taxpayers can sign up to receive simply a bill. The government sends you a tax bill, you pay it and, voila, that's it.
Now, there was an effort to bring return-free filing to the United States, but that effort came up against stiff opposition. And to find out why, we called Liz Day of ProPublica. She's been digging into this issue.
While equal rights occupy a large part of the debate over same-sex marriage, federal taxes are also a concern for gay couples. Experts say repealing the Defense of Marriage Act will affect some same-sex couples when they file their taxes.
When advocates for gay marriage talk about it, they usually focus on the struggle for equality and civil rights.
But how the Supreme Court decides the Defense of Marriage Act case being argued this week could possibly have big implications in another arena — the money same-sex couples owe the Internal Revenue Service.
The case that could throw out a law that defines marriage as between a man and woman started with a tax bill.